NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city is planning to put about $94 million into restoring the historic Loew’s Kings Theatre which closed in 1977.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz broke ground on the restoration of the 3,200-seat theater.
“This will be the Radio City Music Hall of Brooklyn and it will be just as spectacular,” Bloomberg said.
The movie house which opened in 1929 was inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House.
“It’s a beautiful building, I’ve always thought so,” one Brooklynite said. “There’s a lot of history here, there’s a lot of culture.”
Barbra Streisand, Henry Winkler and Sylvester Stallone worked as ushers at the Flatbush Avenue theater which has fallen into disrepair since shutting down in the late 1970s.
“The new Kings Theatre will both preserve much of the original character and history of this iconic building and expand on that rich legacy,” Bloomberg said.
Once the theater is restored to its former grandeur it will play host to about 200 concerts, theatrical productions, dance and performing arts presentations, musical and comedy shows, as well as community events annually.
“Loew’s Kings Theatre was a major attraction for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and countless visitors,” said Bloomberg. “Soon it will be again.”
“Now it is time for the theater’s triumphant ‘encore,’” Markowitz said.
The project is expected to create over 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.
The theater is expected to open in 2015.