Day 388

The old Canarsie Theater

January 21st, 2013



This former 1,470-seat theater has been a source of neighborhood frustration ever since it closed in early 2004. More than two years later, plans to turn it into a church had never materialized, the exterior was falling further into disrepair, and the marquee, frozen in time, still displayed the names of the final movies that ran here: Cheaper by the Dozen, My Baby's Daddy, Torque, and The Return of the King.

By late 2006, however, the owners had begun fixing up the place, intending to transform it into a restaurant and banquet hall. The Canarsie Courier ran a photo of the ongoing renovations, saying: "Work is still in progress, but, as is evident above, the soon-to-be banquet hall will finally make the former blight on the shopping strip a site of which we will be immensely proud."

Well, now it's more than six years later, and I'd have to imagine that any feelings of immense pride have vanished by this point. The exterior certainly looks better than it did, but the building is still boarded up without a trace of life. While there was talk of siting a new charter school here as recently as a year ago, there's no sign that anything has come of that proposal. But, hey, at least all the plywood gives local event promoters ample space to paste up their flyers!

One Comment

  1. John Paster says:

    I just saw this sad story. As someone who grew up in Canarsie and still carry that pride of being from there,. It does hit a nerv that my childhood favorite is sitting dormant, I saw my first James Bond movie there, Batman and Robin Live in ’65. so many memories fomr that great theater, I hope its restoed

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