The Loew's Canal Theatre (or theater, depending on your use of aspirational British English) opened its doors in September of 1927, and has essentially been mired in this controversy or that scandal ever since. Matt Lambros of the inimitable site After the Final Curtain, which beautifully chronicles the histories and modern-day decrepitude of old movie houses and performance spaces, turned his attention to the 2,314-seat structure that's currently rotting away on Canal Street between Essex and Ludlow, right near about-to-be-transformed Seward Park. Lambros details how the incredibly opulent Canal theater, which was the second-biggest in the city when it debuted and designed by noted architect of the day Thomas Lamb, was variously sold, bought back, bombed, shuttered, turned into a retail store, used as a warehouse, and, finally, abandoned in the late 2000-aughts.
Nearly five years on, its decay is the irresistible subject of many an intrepid photographer. As for its future? Plans for a cultural center and a condo conversion have both faltered; we can only hope it goes the way of the stunning Flatbush's Kings Theatre, which is reopening in January with a performance by Diana Ross after a $94 million restoration.
· Loew's Canal Theatre [After the Final Curtain]
· Inside the Ruined, Gorgeous Loew's on Canal Street [Curbed]
· Now Playing at Loew's Theater on Canal Street: Nothing [Curbed]
· All Loew's Canal Theater coverage [Curbed]