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Eddie…..Did you enter the Gotham theater using my name? If you did, please don’t do that anymore. I’m capable of doing it myself. Besides, Warren has all the info for that theater, not me.
I did not enter this theater, but I have a good idea who did. Since it is already listed, maybe Warren would be kind enough to fill in the info for it.
Warren….We never solved the case of the Knickerbocker theater. As for the Mae West epic, there were two other theaters mentioned. The Royal theater and Payton’s Fulton Street Theater in Brooklyn.
I don’t know if this site has a search function for text, but if your using Internet Explorer as your browser, try this:
At the top of your browser screen you should see a “button” labeled Edit. Click on it tp open it’s menu. On that menu you will see Find (on this page). Click on that and a box will appear that say’s Find. Where it say’s Find What, enter the text your looking for IE:Mae West then click on Find Next. I use this method when I search on most websites.
RidgewoodBill…..Are you sure that the Ridgewood Folly theater was located on Myrtle near Onderdonk? Do you have an address or can you be more specific with it’s location? Was it located on a corner or in the middle of the block?
RidgewoodBill…..I have never heard of a Lyric theater in Ridgewood. I did a quick search and there was a Lyric theater on Pitkin ave in Brooklyn. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe the one on Pitkin ave is listed on this site. The one in Brooklyn was located at 2245 Pitkin Ave. Could you give me more info on the Lyric theater in Ridgewood.
Peter….In one of those Times Weekly articles, it listed Kreuscher’s hotel as being on the corner of Cypress and Myrtle ave. From the photo I’ve seen of the hotel, it was actually on Myrtle with the stables being on Cypress ave. I’m going to look for that article again just to be sure.
Peter…..If I can find an address for the Kreuscherâ€™s Arcade I will enter it.
Warren….I’m glad that you brought that bouncer issue up. I don’t think that he was a bouncer at all. The last bio that I read on Mae West said the following about her father:
“Mae’s father was known as "Battling Jack West,” boxing champion of Brooklyn, New York. He gave up the ring to operate a livery stable of carriages, surreys and coaches for hire. He eventually became a private detective and dabbled in real estate".
I didn’t want to post anymore about Mae West and this is it for me on this subject.
From what I’ve read about the Kreuscherâ€™s Arcade, the “movies” were actually shown in the stable. I’m not sure if the horse’s were there or not. I don’t even know if they had seats or you sat on a bale of hay or maybe you even sat on the horse. But it did charge admission and it showed a moving pictire so, is it a movie theater?
I’ll tell you why I asked that question. Do you remember the discussion about the Kreuscherâ€™s Arcade? I didn’t believe that it was a real movie theater. I’ve given it alot of thought and I’ve come to this conclusion. All you really need is the ability to project a moving picture “movie” on a screen and charge admission to see it. A drive-in theater has no seats but it projects a movie onto a screen and charges money to view it. Maybe the Kreuscherâ€™s Arcade is a movie theater after all. Primitive maybe but still a movie theater.
Eddie isn’t the Webmaster, he couldn’t spell Webmaster.
Lets try something different. Here is a question for everyone.
“What do you think a movie theater must have to be called a "Movie Theater”?
(Don’t look it up in the dictionary either)
I don’t know Peter, it’s possible that Eddie could ban me from this site for life!
Eddie…..Where did everybody “went”? They all went to another website. Click on the link, everybody is waiting for you there.
Contrary to what Eddie says about porn flicks being shown at the Amphion theater, I don’t think any type of movies were shown there. Can it be entered on here anyway?
Warren…..Thanks for all of your help. I don’t believe that it was used as a movie theater either. This is just another theater that I can consider as “case closed”.
I think your right about the Amphion being an old-timer. I found the following on a genealogy website.
“The Amphion Musical Society on Oct. 1880, erected it’s building at what is now # 437-441 Bedford Ave. for an opera house, opened the same year under the management of C.M. WICKE. Not being a financial success, in Jan. 1888 it was taken over by KNOWLES & MORRIS and operated as a theatre. Edward KNOWLES remaining the manager until 1897”.
If this is the Amphion theater that we’ve been looking for, it really is an old-timer.
I’m not trying to change the topic that were on, but I saw this story and thought that it was interesting. Maybe you will too.
Ny theater 1910-1920
Movie-going in the city exploded during the second decade. One 1910 survey found the city’s combined total of movie theaters could seat more than 150,000, precisely why civic reformers and New York clergyman were so terrified of the movies. They claimed a major concern for the city’s “moral health”. As attendance increased, the reformers engineered ordinances to prohibit anyone under 16 from entering a theater without a parent and banned crime depiction on the screen.
At the same time, the city was the main site for film production before movie companies began decamping for the warmth and more varied terrain of Southern California. The Biograph studios on 14th Street alone gave America both Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith in this period.
But movies were not the only powerful agent of the new decade. This era introduced Irving Berlin, who took black musical idioms and grafted them onto American popular music, and Irene and Vernon Castle, who did the same with black dance. And it was the era of the Ziegfeld Follies, which brought humorists like Will Rogers, Fanny Brice and Eddie Cantor to audiences and scandalized polite society with scantily clad beauties whom Florenz Ziegfeld’s promoted as glorifying the American girl.
Yet as the decade drew to a close, its cultural enmity softened into reconciliation, and it was, surprisingly, the movies that suggested it. In 1913, the Regent Theater, the first movie palace, was built at 116th Street and Seventh Avenue. A year later came the Strand, which seated 4,000, making it the largest motion-picture theater in the country at the time.
What these grand, new movie houses did was make movie-going respectable for the middle classes by refining the venue and elevating the show. Since Nickelodeon theaters were considered to be passe' and for the lower class something new was needed. At the classiest theaters, you could even enjoy a symphony orchestra, a ballet troupe and opera selections before the feature began. It was cultural pastiche, even kitsch, but it aptly symbolized the era: caught between a waning and an ascending culture, and struggling to find a new identity that could merge the two.
Warren….Thanks for the info on the Gotham theater. So, the Fox Folly on this website is the same theater that was located at Graham Ave. and Deveboise St. Then that should be the theater that Jack West was a bouncer at. How about the Amphion?
No luck yet with the Gotham theater but let’s try this one. “There was a Fox Folly Theatre located on the NW corner of Graham Ave. and Deveboise St”. I don’t know if thats the one that her father was a bouncer at.
In the Ridgewood theater messages, we talked about a theater called the Amphion. Not sure if its the same one or not but there was an Amphion theater listed at #437 Bedford Ave near Division ave. Haven’t had a chance to map these yet.
Erwin….Thanks for pointing that out. Alot of the websites that I come across have mis-information. Incorrect dates, addresses, etc. All I wanted to do was find the Gotham theater and I end up being the president of the Mae West fan club. (just kidding)
As for Mae West being half African-American, check this site:
(scroll down to “Description”)
For you Mae West fans: Her mothers name was Matilda Delker Doelger. Her father was John Patrick West AKA “Battling Jack West” a prize fighter who later became a bouncer at the Fox Folly Theater. She had a younger sister and brother named Mildred West and John Edwin West. Besides English, she spoke German, French and Jewish. She wrote plays using the pen name Jane Mast. She is entombed in the Cypress Hills Cemetery at 833 Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.
I now know more about Mae West then I ever wanted to. I’m going back to researching theaters.
Jamaica ave was Jamaica Turnpike and before that it was Jamaica Plank Road. Just another reason why it is so difficult to find info on these old theaters.
I only read that inter-racial story on one site so I don’t know how true it is. Nothing of value comes up for the Gotham theater. On one site, instead of the Gotham theater it said that she appeared at the Jamaica theater in 1911. I don’t know if this is important or not but around 1900 Broadway was known as Division.
Taking Mae West on a date today would be a smart move on Eddies part. After all, how much could she eat? Talk about a cheap date!
Seriously, I’m giving up on this Gotham theater. I find nothing on the theater, but lot’s of info on Mae West which I’m really not interested in. Even the info that I find on her is sometimes incorrect. They all agree that she was born in Greenpoint. There are conflicting stories on where she moved after that. I also read something that if true, is new to me. I read that she was half African-American and she enjoyed passing herself off as white. Her father was a boxer and I’m not sure if he was African-American or the mother was. I’m sure that someone else here knows more than I do.
Good one Peter. Now I know that he is one can short of a six pack. He takes deceased women to a theater that doesn’t exist anymore. What a guy!