Wednesday, July 6, 2011

T.N.F. Theatre, 597 East 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Gravesend historian, Joseph Ditta, recently posted on my Facebook page an advertisement postcard for the T.N.F. Theatre in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

The rather odd name T.N.F. is derived from the owners Benjamin Title and Henry F. Newberry. Always pushing for improvements in the industry, the early trade publication, Motion Picture World, described the T.N.F. as a "model picture house" in its August 17, 1910 issue:

 "The interior is finished in varying shades of green with gold and silver trimming. The seating capacity is 300 and there are aisles running down each side, five feet in width. The ceiling is 25 feet high and has four large skylight ventilators. There are six electric fans placed on the side walls at regular intervals, and these with the ventilators keep the hall always filled with fresh pure air."

"A dainty dressing room with every accessory is at one side for the ladies and there is another opposite for the men. Uniformed ushers are in attendance and refreshments such as ice cream and cake are served to patrons in their seats or in the annexed parlor."

The T.N.F  became the Newkirk in 1924, advertising in the Brooklyn Eagle of  February 24, 1928:
"Grand reopening Newkirk Theatre, completely redecorated, new seats, beautifully toned organ. Feature Picture: Mary Pickford 'My Best Girl', special musical program."

It would undergo one more alteration in 1938 with William I. Hohauser as architect. A relic of early movie going, its former importance forgotten, the theatre closed as the Cinema in 1940. 

For more on the T.N.F: The Brooklyn Theatre Index

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