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An early Loew’s era photo can be seen here:
I attended the Garden in July 1964. At that time the seats were all wooden with no padding but comfortable. It was an evening show and very few people were there. I can’t recall what was playing as I was not interested, but spent most of my time prowling around. I had high speed color film in my 35mm camera and tried taking photos with time exposures. Only a few came out. I may still have them somewhere. The building was sited on a hill side, sloping down from Main Street where the entrance was located. On the left side of the theater next to the stage was a very, very long staircase leading down the hill to a fire exit. About a third of the way back from the stage on each wall were small attraction boards announcing that shows changed on certain days
I agree that the photo is not of Uptown on B'way near 170th St. Really nice photo though Lost Memory. Looks to date from the late thirties when there was a spate of exploitation films.
Here is a link to a photo circa 1933:
This photo link shows the Garrick from the opposite direction down Broadway toward 1st Avenue.
Here is one link showing the Paramount and the Fox Theaters in North Platte.
I have just recalled a memory from when I was quite young regarding a theater other than the Navy Theater which may be a candidate for the High Theater. It was down at the other end of Sands Street across from the vast Sands Street BMT elevated railway station complex where the various Brooklyn EL’s and surface trolley lines came together before some of them crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.
I can’t recall the theater’s name but it was located on the ESE side of the station on the street crossing the T on Sands Street where it began in those times ( a short, dead end section of Sands Street still exists beginning at “Cadman PLaza East” with street numbers in the single digits). The station complex and EL structures were torn down in 1943 and much on the street structure and buildings of that period demolished as part of a process of slum clearance which extended from the late 1930’s to the early 1950’s. The station site itself is now part of Cadman Plaza. I can’t remember the name of the street which is now gone, but I think the theater was between High Street and Sands Street. The whole area was basicly destroyed and it is hard to reconstruct it in the mind. It may be that this theater had an additional entrance on Sands Street. This is pure conjecture, but several nearby theaters had entrances with marquees on two streets to increase walk in trade: Gold Theater, Tivoli Theater, Fox Theater, Loew’s Metropolitan.
I have a 1937 Telephone directory and it does not list either the Navy or High Theaters. It is possible that the Navy Theater closed when Talkies came into vogue, or as a result of the Depression which affected the activity in the Navy Yard. The entire commercial area around Sand Street was dependent on the Navy. Almost all the buildings were old and run down dating from the 19th or even 18th centuries. Bars,Pawn shops,Chop Suey Joints,cheap restaurants of all types,Penny Arcades, barber shops, tailor shops, trinket peddlers, dance halls and other activities were wide spread. The Naval Shipyard was a stable source of revenue but when the ships came in business boomed. Activity picked up in the late 1930’s and began booming in 1940 It is possible the Navy reopened as the High Theater.
Gold had entrances on both streets. There was a corner store and the entrances fed around it into inner lobby. Big Navy traffic during WW2.
As of 1937 it was still the Crystal Theater. TRIANGLE 5-6651 was the phone number.
The Newkirk Theater was open during 1937. It may have been closed for a time between 1933 and 1937. Does anyone know if it was open after 1937 ?
Thanks for the input Lost Memory, but the Bell is too far south, around 800 Washington Avenue. The theater I am thinking of was around 750 Washington at Park Pl.
The following info came from: View link
Wurlitzer Organ Company
North Tonawanda, NY â€" Opus 444 (1921)
Style 160 (piano console)
2 manuals, 6 ranks, 4 tuned percussion, 17 traps
This organ was shipped on August 12, 1921. It was moved to St. Augustine’s Church in Ossining, NY on February 28, 1934 and was later discarded.
There was a theater across the street on the corner to the south of the National on Washington Avenue. I can’t remember the name. It was small, maybe seated 600, on one level. Closed about 1953. Can anyone give a name to it ?
The film “Victory in the West” mentioned above was released in 1940. It was a documentary compiled from German newsreels of the blitzkrieg in Western Europe when France was defeated and British forced from Continent at Dunkirk in June 1940. Afga colour prints were struck for foreign distribution. It is similar to 1943 British documentary “Desert Victory” which was distributed to US theaters during the war.
Here is a 1940 photo of the Englert Theater with additional information. “Balalaika” with Nelson Eddy and Ilona Massey is the then current attraction on the marquee.
There is an excellent color photograph of the marquee of the 34th Street Theater which was located on E.34th close by Third Avenue. You can descend from the EL station and be a few feet from the marquee.
The photo is in the second edition of “By the El” by Lawrence Stelter, photos by Lothar Stelter, currently in print. An excellent book of color photos circa 1949-1953, taken along Third Avenue and adjacent streets.
The photo shows a marquee of 1930’s vintage, outlined in yellow with incandescent bulbs of yellow, name in red neon, white glass attraction board with black letters proclaiming the main feature as “Kangaroo” with Peter Lawford, circa 1953.
The Avenue U Theater was very plain, just a rectangular box on one level with little or no ornamentation. When I was there in 1949 the candy was sold by the matron from a small poorly lamped wooden sideboard type of furniture at the rear of theater.
Mazie also owned a Merry-Go-Round in Coney Island in the 1940’s besides being part owner and frequent cashier at the Venice Theater.
The Silver Star was located a very short distance from the Venice Theater on the smae side of the street. The Venice showed late run double features and at the end also showed Chinese movies. A color photo showing both is in the book “By the El” by Lawerence Stelter.
The photo of the Park Theater looks a lot like the Park Theater in Rockaway Park on B.116th St in the ‘30s or early 40’s. That box office looks very similar to the portable one used during the summer season. About mid September it would be rolled away and you bought your ticket at a window on the right side wall of the first lobby.
Photo mentioned above, correction of display on marquee. “Happy Landing” is incorrect, should be “Happy Land”, a 1943 release with Don Ameche, Harry Carey, Francis Dee, a war propaganda movie.
Osceola was the name of a Seminole War Chief of great renown. He lead a group of warriors resisting the theft of the tribal home land and the deportation of his people to the west during the Second Seminole War. He died in 1838.
I believe the Osceola Theater may date to the early 1920’s or possibly before.
I have just enhanced the photo and the marquee reads as follows:
with Don Ameche and
“The Battle of Moscow”
There is a nice color photo of the Osceola Theater circa 1943 on this website devoted to trolley photos. View link
The Third Avenue Railway car is passing the movie house heading toward 138th Street on St. Ann’s Avenue which is in the Bronx, not Manhattan as the photo label mistakenly states.
The marquee attraction board is hard to read. Anyone have an idea what is playing ?