Nassau Theatre

88 Nassau Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Island Theater Circuit

Functions: Banquet Hall

Previous Names: Nassau Avenue Theatre

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Nassau Theatre

This Brooklyn theater was located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, on Nassau Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street. It was originally called the Nassau Avenue Theatre.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 10, 2006 at 8:16 pm

Still in use as a catering hall when I photographed in recently in June 2006:

johndereszewski on January 15, 2008 at 1:10 am

The Nassau closed just as I was beginning to become aware of movie theaters. I remember passing by it with my mother as we walked to visit my grandmother on Calyer St. many times. One day it was showing pictures; the next day it was shut. My guess is that 1955 – rather than 1953 – provides a better estimate of its demise, but memories are very tricky things.

While I never went to the Nassau as a movie house, I have attended scores of wedding receptions, annual dinners, political fundraisers, etc. at the catering hall. Initially, it was called Rovnaks, after the owners. This was Greenpoint’s first “modern” catering hall, since it provided a “classier” venue than the church and legion halls previously used for such events. The Rovnak’s eventually changed the name to Princess Manor. It was subsequently sold to its present owners who have almost exclusively marketed it to the ethnic Polish community. Thus, most non-ethnic Poles will now feel more at home being served by the Princess Manor’s prime competitor – the Polonaise Terrace!

johndereszewski on February 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm

While I first went to the Rovnak catering hall in November 1964 for my aunt’s weddong reception, which does postdate the C of O date, I don’t believe that the place had just opened. So Lost Memory’s conjecture that the old movie house may have been used as a catering hall before 1964 is probably correct. Since I do not recall any other interim use, a 1964 opening date would mean that the place stood vacant for 8 years. (The Nassau closed at least three years before the Winthrop, which met its demise in 1959.) When one considers that the Nassau was situated near the intersection of Greenpoint’s two major commercial streets, eight years of non use does not seem very believable. It certainly does not square with my memory. Anyone have any other thoughts or memories about this?

When the Nassau was open, it was flanked by two fruit and vegetable stores that always struck me as being decrepit and dirty. I could never understand why my mother ever patornized them. By the early 1960’s, these had been replaced by the Pizza Prince and the drug store that now extends all the way to Leonard St. (A tiny newstand/candy store occupied a corner storefront.)I believe the conversion of the movie house predated these developments and probably provided an incentive for them to have occurred.

michelemarie on April 13, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Dear John Rovnak’s is what I vaguely remember…Go on the other Nassau Site I left you a note about the Catering Hall….I remember the Candy store on the Corner next to the Pizza Prince….But now you say there is a Drug Store that extends all the way to Leonard Street…I have a site for you to go on it is called you can see alot of pictures of Brooklyn….anniegirl

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 31, 2010 at 3:28 am

Try Google Books&client=opera&pg=PA97#v=onepage&q=nassau&f=false). P.97.

johndereszewski on January 31, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Joe, thanks for the wonderful picture, which was snapped right after my father turned four. This must have been exactly how he first remembered the old movie house.

The underlying caption notes that Nassau was the Dutch name for Long Island, a fact that I was not aware of. This probably explains why it was also used when Nassau County was established in 1898; when an unseccessful attempt to rename Newtown Creek as the Nassau River was also made at about the time; and when a movie theater situated on Grand St. in Williamsburg was also given the Nassau name. (A separate CT page is devoted to this theater.)

The trolley appearing in the picture notes a Manhattan Ave. end to the run. My guess is that this particular trolley was ending its daily run and would leave its route at Manhattan in order to return to the car barn, which was situated near Manhattan Ave’s. northern end at Newtown Creek. Otherwise, the trolley would have continued its run down Lorimer St. and, ultimately, Franklin Ave. (This was the route generations of Greenpointers took to visit Ebbetts Field.) Until the bus depot closed sometime in the 1970’s or early 1980’s, this is how the B-48 busses ended their daily runs.

Finally, the second picture depicts a iiquor store being situated across the street from the old Nassau. Over ninety years later, a liquor store still exists here, I am sure after many, many changes in ownership.

Thanks again for the memories!

robboehm on May 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Picture in the day from Brooklyn Pics uploaded.

johndereszewski on May 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Thanks so much for this vintage photo, robboehm. Since so many of the old pictures that were once posted have disappeared, it’s great to see some new ones.

While the picture is very blurry, I was able to – I think – make our the lower film as being “The Forest Rangers”. Since this film, which starred Fred MacMurray, Paulette Goddard and a young Susan Hayward, was released in late 1942, this shot was probably taken sometime in 1943. The fact that the Nassau was clearly not a first run theater should explain the time lapse.

robboehm on May 18, 2015 at 2:55 pm

John, unfortunately a lot of the old links have expired or are no longer viable. Also, a number of former members have left CT taking their photos with them. So it’s important to get things in the photo section. In addition to scouring various resources, if I’m on a site and see that there is still a viable link, I make a point to make sure it’s also in the photo section.

johndereszewski on May 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Thanks so much for performing this important service. By the way, do you have any idea why these parties – and we know who they are – decided to take their contributions away from Cinema Treasures? Was this done at their volition – or did the web site take any action here?

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