Designed by architects Rapp & Rapp and built in 1929, the 3,200-seat Kings Theater in Flatbush is the largest indoor theatre in Brooklyn. One of the five “Loew’s Wonder Theaters,” the interior was inspired by Versailles and the Paris Opera House with high, curved ceilings, ornate plaster walls, wood paneling, pink marble, and a glazed terra-cotta ornamental façade. After closing its doors in 1977, the shuttered theater slowly deteriorated. Extensive physical damage was sustained to the Kings’ interior as a result of decades of neglect, water damage and vandalism.
In 2013, The Kings Theatre Redevelopment Company (ACE Theatrical Group, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, and the National Development Council) was chosen by the NYCEDC to revive the theatre as an economic engine and cultural hub. EverGreene worked with Gilbane Construction and Martinez + Johnson Architects to completely rehabilitate and restore the Kings Theatre for its 2015 reopening. Ornamental plaster in the auditorium was restored: lost balcony fascia had to be created from extant sections, decorative statues in the grotto were in need of repair and smaller ornamental fixtures that had been completely lost and damaged were recreated. A decorative paint scheme sympathetic to the 1929 original was implemented; ornament in the auditorium and lobby ceilings was gilded and glazed, returning the shine back to the theatre. Wood finishes were regrained and restored as were historic metal fixtures throughout the palatial space.
The restoration took two years to complete, returning the brilliance and majesty inherent in Kings’ wondrous design.