Inside Flatbush’s Beautifully Restored Kings Theatre

Photo by Jane Bruce

When renovations first began on the Loew’s Kings Theatre in Flatbush in 2013, the place was a mess. The theatre, built in 1928 but vacant for almost forty years, had been repeatedly looted. When it rained, water would leak through the ceiling to pool among the once-plush theatre seats. All but one of the original chandelier fixtures (pictured above) were missing. But after a $94 million restoration, in which every detail of the once-opulent theatre has been returned to its former glory thanks to locally-sourced materials and project architects EverGreene Architectural Arts and Martinez + Johnson Architecture. The process was a meticulous one: EverGreene analyzed old photographs, even looking at pictures under microscopes in order to get the correct shades of paint.

Photo by Jane Bruce

The Theatre, one of Loew’s original Wonder Theatres, had long been a dream project for renovation. Twenty years ago, plans were in motion to turn the space back into a multiplex movie palace. But in its current iteration, the theatre will serve as a more luxe concert hall and event space. The inaugural performance, rescheduled thanks to the blizzard, was supposed to be Diana Ross. She’s been rescheduled for February 3. Sufjan Stevens is playing there in May. The renovation included an expansion to the original facilities to accommodate larger crowds: The old theater only had 26 toilets for 3,000 seats. The new one has 75. Click through the slideshow to take a look at the magnificent new restoration.

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