Albemarle Theatre

973 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11226

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Showing 1 - 25 of 64 comments

jinchelsea on October 4, 2015 at 9:08 am

I was an usher at the Albemarle in the summer of 1963, my first real job as a teenager after my sophomore year at Erasmus (and we just had our 50th year reunion, fascinating). The Albermarle was a barn, and had not been reconditioned for air conditioning. We had many walkouts that summer due to the heat, and we were told to tell the customers, when they asked, that the theatre was “air cooled,” which really meant we left as many doors open as possible! Those heavy wool uniforms we had to wear were murder! At the end of the summer, Century Theatres, which had owned it, sold it to another company, and my job came to an end (when I went on to work at the Nostrand for a year or two, and then finally at the RKO Kenmore, a story in itself).

Orlando on January 17, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Albemarle Palace was the name of the ballroom above the lobbies and opened before the theatre.

robboehm on January 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Which is the third?

Orlando on January 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

In two months, this building will be 94 years old. Yes, Flatbush is very lucky to have three theatres in a row
that are still intact. That’s why I decided to make it my home again. The best of all, Kings Theatre, one of the three will be the neighborhood’s living room again.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

My mistake. The photo is dated January 19, 1921, and refers to the theatre opening the following month. So, by April 22, Variety had in the neighborhood of two full months worth of box office figures by which to judge its success. The photo caption also refers to the theatre as the “Albemarle Palace,” suggesting this may have been the name under which it opened.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

If spring 1921 was the time of the Albemarle’s opening, then the Variety piece you copied from April 22, 1921, seems a pretty snap rush to judgment on the lack of success for the venue.

Chicagob on December 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I found the menu below the map to select open, closed, demolished etc. nice improvement. Thanks

Chicagob on December 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I am trying to search closed theatres in Brooklyn and the site will now only give me open theatres. Do I need to change my settings?

robboehm on December 16, 2013 at 9:27 pm

They must have turned it around somehow. It lasted until the fire in 1984 as a single screen theater. Don’t know what it looked like “in the day”, but the pictures of the auditorium as a church (elsewhere on this site) show a spectacular space.

ffforte on May 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

My father owned a record store to the right of this theater from 1965-1973. (L.A.S. Music) As a child when accompanying my dad to work on Saturdays, it was easy to walk next door an see a movie. Experiencing 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1969 was memorable.

PeteMarriott on April 1, 2012 at 9:57 am

I remember going there as a kid in the 70’s and early 80’s. If we couldn’t get into the RKO Kenmore over on Church we’d walk down the street to the Albermarle.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Saw the auditorium after the renovation. Nice job and friendly crowd.

robboehm on January 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Century leased the Albemarle for many years. See earlier in the thread. They specifically built the Rialto.

techman707 on January 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

jinchelsea- The Rialto, down the street from the Albemarle was operated by Century. I don’t recall the Albemarle ever being operated by Century. I believe the last owner was Interbourgh Theatres. The Albemarle had a booth built into the loge, which would have been perfect for 70mm…but it was not to be.

jinchelsea on November 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

I worked as an usher at the Albemarle in the summer of 1963, when it was still being managed by the Century chain (I got the job because my dad worked for them as a manager elsewhere). It was my first job, and because I was under age, I could only work during the day. I made the minimum wage then (maybe $1.15 an hour). It was the usual neighborhood movie palace, not on a par with the Loews Kings or the RKO Kenmore, but pretty amazing. I was always explaining to people that no, the theatre wasn’t “air-conditioned,” it was “air-cooled” (we used to joke that that meant they kept a door open to the street), and that the coolest place to sit was in the back of the orchestra (again, near the open door). Lots of complaints and lots of refunds (it was a hot summer). Century let it go at the end of the summer, and I moved on to the Nostrand Theatre.

PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER on October 1, 2011 at 2:23 am

As a child pre-teen living down the street I can attest to the family ownership the box office was very strict no one under 18 allowed without a parent. A very steril atmoshere in the lobby big glass windows with brass all over. I remember being seeing Conan on the Marque but was not old enough to get in. The owners played it smart by sticking to a certain genre of movies, but the age of action movies and martial arts was upon them an everyone flocked to the Kenmore down the street, with their pay per view antenne, and long lines for early shows and rampent ticket swapping in the bathrooms, the Albemare fell to its own high class successs and or failure.

robboehm on June 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

Tinseltoes – rather than report Google problems, of which there seem to be a good deal, on the theatre site you might achieve better results reporting them directly to CT.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm

1969 Marquee.what ever happened to Christopher Jones?Great shot of a nice marquee.

robboehm on December 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Don’t know what the original auditorium decor was like but this is certainly impressive and tasteful.

GaryCohen on December 30, 2009 at 6:42 pm

This was a nice theater and I went there on many occassions. But my only specific memory was my father taking myself, my sister and several friends to see “Goldfinger” there. The excitement created by the release of that third Bond film is still memorable today. (It would be repeated the following year with “Thunderball,” which we saw a few theaters done on Flatbush Avenue at the Rialto.)

mspec on January 4, 2009 at 9:57 am

Hi Grace – The Albemarle Theatre on Flatbush Ave was built by my grandfather, Max Barr in 1918, and remained in the family until the mid-80’s when my father and uncle sold it to a church. it was never owned by anyone else. Perhaps your father had an interest in another property. (The Albemarle was managed by some theatre chains through the 40’s and 50’s but it was always owned by the Barr family – which owned most of that block,right up to – but not including – the Macy’s on the corner). Marge (Barr) Spector

reddevils on January 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm

my name is gracelyn johnston crispyn i was born in brooklyn in 1943 my family lived on linwood st near the entrance to highland park.
my father george bruce johnston (friends called him bruce) was born march 16,1912. he was a movie buff,he went to erasmus hall high school, and would take off many days to visit and hang out at one of the 4-5 local theaters.he lived at 51 or 54 stratford rd. and spent many hours compiling a scrap book of movie stars. the book was a green marble and white compositions school note book.i still have the book ,the pages are in ex. cond. he cut out all the current stars pasted them on the lined pages and wpuld write captions , star name picture,ect.
i have given a lot of background in hopes of anyone reading this might know of my father or my grandfather william b. johnston, he owned one of the first plumbing and heating stores in brooklyn, along with several other properties in the area, one being the albemarle theater. the plumbing store was located at 9 gates ave.
my family moved to l.i. when i was 8yrs old i didnt visit much but remember talking to my dad about brooklyn his growing up his love for the movies and the amt. of time he had spent at the theater his father had owned.
if anyone has any info to share with me re: my father,or grandfather i would appreciate it.
thankyou grace crispyn

mspec on September 11, 2008 at 6:23 am

Robert – did the Beatles actually play live at the Albemarle? As the granddaughter of the builder – and daughter of the man who ran the theatre – I don ’t remember this…

RobertR on September 10, 2008 at 10:53 pm

The “NEW” Albemarle in 1965
View link

MarkSimon on May 20, 2007 at 11:11 pm

I graduated from Lafayette High School,in Brooklyn,in 1967.The graduating class numbered approximately 1500 students!(I think the entire student population was close to 6000!!) The school auditorium could not accomodate 1500 students and 2 guests per graduate. So graduation ceremonies were held on a weekday morning at,you guessed it, The Albemare.