Sumner Theatre

265 Marcus Garvey Boulevard,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Interboro Circuit Inc., Small-Strausberg Circuit

Architects: A.J. Benline, Thomas White Lamb, Paul B. LaVelle

Functions: Daycare Center

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Sumner Theatre

Located on what was originally named Sumner Avenue. The Sumner Theatre opened on May 2, 1914 and was designed by architect Paul B. LaVelle. It had the 1,100-seat Sumner Roof Garden above the indoor auditorium, which opened in June 1914. The Sumner Theatre was equipped with a Moller 3 manual/16 ranks theatre organ. Alterations were carried out in 1917 by architect Thomas Lamb. In 1930 the interior was redesigned to the plans of architect A.J. Benline.

The Sumner Theatre was closed in 1967.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

spencerst on June 23, 2005 at 7:58 pm

the sunmer theater in now a supermarket
i think teh building is the same
becouse ti lookes like a movie house
just a new front face

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 15, 2006 at 5:19 pm

The Sumner Theatre opened in 1914 with a seating capacity given as 1,000. It also boasted a Sumner Roof Garden Theatre. The address given in the Film Daily Yearbook:1926 is 265-271 Sumner Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The seating capacity varied in later editions of Film Daily Yearbook;1930 edition=961, 1941 edition=802 and 1957 edition=930.

Today the building is in use as a children’s day care centre with an address of 265 Sumner Avenue (aka Marcus Garvey Boulevard). The former roof garden theatre space can still be seen on top of the theatre, now in use as a play area.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 16, 2006 at 9:15 am

The Sumner Theatre opened in early May 1914. On 20th June 1914 the Sumner Roof Garden Theatre opened with an all star revival of “The Prisoner of Zenda”. The Roof Garden occupied the entire roof space of the theatre proper and seating was provided for 1,100. These seats (not benches) were installed by the Haywood Bothers and Wakefield Co. and were built especially for comfort, with plenty of space between the rows and extra wide aisles. There were many wide entrances and exits to and from the roof which had been approved by the fire and buildings departments. The space was surrounded by many varicolored electric lights which made for a beautiful effect from within the space and when viewed from the street. The pictures were always accompanied by the Sumner Theatre Orchestra and if the weather was not appropriate to screenings on the roof, then the same performance would be held in the main theatre aditorium downstairs.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 11, 2015 at 5:16 pm

According the Cezar Del Valle’s The Brooklyn Theatre Index the original architect of the Sumner Theatre was Paul B. LaVelle. In addition to Lamb’s 1917 remodeling, a remodeling of the interior in 1930 was designed by architect A. J. Benline.

tehuti on December 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I live around the corner from this theatre on Quincy Street as a kid and went there until it closed in ‘67.

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