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Photo 1960: http://brooklynpix.com/photo1/S/sbay52.jpg
Circa 1950 photo:
1930 circa photo showing vertical, interesting base:
Here is a circa 1950 photo:
Here is a link to Normandy photo circa 1945:
Thanks for your memories. Those converible cars were great in the warm weather. As you say, they were widely used on the Canarsie shuttle during WW2 and into summer of 1946. Did you ever ride the convertible L cars on Myrtle Avenue and Lexington lines ? As a kid I used to ride back and forth from Fresh Pond Road to Bridge Street just to cool off. In the photo I don’t see the Lexington L Tower on Broadway. I can’t recall if it was visible from this angle but I think it would be partially. If so, that would also date photo after December 1950 and as people are in shirts, except for a couple of guys in wind breakers, that would put date in late spring 1951.
The Empire and other Brandt run theaters would some times show reissues of movies several years old as an economy measure. This theater was not making big bucks and some times old movies that appealed to the neighborhood crowd would draw better than what a newer pair of films in current release near the end of their loop around the distribution chain in the city. The two movies on the marquee have different release dates in the 40’s. The were probably packaged as reissues for the Brandt,and, or also the Interboro circuits.
The trolley in the picture, 4550, was an old convertible car painted in brown. Brown was the color of service cars. This was a special run and not a regular route run.The cars of this type were withdrawn after WW2 and most were scrapped. Some continued in use as service cars for towing, salting and breaking ice in tracks and switches. They were very heavy and would not derail as easily as newer cars.
The last 20 years of the Ralph-Rockaway line, which 4550 is signed for, the 8000 class cars dating from the mid-20’s were usually assigned to this route.
The 4550 was purchased by a group of trolley fans and cleaned up and painted, with missing parts restored by the shop crews of the Board of Transportation for the fans to run special charters before it was sold to them and moved to a museum before the end of all the trolleys.
I would guess that the date is May 27, 1951, the last day of service for most conventional trolleys in Brooklyn. You can see the way people are gathered around, looking at the car, that it is something unusual. Also, the girl in the dungarees is dressed early 1950’s with cuffs rolled up.
Here is a link to a photo maentioned above in an earlier posting that is no longer available at listed URL:
It shows Empire as looked in 40’s and 50’s.
Photos above show new circa 1947-48 marquees on Rialto and Albermarle Theaters.
Photos of Century’s Rialto and Albermarle are at this url:
These pictures were taken in 1950. Flatbush Ave. trolleys stopped running early in 1951.
A photo of the Linden looking noth from Parkside Avenue showing part of the marquee is at this URL:
Here is a photo taken circa 1950 of the Flatbush Theater.
The 6000 class trolleys were shortly afterwards replaced by the streamlined 1000 Century class cars.
The Flatbush was operated by Werba’s until mid year 1930 when it was taken over by Brandt’s. It continued to present live shows exclusively full time for a period, then closed for a period several times. It featured live shows on weekends for a while, then began showing movies part time with live shows being featured now and then during the year up to about 1950 when it only opened sporadicly for live shows and no movies. After July 1951 it sat mostly closed except for brief events until sold to be converted into a department store in 1952. Brandt also took over the Jamaica Theater in Jamaica,Queens and Boulevard Theater in Jackson Heights on Northern Boulevard and 83rd Street in mid year 1930 from Werba.
Before Brant’s took over there was talk that Fox would take over as it had no house in Flatbush except the Parkside, a small third rate movie theater about four blocks away. Unfortunately, the Fox circuit collapsed after amassing a group of 26 theaters in Brooklyn.
Photo of Kinema circa 1938 at http://www.tapeshare.com/Pitkin.html
I saw the “Laughing Policeman” there in the Winter of 1973. There were three other people in the house.
Ed Solero mentions two Brooklyn theaters slated for conversion to bowling alleys but names are unknown in posting of Oct.14 2006.
The Farragut at Flatbush and Rogers Avenues, last operated by the Springer Circuit as a theater from about 1956 to 1958, and the Leader on Coney Island Avenue may have been the theaters mentioned in the article.
Kanawha Theater on South Kanawha Street is for sale as of September 2006. It is currently operating as a saloon. Brickwork is in need of repair.
There were two other movie theaters in Buckhannon. The 1926 Colonial Theater which now operates as a saloon and the Grand Opera House which showed MGM and Paramount product in the 1930’s and 1940’s before it was lost around the end of WW2.
The building at the corner of Clarkson and Nostrand Avenues is listed on Google as 1295 Nostrand Avenue. See actual ariel photo at
This was the Linden Theater in the mid 1950’s as I walked by it daily on my way to Erasmus Hall High School. I lived on Midwood Street and Nostrand. The address 1260 Nostrand was provided by another member for the Linden and is on the same side of the street but down Nostrand beyond Parkside. In the fifties, the buildings there were three storey row buildings of buff colored brick built prior to 1901. All were identical with stores on ground floor and a flats above. I can recall no indication of any sort of theater there.
This theater was later, post 1915, operated by the chain, Glynne’s, that operated the Patchogue Theater and other Brooklyn and Long Island houses until Loew’s took it over as the Century in the 1920’s and later around 1943 it became the Century Circuit Linden Theater. I last was in it in August of 1959 when “Three Little Pennies” (life of Red Nichols)was main feature. Century used a modified Loews’s marquee that was installed sometime in the 1930’s and lasted to the end. In the forties and fifties Century usually booked this theater with the same program as the Farragut.
There is a listing for the Comet Theater at 852 Gates Avenue in the 1937 Brooklyn phone book. Jefferson 3-5529.
When the new Century College Theater opened in 1938, the Glenwood which was lovated only two short blocks away on Flatbush Avenue was closed. It was later a bowling alley and then a catering hall post WW2. It was only a couple blocks south of the Century Farragut Theater.
Regarding name “Wilson” and theater with El train running through balcony:
Wilson Aveneue was Hamburg Avenue until war hysteria in 1917, fanned by intense proaganda in press and films, caused it to be renamed Wilson Avenue after our then President. Many businesses were renamed but not the Hamburg Savings Bank. Sourkraut became Liberty Cabbage and Frankfurters and Weiners were were verboten.
Fulton Street El east of Flatbush had a movie theater with a support column sticking through the marquee as the EL passed so close to the balcony. It was removed when the former BRT/BMT El was torn down in 1941 along with the trolley line under it and replaced by BOT Buses.
There is a movie clip of this theater back in a 1948 Short Subject which I think was released by RKO Pathe ( the opening credit is chopped off the print ). The print is available on line as a download which will play on Windows Media Player 10. It is free. You will need broadband connection to download it.
http://www.archive.org/details/LetsGoToTheM is the URL.
At that site right click on MPEG2 link in left hand side of frame and choose Save Target option to download it to your computer. This will take some time. Many other LA theaters are shown. You can freeze frames to stop action for viewing.
Ward & Glynne also operated the Century Theater in Brooklyn on Nostrand Avenue before it went to Loew’s and later in 1943 to Century Circuit under the name Linden (being located a block or two north of Linden Blvd.)