Monroe Theatre

4 Howard Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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Firms: Harde & Short

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Monroe Theater

The Monroe Theatre was operating prior to 1926. This neighborhood house was down the block from the Loew’s Gates Theatre and the RKO Bushwick Theatre, and has since been demolished. It was always a late run double feature house. In its fading days it played Spanish films, then kung-fu before going porno.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 93 comments)

PeterKoch on November 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Bway. Yes, the former Schubert / Century theatre IS (was ?)hard to miss !

kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 7:12 pm

It was open in 1945, according to the yellow pages of that date. The all-important phone number was FOxcrft 9-2027.

Bway on February 12, 2009 at 11:09 am

Nice colection, but you should note when you upload photos on another site that they aren’t your photos. 4 of the current photos of the RKO Bushwick Theater are my personal photographs, which I posted here on cinematreasures. It’s okay, but you really should credit those who took the photos.

That being said, you said “back in the day” photos, did you find some historic photos of the Monroe Theater?

Bway on April 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Unfortunately, the old Monroe is still a vacant lot, even though the old Cenury Theater site has new homes on it, which is right behind where the Monroe was. HEre’s a street view:

View link

Jayar1 on August 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Also I believe that is the Century Theater on the right Tinseltoes.

Bway on August 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Yes. There were three theaters here, all right next to eachother. Actually, there were 4 at one time. The Madison Theater, a small, little known theater used to adjoin the RKO Bushwick, to it’s left at the corner of Madison and Broadway…. It’s listed here on the site under Madison (not to be confused with the RKO Madison in Ridgewood on Myrtle).

jflundy on January 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Link to Madison Monroe Theatre bill:
View link

jflundy on January 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

View link

Above link to Google Book resource relating to B.F. Keith’s and Monroe Theatre.

Oldhead on October 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm

I grew up in this neighborhood, back in the early 80’s. My mother told me about the Monroe, as well as the RKO Bushwick (Bela Lugosi made a personal appearance at the RKO.) What I remember is a big empty lot, and trying to imagine where the theater was in relation to the Bushwick. Now I see it was actually more on Howard than on Monroe. The RKO Bushwick is that marquee that’s jutting out of the extreme left of the photo. The metal structure on top of the photo is the ubiquitous “J” train.

PatM on February 3, 2021 at 9:44 pm

According to a March 23rd, 1915 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, my great-grandfather Michael Minden broke ground on this theater. Minden owned several bars, restaurants, and hotels around Brooklyn. Another article gives this as the location where he became the first person arrested by the feds for violation prohibition.

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