Cinema Warsaw

261 Driggs Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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Showing 21 comments

johndereszewski on January 1, 2011 at 7:40 am

For what it’s worth, the newly released Brooklyn Theatre Index has at least passively entered the debate about this theater’s status by NOT including it in its extensive records. This is odd, since the Index does not limit itself to movie houses and the Polish National Hall has long functioned as an active concert venue. Whether this omission represented an editorial decision or an oversight is for you to decide.

The Index DOES recognize the one-time existence of an old theater situated across the street at 255-7 Driggs – the Greenpoint Star – that operated from 1912 through 1922. I remembered the place as a furniture store and the temporary home of the Greenpoint Public Library.

johndereszewski on October 24, 2009 at 9:26 am

Yhis confirms what I saw when I last passed by. While the annnouncement box still says “Cinema Warsaw”, it advertised a dance and referred to nothing cinematic.

danielzak on October 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Nope, no more movies. Now they have polish dancing nights on saturdays and live rock concert nights. the bar is open tue-sun.

danielzak on October 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

Cinema Warsaw – the place is really called The Polish National Home and Warsaw @The Polish National Home because it is used for concerts mainly, live rock n roll music. it was once called cinema because they tried to show movies and stuff and thats why they called it cinema warsaw, it is now called warsaw because they of the live concerts, but the place is still polish national home.
they have a nice bar area, a kitchen area and a great ballroom with the balcony and a great stage.
here is a site

johndereszewski on October 4, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Just passed by the place yesterday. While the “Cinema Warsaw” box is still there, it was advertising what seemed to be a dance event. So, cinema does not apppear to be a heavy priority here.

frankie on March 3, 2009 at 6:36 am

A concert venue sounds very likely. Sounds like the auditorium where I did the play years ago is still there.

johndereszewski on March 1, 2009 at 9:23 am

Thanks for this lesson into Polish cinematic history, LM. Both your comments, my previous experience and a perusal of the web page strongly underline the strongly secondary role that cinema presentation plays at the Warsaw. Whether it is enough to merit its continued partcipation on this site is a very close question and one that I, at least for the time being, would answer on the side of inclusion. But I am certaily open to hearing opposing arguments.

johndereszewski on March 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

Just passed by the place while riding on a bus yesterday. The “Cinema Warsaw” sign is still there and is advertising something called “Zabawa”, which, I guess, refers to something cinematic. (Despite my name, I hardly know any non-profane Polish words, and certainly not “Zabawa”. If anyone can make something of this word, please pitch in.)

In smaller print below “Zabawa” are references to food and drink services, which, as previously noted, strongly suggests that more than a movie showing is presented here.

So, while the place cannot reasonably be described as “Closed”, as noted at the top, what it is actually “Opened” for – and how much of a role cinema plays here – remains unclear.

frankie on February 6, 2009 at 9:21 am

The building on the corner is or was a bar, and if you go in and pass thru to the back, there is an enormous auditorium with a stage, and a balcony going all around. In the early 80’s, I did a production of “The Country Wife” there with a local theater group. I hope to go there very soon just to see if this performance space is still there. I know the theater group lost the use of the hall after that show.

johndereszewski on April 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I went by this site earlier today. The sign advertising “Cinema Warsaw” is still very much in evidence, and they are promoting a movie about the late Pope John Paul II. (I guess this is the Polish equivalent of advervising Disney films!)

While I agree this is not the sole – or even the main – purpose of this venue, cinema does appear to be a clear and ongoing activity here. Thus, it probably makes the best sense to err on the side of inclusion and keep this theater in the register. Sorry Warren.

johndereszewski on March 29, 2008 at 9:34 am

The question of listing the “Cinema Warsaw” here is a close one, and Warren makes some good points. I know that the Polish National Hall has, throughout its existence, primarily been a place for dancing, concerts, meetings – and drinking! It is now a very popular venue for cutting edge rock concerts. I doubt that it ever was used as a movie house until relatively recently. I moved out of Greenpoint in 2001 and never remembered a movie being shown there until then.

Still, it would not be such a bad thing to have a page dedicated to “the only Polish cinema on the East Coast”. And at how many other movie houses can you watch a film washing down your pop corn with “strong drinks”. Ah, I love those Poles!

Scholes188 on February 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm

They are turning this into a gay porno theater come spring time.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 6, 2006 at 5:16 pm

The Cinema Warsaw is located in the free standing building to the right of the corner building seen in the photo posted by LostMemory on Mar 26 2005.

The corner building is the offices of the Polish National Home at 261 Driggs Avenue. The Cinema Warsaw is located at 263 Driggs Avenue, although a notice on the coming attractions board outside the building (which contains the name ‘Cinema Warsaw’) lists an event to be held at 261 Driggs Ave.

I passed by the building today and spoke with the caretaker who told me that has not screened films for a couple of years now, but the projectors and equipment are still in situ. The building still has the seating, but this is currently re-configured (around the side-walls possibly) and weekly dances are held in the building. He told me there is only one level (no balcony).

The Polish National Home have operated from this site since 1914 according to a plaque on the wall of their office building.

deleted user
[Deleted] on March 27, 2005 at 11:29 am

My data shows that this theatre is no longer in operation. I would caution that the adult website link be removed since underage members may use that link resulting in angry parents and possible legal action.

Shade on January 16, 2005 at 10:55 am

The phone number is disconnected and the website does not come up. Sad. Everything about this place looked great. Last time I checked the site was when they were showing all those Roman Polanski movies that were rotating around town the time of the Pianist’s release.

Scholes188 on December 19, 2004 at 12:31 pm

They stage concerts there now. I didn’t know it had been a theater.

Joshk on September 19, 2004 at 6:56 pm

This place looks wonderful. Is it still open? There haven’t been screenings in awhile. Thanks!

Orlando on May 7, 2004 at 9:38 am

There once was two theatres on Driggs Street a long time ago, could this be one of them?

genahy on February 20, 2004 at 9:28 am

go to for more info

RobertR on February 20, 2004 at 6:17 am

This is interesting anyone know any history of this theatre?