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The Loew's King Theatre in Flatbush to undergo $93.9 million restoration
Closed since 1977, the glitzy, palatial Loew's King Theatre will shine in Brooklyn once again.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz broke ground on the restoration project for the historic theater, Wednesday, in Flatbush. Since it closed due to poor attendance, the former movie theater has been untouched and unkempt.
The $93.9 million construction project, to bring the theater back to its heyday glory, begins this week. It will open in early 2015.
The city, Markowitz's office, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and United Fund Advisors all contributed funds to the project.
"Restoring the glory of the Loew's Kings Theatre into a combination of the Beacon and the Apollo all rolled into one has long been a dream of mine and the Flatbush community-and now it is time for the theater's triumphant 'encore,'" Markowitz said.
The theater will host about 200 events a year, including concerts, special events, graduations, comedy shows and musicals.
The city, which bought the land in 1983, and the ACE Theatrical Group have agreed upon a 55-year lease for the theater.
The 3,200-seat theater, designed to resemble the French Opera House and the Palace of Versailles, originally opened in 1929.
Inside, the theater will have high, curved ceilings and ornate plaster walls.
The glazed terra-cotta ornamental facade -- elements that made it a classic, early 20th century movie theater, will also be replaced.
The restoration endeavor will create 500 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs, the officials said.
It will add 25,000 square feet to the theater, expanding it to 93,000 square feet.