16th Street Theatre

166 16th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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Additional Info

Architects: Thomas Bennett

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: Universal Theatre

Nearby Theaters

16th Street Theatre

The Universal Theatre opened in 1914 and served the community for many decades. A Wirlitzer theatre organ, opus 1678, style 235 was installed in the Universal Theatre on July 23, 1927.

It was a small theatre with a church-like facade and started out showing silents with vaudeville acts. By late-1927 it had been renamed the 16th Street Theatre. It eventually became a late-run house before closing.

It housed a plumbing business for many years and was demolished in 2004.

Rumor has it that the open lot on the western side of the site of the 16th Street Theatre was once an outdoor theatre.

Contributed by Philip Goldberg

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 24, 2005 at 10:25 am

Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston all had theatres called “Bijou Dream”. Is your site named after one of these?

cjdv on April 24, 2005 at 12:27 pm

I never thought of it as an issue. Also it is not a question of “the link that I am supposed to use”. It was a suggestion to credit the website. In any case, the Starr, location and date, appear at the bottom of the page. The “Theatre Enthusiast” page usually features a photo of a closed theatre which more-or-less fits the subject of the article. No where is it suggested that the page is about the Starr and the theatre is used merely as an illustration (and if I know the webmaster, it will be most likely be changed in a month or so). Actually most of the photos, but not all on Bijou, are part of the collection of the webmaster gathered from a variety of sources over the years. I think on his other websites, he makes note of that. Not sure about Bijou.

MrPear on December 3, 2005 at 5:47 pm

My Great Grandfather owned that place. It’s nice to add something to our families very sparse data log.

Jan Pear


Puca1 on May 23, 2006 at 8:26 am

Was this theatre located on Avenue U and 16 th street? Can someone post more info and a picture?
Thanks a lot.

MrPear on May 23, 2006 at 2:23 pm


The ZDNET site is gone. Indeed ZDnet in all it’s manifestations always gives then takes back. They should be ashamed of all they have renegged on. Til the site that was there is back I have the data

Mr Pear

MrPear on May 23, 2006 at 7:08 pm

I know so little about the family. I do not know of a Harry Pear anywhere in the family and there is no one I can ask. Sorry.


Puggy on April 16, 2007 at 5:27 am

I’m trying to find any information about, Theatre’s formally owned by my Great-Grandfather in the N.Y./Philadelphia area, in the early 1900’s. (20’s ? 30' ? 40'2 ?) My father told me of his memories of going there as a kid (30’s ? 40’s). But hearing his memories when I was a kid…Had no meaning to me at the time.
Wish I’d of listened to him, while he was still living!
My loss ~ Many Regrets!
At any rate, My Great-Grandfather’s name was;
“Albert John Schweigart”.
Any information would be greatly appreciated! Jacqueline Schweigart

jflundy on November 4, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Here is a photo link to Brooklyn Pix. Can anyone document that this theater was ever operated by Loew’s as suggested by this web site ?
View link

robboehm on May 20, 2015 at 11:59 am

Re all of the above. Lost Memory is lost to Cinema Treasures taking all of his comments, pictures and links with him. So the only 16th image around is the one on BrooklynPix which I believe is incorrectly attributed to Loew’s. The fa├žade in the picture does look church like per another comment. BrooklynPix doesn’t always get the information right, but they are vintage pictures. Also regarding the Bijou Dream site the theaters on display are changed periodically. Only images posted in 2015 are up now. Don’t know if you can do a look up by name or if there is some sort of index.

If you see something on that site capture it since the link will eventually go bad.

robboehm on May 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Loew’s had a 46th Street Theater with a similar design but much more massive. That is probably where the confusion came with the BrooklynPix photo.

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