The Rev. Carlos Torres, senior pastor of the Elim Pentecostal Church, recently gave me a tour of 193 Avenue B, which was nearly lost during a fire in October 2006. This space between 11th Street and 12th Street was a movie theater for many years, first the Bijou, then the Charles. The theater closed in 1975. At that time, Torres' uncle bought the space to use as a community center and place of worship.
Since the fire, Torres and his congregation have been renting space at another church on Avenue A. Here's a look inside the currently unoccupied building, which opened as the Bijou in 1926...
There have been several plans to rebuild or redevelop the space. I'll have more on the future of this space another day. Thanks to Rev. Torres for the tour.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Revival planned for church and theater on Avenue B
Inside the Charles
Former landmark countercultural theater now for rent on Avenue B
The spirit moves, the rest is just a building. Keep the faith!
Perhaps the spirit will move him to shovel the sidewalk during the winter? I walk down that block every day and the sidewalks are always a mess after a storm. Now I know who I'm reporting.
cool shots in the main auditorium.
What a pretty little stage. I hope it can return to life.
I've been dying to get in there since you last posted photos. It looks like it's a building past it's last gasp. Nothing to see on the outside but the inside must have been something grand in it's day.
My father took me to the Charles in 1962 to see Phaedra with Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins. For those of us that grew up in ST/PCV, it was the only legitimate movie house in the EV east of 2nd Ave that I can recall.
Wonderful peek inside - thanks for that.
There is some comfort in knowing it would make a very inefficient space for a bank.
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