Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Park Slope's Fifth Avenue Theater

Another historic Park Slope Theater appearing in the Brooklyn Public Library's collection of newly-digitized Brooklyn theater images is the Fifth Avenue Theater. The library's caption indicates that the theater was located at 5th Avenue and 4th Street in Park Slope:

Fifth Avenue Theater, Park Slope, 1911
Image: Brooklyn Public Library

We were completely unfamiliar with this theater, and inquired of the Brooklyn Collection's curator regarding it. She kindly responded that the Fifth Avenue Theater had indeed once stood at the northwest corner of 5th Avenue and 4th Street, as indicated on the "Belcher Hyde atlas" for the period. We were also unfamiliar with the Belcher Hyde atlas, but a quick web search reveals that it is available on the HistoricMapWorks.com website, and the 1916 Belcher Hyde map does in fact show the Fifth Avenue Theater at that corner (circled in green below):

Fifth Avenue Theater (circled)
5th Avenue & 4th Street, Park Slope
1916 Belcher Hyde Atlas (image: HistoricMapWorks.com)

The theater's location is where the J. J. Byrne Playground stands today, near the Old Stone House.

Our library correspondent further states that the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Sunday, Nov. 2, 1919, announces a performance of "The Country Cousin" at Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue Theater under the heading "At the Play in Brooklyn". Sure enough, here it is below; the play was co-authored by Booth Tarkington and Julian Street and is the story of a "country girl" who falls prey to the "machinations of a group of selfish relatives":

Brooklyn Eagle, Nov. 2, 1919, p. 7

Note that the "Belcher Hyde" maps are listed as "Ullitz" maps in the New York Public Library's digitized collection of atlases of New York City. A close inspection of the title page indicates that Hugo Ullitz was apparently the engineer who put together the maps, while "E. Belcher Hyde" was the publisher:

1 comment:

Eric McClure said...

What a lovely building. It's a shame it's no longer there -- wonder when it was razed?