Midwood Theatre

1307 Avenue J,
Brooklyn, NY 11230

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Century Theaters

Architects: John J. McNamara, R. Thomas Short

Functions: Medical Center

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Midwood Theatre

The Midwood Theatre replaced an earlier Midwood Theatre (1913-1920) and opened in 1921. It was designed by architect R. Thomas Short, with a total seating capacity of 1,208, it featured a balcony. It was equipped with a Kimble organ. It was enlarged to a total seating capacity of 1,953, again to the plans of architect R. Thomas Short. By 1929 it was part of the Century Theaters chain. In 1932 the interior was modified to the plans of architect A.J. Burns.

In 1948 alterations were carried out to the plans of architect John J. McNamara. It later became a second-run Century Theaters house. In its final years, it offered a discount policy where the price of admission was the same as the last two digits of the year. The Midwood Theatre was closed in 1985.

It is now an eye surgery facility.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

greeneyes on November 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Part 1 of Woody Allen’s bio was great to me. As someone who loves his work and who as a young girl lived in the neighborhood on E 13th ST. between Avenues H and I, I found it to be a very nostalgic trip back in time. Just had to take the street-view Google tour today. Looking forward to tonight and Part 2! He is incredible. It’s been my secret desire to be in one of his films! Sad to see the Midwood Theater is not there any more. I saw many movies there and especially remember the pleasure and comfort of sitting in the air-conditioned space a day after baking at Coney Island or Brighton Beach. Brooklyn has always been God’s country to me!

CConnolly1 on November 23, 2011 at 4:27 am

Allen’s documentary on PBS was why I came to look at the write-ups about the Midwood. I’ve been on this site numerous times and lived in Brooklyn for a short period in the early 90s but I never checked out the Midwood until now. Allen’s recollections of the Midwood in particular and Brooklyn in general were kind of mind-blowing. A time and a place gone but it sounded amazing.

ajs42548 on December 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

My great uncle (my maternal grandmother’s brother) was Joseph Springer who owned the Midwood from the late 50’s into the 60’s. He also owned 5 other theaters some in Brooklyn and the rest in Queens. I saw the American Masters show and also heard Woody Allen mention that his grandfather owned that theater. Either he sold it to Century Circuit or directly to my uncle. I used to live on Coney Island Avenue and Ave. J (across Coney Island Ave. from Bobbins). Of course I used to have a family pass and see movies free whenever I wanted.

bradmarcus on October 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

That was my neighborhood theater and I saw more movies there than I can count. As someone mentioned, DiFara is down the street and so was Joy Fong. Bonaparte’s was on Avenue M, near the old Elm theater. Unfortunately, the end for the Midwood really happened in 1978 when the “Animal House riot” happened. After that, things spiraled downhill quickly.

Avenue_J on January 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I remember when there was a Halloween costume party on a Saturday morning around Halloween and the contestants paraded around the theater and the kids in the audience picked the winner based on how loud the applause was. I also remember fondly the manager Mr. Burns who my family knew well and who used to give us passes so we did not have to spend 25 cents for the kiddie ticket. I also remember fondly the matron whose job it was to make sure all of the kids were herded into the children’s section in the front on the right side. Even if the children’s section was full to capacity she was an expert at the job of hunting kids down in the rest of the theater which was usually empty and she would come around and shine the flashlight in your eyes and haul you to the children’s section.

And I initially lived on Coney Island AVenue and Avenue J as well (1013 Avenue J)

What a great theater!

elifriedmn on January 7, 2015 at 7:44 am

Having lived on East 17th Street between Avenues J and K for over 50 years, I cherish the drumbeat of live that was fed by the Midwood Theater. Now, when grandchildren recount their joy in finding DiFara’s Pizza still open, I realize how fortunate life has been for and to me. Its been a grand tour made even better by the still functional nearby Kent Thater. Eli Friedman

Orlando on February 19, 2015 at 9:50 am

In the early 1970’s, I attended this theatre many times. It was always a pleasantly operated theatre as were many of the Century Theatres were. Its great to see some upper terra cotta still in place today as the owners knew it was special features. However, it is sad to see. It’s a good thing we have our memories.

HomecrestGuy on September 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Had great times at the Midwood in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The zip code shown is not correct, it’s 11230.

ShortEnds on April 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

This was the go to theater of the Goodman, Lipes, Penn, and Geier families. Across the street was the best bakery in the world.Ratchicks…….oh those brownies!!

JackIndiana on September 27, 2023 at 7:01 am

The last movie I saw here was THE EMERALD FOREST in the summer of 1985. I think it may have closed shortly after that. I still remember it as a great discount theatre.

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