Ridgewood Theatre

55-27 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 30, 2004 at 6:27 am

Alan…..I know how it is when the old memory starts heading south. Some of the info I’m looking for on certain theater’s should already be in my head somewhere. The problem is, it won’t come out so I have to spend all this time looking for things that I should already know. If the location to the Knickerbocker theater comes back to you, just post it here.

The Ridgewood Folly and Kreuscher’s Arcade are listed on Cinematour but there is no info given for either one. I also came across the Ridgewood Folly on a silent theater website. That website also listed the Majestic theater as the Majestic Seneca. I would like to find an address for the Ridgewood Folly or at least the street where it was located.

Ridgewood Folly: http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=24654

Kreuschers Arcade: http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=24655

adombrow on August 29, 2004 at 4:49 pm

Lostmemory… I’m sorry but I’m a little fuzzy after I pass the Madison theater on my left when walking along Myrtle Ave. towards Wycoff Ave. I’ll be 60 this year, so I guess I have a pretty good memory excuse. I definitely remember the Parthenon theater that Erwin M identified by address and maybe I got it mixed up with the Knickerbocker theater, but I don’t think so. There’s a difference between a Kickerbocker theater and a theater on Knickerbocker Ave.

I’m always amazed at how many theaters operated at the same time in the 1950s within walking distance in Ridgewood/Glendale. I also used to take the old el train to the last stop to see movies at the Brooklyn Paramount and Brooklyn Fox. I also saw the Alan Freed Rock and Roll shows there. The 1950s rocked!

Alan D.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2004 at 2:13 pm

The Kreuscher’s Arcade was part of Kreuscher’s Hotel. It was located on the southeast corner of Myrtle ave and Cypress ave. It claims to be the first “theater” to show “Motion Pictures” in Ridgewood. At the same time that Kreuscher’s was showing “Motion Pictures”, there was another theater in Ridgewood called the Ridgewood Folly. I cannot find the location for the Ridgewood Folly but I have seen a photo of it so it did exist. I don’t know when either one opened, but both were showing “Motion Pictures” in 1910. And both charged 5 cents admission. To further date the Ridgewood Folly, a movie that played there in 1910 was called “The Woman From Mellons” directed by D.W. Griffith who was also the screenwriter. I have already confirmed that this movie was released in 1910.

I can’t prove or disprove that Kreuscher’s showed the first “Motion Picture” in Ridgewood. Even if they were the first to show “Motion Pictures”, your opinion might be different, but I don’t consider Kreuscher’s to be a true movie theater. Kreuscher’s Arcade and “Movie Theater” did not last long. It was sold in 1913. By 1914
the Hotel became a restaurant called the Queens Labor Lyceum Hofbrau Haus.

Even if the Ridgewood Folly was not the first to show “Motion Pictures”, it is very possible that it was the first real movie theater in Ridgewood. The small amount of information that I found on these two “theaters” was very difficult to get, so please feel free to add anything that you know about either or both of them. If the Ridgewood Folly was the first movie theater in Ridgewood, it deserves a place on this website.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2004 at 10:15 am

I can answer my own question. The Starr theater was located at 233 Knickerbocker Ave. That puts it within one block of the Willoughby theater. Oh well, I’m going back to my research of the Kreuschers Arcade.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2004 at 9:45 am

Well, 260 Knickerbocker Avenue would be near Willoughby ave and Starr st. Wasn’t the Starr theater in the same area?

BTW Warren…..Nice detective work on the Irving/Mozart theater.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2004 at 9:28 am

There was a 572-seat theatre called the Willoughby at 260 Knickerbocker Avenue. Perhaps the name was later changed to Knickerbocker?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2004 at 9:26 am

So, in the 30’s it was the Irving theater and in the 40’s it was the Mozart theater are the same. Now if Alan D remembers the location of the Knickerbocker theater we would have a better idea if the Irving/Mozart was also the Knickerbocker theater.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2004 at 9:19 am

In the 1934 Film Daily Year Book, the theatre at 1525 Myrtle Avenue was known as the Irving.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2004 at 9:06 am

1525 Myrtle ave would be near Irving ave which is close to Knickerbocker ave. It is possible that the Knickerbocker and the Mozart theater are one in the same.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2004 at 7:00 am

I finally found an address for the Mozart Theatre in the 1949 Film Daily Year Book. The Mozart was situated at 1525 Myrtle Avenue, had 589 seats, and was listed as closed. So it definitely wasn’t the Wilson/Rige/Grove, but it is probably listed here under another name that it had before or after Mozart.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 28, 2004 at 4:09 pm

Alan D….Would you happen to remember where the Kickerbocker theater that you went to was located?

adombrow on August 28, 2004 at 3:48 pm

I just came upon this website today and found all these comments fascinating. I attended P.S. 88 Queens from 1950-1958 (which includes one year in kindergarten). During my elementary school years, we went to the Ridgewood, Madison, Knickerbocker, Glendale and Oasis movie theaters. There sometimes were “rough” kids in the neighborhood but mostly I felt safe and walked all over to those theaters. I understood the Ridgewood to be in Queens but very close to Brooklyn. Without any real evidence, I always thought Wycoff Ave. began the border into Brooklyn on the old elevated train. I thought Myrtle Ave. on both sides was in both Queens and Brooklyn, depending where on the avenue you were. Anyway, the Ridgewood theater was large, dark and I guess I took it for granted. Looking back, I guess it was pretty glamorous. The only film I remember seeing there was a black and white “Riot in Cell Block 11.” I know I saw more after that but don’t recall them. I went more often to the Madison, Glendale and Oasis theaters. How great it was to have so many movies theaters in walking distance! Even today I’m a movie buff, probably thanks to those experiences.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 28, 2004 at 1:53 pm

Okay, I’ll see what else I can find on the Mozart theater.

While I was looking up info for the Mozart-Grove-Rige-Knickerbocker theaters, I came across a Kreuschers Arcade. I know that it says “Arcade” but it is listed under cinemas on the web. The location given for it is Cypress ave and Myrtle ave. Has anyone heard of this one?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 28, 2004 at 1:37 pm

The Mozart has been discussed here before, but no one seemed to know its exact location. Perhaps it was the same theatre as the Grove, which had at least two other names, as the Wilson and as the Rige.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 28, 2004 at 1:36 pm

It seems that the Grove theater formely the Rige theater was located at 474 Wilson ave just like Warren had already stated.

Now, could this Knickerbocker theater on Myrtle near Knickerbocker be the Mozart theater?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 28, 2004 at 12:56 pm

Just to make sure that you all stay as confused about this Grove theater as I am, someone told me that they remember a theater on Myrtle near Knickerbocker and it was called the Mozart theater. Is that possible?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 27, 2004 at 7:53 pm

I read this on another message board. “The Grove theater was located on Wilson Avenue. The Grove had an outdoor theater, and in the summer that’s where the movies were shown (pre-air conditioning)”.

Now I’m more confused then I was before. Is the Grove near Knickerbocker or is it by Wilson ave?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2004 at 3:55 pm

The Rige Theatre changed its name to Grove somewhere between the 1935 and 1936 Film Daily Year Books. Apparently, Grove was the theatre’s final name. Nothing was listed for that address by the time of the 1954 FDYB. The theatre was probably one of the many victims of home TV.

PeterKoch on August 27, 2004 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for the compliment ! I have a Hagstrom NYC 5 boro pocket atlas, and Brooklyn and Jamaica USGS quad sheets handy. They help alot. I still go to MapQuest for building numbers, though.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 27, 2004 at 12:08 pm

Thanks Peter. I think that I’ll give up on Map Quest and just ask you from now on. (just kidding)

PeterKoch on August 27, 2004 at 12:02 pm

Myrtle and Knickerbocker Avenues intersect between Bleecker Street and Greene Avenue. The Knickerbocker-Myrtle-Greene triangle thus formed is about a third of the linear dimensions, and hence about a ninth of the area, of the larger Knickerbocker-Myrtle-Bleecker triangle. Triangles are formed, because Myrtle Avenue is at about a 45 degree angle to both the streets and avenues of the Bushwick-Ridgewood rectangular street grid.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 27, 2004 at 11:56 am

The sports arena called the Ridgewood Grove was located on St. Nicholas ave and Palmetto st. It was a poolroom in the 60’s. Before that it was a bowling alley. Before that it was famous for boxing matches. Thats before my time.

In the articles that I read, one refers to a theater on Myrtle near Knickerbocker as the Grove theater. That was in the 20’s. The other article from the 30’s called it the Knickerbocker theater. There is no address given. I don’t know what “near Knickerbocker” means. Is it on the corner of Knickerbocker or 2 blocks away from there or what? I gon’t have a map handy, but I believe the intersection of Myrtle and Knickerbocker aves is near either Greene ave or Bleecker st.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2004 at 11:34 am

The 1931 Film Daily Year Book lists a 600-seat theatre named the Rige at 474 Wilson Avenue. In the 1926 volume, it was listed as the Wilson Theatre, so it apparently had some name changes over the years. In 1926, there was also a 600-seat Tip Top Theatre at 357 Wilson Avenue.

PeterKoch on August 27, 2004 at 11:07 am

As I have posted elsewhere, Cinema Tour lists a Grove Theater, closed, at 474 Wilson Avenue in Bushwick. The nearest cross street, according to Map Quest, is not Grove Street, but Jefferson Avenue.

Bway on August 27, 2004 at 10:33 am

Yes, there was a “Ridgewood Grove” building, that at first glance does sort of look like it may have been a theater. I is just north of the Myrtle-Wyckoff El station, on the right hand side of the el if going north. It is currently a huge Chineese Buffet, and Hispanic Restaurant-Nightclub, and also a Billard Hall.
It may or may not be what lostmemory remembers. There is a “Grove Street” that does interstect Knickerbocker Ave about a block or two from Knickerbocker-Myrtle, and many theaters are named for the Street they ajoin. The Ridgewood Grove is fairly far from the Knickerbocker-Myrtle intersection. I’m still thinking it may be a former name for the Rivoli, but really have no idea. Maybe there was yet another theater right near there.