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Here is a link to a website with a bio on Jesse Crawford with pictures.
That leads me to the next question, who owned the other two theater’s?
Well S.G. your the second person that has mentioned the dance hall being in that building so I guess that it is possible. Why would Sally be upset, everybody makes mistakes. I average one mistake per hour. No big deal.
I have a bio on Jesse if thats okay….
b. 2 December 1895, Woodland, California, USA, d. 28 May 1962, Sherman Oaks, California, USA. One of the most popular organists of all time, he began as a pianist with a danceband but switched to organ, playing an initial date at Washington’s Spokane Gem Theater in 1911. Many other theatre dates followed and Crawford became the first organist to play LA’s Grauman’s Theater in 1918. He gained a prestigious job at New York’s Paramount Theater, during 1926 and 1933, sometimes performing opposite his wife Helen, the duo playing a twin organ console. During 1925-27 he provided the RCA-Victor label with massive selling records in “Rose Marie” (later a record-breaking UK number 1 hit for Slim Whitman), “Valencia” and “Russian Lullaby”, but is probably best remembered for songs “At Dawning” and “Roses Of Picardy”. He featured prominently in concerts, and provided background music for a number of plays on US network radio. During the 30s he led a sweet-styled dance orchestra for a time, and continued to record and appear on radio as an instrumentalist throughout the 40s and 50s. His own compositions included “Vienna Violins”, “Louisiana Nocturn”, “Harlem Holiday”, and “Hawaiian Honeymoon”.
Maybe we should just ask that this whole Folly section be removed and post about the Ridgewood Folly in the Grandview message area. Any new person coming in here will be more confused than I am after reading all these messages.
Thanks Bway……I’m still confused but thats pretty much normal for me. From now on I’ll just tell people that I’m from Glendale.
Queens Genealogy Workshop
c/o The Greater Ridgewood Historical Society
1820 Flushing Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
When I was in school we were taught a “general rule” for the address changes. Most avenues like Seneca and Grandview etc, retained their original numbers. Any street that crossed the border between Brooklyn and Queens was renumbered starting at the Queens side. Myrtle ave, Gates ave, Linden st, etc. On Myrtle ave, the “new” numbers should begin at Wyckoff ave. At Linden st, the “new” numbers start above St Nicholas ave. Below St Nicholas ave I believe the buildings use 4XX numbers like 420 Linden. Above St Nicholas ave they change to 16XX like 1670. The Brooklyn-Queens border is not a straight line as some people think. Thats why in one area the “new” numbers start at Wyckoff and a few blocks away they start at St. Nicholas. There are exceptions to this and Forest ave is one that comes to mind. It uses 4 digit numbers like 60XX. I have no idea why, I must have missed school the day they covered Forest ave.
In the 1915 NYS census, the residential building numbers listed for Grandview ave stop at 658 and list one other residential building at 681 Grandview ave with nothing in between those two numbers. That means that 659 to 680 were either commercial buildings or empty land with 681 being the last residential building on the block as of 1915. So in 1915 it is possible that the Folly and/or some other commercial buildings stood on that site.
Well, that should put the Folly theater at 659 Grandview ave. The other building in the Folly photo looks large enough to span the other two lots.
I just finished reading that Times Weekly article again. Some of the article was written by Mrs. James Colligan (nee Patricia Franz). I understand the article this way, her father George Franz owned the garage on St.Nicholas ave between Gates and Palmetto. George Franz father was Kaspar Franz. A quote from the article “My dadâ€™s parents, Kaspar and Mary Franz, came from Germany and eventually lived on Grandview Avenue across from the Grandview Theatre, which was at Gates and Grandview. I believe the theatre is now a funeral home. They also ran a saloon in Ridgewood and held picnics in the summer garden in the rear. My dad was born in this saloon in 1898”.
In 1906, Kaspar Franz owned a saloon at 1880 Menahan Street and in 1910 Dorothy Franz, daughter of Kaspar played piano at the Ridgewood Folly.
The dates given sound reasonable to me. The fact that they lived across from the site of the Grandview theater also makes sense because it would have made it very easy for Dorothy to work at the Folly/Grandview site.
As far as the building itself, I would have to agree with Warren and say that the Folly was demolished and replaced with a new building for the Grandview theater. I looked at a picture of the funeral home and after looking at the Folly photo, it appears to me that the Folly was located where the parking lot now is located and that large building to the right of the Folly in the photo is the new location of the funeral home and maybe part of the parking lot also.
Peter….I found a website for Congressman Joseph Crowley. On that site it has a page about Ridgewood. That site lists the boundaries of Ridgewood as follows: “Bounded to the north by Metropolitan Avenue, to the east by the tracks of the Long Island Rail Road and Conrail, to the south by Central Avenue, and to the west by Flushing Avenue”.
I always thought that one of the boundaries ended at Knickerbocker ave. According to this, it goes two blocks further to Central ave. Maybe it would have been easier if Ridgewood and Bushwick had merged and became RidgeWick. Here is the link if you want to read the whole article:
One thing that I was able to read in those documents was the name Louis Berger. Mr Berger is listed as the Architect/Engineer for the original building.
I looked at the document again and I still can’t read the signature. The first name looks like Sol but as of now, I just can’t confirm the last name. Thanks anyway.
I was skeptical about all of this myself. To be honest, I never thought that we would find the real location of the Ridgewood Folly. I don’t know if anyone has noticed this but John has the same last name as the woman in the Times Weekly article that mentioned this theater. Is that a coincidence or is he a relative and he actually knows the location. You be the judge.
In one of the documents I found, there was a signature that looked similar to the name that you mentioned. I will go back and read those documents again. Thanks for the info.
Thanks for setting the record straight John. I’m happy to finally know the true location of this theater. I still have a question about these theater’s. Did the same person own both of them? If they were both owned by the same person, then the Grandview was a “replacement” theater for the Folly and this message section can be removed and make a note in the Grandview theater intro that it was previously known as the Ridgewood Folly. If the two theater’s had different owners, then they should be considered as two seperate theater’s and listed as such.
Sally…..I have re-read the messages in this section and something in one of your posts caught my eye.
Quote: “With the introduction of the RKO Madison theatre and the already operating Ridgewood theatre the Ridgewood Folly just could not compete. I would place its demise around (1925)”.
Lacking a photo of the area, I have been trying to understand what buildings were standing there during the twenties. I read an article that said the following….
Where the RKO Madison was located, a large brewery stood until 1925 when it was sold and torn down. It was the Welz & Zerwick brewery. This brewery was located in the area bounded by Myrtle Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue, and Putnam Avenue. The Madison theater and other stores were built on the former site of the brewery. My point is this, the RKO Madison didn’t open until 1927 so it could not have had an impact on the “Folly” theater if the “Folly” closed in 1925. No offense intended but either I’m confused about this or your data is incorrect. Did you mean its demise was in 1928 instead of 1925?
It’s important that the dates be accurate for my research.
I thought this was an amusing story that happened at this theater in 1928………
“GIRL SUBDUES HER ANNOYER TAKES HIM TO POLICE STATION CROWDS LAUGH AS SHE PARADES MAN THROUGH STREETS FROM THEATER”
24 May 1928: The Gates ave. court was agog with excitement this morning as Miss Evelyn FARRIN, 20, of 983 Madison st., related how she marched Mariano LOMBARDO, 47, of 407 Evergreen ave., from the Monroe Theater, at 4 Howard ave. to Gates ave. police court and had him arrested last night. Singlehanded, but under police supervision, the attractive young woman accomplished her aim.
According to the complaint lodged against LOMBARDO by, Miss FARRIN,
she was seated in the theater when LOMBARDO came in and seated himself next to her. She said he “pinched her knee” whereupon she slapped him in the face, cutting his lip. Patrons of the theater then saw her pull the man from his seat and administer a sound thrashing before taking him up the aisle for further disposition.
The management of the theater has summoned Patrolman William LANGDEN of the Ralph ave. station. “I can take care of him,” she said when the patrolman offered his assistance. The amazed policeman acquiesced and Miss FARRIN marched LOMBARDO down Howard ave. to Broadway and through Quincy st. to the station, to the amusement of many onlookers.
Magistrate GOLDEN this morning held LOMBARDO under $500 bail on
charges of disorderly conduct for trail June 1
If it was my decision, I would list it under the current V.G. Nichols address since the old address is meaningless today. In fact, using the old address for searching has produced no results at all. I hope that Sally can provide more info on this subject because I am pretty much at a dead end with it.
I read about these two alleged theater’s on some message board. The first one was called the Cambria Theater located in Queens. I assume that it was/is in Cambria Heights. I found an address listed for a Cambria theater as 219th St & Linden Blvd.
The next theater I read about was called the Boardwalk theater also located in Queens. On CinemaTour, an address is given for this theater as 16-18 Boardwalk. It doesn’t specify Boardwalk Ave or Street or anything else. To further confuse me with this Boardwalk theater, CinemaTour also lists a Boardwalk theater in Staten Island with no address given. Does anyone have any info on these two or possibly three theater’s?
I don’t know if this will help or not but in the 1915 NYS Census
for Queens County, the first building on the corner of Myrtle and Madison (odd numbered address)was 1651 Myrtle ave.
On the postal map I obtained today, zip code 11206 which is listed as Metropolitan covers Williamsburg and Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
I listed it as Ridgewood because one map I looked at said it was in Ridgewood and another map said Bushwick. Also, I was entering two Imperial theater’s at the same time, both being in Brooklyn and I tried to avoid confusion. Since the time that I entered this theater I have checked a postal map. Wyckoff Heights is considered a postal station used by the federal government for mail and for census statistics. As listed on the postal map, Wyckoff Heights covers Bushwick and East Williamsburg. If you prefer Brooklyn, NY feel free to change it.
That sounds logical to me. Since there is no organ listing for the Rivoli, that should confirm that it was called the Myrtle first. The organ was installed in the Myrtle theater in 1921, so that should give some idea of when the theater opened.