Loew's Bijou Theatre

26 Smith Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.

Architects: Thomas White Lamb, John Bailey McElfatrick

Firms: J. B. McElfatrick and Sons

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Bijou Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Loew's Bijou Theatre

The Bijou Theatre opened November 13, 1893, as a playhouse under the direction of H.C. Kennedy. The opening production was “Adonis” starring Henry Dixey. Seating was provided for 2,000 with 700 in the orchestra, 500 in the balcony and 800 in the gallery. The proscenium was 36ft wide and there were 14 dressing rooms.

Due to its convenient location in downtown Brooklyn, the Bijou Theatre proved an instant success and soon became one of the most profitable theatres in the entire USA. When the ailing Kennedy retired in 1900, he sold the Bijou Theatre to Hyde & Behman, which operated it for a time and then leased to the Spooner Repertory Company. In 1908, Marcus Loew, encouraged by his success of his first Brooklyn theatre, the Royal Theatre, took over the Bijou Theatre and converted it to movies with vaudeville. Architect Thomas Lamb carried out some alterations in 1912.

The Royal Theatre and Bijou Theatre became second-run situations after Loew built the much larger and grander Metropolitan Theatre in the same area. Loew’s Bijou Theatre operated until 1929, when Loew’s replaced it by taking over the better equipped Keeney’s Theatre and re-naming it the Loew’s Melba Theatre. Loew’s Bijou Theatre was demolished in 1930 and a 30-story office block was built on the site.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

erikf on July 24, 2008 at 12:59 am

Here is the pay New York Times link of the 1928 sounding of the death-knell for the Bijou.
View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 29, 2009 at 6:32 pm

What do you mean? Bijou is one of the most common theatre names in American history.

There have been “Bijou” theatres in New York since the birth of film, four in Manhattan alone.

robboehm on May 18, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Photo from Brooklyn Pics uploaded.

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