Fox Theatre

20 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fabian Theaters, Fox Circuit

Architects: Charles Howard Crane

Styles: Spanish Baroque

Previous Names: Fabian Fox Theatre

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News About This Theater

Fox Brooklyn Theatre auditorium

The Fox Theatre was once a centerpiece of Downtown Brooklyn. It was opened by William Fox on August 31, 1928 with Janet Gaynor in “Street Angel” a silent film, and a stage show named “Carnival des Naples”. It had 4,305 seats. Interior decorations were in a mix of Spanish Baroque, with Marine motifs. The proscenium was 50ft wide, the stage 39ft deep. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer ‘Crawford Special’; 4 manual 37 ranks organ, which also had a slave console. By 1937 it had been taken over by Fabian Theatres and renamed Fabian Fox Theatre.

The Fox Theatre closed as a movie palace on February 6, 1966 with William Bendix in “Johnny Nobody” and David Niven in “Where the Spies Are”. It became a popular concert venue for rock ‘n’ roll shows emceed by Murray Kaufman (Murray The “K”) which lasted until April 1968. Later in 1968 it was briefly taken over by the Salmaggi Grand Opera Company. It was ‘Temporarily Closed’ for two years, then a “Farewell to the Fox” week of organ concerts were held from October 31, 1970 until November 4, 1970, with Bill Gage playing the mighty Wurlitzer.

Demolition began on November 7, 1970 and was completed in January-1971. The Consolidated Edison company of New York was built in its place.

Contributed by Joseph Cascio, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 178 comments)

Astyanax on March 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Hadn’t realized that there were el tracks running on Flatbush Ave as shown in the 1933 photo listed above. Can anyone shed any light on which line that was and where it ended after going south on Flatbush? Can only make out a portion of those tracks in the 1929 photo as they appear to merge with the Fulton St. line.

Astyanax on March 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Thanks NittyRanks. What a terrific site. I was able to identify that the tracks shown in the 1933 photo belonged to the 5th Ave. elevated line that linked with the Fulton St. line in the north, and connected to the West End & 3rd Ave. lines going south. Had not been aware that these el lines existed.

PragmaticGuy on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I have a promo album of Murray the K doing an Easter or holiday show from the Fox. Gene Pitney and a number of other great early rock stars are featured.

albangin on April 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Check some new old photos I just posted of the FOX staff. check ou photo section.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Click here for an exterior view of the Fox Theatre in 1929.

fred1 on December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

Go to page 8 :

DavidZornig on September 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm

This obit is from 2010. But is has a photo of house organist Rosa Rio at the organ. Copy & paste to view.

davidcoppock on July 19, 2017 at 12:58 am

There was a card(lobby card?) Frame(holder) seen on an episode of American Pickers(and some theatre seats too, possibly from the Fox Theatre too?). They brought the card holder, but not the theatre seats.

davidcoppock on July 20, 2017 at 7:05 am

That episode of “American pickers” was called ‘A Banner pick"(i think?). Billy from 'Baggage battles" was in the epsode too.

Tony P.
Tony P. on July 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

I remember going to the FOX for the. Rock & Roll shows and the last film I saw there was Damn Yankees in 1959. Going to down town Brooklyn to see a film was a big deal.Back in the 50’s besides the FOX you had the Brooklyn Paramount, the Albee and Lowes Metropolitan. These theaters got the first run films after they played in New York City. After the runs there the films played the local neighborhood theaters.

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