Elm Theatre

1617 Avenue M,
Brooklyn, NY 11230

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Century Theaters, Randforce Amusement Corp.

Architects: R. Thomas Short

Functions: Bank

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Elm Theatre

Opened on January 22, 1937 with Gladys George in “Valiant Is the Word for Carrie” & Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan Escapes”. The Elm Theater was a small theatre that was situated on Avenue M and Elm Street, for which it was named. In the 1960’s, it was showing foreign films, but by the 1970’s it was showing more adult themed fare. Nothing seemed to work in the small neighborhood house with a small balcony, and it was the first Century house to close in 1973. A bank branch is now housed in the gutted theatre.

Another sidebar of this theatre is that it stood blocks way from both Brooklyn’s former NBC studio, and the studio and lot of Vitagraph Pictures. Both are still standing with the latter now serving as a Yeshiva.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

RobertR on June 15, 2005 at 3:49 pm

In 1959 this was a Randforce house.

frankie on July 28, 2005 at 5:06 am

I have a charming memory of the Elm. When I got out of the army in ‘68, I reunited with a grade school friend of mine, and we went to this cozy little jewel of an art theater to see “Juliet of the Spirits” which we both enjoyed. Right in Brooklyn ! Imagine ! frankie from Brooklyn

Laurence11 on October 4, 2005 at 9:19 am

I saw my first movie – “Rebecca” – at the Elm when I was about 4 or 5. It had an upstairs lounge furnished in art-deco (purple sofas, oval mirrors, bronze lighting fixtures). During the years I attented PS 199, I spent many Saturday afternoons there watching two full feature films, the news of the week, several cartoons and a couple of trailers (about 4 ½ hours of viewing), all for the price of a quarter. I have a distinct memory of kissing my first girlfriend – in the childrens' section!

Lisanne on February 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I took two photos of the Elm last May.

The Lobby entrance, which doesn’t look all that different than it did when last used as a theater.

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And the marque

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HBH on July 15, 2008 at 9:31 am

“The Producers”, “City Lights”, and “A Man For All Seasons”.
And Bonaparte’s restaurant.

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2008 at 12:01 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1938:

New York-Changes effected in managerial personnel of the Century Circuit follow:

Herman Pitt has been transferred from the Rialto to the Elm, Brooklyn. Arthur Novak changes places with Pitt. Moe Weiss has gone from the Strand, Rockville Center, L.I., to the Franklin, Franklin Square, L.I.

Howard Weiss, formerly assistant manager of the Fantasy, Rockville Center, has been put in charge of the Plaza, Freeport, L.I. Jack Keith is now managing the Sunnyside, Sunnyside, L.I. Ben Mindlin has gone from assistant at the Valley Stream, Valley Stream, L.I. to manager of the Bellrose, Bellrose, L.I.

rivest266 on September 28, 2013 at 9:03 am

Small grand opening uploaded in the photo section for this cinema.

Orlando on May 10, 2014 at 8:54 am

This theatre closed in 1972 and was a foreign film house that usually played with the Astor Theatre on Flatbush Avenue. It did not play “XXX” films but the usual current “X” films that today would pass for PG-13, LOL, OK maybe “R”. Films like “Performance”, “The Devils” and the like were rated “X” more for morals than nudity. Others like “Inga”, “Coming Apart”, the Russ Meyer films, “Carmen Baby”, “I, A Woman” were big hits and 80% of theatres played them though it didn’t make the theatres playing them “XXX” theatres. A “XXX” theatre only showed those type of movies like the Brooklyn Cinart and a few others in the early 1970’s. The porno craze started with “Deep Throat” and “The Devil In Miss Jones” in 1973 by which time the Elm was closed.

rivest266 on October 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

Opened January 22nd, 1937. Grand opening ad already posted.

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