7 Best Performing Arts Venues in Brooklyn, New York City

Brooklyn Academy of Music

Fort Greene Fodor's choice

Founded in 1861 and operating at its current location since 1908, BAM is a multidisciplinary performing arts center that now encompasses three edifices, including the Beaux-Arts, seven-story Peter Jay Sharp building. It's known for innovative performances of many types, and the facilities include an unadorned "black box" theater, dance venues, a four-screen movie theater, an opera house, a gallery, and an open-plan performance and restaurant space.

Kings Theatre

Fodor's choice
Dormant since 1977, this grand and opulent 1929 movie palace reopened as a 3,000-seat performing-arts venue in 2015, with an exciting schedule of music, theater, dance, and other live performances. One of the Loew’s Wonder Theatres from the beginning of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the renovated space is quite true to the original. The ornate, French Renaissance–style building’s original art deco chandeliers have been restored; the colors on the 70-foot arched ceiling were replicated; and even the original carpeting was re-created.

Nitehawk Cinema

Williamsburg Fodor's choice

Nitehawk, which shows new and cult-favorite flicks in three theaters, makes going to the movies more fun with feature presentation–theme menu items and cocktails, served by the wait staff to your cabaret-style seat. (Staples, like popcorn, are also available on the full menu.) Movies often sell out on weekends, so buy tickets ($16) in advance, and make sure you get there half an hour before showtime for each film's offbeat preshow preceding the trailers. Nitehawk has second location at 188 Prospect Park West.

Recommended Fodor's Video

St. Ann's Warehouse

DUMBO Fodor's choice

The latest iteration of this cutting-edge theater (originally established in Brooklyn Heights in 1980) occupies a stunningly refurbished tobacco warehouse from 1860 that sits beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 24,000-square-foot space features original brick walls and archways, and has hosted Tony Award–winning productions. They also host weekly outdoor music concerts in the summer. Check their calendar for all upcoming performances.


Brooklyn Heights
Founded in 1977, this classical music series on a barge floating on the East River hosts small audiences of about 130 for intimate chamber-music concerts. In this refined, isolated environment the focus is on enjoying the music and making new friends during intermission.

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Part of the Brooklyn College campus, this community-based arts center offers a variety of performances at affordable prices—their roster of international dance companies is particularly impressive. Most Brooklyn Center events occur at the 2,400-plus-seat Walt Whitman Theatre, but the new Claire Tow Theatre is set to open as a more intimate performance space in early 2018.


Park Slope

Marionettes have been used to enact classic children's fairy tales like Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Puss in Boots, and Little Red Riding Hood at this storefront theater since 1990. A friendly puppeteer preps the young audience on theater etiquette before each show. Afterward, theater education continues with a Q&A. Public performances are given on weekends only; call or email for reservations.