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Oh, that is the Playpen. I walked by there so many times wondering what the history was behind that theater. I looked so sad on the exterior with the marquee with the blinking porn “XXX”, etc on it.
Here’s a photo taken the other day of the Broadway’s site and the unfortunate fate of the beautiful building. In the background is the shantytown that sort of took up residence in the former stage area.
I only wish I had my camera with me the day I was there when they were demolishing the building, the whole interior was visable from the el station platform at Myrtle-Bway.
I was sad to see it go, although it had been in shambles for years. A shame.
Camden, I have a question for you. Since you seem familiar with the area, do you have any idea what is in this theater shown below the Marcy Ave station in the photo linked below?
Do any of you know if the Aster theater was also known by another name, as I can’t find any information on this site. There is also a Williamsburg Playhouse, a “Marcy Theater” and a “Square” Theater that also has a Broadway address that is in the 300’s or 200’s. which is correct for around the Marcy Ave station. So were there four theaters near that station, or is the Aster another name for one of the above.
Oh, and by the way, here’s a photo of the Commodore I took from the J train the other day. Sorry it’s not “the best” photo because the window was very scratched:
Yeah, me too.
Although it’s even worse than my “dirty mind” even thought it meant! Poor theater!
What is in the building now? I know that since ex-mayor Guiliani expelled all the port out of Times Square and the 42nd St area, much of it moved to 8th Ave (although even that’s cleaned up now). There is still a theater or two on 8th Ave that has porn in them, although I don’t know what their original names were to be able to look them up for history on the site (although maybe one of them may be the Cameo). What was the cross-street for the Cameo?
Does anyone know the names of the other theaters on 8th that are somewhere between 34th St and 42nd St?
I thought I was just being “clueless”. Although since it sounds like it was near 42nd St, my first thought was that it meant “porn” movies in a polite way (although maybe I just have a dirt mind….)
Since, 1525 is a “Brooklyn” address, and it is on the Brooklyn side of Wyckoff Ave. The address still exists (unlike the Ridgewood and the Madison Theaters which were put into the Queens numbering system). 1525 Myrtle Ave, the site of the Irving theater, now has a listing of “Jasco Gas and Quickmart”….so I guess this answers our question as to what happened to the Irving theater…a gas station now sits on the site. It was at near where Irving, Linden, and Myrtle Ave’s all meet, along the Myrtle Ave El.
Did the 595 seat “Irving Theater” ever play movies?….if it did, I guess we should add it to the site.
Wait a minute, I think I am still confused. I forgot about the “Irving Theater” in all this!!! If that was actually on the opposite side of the street from the Madison, where the heck was the Irving theater!?
If the Madison was 1562 Myrtle Ave, and the Irving was 1525 Myrtle Ave (both in the old Brooklyn numbering system, it appears that the Irving would be south of the Madison (because I think, but not sure, even in the Brooklyn numbering system, the numbers got higher as they went north). So that would mean that the irving was south of Wyckoff Ave, and along the el. it couldn’t be too far though from the intersection of Wyckoff and Myrtle.
I would be interesed to know where the Irving theater was now that this was brought up.
Warren, I think I figured out the confusion. I read the thread at queensboard.com, and your post there actually clued me into the confusion of VG Nichols furniture. You mentioned that many old stores had fancy marquees, even though they had nothing to do with a theater. That got me to remember VG Nichols having a marquee back in the 70’s. I think it has since been removed (can’t remember), but it made me remember a photograph of the store on
If you click that link, click Ridgewood, and then page 8, there will be a photo on top of the V.G. Nichols furniture store building when it was “Triangle Furniture in the 1940’s, and low and behold….a fancy marquee. That’s where the confusion comes in, and the fact that VG Nichols is on the corner of Madison St and Myrtle accidentally brought the Madison Theater into all this.
I don’t have a password at queensboard, but if you want to solve the mystery there for Andy over there….
The Madison Theater is NOT V.G.Nichols Furiture store, although it is on the corner of Madison St and Myrtle (on the same side of Myrtle as the Ridgewood theater). I think the confusion is because the Madison Theater is not that near to Madison St. I don’t believe the furniture store was ever a theater, and it certainly isn’t in the Madison theater building, which is further down Myrtle near Wyckoff Ave, on the other side of Myrtle. The Madison Theater is and has been for quite a while the “Liberty Dept Store”. There are not that many businesses that have occupied the Madison since it was a theater. After the Madison theater burned it became “Consumers”. Then in the late mid 80’s, it became “Odd Lot”. Then the building was empty for a year or so, and it became the Liberty Dept Store in the early 90’s, and remains that to this day.
VG Nicols Furniture is on the corner of Madison St and Myrtle, and has been there since the 70’s. As far as I know, that building was never a theater (and it doens’t look like a theater either). It looks like your typical older “apartment over stores” type of building.
I believe Irving Ave runs parallel to Myrtle Ave, on the side that the “Madison” theater is on (even numbers). The odd numbers are on the Ridgewood Theater side, and that is the wrong side of Myrtle Ave to get close to Irving Ave. But who knows, the Madison Theater does not touch near to Madison Ave. Woodbine St is the cross street for the Madison, and then it’s another whole block away till you get to Madison St, so who knows……
Thanks for the info on the interior jazzara. I can’t believe it is now a fiveplex.
I remember it when it was a single screen theater, but didn’t go there often as it always seemed to play “weird” movies.
Thanks so much Mark. It is such a treat to get some interior photos, They are so hard to find of so many of the theaters (either current or past).
Those pictures are almost a year old now, I assume it must have gotten so much worse of the last year. Who knows how bad it is now!
What I find amazing is that the theater deteriorated so quickly! Obviously, it was falling apart before they closd it already, as some of the deterioration couldn’t have happened overnight. But so quickly it looks like a cave!
The photos apparently were taken in the fall of 2003, so all the deterioration you see happened in just a little over a year, seeing that the Marboro closed in July 2002!
Here’s some photos I found on the web of the Marlboro’s interior in it’s current state of disrepair:
I was on Jericho Turnpike this evening, and it is clearly in Nassau COunty. However, the signs do say Jamaica Ave. Actually, for a few blocks, the signs are actually “double-signed” with both “Jammaica” and “Jericho”. They are about 90% Jamaica Ave signs (on both sides), and the remainder “Jericho” signs, many times right nect to, or under the Jamaica Ave signs. The truth is, that the Bellerose is/was physically in Nassau County, so the address above is wrong saying that it is Queens. It’s just “Bellerose”, NY. The “Queens” should be dropped. However, the “jamaica” address appears to be correct.
Also, just for the record, the Bellerose is no longer a carpet store, it is now a “Martial Arts & Supply Center”.
The Bellerose is physically in Nassau County, not Queens, since it is on the south side of the street. The Nassau-Queens line runs down the middle of the street in front of the theater. There is no question that the theater is in Nassau, and not Queens. However, I still can’t confirm what they call Jamaica/Jericho in front of the theater. Running “Jamaica Ave” only gives you odd numbers, as someone said above. Running Jericho gives you the even numbers on the other side of the street, so it appears that address should say “Jericho”, not “Jamaica”. A simple way to solve this is to see what the “Carpet Store’s” address is, since it now occupies the building. What’s the name of the Carpet Store?
Does anyone know when the Major theater, and later the Canal Cinema closed to movies? I’m assuming it was probably the late 80’s or 90’s? The way the interior looks, it couldn’t have been “that” long ago, as the mirrors are even still on the walls in the former lobby area.
A bridal store and law office, among other businesses are in the two story building that repaced the Star Palace. The store buildings definitely date to about the early 60’s, so the Star Palace was probably demolished in either the late 50’s or the early 60’s.
I believe the land that the Granada Theatre occupied is now a part of the Suffolk District Court property. If so, no building currently occupies the site of the theater, as it is a part of the lawn of the Suffolk District Court building now. The current extension of the Court Building may have slightly been built over part of the site that the Granada occupied.
That’s great to hear. I didn’t think anything other than that till reading this thread, so was a bit sad at first.
I no longer live in Brooklyn, so don’t go to the Ziegfeld as much as I used to. I have been planning to see “The Terminal” anyway, and I think your post just made me plan a trip to the city with a friend, with a sidetrip to see “The Terminal” at a certain theater…
I used to pass by the Gramercy Theater everyday when I was in college (I used to go to Baruch College). That was back in the early 90’s. I always enjoyed seeing the marquee at that time, because at that time, they usually had the actual font used in the title of the movie that was playing there. For example, “Fantasia” was displayed on the marquee, just like Disney wrote it on the movie posters. I remember movies playing for weeks on end at the Gramercy. (Disney’s Fantasia must have played for almost one whole semester!). I also rememer seeing “Three Men And A Little Lady” up on the marquee for many weeks.
In my three years of walking past the Gramercy everyday, I never saw a movie there (and really wish I had). By my last year at college, they were playing pretty weird films there. I was really sad a year or two later when I went by, and the theater was closed and abandoned (and looked a mess). That was probably in the late 90’s. I have not been by there in quite a while, but apparently, the museum was playing films there, but now they are also gone, so i guess it’s closed once again.
I am really sorry to hear that the Ziegfeld is not open as much as it used to be. I had no idea. I admidt, I haven’t been there in a while, but when in Manhattan, and in the mood for a movie, I always used to check to see what was at the Ziegfeld first, before going to a movie.
The last movie I saw there was “A Thin Red Line”. I have seen many movies there, and nothing beats the screen there. It’s a great “old feel” theater.
Wow, that’s a switch! A theater being “opened” for a “porn” theater. The usual path is an old theater that gets the misfortune of being turned from a “normal” theater to a “porn” theater, like the fate so many of Manhattan’s theaters suffered. The only good thing though is that sometimes it keeps the theater “alive” until better days. Case in point, the New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd St. A beautiful and ornate theater that suffered the fate so many Times Square theaters suffered in the 70’s and 80’s, being turned to porn. And now look at it, Disney bought it, restored it, and now it’s playing Disney Theater like the Lion King.
What a turnover – from porn to Disney….
Well, as for the Sutter, I guess it didn’t have a nice life. What cross street is it near? I stayed at the Canterbury in on Sutter when I was there, and was wondering if it was near there. Does the building still exist?
Warren, to answer your question about some of the Patchogue theaters, I researched a few of them, and added the Lyceum, Rialto, Granada, and Star Palace theaters to the site. The theater listed as “59” East Main Street is probably the “Ward and Glynne’s Patchogue Theater” which is now the “Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts” listed as 71 East Main Street currently. “71” is the address they use now, but “59” is within the storefronts connected to the theater (I checked this morning), so that may have been the address they used previously, before the renovation. 59 is around where the “Trio Restaurant” is now, but it is a part of the Patchogue theater building’s storefronts.
The Granada was not The Plaza, as it actually was on West Main Street near Railroad Ave. Of all the Patchogue theaters only the “Ward & Glynne” one remains (thankfully so, as it was the most palatial) – and of course the 1960’s “Plaza” which is in ruins.
Here’s the result of my research of some of the Patchogue theaters:
(Ward & Glynne’s, now The Patchogue Theater is linked above)
Yes, you are correct. I checked again, and “Ward & Glynne” was in front of “Patchogue” in the original name.
Just to add a bit more, when they were restoring the Patchogue theater in the late 90’s, all the seats were removed and they actually had obtained the velvet seats from the Imperial Theater in Manhattan to repace the old seats. So the Imperial’s seats are now a part of Ward & Glynne’s palatial Patchogue theater…..just a little theater trivia…