Snapshot: Empress Theatre
Post 3 in the Snapshot Series - Occasionally in my travels I come across a theater that I can’t find a lot of information on, or that I only have a chance to photograph for an hour or two. They’re still beautiful and fascinating, so they definitely have a place on After the Final Curtain
The Empress Theatre opened in 1927 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The 1,595 seat theater was built by architect Charles A. Sandblom, who is also known for the Gramercy Theater in Manhattan. Originally part of the Century Circuit, the theater became part of the RKO circuit in 1929.
The Empress closed in 1941 and reopened the following year as the Crown Theatre. Unfortunately, the revamp was short lived and the theater closed permanently in 1950. Since then, the building has gone through a number of different uses, including a dance hall, a furniture showroom, a banquet hall and a night club. It is currently being used as a supermarket, medical center and storage for a publishing company. The ceiling is all that remains of the former theater.
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