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Brooklyn Bike Tour Takes Riders Through Movie Palaces of the Past

BROOKLYN — Lights. Camera. Roll out!

A 15-mile bike ride, hosted by biking advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, will take riders through some of Brooklyn's magnificent, sometimes forgotten, movie theaters.

The ride takes cyclists through six of Brooklyn’s impressive film palaces of the past, starting at the Brooklyn Paramount on Flatbush Avenue to RKO Dyker on 86th Street, that has now been partly converted into a Modell’s Sporting Goods store.

“So many of these theaters have fallen by the wayside,” said Dave Paco Abraham, chairman of the Brooklyn committee of Transportation Alternatives.

Riders will also glimpse the famous Loew’s Kings Theaters that will soon return to its former glory with a $94 million restoration of the decades-old theater.

The Brooklyn committee of the biking advocacy group hosts its monthly bike rides with a special theme to represent the borough — from touring old high schools that celebrities attended in their younger days to a memorial ride that allows them to remember cyclists and pedestrians killed over the past year.

The bikers will ride from theater to theater, stopping at each one to discuss its history, architecture and often to observe the fragments of the buildings’ past movie magic.

Most of these great theaters are now far removed from their original use. The Loew’s Pitkin has been converted into Brownsville Ascend Charter School, and Brooklyn Paramount is now a gym for Long Island University, Abraham said.

Still, it's possible to see remnants of these old film palaces.

“It’s a celebration of what used to be,” he said.

Transportation Alternatives Brooklyn Advocates Committee will host the “Brooklyn Movie Palaces Ride” on March 24 at 11:00 a.m. For more information, visit this website.