Brooklyn Boro

Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Eight photos from the ‘Variety’ collection

September 30, 2020 Phil Kaufman
Share this:

My father, Irving Kaufman (1910 – 1982), was a professional photographer who started in Brooklyn in the mid 1930s working for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He captured thousands of images of Brooklyn through the 1950s. I have recently digitized a great many of them. My father’s profile can be found here.

This week’s theme:

I’ve been displaying a lot of pictures each week for the past couple of months. This week will be no exception. But many weeks have not had much variety. Last week is certainly the best example of that: over 40 portraits of women, mostly from the same time period and with a similar look. (I hope you found interesting variety in the subtleties of their faces, bearings, expressions; that was my intent.)

This week I will add variety to the quantity. Rather than a single theme for the week, I have a number of different categories, usually just one per day, but sometimes even some variation within a day. I hope the variety will add to the spice of life for you this week.

Today’s photos:

My father’s street scenes often captured – sometimes as the focal point, other times incidentally – entranceways, marquees, storefronts. I bring a few together today for an attractive mix of images.

A neighborhood favorite: Albee Theater, DeKalb Avenue, c. 1941

The Albee Theater, just off Flatbush Avenue, was a popular spot from its opening in 1925 as a vaudeville theater (briefly) until it closed in 1978. Its rich furnishings and first-run movies drew crowds throughout the mid-century decades.


More marquees: Four more movie theater marquees from cinema heydays

The first three marquees above – Avalon, Kingsway and Triangle – were all a few blocks apart on Kings Highway just east of Ocean Avenue. The Paramount is the Manhattan site, in Times Square, not its Brooklyn namesake. All, like the Albee, were active and successful throughout the 1930s through at least the ’50s, often with combinations of live and cinematic features.


Three high-end waystations: Hotel entrances

These luxury hotels attracted celebrities, wealthy tourists and, at the Towers Hotel, the Brooklyn Dodgers when they were home. By the way, the Interboro Subway entrance might as well also be labeled the St. George. There’s a door to the hotel within that entranceway. But the proper St. George marquee is visible farther down the street.

Both the St. George and the Towers were on Clark Street in Downtown Brooklyn. (The Towers scene previously appeared in my first week, back on April 23.) The Astor was in Manhattan’s Times Square.

An index of Kaufman’s Brooklyn posts may be found here.

Irving Kaufman’s profile may be found here.

I invite you to submit comments, memories, images of Brooklyn, and especially any additional background information you can supply about the photos posted here to [email protected]. I’d also be glad to supply information about buying prints of any of the images seen here. Many of my father’s images are also available for viewing and purchase at All prints purchased will be the product of professional scanning and editing.

Weekly collections 22 and 23: Photos from the ‘Variety’ collection

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

1 Comment

  1. Andrew Porter

    No reason to put the Towers and St. George in the past tense. They’re still there. Most recently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses sold the Towers to a company which has converted it into a longterm assisted living complex.

    The St. George Tower and adjacent buildings are now a co-op apartment building, as is 60 Pineapple Street. The rest is student housing.

    Here’s a better view of the Towers, while under construction: