Saturday, May 14, 2011


In my earliest memory, I am five years old, coming home from the Sanders Theater in Brooklyn. I am with my mother and we have just seen The Wizard of Oz. The year is 1940. In the safe darkness of the movie house I’ve seen emerald castles and a lion that talked and a road made of glistening yellow bricks. But in memory all of that is a blur. In memory, my mother takes my hand and the two of us are skipping all the way home singing “because because because because because!”   Pete Hamill
The Sanders opened in 1928, under the ownership of The 15th Street Amusement Company. Before it was the Sanders Theater (1928-1978)--named for owners Harry and Rudolph Sanders--it was the Marathon Theater (1908-1928). When the Marathon was torn down, the Sanders was built. The Sanders laid empty from 1978 to 1996, to the despair of the neighborhood. Would it become a co-op? Stores? In 1996, it became the Pavilion Theater, owned by Norman Adie and John and Phil Castaldi.

Its most recent owner, Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., has now sold it. Cinedigm acquired the Pavilion in February 2005. They used the Pavilion, a nine-screen digital theater, as a digital cinema test site and a showcase for its integrated digital cinema technology. Last year, they stated that they didn't need to use the Pavilion for that purpose anymore because the technology had been widely adopted. They decided in the first quarter of 2010 that they would sell the theater. In June 2010, they classified it as a "discontinued operation."

See "Cinema Treasures" for some history of the theater based on contributors' recollections.

The Pavilion Theater
188 Prospect Park West, by Bartel Pritchard Square
(718) 369-0838