It looks like the Commodore Theater on Broadway in Brooklyn is being torn down – what a shame for the neighborhood.

The owner of Galapagos Art Space put out an initiative to start a movie theater in Williamsburg, where there are currently none — none in Greenpoint or anywhere in North Brooklyn, either. Of course there is the megaplex in Union Square, but undoubtedly Williamsburg residents would be happy to be able to walk to their movie theater, especially if it offered something different than the standard corporate megaplex. With the very popular (and old-timey) restaurant Moto nearby, more and more people are heading to Broadway for a night out.

The good people at CinemaTreasures.com have been tracking the Commodore since its closing in 2002, with many wistful memories and eager proposals for the future put forth.The interior was said to be beautiful, though it had been divided into two smaller screens. Currently, the roof and interior have been demolished — let’s hope they plan to save the exterior at least, although its windowless facade wouldn’t be great for many uses besides retail. There are many examples of terrible re-use of these great old theaters that used to dot nearly every block of the neighborhood — the dollar store on Broadway, the Eckerd, Burger King and Europa nightclub on Manhattan Avenue.

Last winter I went to an amazing movie theater in Monterey, CA, and the Castro Theater in SF, where for the holidays, an organist rises out of the floor playing festive music. A few weeks ago I visited the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA to see the new Christopher Guest movie. Who will re-introduce the movie palace to New York City?

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