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A link for the Loew’s Royal theater:
I finally found some info on this theater. I found real estate records for it. The lot size is 50ft X 100ft (double width lot). The Majestic theater (now Seneca Chapels) was built in 1931. Since it is a double lot, its original address was 494-496 Seneca Ave. It uses 494 as its current address. Since I know that this theater closed in the mid-fifties, it only had a life span of approx. 25 years.
Well, my theory was pretty close. I figured that the bigger theater was on the corner. What I didn’t think of was the possibility of other buildings being there first. I thought the Mathew homes would have been the first buildings on the block.
Bway….I have only seen one photo of Seneca and Myrtle from the teens and it was facing west. I just realized that the Evergreen theater was built about the same time as the Ridgewood theater. I wonder if the opening of the Ridgewood theater caused Joseph Hartman to expand the seating of the Evergreen theater in 1915. Also, the Parthenon opened in 1921, the same year that he decided to sell the Evergreen. I’m curious how much of an impact these other theater’s had on the demise of the Evergreen.
Thanks again Warren. That explains it perfectly.
Bway…That’s it! The homes were there first and I believe that the bank was built after both theater’s were demolished. I have been searching the web for old photo’s of that area but haven’t found any as of yet.
I was going to post this in the Madison research area, but since I’m already in here I’ll ask the question here. Was there a Rialto theater in Queens? I know that there was one in Brooklyn. In the organ listings, it lists a Austin brand organ for the Rialto in Brooklyn. It also lists a Midmer-Losh organ for the Rialto in Queens. If the organs were the same type, I would believe it was the same theater listed twice. But the organ brands are different so I assume there was another Rialto theater somewhere in Queens.
Thanks Warren. For some reason I still have this Knickerbocker theater on my “mystery theater” list. I’ll remove it from that list now before I forget again.
Here we go again with the “infamous” Knickerbocker theater. No, I haven’t found it yet, but I did find something interesting. On Feb 25th, 1926 a Wurlitzer organ was installed in the Knickerbocker theater in Brooklyn, NY.
If we had a photo of that block from the time that the theater’s were standing our problem would be solved. Since we don’t, I’m trying to put myself in the owners place and this is what I would have done.
The Airdrome was open first. If it was located next to the houses’s, I would leave it as it was and build next to it. If it was located on the corner, I would have torn it down and replaced it with the larger Evergreen theater. Why? Corner property was prime real estate especially back then. You didn’t want to “hide” the larger theater in the middle of the block on Seneca. You would want it out in the open on the corner by Myrtle where the trolley’s passed by so everyone could see it. The only real advertising you had back then was newspapers so I would want the people passing by on the trolley and people shopping on Myrtle to see it. Why is it that most of the banks in the area chose the corner locations and not the middle of the block? Because they wanted to be seen by as many people as possible. I could be totally wrong about this and it wouldn’t be the first time that I was wrong about something, but I’m trying to apply some logic to this since we have no concrete evidence where it was actually located.
If Sally knows the name of the company that built these theater’s I guess that you could ask them. I would like to know if there is a place to search real estate records for older commercial buildings like these. An online search would be great.
In the 50’s it was two stores. I don’t remember the name of the store next to Pachtmann’s. It might have been one structure with two storefronts. Picture the C-Town and divide that in half. Do you think that the Airdrome would fit in that half space? I’m thinking that it did.
I have a picture of the Wyckoff theater from the year that it opened in 1915. It is similar in size to the Majestic theater. After looking at the picture, I noticed that the Wyckoff had large windows on the side of the building (Bleecker st). I remember that the Majestic had no windows on the side. Not one. It did have two large windows at the rear of the building with bars across them. Could the Majestic have had some type of ventilation system to exhaust the heat from the building? Or did it close down during the summer months? Another mystery to solve.
Before the C-Town was built, that property consisted of two stores. Bohack and Pachtmann’s Toy store. I believe that Bohack was adjacent to the houses and Pachtmann’s was next to the bank. Bohack was about half the size of C-Town. C-Town expanded into the property where Pachtmann’s Toy store was located. I agree that the homes were already there. The closed theater could have been where both Pachtmann’s and the bank stood.
I never thought about the two theater’s being open at the same time until I was doing research on Percy G Williams. I learned that his theater’s would close from June-Aug and re-open on Labor Day because of the heat.
One other thing that I forgot to mention. Some people found it odd that both theater’s would have been operating at the same time. It isn’t odd at all. They used the open air theater in the summer when it was too hot inside the closed Evergreen and the closed Evergreen would be used when the weather was cooler.
In the Ridgewood movie section we talked about how these two theater’s might have been situated on Seneca ave. I have an idea where they might have been. See what you think of my idea.
We said at one time there were Mathew flat homes, a Bohack, Pachtmann’s Toy store (both stores were later combined into one store called C-Town)and then the Chase Manhattan Bank (now Banco Popular).
The open air theater with 300 seats could have been right next to the homes where Bohack was. Since the other Evergreen theater had 1200 seats, it could have taken up the space that Chase Manhattan Bank and Pachtmann’s Toy Store occupied. The Majestic theater (Seneca Chapel) had 600 seats. Picture two Majestic theater’s side by side and you should get an idea of the Evergreen’s size.
How does my theory sound to you?
I did not find an address for this theater either. Everything that I read about this theater listed it as Brooklyn except for one article that said Bushwick. And that doesn’t mean much since Williamsburg was also called Bushwick in those days.
I checked the Wyckoff theater section and the Wyckoff opened in 1915 so your saying that the Majestic opened in 1916? Both of these theater’s are similar in size. 550 seats for the Wyxkoff vs 600 seats for the Majestic. Would you know if they were both owned by the same person or company?
Maybe the Times Weekly article was worded wrong when it said that the closed theater expanded by 1500 seats. Maybe it should have said that the two theater’s combined had a total of 1500 seats.
Everything that I have found about the Novelty theater covers the time period when it was a live theater. I have found nothing to indicate that movies were ever shown at this theater so I’m not doing anymore research on it.
There was something about bowling that just didn’t catch on, at least in Ridgewood anyway. At one point the Ridgewood Grove was a bowling alley and it became a poolroom in the 60’s. There was a small bowling alley on the block with the RKO Madison. I don’t remember the name but it was downstairs in a basement and that also became a poolroom called the Met. It seems like the movie theater’s had much better success than bowling alleys did.
Your logic sounds good to me. I think that we can say that it was closed in 1960. Do you have any idea how long the bowling alley lasted? I don’t believe that it was there for very long.
Read this article about the man that let this theater deteriorate.
Am I back on your Christmas card list? Anyway, the bowling alley was there in 1961, and I saw a movie in the Parthenon theater in 1959. Using the “new math”, it would be safe to say that the theater was closed in 1960.
Peter…..The “Apparently I never saw Space Angel”, was not a quote from me. It was part of the text on a website that I copied and pasted here for you to read.