There was an article today in the New York Times about the restoration of the huge old movie palace The Loew's Kings, that sits majestically on a block on Flatbush avenue in Brooklyn an area of Brooklyn that has seen much better days. When I was growing up in Boro Park Brooklyn I would sometimes go to see a movie there, but not so often as we had our own local Loew's although it was not as grand as the King's. The most memorable thing for me about the Kings was that my graduation from New Utrecht High School was held there on a hot day in June 1964. There were several other theatres on Flatbush Ave that I would go to with my friends when I was a teenager, and my favorite was The Astor Theatre a run down little box that was right next door to Erasmus Hall Campus High School and showed art films as foreign films were called back in the 50's and 60's. At 15 and 16 me and my friends would see films that were adult and sophisticated and seeing them made us also feel adult and sophisticated. I can remember seeing Tom Jones, Dear John, This Sporting Life, Phaedra with Melina Mercouri who reminded me of my friend Sid's mother, even though she was Italian and Melina was Greek, both of whom I had big teenage crushes on. We would usually go to the Astor on Sunday afternoons the most Melancholy day of the week for me. It was at the Astor that I first saw a woman's bare breast (Dear John) in a movie, and was depressed for days after seeing Sundays and Cybele, which still fills me with sadness whenever I see it. It was also at the Astor that I saw the Episodic French film Les sept péchés capitaux that had segments directed by Godard, Chabrol & Demy and who I never heard of and was my first taste of these great filmmakers. Someone in today's article said that if the King's was in Manhattan it would have been restored long ago. Wrong. If the King's was in Manhattan it would have been torn down a long time ago. So I wish this movie palace of my youth the best, and hope that it does indeed become the glorious theatre that it once was. The Astor Theatre is long gone, but I still have all those memories of those Sunday afterdays with Melina, Cybele and all the rest.
you can view the entire article at this link.