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A Celebrated History

For New York City’s moviegoing public at the dawn of the Cinema Age, Kings Theatre was a palace.

Built in 1929 as one of Loew’s “wonder theaters,” it featured French Renaissance-style architecture inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House. Kings Theatre was one of the five original Loew’s “Wonder Theatres” of New York and New Jersey.

Despite a rich history of civic and community engagement, Kings Theatre began a steady decline after World War Two, until it officially closed its doors on August 30th 1977.

After World War Two, the rise of television, home video systems, and multiplexes signaled the end of an era for most of the classic early 20th century movie palaces—Kings Theatre officially closed its doors on August 30th, 1977, suffering deterioration throughout the decades from a leaking roof and water damage.

Kings Theatre, Courtesy of Theatre Historical Society of America

A Restoration

In 2009, NYCEDC, in partnership with former Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz and ACE Theatrical Group, spearheaded the $95 million renovation of the space as a performance venue, restoring the historic site to its former glory. Reopened in 2015, the theatre began its second act with an inaugural performance by Diana Ross.

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