Forty years and $93.9 million in renovations later, the historic Flatbush venue, located at 1027 Flatbush Ave., is scheduled to reopen with a performance by legendary artist Diana Ross on February 3.
“One of the most beloved movie palaces of old New York, the Kings Theatre was once a centerpiece of the Flatbush community, and a major force in Brooklyn’s cultural landscape,” said Matthew Wolf, executive director of Kings Theatre.
With high curved ceilings, ornate plaster walls, wood paneling, pink marble and a glazed terra-cotta ornamental façade, architecture firm Rap & Rap found their inspiration for the 20th-century movie palace via the French Renaissance Revival style of the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House.
It was opened in 1929 as one of five Loew’s “Wonder Theatres” built in New York and New Jersey, and remained a prominent force in Brooklyn vaudeville acts and later film until it closed.
The city purchased the abandoned theater in 1983, and in 2008 the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) launched a competitive search for an entity to undertake a major restoration and renovation project.
ACE Theatrical Group was awarded the project in 2010, and later formed the Kings Theatre Redevelopment Company.
The team officially broke ground on January 23, 2013. The 3,000-seat facility has been transformed, and was recently selected as a recipient of the 2014 New York State Historic Preservation Award for excellence in preservation and revitalization.
“The revitalization of the Kings Theatre extends beyond the remarkable physical work underway, it promises significant economic stimulation for the neighborhood and borough, creating jobs and bolstering foot traffic for the surrounding business community,” said EDC President Kyle Kimball.
In close proximity to the Q, B, 2 and 5 trains, as well as the B49 and B41 bus, Kimball said he is confident that music fans and art lovers will be more than pleased.
As part of the grand opening celebration, the theater will also offer free events including open houses and tours. A full lineup of performances and community events will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As a renewed center of culture in the heart of Brooklyn, this architectural treasure will present valuable community benefits while supporting New York City’s continued rise as a global capital of commerce and culture,” Kimball said.