Loew's Coney Island / Brandt's Shore Theatre
1301 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Opened: June 27, 1925
Architects: Reilly and Hall
The Coney Island Theatre was built by developers Irwin and Henry Chanin but sold to the Loew's chain before opening. The building includes office space on five floors above the lobby. Initially serving as a vaudeville and film house, the marginally-profitable theatre's primary value was as a company marquee for the millions of Coney Island visitors who passed it each year.
The theatre was sold and renamed Brandt's Shore Theatre in 1964. As with so many other classic film palaces, it descended into porn in the 1970s before closing.
The theatre was purchased in the late 1980s by Kansas Fried Chicken chain owner Horace Bullard. The floor was leveled to facilitate conversion to a bingo hall but that and numerous other redevelopment plans are currently stalled as of this writing (Fal 2007). The roof has apparently been compromised, yielding significant water damage. So Bullard has been sitting on the slowly rotting theatre, awaiting the profits that will come with a rebirth of Coney Island at some indeterminant point in the future.
Next: Loew's Delancey Theater