Leader Theatre

947 Coney Island Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11230

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Island Theater Circuit, Randforce Amusement Corp.

Architects: Harrison G. Wiseman

Functions: Retail

Nearby Theaters

Exterior View circa 1929-30

This neighborhood theatre on Coney Island Avenue was once owned by the Island Theater Circuit, the owner of the Kent Theatre (still operating as a triplex) a few blocks away. The Leader Theatre was opened in 1927. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual 10 ranks theatre organ. It was redecorated & remodeled in August 1944. It closed in 1960 and became Leader Lanes bowling alley and a billiard & pool room on the second floor.

Later it became a disco, before the entire building was gutted and subdivided into stores and office space. In 2006 a three story apartment block was built above the theatre.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 27, 2006 at 1:45 am

Here are two photographs of the Leader Theatre I took in June 2006. Note the new construction which is being built ‘over’ the existing building:

Astyanax on August 15, 2006 at 3:27 am

In the 1930 Daily Eagle listing for Fox theatres, posted by Warren on the Alba site, the Leader appears as a Fox house. Did Wm. Fox buy out Birkshire Theatre Corp.?

kencmcintyre on January 27, 2007 at 8:59 am

Here is an anti-trust suit involving the Leader in 1945:

RobertR on February 19, 2007 at 1:19 pm

In 1959 the Leader revived the 1927 Al Jolson hit “The Jazz Singer"
View link

Vivian on September 29, 2007 at 9:36 pm

The photograph to which a link is posted above by Lost Memory was taken from the corner of Newkirk and Coney Island Avenue, just in front of the schoolyard of P. S. 217, which I attended from 1944 to 1952. I spent many hours in the Leader. There’s a bit of a reminiscence at View link

kencmcintyre on November 26, 2008 at 6:58 pm

This is the photo that was posted on 9/8/04. as that link has expired.

PHILTK on February 25, 2011 at 6:21 am

I used to bowl there back in the 70s and played bingo at the casa del rey. The marque was still attached to the building so i figured it was once a movie theatre. The 2nd floor was a bar . also there was a great chinese restaurant THE NEW TOY SUN located between the 2 places.

PercyCleebow CODENAME: STRIKER on October 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

Me and my friends walked along Cony Island Ave from newkirk and ocean ave to Ditmas J.H.S in the area, the area was a divided line of many neighborhoods (tention) and has a great beagle shop in the area (COPS), I know in the bowling lanes were new when we dented them and there was a big video store in that lot in the late 1980’s. But the Kent was established as the Marquee theater so why go there, thats why they closed and remaind closed…

HomecrestGuy on January 16, 2019 at 6:02 am

Photo, circa 1940, added to Gallery.

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