Ridgewood Theatre

55-27 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Bway
Bway on May 27, 2004 at 8:54 am

Hi Peter and DABOC, close, I started Christ the King in Fall 1984. I attended Saint Matthias School before that from kindergarden to 8th. I remember Saint Bridget Quite well too, because I went to flea markets with them once a month in the auditorium there. To try to bring this back on topic too, speaking of flea markets, if any of you want to see a great old theater as a “diamond in the rough” check out the RKO Keith’s (Richmond Hill) theater. You can attend the flea market on a Sunday and instead of looking at the merchandise, check out the theater. The lobby and the main auditorim has the tables set up. It’s basically intact, and could be restored, as everything from the lobby mirrors (filthy) to the cobweb covered chandeliers throughout the theater are all still there.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 27, 2004 at 8:10 am

Hi Debra O'Connor,

My e-mail address is :

.army.mil

Thanks for the compliment on my memory. May have been wrong about Joan and Andy. How did John ? die early ? How early ? Rich Danderline was a year ahead of me. I knew him, Rich Valovage, Gerard Boehme, Fernando Serna, Joseph Kriz, Roderick James and David Benjamin, all seniors when I was a junior. The evening of July 26 1972, Mick Jagger’s 29th birthday, I saw the Rolling Stones at
MSG with Fred Serna, my cousin Fran, and her date, Tony, an NYU student who provided the wheels. Fred Serna continued to be a good friend to me when I was a senior at SFP and he was a freshman at NYU. We talked just about every Saturday night.

St. Nick’s was indeed SFP’s “sister school” but I never took Driver Ed there like some guys in my class did.

I have heard of the firm of Touche Ross in my work. Gerard Boehme attended Syracuse University on a Dun and Bradstreet scholarship. I think he’s a big suit with them now.

Back to Trix O'Connor : in “Prep Profiles” in senior year he said his two favorite people were his girlfriend, and me, for getting him the interview. He signed my yearbook to the same effect.

I remember Mr. Thomas Foster and Br. Marcus Casari, OSF, as directors of music at the Prep. Leona May Smith, wife of George Sueffert, of the Sunday afternoon concerts of the same name in Forest Park, Queens, was an instrumental instructor. Andre and John Python were in the marching band. I remember the SFP marching band played a riff from Sly and The Family Stone’s “Sing a simple song” :
Naaaaah nah nah nah nah ! Hey ! Hey ! Hey ! Hey ! Not to be confused with “Nah Nah Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam (fall 1969).

“Bway” attended Christ The King High School starting, I think, in fall 1983. Having said that I will close, and let him write for himself. He’s a sharp young man with alot to say.

Good memories ! Lots more where these came from ! Please tell me more of yours !

DABOC1
DABOC1 on May 26, 2004 at 11:51 am

Peter,

Your memory is amazing! So we both went to St. Brigid’s and you went to St. Francis when St. Nick’s was it’s “Sister school”. Joanie and I were friends and cheerleaders together for St. Francis but I do not remember her dating an Andy. In fact I remember she dated a John ? who died early. Did you know Richie Dandelion? He was a male cheerleader like John and turned out to be a friend of my husband’s when they were at Touche Ross.

Carol dated Marty, Yes! and he always called me “Cuz” cause we had the same last name O'Connor. I was Captain of the cheerleaders and got along with Marty and Coach O'Connor. “Trix” —– that’s right LOL!

Father McCabe was my favorite, he was more like a regular person and I knew him well from basketball. Speaking of music, what about the band leader from St. Francis? I marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the band for all four years in high school and they always played the same songs!

THANKS everyone for all the memories and MONICA for the pictures. Peter leave your email address and I will email you.

*Bway – you never said where you went to school.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 25, 2004 at 10:32 am

Hello, Vicki. I remember you as a thin girl with long blond-brown hair, sort of hding behind a shy, demure smile, hands behind your back, turning from side to side. Thanks for jumping in. I too remember the Piccirillos at Lake George, NY. My parents and I met them there twice in late July 1974, en route to and returning from Montreal, Canada. My best friend from high school, Terence McHale, was one of Stanley’s closest friends, and went to see him at Lake George regularly in the 1970’s on weekends. I remember seeing Stan and sister and mom at the pizzeria at Seneca and Gates also, summer 1972. I don’t remember the name, only that the Stones' “Brown Sugar” was still on the juke box then, even though either “Tumbling Dice” or “Happy” was their latest single.

I am now a hydrologic and hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers working on Federal flood control projects. What are you doing now ? Where do you live ?

I remember reading in the Times Newsweekly in October 1995 that Father Kelly’s thing at the time was helping immigrants at 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan. That’s where I work. So I was surprised I never met him on the M train while travelling from my parents' home in Ridgewood to work back then.

I quite agree with you about the Ridgewood Theater.

vahobson
vahobson on May 25, 2004 at 9:51 am

Peter Koch, I was right. This is Vicki Hobson. I do remember you, though I am not getting a visual yet. I believe you signed my graduation book. I cannot believe all the names you are mentioning. I am sorry to hear about Stanley Piccarella. Our families used to be friends. We went to visit them when they moved up near Lake George. His mom used to work at the Italian restaurant on Gates Ave. and Seneca. I cannot remember the name. I heard that Father Kelly is still at St. Brigid’s. I remember always trying to go to his mass, it was over in 20 minutes. What are you doing now?

Sorry to bother all of you involved with the Ridgewood Theatre chat. I do remember the Ridgewood Theatre from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s main competitor was the Madison Theatre a few block away. The Ridgewood always seemed to be more run down. But it was architecturally superior. If it is indeed one of the oldest theatres in NY , someone should start hounding the NY Historical Society to declare it a landmark.They used to have movie premieres there as well.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 25, 2004 at 9:31 am

Debra, thanks for answering. I wasn’t sure you would. I have always had a very accurate and detailed memory. I don’t know how April Weiss and Roseanne Butera are doing now. I can tell you that Stanley Piccirillo, St. Brigid class of 1969, St. Francis Prep class of 1973, died of Hodgkin’s Disease after a 10-year battle with it, in November 1981, near Rochester NY, which is where his funeral Mass of the Resurrection was held.

I discussed your e-mail with an aunt, and she remembers a Vikki Perrone who used to give my cousin Frances Spindler a hard time, kicking her from behind when she was in line with her. I remember Vicki Hobson now that you mention with her, also Paula Rappolo. Paula had an impressive exhibit at the 6th grade science fair in February or March 1967 that included a near full-size human skeleton.
I also remember a Linda Bianco. I remember Michael Lisa now that you mention him. Thin, dark straight hair, medium height, big reddish lips, but did not resemble John Kofski, whom I heard liked to impersonate Mick Jagger later when he was in high school. I also remember Peter Grum, Stephen Fabrizio, and Kevin Clarke, none of whom I was particularly friendly with. Debbie Alzheimer (ironic last name !)

A few more St. Brigid names : James Gallo (Negro looking) William Farley (my rival smarts and grades wise) Gerald Baracca Claudio Bioardi and Jane Marincic, who lived somewhere in Glendale in the ‘60’s streets and places between Myrtle and Central Avenues. Jane was in my graduating class and actually wrote a play satirizing St. Brigid’s when we were both in 8th grade. One of the songs in the stage directions was “It Was A Real Nice Clambake” and there was a repetition of “You get more for your money at our school” (tuition, albeit nominal, started being charged in fall 1967).

I had a classmate at St. Francis Prep, Andy Kobel, whom I believe dated Joan Licari their senior year. Andy was from St. Bart’s parish in Elmhurst, Queens. I remember Joan from the yearbook as a cheerleader. Also Carol A. Seitz (“the body beautiful”) who was Marty (Trix) O'Connor’s girlfriend.

I attended St. Francis Prep 1969-1973 and graduated June 8 1973 third academically in a senior class of about 125. I had a full tuition scholarship all four years. That was a big reason I went there. Yes, Frank Burgio attended the Prep same years as me. He was a bully who thought he was funny, and a class clown, not the brightest academically. Perhaps he was a good athlete. Sal Marcicca broke his finger when they were both in 8th grade at St. Brigid. Oh, three more names, Class 8-3, boys : John Sordi, John Scalisi and Raymond Smeltzer. Ray was fond of my cousin Fran, but she thought he sent out “repulsive rays”.

I remember Miss Cirabisi now that you mention her. In my work I have communicated with a Gasper Cirabisi of the NYC Dept. of Water Supply.

Also Sister Mary Coeli, whom my cousin John Radomski, a year behind me, had for first grade. Her name means “heavenly” in Latin, but she was more like the nun from hell. She wouldn’t let John take his medicine in school, accused him of being a junkie, and made him crawl under his desk as a punishment. John’s mom, my Aunt Catherine, had to get her straightened out. I remember Coeli was young, had buck teeth, and was not particularly attractive.

There was also a Miss Cadella, whom I believe had Class 4-2 or 4-3, 1964-65 academic year, and who briefly subbed for Sr. Mary Helen. She falsely accused me of cheating in giving an answer in class. She tried to stump me and I knew the answer, but wrongly remained silent, because at the time I thought there was no percentage in giving the correct answer.

I also remember a Mr. Chini who taught 6th grade boys and then came to my home block (1600) of Cornelia Street selling encyclopedias. Robert Bennet (Beanie) who was a year ahead of me at St. Brigid and who lived across the street from me at 1667 Cornelia (six family house) was especially surprised. My smart ass cousin Joseph had a song about Mr. Chini : “I dream of Mr. Chini in a cellophane bikini !”

No I am not pulling your leg with “a crush on Deborah”. By the way, it was most intense at First Holy Communion in May 1963 because I could feel here eyes on me from the pew as I walked down the aisle and resumed my seat. I don’t think you’re the Deborah I had a crush on because I don’t recall that girl being in the school the following year. John Byrnes of Middle Village was briefly in my 3rd grade class. We were together at the Prep, Sep 1969 to June 1973.

I also remember Father James Kelly who started at St. Brigid in 1961 and whom I read for in first grade. He did my mother’s funeral on July 21 1997. I was friendly with Father Barrett in spring 1966. I was moved by how slowly and solemnly he said Mass, and was particularly taken with how he did the minor elevation of the Host :

“Through Him, in Him, with Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit” in Latin, which started off sounding “Per ipso …” Father Barrett wore thick glasses and resembled both the comedian Arnold Stang, and the contemporary French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. I also remember a very tall Father McCabe, and Monsignor Bracken, who looked like the Pope, when he entered my second grade classroom in a red skullcap and a black cassock with red buttons and piping.

Last week’s Times Newsweekly “Our Neighborhood” article had a picture of the St. Brigid pastor my mother’s generation remembers : Monsignor York.

Brother Ralph Clifford was the principal of boys fall 1961 through spring 1967, replaced by Brother Dermott in fall 1967. Two years ago Brother Ralph died and was remembered in an article in SFP Alumni news. I still have it at home.

Do you remember John Conkin the forlorn old music teacher, always trying to get us to sing those Latin vowels in assembly in the auditorium ? Now boys and girls : Aaaaah ehhhhh eeeeeee aaaawwwww oooooooh ?

Debra, I could go on forever, but must stop here. Please tell me your maiden last name. My last name is Koch. If you wish to continue this dialogue privately please post your e-mail address in the next comment on the Ridgewood Theater. Thanks in advance.

DABOC1
DABOC1 on May 24, 2004 at 7:22 pm

Peter,

How do you remember all that stuff??? I remember most of the names you wrote and I was very good friends with Roseanne Butera and I knew April Weiss well too! Do you know how they are doing?

I was close with Vicki Hobson, Paula Rappolo, Michelle Marx, Debbie Alzheimer (one grade older), Joanie Licarri I got to know better cause we both went to St. Nick’s high school. Boys; Jimmy Mahoney, Hans Zimmer, Jack (I think started with M) my memory is not as good as yours, Micheal Lisa, Bruce something, ohh I am sure I am forgetting a bunch. Frank Burgio I think I knew in high school cause we cheered for St. Francis Prep and he went there ( if I remember correctly!)

Teachers wow how do you remember? I know I liked Miss Cerabisi in 3rd grade, a Miss L. I had two years, Sister Mary Helen, Sr. M. Mercy, but boy did Sister Mary Anna hate me – wow.

Are you pulling my leg with the “crush on a Deborah” I am a Debra. My father’s and his family went to St. Brigid’s also!

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 19, 2004 at 8:35 am

DABOC, I’ll start with the girls : my cousin, Frances Spindler, Roseanne Butera, Barbara Schiavone, Dawn Nahoney (my graduation ceremony “partner”), Frances Capezi, April Weiss(good friend in 4th grade, she lived over or near Ridgewood Toyland)Patricia Benson, Ingrid Ostermann, Susan Podkrash (sp ?) Anita Koffler, Judy Viseca (Vye-seek-uh), Cathleen Walters.

The boys : Gasper Ilasi, Robert Lackner (of Lackner’s Bar on the east corner of Wyckoff and Gates) Jeffrey Almodovar, Joseph Gasperetti, Thomas McNulty, Michael Russo, Russel DeVito, James Kennedy, Nicholas Ferri, Robert Webber, Leonard Emanuel, John McHugh, Thomas O'Malley, Charles Taffner (I think he lived in Glendale) Joseph Petardi, Sal Giannone (1492 Greene Avenue) Frank Burgio, Paul Capone, Sal Marcicca, Louis Luberto, my cousin Joseph Radomski, my cousin John Radomski, a year behind me, Stanley Piccirillo, Stephen Ferrugia, John Shaw, Dennis Shearer, Mike Scarangella (he lived on my block at 1676 Cornelia Street) Adam Fajek (he lived at 1678), James Gallo, William Schiller, Christopher Dyer, Victor Baresi. I was in the “1” classes : 1-1, 2-1, etc.

My teachers were, starting with first grade, Sister Mary Joyce, Sister Mary Robertine, Mrs. Wagner (bitch), Miss Campanella (saint), Sister Mary Helen. I remember James Bond / Bond Bread boys vs. Man From UNCLE fans in the fourth grade, and Sister Mary Helen comparing it to Vietnam and racial conflict in the USA.

Starting in fifth grade the girls and boys were separated. For fifth grade I had Mr. A.J. Tavoline (stout) and for math Brother Cassian, O.S.F. Sixth grade, Mr. William J. Ryan, Jr. (s.o.b.) Mr. Gainsa (history, nice guy, lived in downtown Bklyn, saw him come in on Myrtle Avenue el one morning, walked to school with him from where I got off the B-18 bus at Wyckoff and Gates) Br.Thomas O'Neill (math : “repetitio mater studiorum”, that’s Latin for “repetition is the mother of study”). Seventh grade : Br. Donatus (saint, homeroom) Mr. Ryan (English)Br. Jordan (math)Mr. Rooney (science, stout red-head). Eighth grade : Br. Eugene Thomas (homeroom, almost too nice) Br. Jordan (math) Mr. Rooney (science).

I’ll try and remember more classmates' names, especially girls. I wish I remembered more girls' names, because I feel I’m not far in connecting with you. I can’t remember the last name of the Deborah I had a crush on in second grade.

I don’t keep directly in touch anymore with anyone from St. Brigid, only high school. I last saw Gasper Ilasi at his bachelor party April 1980. I have heard about him since then second hand through a mutual friend from high school.

I too remember the German landladies washing and sweeping the stoops in the morning. I remember St. Brigid’s and the neighborhhod it was in, Wyckoff Heights, as heavily Italian, including near 412 Harman Street, where my mother and her family grew up. She and her brothers and sisters attended St. Brigid also, from 1927 to 1947. I remember Bello Pharmacy on Wyckoff Avenue near my mother’s childhood home.

DABOC1
DABOC1 on May 19, 2004 at 7:04 am

Peter

The “jig is up”? I’m not hiding anything! Hey, how did you know I was Irish??? LOL

OK, so obviously we went to school together all the same years at St. Brigid’s. I lived exactly on the block your friend Charles lived on but I do not remember that name at all. I was only one of two girls on the whole block and the other girl was much older so we did not play. That is where I started my love of sports and a very early “equal” way of thinking.

Who were some of your pals from St. Brigid’s, maybe I knew some of them? Do you keep in touch with anyone from school?

When I was growing up I remember Ridgewood being mostly German and Italian. I always remember the German women washing the brownstone steps with soap and water 2x a week!

I also have a 9 year old son! And I have a 15 year old son.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 17, 2004 at 8:35 am

OK, DABOC, the jig is up. I lived at 1668 Cornelia Street from 1955 to 1991 and finally sold it in 1999. I attended St. Brigid School from September 12 1960 (kindergarten) to graduation in June 1969. I don’t know of a picture of the back of the Ridgewood Theater or of your block of Madison Street. Try the Ridgewood section of queenspix.com. Charles Labita was a St. Brigid classmate of mine, 3rd to 8th grade. He lived on the 1600 block of Madison Street between the Triangle Furniture Store on Myrtle Avenue and Cypress Avenue. I brought his books home for him from school because he was out sick, for the Christmas 1965 vacation. I rode the Myrtle Avenue bus home from school that last day before 1965 Christmas vacation, and it had been re-routed, because the Ridgewood Garden Chinese Restauarant just east of the RKO Madison Theater was on fire. The bus went northeast on my home block of Cornelia Street and let me off in front of the Ridgewood Times building at the south corner of Cypress Avenue and Cornelia Street.

It’s interesting you mention playing “ace, king, queen” on the Madison Street wall of the Ridgewood, because spring 1965 I noticed an ace, king, queen, jack, 10, painted on the wall of Key Food on the east corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and Woodbine Street.

People also share memories of Ridgewood at :

http://timesnewsweekly.com

with the Old Timer in the “Our Neighborhood The Way It Was” column of the Times Newsweekly, formerly The Ridgewood Times.

I don’t remember, and never saw, rock ‘n roll shows at the Madison Theater. I remember Adam West and Burt Ward in costume as Batman and Robin pulling up to the Ridgewood Theater in the Batmobile summer 1966 to promote their Batman feature film. There was a big crowd. I think all I saw was leotard-clad legs flashing by me into the theater. I subsequently saw this Batman film at the Ridgewood with my dad. It was on a double bill with a WW II film titled “Flight Of The Phoenix” set in North Africa which starred I think Ernest Borgnine among others.

My son, age 9, now has, and watches, this 1966 Batman movie at home on DVD. What goes around, comes around.

I remember The Buckinghams stopping at Action Records on Myrtle Avenue just east of Cornelia Street summer 1967 to sign autographs and promote their first single “Hey Baby”.

As noted by “Bway”, there has been a fresh influx of Polish into Ridgewood in the last few years. There are new Polish stores on Forest Avenue between Myrtle Avenue and the el station at Putnam Avenue. There is a sign in Ridgewood Savings Bank lobby, “Mowimy po polsku” : Polish spoken here. In the late 1980’s the beauty parlor on the south side of Fairview Avenue between Putnam and Forest Avenues had a sign : “We speak Polish. Ask for Miss Mary”.

RobertR
RobertR on May 17, 2004 at 7:04 am

Wow I did not know that the Madison played rock and roll shows. My mom saw (I think) Connie Stevens and Troy Donahue make a promtional tour stop at the Ridgewood in the 60’s.

DABOC1
DABOC1 on May 16, 2004 at 10:32 pm

—obviously my post was for living there 1955-1974.

Peter and Bway —– where did you go to school?

I remember the Madison Theatre, I saw the Dave Clark Five there in person with my mom!

DABOC1
DABOC1 on May 16, 2004 at 10:25 pm

WOW, you do not know how much I enjoyed this site! I lived at 1675 Madison Street from 1955-174 directly across from the back of the Ridgewood Theatre —– does anyone know of a picture of the back of the theatre, or of that part of Madison Street?

When I was a kid we would play “ace, king, queen” against the brick wall. I even played on the fire escape and brought blankets to make a tent!

All the time I lived in Ridgewood it was Ridgewood, Queens. I went to St. Brigid’s school and heard people say both Queens and Brooklyn for the school.

Does anyone know of any other sites where people share memories about Ridgewood?

Thanks

Bway
Bway on May 16, 2004 at 6:09 pm

When I was a kid in the 70’s in Ridgewood, it was always Queens, but we had a Brooklyn zip code (11227). At some point in the early 80’s, Ridgewood did get a Queens zip code (11385). To this day, much of the “Queens” part of Ridgewood retains it’s old named streets as opposed to the “Queens numbering system”. It also retains it’s “Brooklyn address numbering system” on the southwest side of Forest Ave, while skipping to the Queens numbering system on the other side of Forest Ave. Ironically, the Ridgewood Theater appears to have it’s address in the “Queens” system, rightly so, as it is in Queens.
Really funny that you should mention “Fresh Pond Rd and Madison St”. If anyone thinks of a “bad” part of Ridgewood, that certainly really isn’t it nor had it ever been really. That never seemed like “the bad part of town”. It’s always been an Italian stronghold right there, and continues to be. You are right though, Ridgewood is becoming very Polish over the last few years.

jasonM
jasonM on May 15, 2004 at 11:54 pm

Hello Everyone, – I’m glad to see Monica(18yrs.) Actually interseted in history of the boro. Thanks for current photos. I’m 33 and I thought I was the last generation. Back when-(date not on hand) Ridgewood did fall into the border line of Brooklyn. They changed it in the earlier part of the 1900’s. I’ve seen plenty of vintage maps with Ridgewood claimed by Brooklyn. Probably when the theatre was built it did fall into Brooklyn. Never went there myself but was a local here and there through Ridgewood. Went to Grover Cleveland. As stated by Monica Ridgewood is fine as long as you know where going and go about your business. If you hang out you will find whatever your looking for be it trouble, drugs, or just a good time in the neighborhood. Just like any other neighborhood. Don;t fool yourself. I remember Madison Ave. & Fresh Pond as a corner that you didn’t look twice at as a kid unless you knew someone there. I really don;t know if things have changed. They probably have due to the huge Polish rush. I married one. Anyway happy to see people chatting about old New York. Thanks again Monica for keeping it another generation.
~jason/Queenspix.com~/Maspeth-Middle Village

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 4, 2004 at 3:07 pm

The Fresh Pond Road el station image can be seen at :

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?26343

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 4, 2004 at 3:03 pm

For objective proof of the date of the February 9, 1969 blizzard in Ridgewood, Queens, go to :

The Ridgewood section of : http://www.queenspix.com and look at the images of the snow-covered Myrtle Avenue el between Forest Avenue and Fresh Pond Road dated 2/9/69.

The Old Timer / Our Neighborhood at : http://timesnewsweekly.com

http://www.nycsubway.org BMT Myrtle, Fresh Pond Road station, image dated 2/9/1969.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 29, 2004 at 2:41 pm

It fell as a result of the blizzard of Beatle Day, Sunday, February 9, 1969. I remember it well. Perhaps you are remembering an earlier blizzard of December 15, 1968 ?

RobertR
RobertR on April 29, 2004 at 2:39 pm

Does anyone remember the old marquee? It fell in the middle of the night during the blizzard of 1968. Nobody was hurt since it was like 3am.

Bway
Bway on April 23, 2004 at 5:10 pm

Monica, thanks for all your comments. I also enjoyed the Ridgewood as a child in the 70’s and as a teenager in the 80’s. Back in the 70’s, I had seen many movies there. My mother’s friend was the ticket checker, and would usually get us discount tickets. I can’t even remember the countless movies I had seen there, but many were while it still was only one theater (or some when it had only two when the balcony was first partitioned out for the main auditorium). The last movie I saw there before the main level was cut up was E.T. I also saw “In Search or Historic Jesus” there when it was one theater (Ironically so, after seeing what’s on the marquee in your photos!), and also some Disney movies with my mother as a child. The last movie I saw at the Ridgewood quite a few years ago was one of the Frideay the 13th movies, I think Part 6.
One of my funniest memories of the Ridgewood was going there to see “Beverley Hills Cop II” many years ago. I went there with a friend, and it was a very bright sunny day. It was playing in one of the balcony theaters. We bought popcorn and drinks, and then headed to the theater. The line was popcorn long, so the credits of the movie were already started when we got in. Our eyes weren’t fully adjusted yet, so the theater appeared pitch black. We were literally crawling up the steps and incline in the aisle, and tripping on the steps as we went along. We couldn’t see a thing! We even tried to sit on someone! We finally found empty seats, (which certainly wasn’t easy). We started watching the movie. After about 15 minutes or so, we glanced down at the aisle that we had such a hard time getting up and to out horror, it really wasn’t all that dark in the theater, we had really given the ¾ full theater a show as we stumbled up those steps and then trying to sit on people in what we thought was “dark”….it was all in clear view of the people whose eyes were used to the dark watching the spectacle!
Thanks again Monica for the great memories you brought back for a theater in my old hometown neighborhood.
Thanks Peter for a reminder of another Ridgewood landmark…Carl’s!

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 23, 2004 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for creating your site, Monica, and for posting your pictures on it. I hope to see more pictures there. Sorry I have none of my own to contribute. I last walked by the Ridgewood Theater 22 days ago on Thursday March 25, after buying pants at Carl’s next door. Enjoy your weekend too !

MonicaRdgwdBK
MonicaRdgwdBK on April 23, 2004 at 4:12 pm

Your Welcome Warren!

MonicaRdgwdBK
MonicaRdgwdBK on April 23, 2004 at 4:06 pm

Hey Everyone I just made a site and put the pictures I took on it. Check it out: http://hometown.aol.com/mharb64560/THEATRE.html

Enjoy!

MonicaRdgwdBK
MonicaRdgwdBK on April 23, 2004 at 3:30 pm

Peter, I really appreciate your comment. That’s a funny story, but it does happen quite often. Unfortunately there are no more drinking fountains, but I would’ve liked to see that and take pictures of it. As far as renovation, it’s I.S. 77 that is being renovated on George Street, and there are a few places, but MAINLY street reconstruction, going on. It was also very interesting to find out that Liberty Dept. Store used to be the RKO Madison Theatre. I happen to live on Madison, so naturally The Ridgewood, and Myrtle Avenue itself is my little haven. Thank you for your comment, and if the pics won’t be up any time soon, I’ll simply put them on a webpage, and post the link on this site for you. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on April 23, 2004 at 3:20 pm

Hello, Monica H, and thank you for your in-depth and detailed comments on not only the Ridgewood Theater itself, but the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Ridgewood as well. I am 48 years old, was born in Bushwick, lived in Ridgewood from 1955 to 1991, and only sold my parents' Ridgewood home on nearby Cornelia Street in 1999. I enjoyed reading your comment because it was from a young person who now lives in the Ridgewood of today, not far from where I lived in Ridgewood. I share your hopes for the Ridgewood Theater, and its renovation, especially because what used to be the RKO Madison Theater, not far away, is now a Liberty Dept. Store.

As to being a pretty girl constantly harassed by so many guys, I remember seeing the 1966 version of “One Million Years B.C.” with Racquel Welch at the Ridgewood in February 1967, and hearing a girl in the audience cry out, “This boy’s gettin' fresh with me !” Laughter from the audience, and an end to the trouble.

I hope to see your images of the Ridgewood on this site soon. I didn’t know it was so inexpensive until I read your comment.

Regarding Ridgewood not being renovated any time soon : there is new construction on Cypress Avenue between Hancock and George Sts., offices and schools. Also, if Bushwick is now being gentrified, can Ridgewood be far behind ?

A minor detail, but a very strong memory : I remember what looked like Greek letters on the knob of the drinking fountain on the lower level near the restroom doors.

If the Ridgewood is indeed the longest continuously operated movie theatre in the Greater New York area, if not the entire USA, then renovation in support of continued operation seems all the more imperative !