A week and a half after Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced an inauguration ceremony for himself, Comptroller-elect Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams at the historic Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Adams has postponed the ceremony until further notice due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases.
“Dear fellow New Yorkers, it is clear that our city is facing a formidable opponent in the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and that the spike in cases presents a serious risk to public health,” Adams said. “After consulting with public health experts, we have decided that our joint inauguration ceremony will be postponed to a later date in order to prioritize the health of all who were planning to attend, cover, and work on this major event.
“We thank the Kings Theatre for their interest in hosting this exciting moment in our city’s history, and everyone who has been working hard to plan this celebration. We look forward to getting together in person with our loved ones, colleagues, and well-wishing New Yorkers to honor this great democratic tradition, and to thank all those who have made it possible, at a safer time in the weeks ahead,” he added.
The recent rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has led to a slew of closings, including several Broadway shows, the Rockettes Christmas spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, and the Brooklyn Nets canceled several of their home games.
The inauguration ceremonies of Adams, Lander and Williams were slated to be held together to celebrate a “Brooklyn sweep” of the three highest citywide offices.
The inauguration, in the “heart of Flatbush,” was also symbolic, Adams said, because Flatbush is a working-class area, and “this working class community and communities like it across the five boroughs have led one of their own to lead the recovery.
“Kings Theatre has made so many wonderful memories over its storied history, and on Jan. 1 we will make even more history there together,” saidAdams earlier this month.
The Kings Theatre as the Loew’s Kings, opened in 1929, was one of several “Wonder Theaters” operated by the Loew’s chain, and was one of many movie theaters in the vicinity of Church and Flatbush avenues, at that time the social center of Flatbush.
It closed in 1977, and in the years afterward the building deteriorated due to neglect, water damage and vandalism. Beginning in 2010, it was rebuilt as a live theater venue. The new managers, ACE Theatrical Group, spent $95 million in renovation. The theater, which preserved its 1929 details, finally reopened in 2015.
The theater has a seating capacity of 3,000 people. Among the events held there in the recent past are a presentation of the Nutcracker Suite by a Russian company, a Hip-Hop Nutcracker, a performance by two Israeli singers, a showcase featuring Chaka Khan and Stephanie Mills, the Rev. Al Sharpton leading a discussion of his new book, Australian rock star Nick Cave, and much more.