After being shutterred for 36 years, a historic Flatbush theater will once again serve as a source of entertainment in Brooklyn.
The refurbishing of the Loew's Kings Theater, located at 1027 Flatbush Ave., has officially begun, with Borough President Marty Markowitz and Mayor Michael Bloomberg ceremoniously breaking ground Wednesday in what is considered the largest indoor theater in Brooklyn.
"Restoring the glory of the Loew’s Kings Theatre into a combination of the Beacon and the Apollo all rolled into one has long been a dream of mine and the Flatbush community—and now it is time for the theater’s triumphant 'encore,'" said Markowitz, who was joined by officials including New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky, Councilman Mathieu Eugene and State Senator Kevin Parker.
"Once the largest and grandest indoor venue in Brooklyn, Loew’s Kings Theatre was a major attraction for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and countless visitors," said Bloomberg. "Soon it will be again."
Markowitz noted the facility will host a plethora of events including concerts, plays and graduation ceremonies. "...[I]t will be an engine of economic growth along Flatbush Avenue and for all of Central Brooklyn," he continued.
"The Loew’s Kings Theatre is a great example of the private and public sectors working together in order to serve the common good,” said Eugene. "This theatre is part of Brooklyn history and will continue to be part of its future as a great social and cultural institution that uplifts, and unites the community."
Originally constructed in 1929, the 3,200-seat theater's design was heavily influenced by the Palace of Versailles and Paris Opera House and features ornate architectural details in the French Renaissance Style. In 1977, the theatre closed and has remained vacant since, suffering decades of neglect and deterioration.
Now, ACE Theatrical, which has been working to revitalize the space over the last three years, has secured funding for $93 million to renovate.
The undertaking, which has been financed through funding from the City, Marty Markowitz, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and United Fund Advisors, will include restoring the theater's grand staircase and seven chandeliers. Completion is tentatively scheduled for early 2015. Renderings are available at the Mayor's Flickr account.
Pinsky noted that this project will bring "a brand new cultural center in the center of Brooklyn, helping to revitalize this bustling neighborhood and create jobs."
"I am thrilled that the rehabilitation and restoration of the former Loews King Theater is finally complete," said Parker. "This project created hundreds of construction jobs for individuals who were unemployed and it is projected to create over 50 permanent positions right here in Flatbush."