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Stars line up! Kings Theatre’s 2015 schedule announced, inside details revealed

Gladys Knight will warm Brooklyn music lovers up for the beginning of summer in early June.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Let the good times roll!

The Kings Theatre has announced its initial 2015 schedule, and it is chock full of big-name acts young and old, tending toward the old, to follow up the Feb. 3 grand opening featuring Diana Ross. “We are thrilled to host such a diverse roster of artists from around the globe for our inaugural year of live music, dance, and theater,” said Matt Wolf, director of the 3,000-seat Flatbush venue, in a statement.

Here’s who’s coming:

• Sarah McLachlan

• Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Disney Live! presents “Three Classic Fairy Tales,” for the kids

Mavado and Capleton, dancehall legends

• Widespread Panic

• Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Gladys Knight

• “Tales from the Silk Cotton Tree,” a musical play incorporating sonic stylings from across the Caribbean

• Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker

• “Annie

The Theatre will host its first public performances on Jan. 27, ahead of the grand opening, with a free, ticketed show featuring local acts, including the Brooklyn Ballet and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

The shows will end nearly four decades of abandonment and restore the former picture palace to its glory of nearly a century ago, albeit not as a single-screen movie-house. The Loew’s Kings Theatre opened its doors in 1929, just months before the stock market crash that set off the Great Depression. Movie-going was more of a high society experience then, and the theater reflected that, with marble floors, walnut wood walls, and massive chandeliers modeled after those in Paris’s opera house and the Palace of Versailles.

It closed in 1977, and it was a husk of its former self when construction began in January, 2013.

By then, thieves had absconded with light fixtures and the pipes of its grand organ, mildew had destroyed drapes, and water damage had taken its toll on much of the plasterwork. But a good deal of the original walnut walls and marble floors remained in place, and enough plaster detail was intact on one side of the grand auditorium to take molds of and recreate on the opposite side.

The Brooklyn Courier got a sneak peek at the interior ahead of the opening and we can report that nearly everything is in place but for the curtain on the stage, the lights in the marquee, the five bars inside, and a contract with the stagehand union. On Jan. 9, the Fire Department was busy testing alarms, ticket-takers and concessions staffers had just departed from a training session, and swaths of carpet were newly unprotected, now that nearly all the period paint-job and ornate plasterwork has been completed.

“This could all be open to the public right now,” said Steven Ehrenberg, the theater’s director of production, as he conducted a tour.

The theater’s director of marketing said that the announcement of Diana Ross’s imminent visit made a splash, and that the theater itself will too, once people get a first look at it.

“We’re very pleased with the public’s response to our grand opening act, and we’re excited to show the public the grand space we’ve restored,” Charley Magrew said.

Asked how theater honchos plan to keep the massive venue busy year-round, Magrew and Wolf said that they are going to hold down the middle of the borough venue spectrum.

“We’re going to bring in larger acts that locals might not see otherwise,” Magrew said, adding that managers’ long-term plan is to host 200 or more shows per year.

Wolf, the theater’s head, said Barclays Center has showed that it can work.

“Barclays proved the demand is there,” he said.

For high rollers, the theater is offering balcony seat packages that come with perks including extra legroom, reserved parking, separate bathrooms, a separate entrance, an “express lane” to the bar, wait service, and more, starting at $1,500, and ranging as high as $6,950. One catch is that the cost only reserves tickets, which members then still have to purchase. Similar “seat licenses” on the lower level reserve purchasers the right to buy tickets for prime seats. The cost: $4,950 for a year.

For more information, visit www.kingstheatre.com.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Nancy from Bay Ridge says:
Well, they're certainly not courting the hipsters...
Jan. 13, 2015, 10:02 am
Mikey Palms from All City says:
Let's all wish them the best... They are doing the right thing and running a venue is near impossible in NYC. Thank You Thank You Thank You for not doing this in Colonial Willyamsburg!
Jan. 13, 2015, 2:06 pm
Imani Young from Kensington/ParkSlope says:
I am so excited on how developers are revitalizing all areas in Brooklyn. The building and renovation of hotels, stadiums Apartments/Condos and now the new Lowes Kings Theatre will definitelyhelp to put Brooklyn back on the map. However, I am cautiously concerned that the people that have been living in Brooklyn and are not the "so called" stars will not have a chance to take advantage of " The New Brooklyn" because they simply will not have the means to so. It will go back as mentioned with the rich being the only ones who will be able to utilize all the wonderful things that are taking place in Brooklyn. To the owners and builders of all these different venues, I would like to say that ALL people in ALL income levels should get a chance to take part in the upcoming events in 2015 and get the same VIP treatment at affordable prices. I would love to see Diana Ross at the Grand Opening but based on what I read only "The Haves" will be able to afford tickets "The Have Nots" like myself will be out of luck. I would love to see Diana, I have never seen her perform live. I live in Brooklyn and to know that she will be only 15 minutes away from where I live and I will be unable to afford to buy a ticket is very disheartening. Developers, keep the little people in mind. We are the "Backbone" of Brooklyn and we love nice apartments with beautiful views, plush hotel room, premium seats at stadiums etc. So please "make it happen". Thank you.
Jan. 14, 2015, 8:05 am
ty from pps says:
I wonder if the folks running this place are planning on doing Amateur Nights like the Apollo Theater.... that would be great.
Jan. 14, 2015, 1:29 pm
Ann Fullerton from Ditmas Park says:
I walk to work every day, enjoyed watching the restoration from out side. I have pictures of the marque on the back of a truck in the Sears parking lot. Hope to attend many events there. Great job!!
Jan. 15, 2015, 6:23 pm
Chris Kingsmen from Midwood says:
I guess all these "has been" acts need a new venue to
play their tired, worn out sets!
Granted, the restoration is wonderful, but this is "New Brooklyn" style, meaning, megabucks tariffs and little value for the same.
I'm over it all...but Good Luck!
Jan. 22, 2015, 8:33 pm

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