Sun Theatre

637 Broadway,
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Small-Strausberg Circuit

Firms: Shampan & Shampan

Previous Names: Gold Theatre, Gem Theatre

Nearby Theaters

 Sun Theater, located at Broadway and Varet St.

Does anyone remember the Brooklyn’s Sun Theatre at Broadway and Varet Street? It was opened in 1912 as the 920-seat Gold Theatre. In 1921 it was renamed Gem Theatre and was operated by the Small-Strausberg Circuit. In 1930 it was renamed Sun Theatre. In addition to being a double bill Spanish language house, it also showed movie serials from the 1930’s and 1940’s. It was closed in 1959.

Contributed by Astyanax

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Goodheart on March 3, 2006 at 4:15 am


By the way the Sun theater is listed in the Theatres section in my 1955 Brooklyn phone book at 637 Broadway in Brooklyn. And the phone number was EVergreen 4-9203, so it was still open during that year.


Astyanax on October 20, 2006 at 7:22 am

The theater had probably been closed by the time that the surrounding buildings were torn down in the mid-60’s in the name of urban renewal for the construction of the Lindsay Park housing eyesore that continues to cast a blight on the neighborhood.

bardot861 on July 9, 2008 at 11:58 am

Bringing back a lot of memories. As a child – lived at 670 Broadway and remember going to The Sun – to see 3 Stooges serials – and there was a mummy saying “yum, yum eatem up” somewhere in there. Seem to recall there was a balcony that played it’s part creaking and squeaking. At Broadway & Flushing was the Alba – with the attendant clapping if someone dropped a dish on dish night. The Rogers was a little further up Broadway and a way up Graham Avenue were two movies – one of which was appropriately, The Graham.
Regards to all

jw on January 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm

That movie was the “Little Rascals” in which the kids were confronted by a African Native Cannible whom the kid’s called “Uncle George.” Everytime the kids would call him Uncle George, the native would point to them and say: ‘Yum, Yum, Eat Um Up.“ The Sun featured Spanish speaking movies from time to time because it was located in a predominantly Latino area in which there was a Spanish gang called the "Ellery Bops.”

johndereszewski on January 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

The Brooklyn Theatre Index contains some useful information that adds to our knowledge to this old movie house. ….. FIRST, it opened in 1912 as the GOLD – not the COLD! – Theatre and carried that name until 1920. It was named after its proprietor, a Mr. M. Gold. …… SECOND, the architect listed is the firm of Shampton & Shampton and, based on contemporary descriptions,the Gold was a pretty ornate place. The initial capacity was listed as 920. …… THIRD, the Gold became the Gem in 1921, with a listed capacity of 1,000; a Kilgen organ was installed there in 1927. …… FOURTH, the name was finally changed to the Sun in 1930. As a result of alterations that occurred at that time, capacity dropped to 762; I guess that one of the two balcanies were prebably eliminated. ….. FIFTH, the Sun finally closed in 1959. As this was about the time that the urban renewal project that produced the Lindsay Park development began, this date makes sense. The site of the old Sun now lies within the boundaries of this huge development. Hope this fills in a few blanks.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

According to Lost Memory’s uploaded Sanborn map image, and based on the opening description of the Sun Theatre having been located on Broadway at Varet Street, the movie house would have stood where the gated entrance to the Food Bazarre parking lot is now located. That would be just a bit to the left of the current Google Street View location, directly across from the nothern terminus of Gerry Street, which ends there in a T-intersection. Seems that the demolition of the Sun, along with the construction of the supermarket and parking lot (which serves the adjacent Lindsay Park Houses), involved the demapping of that section of Varet Street that ran between Manhattan Ave and Broadway. As a result, the corner, where the Sun occupied, is no longer in existence.

johndereszewski on January 17, 2014 at 8:52 am

Ed, this was all part of the Lindsay-Bushwick Urban Renewal Project, which transformed huge portions of this community from the 1960’s through the early 1970’s. The portion of the project that affected the Sun’s site occurred toward the beginning of that period.

johndereszewski on February 8, 2014 at 6:42 am

Thanks so much for the picture LM. Given that this entire community has long disappeared, it is always fascinating to see how things used to be.

I guess the photo was shot at the northeast intersection of Leonard Street and Broadway. It seems that the photographer just missed catching a piece of the Broadway El within the photo’s frame.

audpaul on May 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm

I remember as a young kid during WW2 going to the Sun for a dime and seeing two features, news, cartoon and previews. Also gave you a ticket with a number. This carried on to a race on the screen with many prizes. To this day I don’t remember anyone winning a thing. Must have been a gimmick to get you into the theater.

Astyanax on February 7, 2024 at 6:49 pm

During the 1950’s midweek programing consisted of Spanish language films primarily mariachi westerns and lurid melodramas. Weekends reverted to late run English language features.

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