Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chopin Theater - Greenpoint Starbucks

Chopin Theater Historic Photo
(image source: New York Public Library)
Starbucks - Former Chopin Theater
910 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Pictured here is the Chopin Theater (formerly the American Theater) as it exists today. Built in 1914, the 500 seat theater played second run movies and in its later years ran Polish films.[1] The second floor housed a billiard hall / bowling alley and later a Polish night club; although, more recently it was connected to an adjacent building that was renovated for a New York Sports Club.[2] The first floor of the old theater was re-purposed into a retail space which once housed a Burger King and is now a Starbucks.

I am glad that the Chopin Theater survives with its marque and eagle sculpture still intact even if the bricks have been covered with stucco. I know, I know, it's a Starbucks and some of my friends have commented with disdain in their voice that the chain store has ruined the building. While I typically loathe chain stores due to the destructive effect they have on a neighborhood's unique character, I like this Starbucks and the building owner for preserving the building as much as they have because when buildings cannot be re-purposed they are often demolished. I would have preferred that Propeller, Ash Box or one of the many other independently owned cafes in the neighborhood had moved into the building instead, but I don't always get exactly what I want.


Starbucks - Former Chopin Theater at Night
Chopin Theater Eagle
Update: The New York Sports Club renovation is complete and the establishment did a great job of making the building look like a homogenous corporate shell.

References:
  1. Robert R "Chopin Theater" Cinema Treasures online.
  2. Moss, Jeremiah "Chopin Theater" Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. online. 16 November, 2010

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