Comments from Bway

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Bway commented about Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jun 17, 2004 at 7:08 am

The original name for the Patchogue Theater was the Patchogue “Ward and Glynne” theater and opened on May 23rd 1923.
It originally had 1330 seats, although at some point it was expanded.

Bway commented about Rialto Theater on Jun 17, 2004 at 7:06 am

The Rialto Theater had 817 seats.

Bway commented about Plaza Theatre on Jun 16, 2004 at 12:38 pm

Funny you should ask, as I just made an entry here on the site for another of the Patchogue Theaters:

I live near there so will find out some more about the one at “59 E Main St”, as I have few books on the history of Patchogue. I do know that the Rialto burned to the ground in either the 60’s or 70’s (more to come, as I was going to add an entry for that one too). I don’t know anything about the Granda theater, but so many of Patchogue’s Main St and South Ocean Ave buildings burned, so that may have been the fate of that one too. The Plaza Theater “could” be The “Granda, but the Plaza seems like "60’s construction at it’s worst”, so it couldn’t be that old unless it was horribly remodeled from an older theater in the 60’s.
Patchogue had many theaters at one point, so it’s possible that they are all seperate ones.

Bway commented about Loew's Canal Theatre on Jun 16, 2004 at 8:23 am

Thanks Warren. I figured as much, as the street in front of the “Major” certainly doesn’t look like the quiet street in front of the Canal theater in the photo above. Any other information on the “Major” anyone has would be greatly appreciated since it’s not yet listed on this site.
I tried searching the net for some more info on the “Major”, and it brought me actually back to this site and another post by you on March 19th under the “Pix” Theater!

Maybe someone should make a listing for the “Major” on this site, using this little bit of info we have. Eventually, maybe others can add a little more info if they know anything as we go along. At least we now know it was also called the “Cinema Giglio” also at one time, and that it seated about 599, and it’s address is 277 Canal St. I don’t know if that’s enough to make an entry on this site, but I guess it’s a start. I don’t want to “steal” your information and take credit for it, so if you want to do the honors….
It’s interesting to go into that store it is now because, much of the ceiling plasterwork is still there. I didn’t even kow it was a theater when I first went in the store, but once inside it was screaming “theater”, that’s how I discovered it. I already sort of picked up on it in the former lobby area. I guess the owners of the store were wondering why I was constantly looking at the ceiling instead of their merchandise! Alot of the ornamentation still exists in both the lobby and what was the small auditorium. When I went back outside, sure enough, there was a marquee too (which I totally didn’t notice), that’s how I really knew I was just in a theater.

Bway commented about Loew's Canal Theatre on Jun 16, 2004 at 7:15 am

I think I was in this theater some months ago, maybe you guys can help. If I was, it has been converted to retail space. If not, it is another theater on Canal Street (unlisted here) that I was in.
It looks like it may be a different one that I was in, but maybe someone can shed some light on the one I was in, if this isn’t it. I don’t think it is the same theater as the “Canal St Theater” because from the photo in this listing, the area in front of it doesn’t look like the “chaos” of Chinatown. The street looks way to quiet.
The theater I was in was on Canal St, in the “Chinatown section”. It’s in the really congested area somewhere west of Centre St, but I don’t know the exact cross street. It’s on the same block as Burger King and McDonalds on the north side of the street. It’s about mid block, and you enter into the “junk store” it is now through what used to be the lobby. You then enter what was the auditorium. It was not a large theater, but all the plasterwork still exists on the ceiling. Does anyone know anything about this theater?

Bway commented about Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jun 16, 2004 at 4:28 am

Just to add, during the Depression, when the sound equipment was installed, that’s when the Patchogue theater became a “movie” theater, and remained that way until closing in the 80’s. Now, after it’s restoration it is mostly a legitamate theater once again, although they still can show movies there (and on very rare occasions still do), but never current movies.

Bway commented about Plaza Theatre on Jun 15, 2004 at 1:10 pm

The address for the old Plaza Theater is 393 East Main Street.

Bway commented about Plaza Theatre on Jun 15, 2004 at 12:58 pm

Here’s the direct link to those photos. They are very interesting.
View link

I wish photos of other theaters were as easily gotten. There are so many that I would love to see interior photos of. I saw a few movies in the old Plaza Theater, the last one being Ghostbusters. That was probably a year or two before it closed.
The abandoned theater has been a complete blight in recent years for East Main Street in Patchogue. There have been many plans, but none of them pan out. Everytime people complain about the condition of East Main St, The Plaza comes up again. If I am not mistaken, it was a Twin theater in it’s final years.

Bway commented about Oasis Theatre on Jun 15, 2004 at 12:30 pm

Just to be clear on the address mentioned in the TImes Newsweekly in the above link, that is not the current address of the Oasis Theater property, or from when it was in operation as the Oasis Theater. The location is of the CVS, and listed as:
C V S/ Pharmacy
63-57 Fresh Pond Rd
Ridgewood, NY 11385,
which is the current address of the Oasis site (and of the Oasis theater when it was still a theater.

“579 Fresh Pond Rd” was the original address, however, that was before they changed Fresh Pond Road into the “Queens numbering system” decades ago. The Oasis Theater did get a “Queens” number along with all the other buildings on Fresh Pond Rd.

I found an even better article on the Oasis in the Times Newsweekly, than the link posted above:
View link

It’s gives a great brief history of the theater. It’s also funny that everyone seems to mention the “Disney Films” when we talk about the theater! The author of the article also mentions the “Disney” films. Apparently, the Oasis played most of them, so that is how so many of us remember the great old theater from when we were kids.
(And “Lady and the Tramp” to my list mentioned above).

Bway commented about Oasis Theatre on Jun 15, 2004 at 12:03 pm

Thanks. The 1947 one is most likely the style of the one I remember before being modified for the Oasis Roller World’s new marquee style.
The way I remember it as a theater marquee back in the 70’s was very “50’s” looking, with moving lights, etc, so it is probably the 1947 one. “Oasis” was in skinny letters and either orange or brown.

Bway commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jun 15, 2004 at 11:59 am

Interesting. Thankfully, it didn’t lead to the Ridgewood’s demise, although it could used to be closed for a few months for some renovation work, the theater was terribly in need of it already many years ago.
It’s not unique to just Brooklyn theaters though to have shootings. Out in Commack at National Amusement’s “Multiplex Cinemas” there was a shootout some years ago in the lobby. It may have even been drive-by shootings.

Bway commented about Oasis Theatre on Jun 14, 2004 at 7:19 am

For those interested, the “Our Neigborhood” of the “Times Newsweekly” had a photo of the Oasis one week. It shows the Marquee of the Oasis when it first opened. At some point the lettering and neon letters were changed, as this is not the same sign I remember from the 70’s before the theater closed to movies.
Here’s the link:
View link

Bway commented about Oasis Theatre on Jun 13, 2004 at 8:15 pm

Oh this is great! You just reminded me of another thing. Those little round skate rental chips with the Oasis logo on it! It’s all coming back now from my teenage years! I vaguely remember what the logo looked like. If I remember correctly, it had a huge “O” with a desert “Oasis” scene in it, and then “asis” next to it much smaller. I think the chips just had the “O” on it, but can’t quite remember. I can’t even count how many of those I must have touched those over the years when it was a skating rink!
I remember the old marquee so well. Actually, it almost looked nicer with the “Oasis Roller World” sign on it than the original movie theater marquee looked. I can still see the big “O” with the scene in the middle. When the theater first closed from movies, but before becoming the roller rink, they did very briefly did things like local band concerts, etc in there. I remember them using the old marquee, and the movie letters you mention for those events.
As for Pinochio and Cinderella, I saw many Disney movies there. For some reason my mother always preferred to take me to that theater over the others (maybe because that’s the one that always had them). I don’t have any of the stubs, but did see Cinderella there too (Hmmm, maybe you were there the same day…) Anyway, Pinochio I saw at the Ridgewood Theater, but remember seeing Snow White, Bambi, and Alice in Wonderland (and possibly others) at the Oasis.
As for your first time getting drunk, I guess The Oasis was a good a place as any! My first time certainly wasn’t there, but remember thinking “never again” when that “spinning feeling” came, of course that didn’t teach me a lesson…it became the first of many.
Ridgewood Grove…I went by there just a few weeks ago, when I was in “the old neighborhood”, and it’s a huge and fancy Chinese Buffet now! I couldn’t believe it. I wonder what relics they dug up there when they ripped the interior of that building apart. I think it’s last usage (some 20 years of being vacant though) was a “Royal Farms” supermarket.
Thanks again for the great memories of one of my favorite theaters (always was)…and if you find those photos……

Bway commented about Oasis Theatre on Jun 13, 2004 at 11:37 am

Michael, thanks so much for all the accounts! Most of my memories, were just that, memories from when I went skating there. That is so interesting that that all they did to ‘straighten the floor was to poor sand in the slope, and put the new floor in over that. PLEASE post some photos. I would absolutely love to see them. I also have such great memories of that building both as a theater, and as a skating rink as a teenager. Thanks for the clarification on there being only two pyramids, also i was just going by memory. Did the pyramids rotate? You mentioned something about a rotating area. Also, were the pyramids hollow? How did you see the old seating area underneath? I was never there after the pyramids were removed.
Yeah, the balcony already seemed pretty dirty when I used to skate there. I was never up there, but you could see it was a pretty dirty place with years of dust up there.
I too am sad when passing there knowing that the Oasis is now gone. I, like Warren, wonder what’s still above the ceiling of the CVS. You may not know either as you seem to be from the roller rink era, not after, but hopefully you know. It was very “intact” while the roller rink was there. I’m sure not all that much as there was a fire before the CVS bought it. Who knows, maybe the seating is still under CVS!

Bway commented about Rio Piedras Theatre on Jun 9, 2004 at 9:54 pm

Ah, thanks, I missed that.
Actually, you can scan slides with a slide scanner (I have scanned many of my slides). Mine is an Epson, and it works very well.
Of course I’m not expecting you to go out and buy one (They are about $100), but if you ever had an interest to do such a thing for any of your slides, it’s an easy option, and of course once it’s a scan, they print just as easily as any digital photo.
But anyway, if you do ever find any interior photos of it on the net somewhere, please post the link here. I really would love to see the interior intact. (My only viewing of it was from the subway platform as it was being torn down).

Bway commented about Shore Theatre on Jun 3, 2004 at 8:45 pm

Yeah, I had trouble finding the theater as the “Shore Theater” instead of “Loew’s Coney Island”, but finally found it a few weeks ago after seeing the “Shore” sign in a photo.
It’s difficult I guess, as so many theaters went through many name changes. Some people know them by their original names; others know them by their later names.

Bway commented about Williamsburg Theatre on Jun 3, 2004 at 8:34 pm

Does anyone know if this theater is the “Aster” theater seen in this photo below at the Marcy ave station? If it’s not, 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 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 which is the “Aster” theater?


Bway commented about Marcy Theatre on Jun 3, 2004 at 8:32 pm

Does anyone know if this theater is the “Aster” theater seen in this photo below at the Marcy ave station? If it’s not, 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, 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.


Bway commented about Loew's Hillside Theatre on May 27, 2004 at 9:29 pm

It is very hard to find interior photos of any theater. I wish there was a website somewhere that had interior photos of all these theaters, either historical or current.

Bway commented about Ridgewood Theatre 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.

Bway commented about Ridgewood Theatre 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.

Bway commented about Forest Hills Theatre on May 13, 2004 at 8:19 pm

Is this the theater that was known as the Continental? I had seen many movies at the continental, and it was on Austin St, with another “branch” across the street. Sorry if I sound a bit confused, but it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve been near there.

Bway commented about Elmwood Theatre on May 13, 2004 at 8:13 pm

When was the elmwood divided up into four theaters? I had seen a few movies there, the last one back in the mid 80’s was “Back to the Future”. For the life of me, I can’t remember if it already was chopped up. I think I remember it being one theater at that time, but it’s nearly 20 years ago, so really can’t really say for sure.

Bway commented about RKO Alden Theatre on May 13, 2004 at 9:57 am

This is very interesting that the theater may still be sitting there behind all of the retail in the lobbies. What stores currently occupy the lobbies of the building?

Bway commented about Loew's Gates Theatre on May 13, 2004 at 9:33 am

Peter, thanks for providing links to photos for so many theaters on the site, like the Ambassador, Valencia, etc. Of course I know the photo in the above link quite well….