The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
How To Buy Kings
Ambassador bought the Kings. The theater that was to reinvent Flatbush, the Kings Theater, opened this year to much fanfare and a few key first-year shows. I saw Bjork. Diana Ross. It was outstanding, says Q. I saw Disney Princesses live. It sucked, just as I figured. Canned music. Even the actors voices were canned with actors miming. For a multi-gazillion dollar company that's all about pizzazz you'd think they could do spectacle right. In practice, they could've strung it out a couple weeks and called it The Barf Festival. The barf probably would have been canned as well. Canned barf.
Anyhow, the Q caught a lot of flack for suggesting that a 3,000 seat theater in the middle of Brooklyn was not a financially feasible proposition. That's alright, I know people like to be positive, and I do too. Still it's really, really hard to fill that many seats on a regular basis in a town chock full of exciting venues. Predictably, the shows at Kings are few and far between. It's just a weird size and place for a venue. Yes, occasionally something happens there that creates buzz, like when local heroes The National or Sufjan Stevens perform to rapt indie crowds. But nothing that would support full-time workers beyond bare bones staffs. I spoke to one ticket taker who said just that - it's hard to cobble together part-time work like that in order to make a living wage.
So it comes as no surprise that the theater has been sold. To another pie-in-the-sky producer. Ambassador. And they already OWN a theater in Manhattan. On Broadway, another low-margin business that's actually world famous for first-run theater. What can we expect at the Kings? Probably more of the same. And maybe (here's the great irony) more touring companies of Broadway plays. As in touring all the way over the bridge.
I still think that regular showing of classic, family films is the way to go. And cult films. Doesn't cost much to purchase, and if it's curated right, I think big groups of people would love to go and sing along to Sound of Music. Or The Wiz. Rocky Horror Picture Show. And the occasional world premiere of a movie, with movie stars in tow. Open only on weekends.