Loew’s Kings Theater (Flatbush at Beverly Road)
A deal has been struck to restore the long dormant Loew’s Kings Theater, a 3,200 seat former movie palace in Brooklyn, to a functioning concert venue. After the completion of the $70 million renovation, “The Kings” will once again be the largest indoor theater in the borough, presenting some 250 events annually.
The Kings, as it was known to generations of Brooklynites, opened on Sept. 7, 1929, with a screening of “Evangeline” and a special appearance by its star, Dolores del Rio. One of five so-called wonder theaters built by Loew’s — sister theaters in Jersey City and elsewhere have been converted into churches or restored into entertainment spaces — the 68,000-square-foot Kings featured vaudeville acts and a pipe organ before moving exclusively to movies.
Over the years, as economics began to favor multiplexes, fewer and fewer of the 3,200 seats were filled. On Aug. 30, 1977, the Kings screened its final feature: “Islands in the Stream,” starring George C. Scott. This time, the star did not stop by for a special appearance. Two years later, the theater, owing back taxes, was seized by the city and began to quietly disintegrate. [NYTimes.com]