Comments from BrooklynJim

Showing 401 - 425 of 432 comments

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Loew's Valencia Theatre on Jun 13, 2006 at 4:09 am

Dang, Peter, I never got to see “Blacula.” Rats! Mebbe before I head for that big Box Office in the Sky…

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Peerless Theater on Jun 13, 2006 at 4:03 am

Growing older is a real experience, JoeB. I can sometimes recall the minutest detail of something 50+ years ago, but I’m not always lucky enough to remember what I ate for dinner last night!

Do you remember which other dumps had concession stands under the screen? I always figured that’s where they put the guy who played the piano in the silent era…

Here’s an site that’ll bring back some memories for all you guys who are real life members of the Myrtle Ave. el Q-car set c. 1969:

www.nycrail.com/bmt/historical_myrtle_el.htm

Photog Michael Littman put up some 50 B&W shots, some evocative and others artsy, but all good, that knocked me on my tiny heinie. About ¾ of the way down on the left is a “widescreen” shot at track level, with the tracks bearing slightly toward the left, which was where the Peerless was. When I first saw this pic, I immediately e-mailed the URL to my boyhood pal Tom, now in Jersey. He, too, knew that it was where we crossed over countless times to the other side of Myrtle without ever having to cross the street physically and dodge traffic, and where we traded a lot of Scoop, Look ‘n’ See and Wings (“Friend or Foe?”) cards back then without being bothered.

As for the DVD you asked about: The guy who puts these up on eBay, Alan I. Zelazo, is over in Morris Plains, NJ. Generally, you can get his titles on a single bid. The one I referenced about the Peerless is on the Myrtle Ave. El DVD. So when you get to eBay’s opening page, search for Trolley DVDs. SubwayAl’s material is there. Get back to me if you run into any snags. Good luck obtaining your own time machine!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Alden Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 1:24 pm

P.S.: I’m havin' a blast learning about the goofy filter employed by CT. It allowed me to write “sex kitten” in the next-to-last paragraph above, but edited s-e-x-p-o-t to pot in the 3rd paragraph up top. LOL!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Neat-o! I learned something today, courtesy of JoeB & EdSolero, who will each split the 64 cent prize when I get back to NYC later this year. (Well, at least a cuppa coffee…)

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 12:56 pm

OK, Lost Memory. My local library is open until 8:00 tonight (PDT), so I’m able to reply with your requested info now. (As you may or may not know, my PC committed suicide via electrocution a few years ago, and I’ve never had the heart to adopt another. Thus, BrooklnJim writes to you courtesy of Ahnold’s California taxpayers.)

The Madison building was brown brick. As the old gate cars swing left 90 degrees out of the Wyckoff Ave. station, one can glimpse clearly on the tape for a second or two a white sign with big letters on a black background:

R. K. O.

MADISON

Theatre

Unfortunately, the marquee is blocked by the el’s signal tower. Then it’s off to the Fresh Pond yards and Metropolitan Ave.’s old wooden station prior to Christ the King H.S. being built there, probably 1957. The “vivid color” I posted about earlier comes more from a red and white Household Finance Co. sign in the foreground on the corner. Sorry ‘bout that. Photog Frank Pfuhler Jr. (a great German name that certainly must be revered in the hallowed halls of Ridgewood hofbraus!) shot these nostalgic motion pictures between '55 & '57 and did a most impressive job.

If you wish, go to:

http://www.sundayriverproductions.com

Click on “Electrics” and check out the photo of an old Myrtle Ave. gate car next to the “New York’s Elevateds” entry. At the very worst, request a color catalog from owner Alva Morrison before he croaks. The catalog is a keeper. Hope this info helps!

P.S.: There’s a young black female conductor on the modern M train who desperately needs to know that “WYCKOFF” is pronounced “Why-Cough,” not “Whack-Off!” Another graduate of the Berlitz School of Ebonics…

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:32 am

Lost Memory, I’ll run the tape this evening, freeze frame that ad and post tomorrow as to how it read…

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Brooklyn Paramount Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:24 am

What a theater! What a building!

Located on the downtown side of Fort Greene Park (and Brooklyn Hospital where I made my own earthly debut way too many years ago), the Brooklyn Paramount on that corner, across Flatbush Ave. Extension and Junior’s Restaurant with its sinful luscious cheese cake), was a landmark. Still is.

The Brooklyn Paramount was also the site, I believe, of a number of Alan Freed Rock ‘n’ Roll shows at Easter and Christmas. (Freed, one of the best deejays Cleveland ever sent us, was convicted in ‘60 by a Senate sub-committee for payola practices – which were standard practice in the industry at that time! – and fired from his nighttime spot at WINS radio. He died penniless in Florida in '65. Meanwhile, his stage shows were taken over by Murray the K Kaufmann, also the self-proclaimed “5th Beatle,” now also deceased.)

Recall seeing “The Blob” there in 1958. There was even a 45 of the title tune released by the 5 Blobs on Columbia. Don’t remember ever hearing it on 1010 WINS, but I still have a mint DJ copy of it!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:00 am

P.S. to LTOT: E.J. Korvette’s showed up somewhere between ‘55-'56 or so. Used to buy my hardcover (w/ dust jacket) Hardy Boys books there for a whoppin’ 88 cents! And LPs were sold at a decent price in the early ‘60s, like $2.94 each. Not too shabby fo’ us po' folk…

Now, here’s the big 64-cent question of the day: Did that above-named store’s name stand for “Eight Jewish Korean Veterans?”

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 10:54 am

Aha, so Brian is now out here in La La Land, eh? Looks like I’ll hafta smack him around on THIS coast, klass.. Ha!

And to lovetheoldtheaters, I forgot Mays. Dang. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I knew there was at least one missing. Tough to get old.

Hey, if you like “dumps,” you would’ve enshrined the Peerless on your all-time Top Ten Dive list. But like you, I’m rather fond of it myself. It was my Roots de Cinema. So call up that movie house on your PC and check out some of my comments there. Wished you’d have gotten off the el at Washington or Vanderbilt just once way back then. I mean, I used to get off at Tompkins. Worked for the summer of ‘70 at a poor Spanish mission on Tompkins & Vernon, probably a block in the other direction from you.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Merrick Theater on Jun 12, 2006 at 10:23 am

My mind hasn’t quite failed yet. There WAS a Merrick Theater… Thanks for the photo, Warren!

WHEW!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Alden Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 10:18 am

OK, youse guys, time for that story I promised in my recent RKO Keith’s (Richmond Hill) post…

The time is 1959. We parochial school kids (I had attended St. Malachy’s in ENY only for my final grammar school year, ‘58-'59) were brainwashed into reading THE TABLET each and every week. Now this paper had a section in which movies were placed into several categories for non-offensive, family-oriented viewing purposes: There were 3 categories of “A” movies, followed by the “B” section (these might play some havoc with yer faith 'n’ morals, kids, and then finally, the infamous “C” list for CONDEMNED movies. What a promo! We devoured “C” for ones to try to get to “SEE” without our parents ever finding out.

Bridget Bardot was a pot of the 1950s, no argument there. And the Vatican certainly had it in for in her (figuratively speaking only, amigos) ever since her debut in Roger Vadim’s “And God Created Woman” in 1955 or ‘56. If Bardot’s name should appear in the credits, La Iglesia de Catolica Romana instantly and without hesitation condemned the film.

At some point in ‘59, I spotted a movie ad in the L.I. Press that a Bardot movie had begun playing at the RKO Alden. With my young teenage hormones raging at warp speed, I hadda go no matter what the cost, no matter what the risk!

So, on one rainy summer afternoon, I ducked out of the house, got on the Jamaica train and made my first visit to the Alden to see this proverbial “sex kitten” in “Babette Goes to War.” It turned out to be a slow moving WWII movie, in black & white, and could never seem to make up its mind whether it wanted to be a drama or light comedy. At any rate, it was so tame I nearly dozed off several times. Bardot was gorgeous, I admit, and she bent forward once or twice to display cleavage that went clear to China, but that was IT! Nothing else! And for this it earned a big fat “C” rating by the Legion of Decency? Sorry, but LMAO…then and now, folks.

Anyone else out there have a similar Bardot moment???

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Haven Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 9:29 am

{Tried to post the following 3 times last Saturday. All 3 were lost due to “Page Not Found.” Does CT often experience site or server problems? If so , perhaps the execs need to fix or to upgrade.}

That matron, klass, must either be the same one we had at the Peerless in the ‘50s – or her sister. Built like a wooden barrel, she tossed out many a kid. Also think she posed for an emblem on the front of a Peterbilt.

Ironically, my dad used to refer to the Peerless as “the itch.” Must’ve been a common expression in our dads' day. He’d say, “You go in alone and you come out with company,” and then he’d pretend to scratch himself all over. LOL!

The Haven was a dependable and comfortable neighborhood venue. I called it a stop-gap: not fancy or plush, but certainly heads above some of the 3rd rate dives we’ve all experienced. Accessible by the el and with several nearby pizza joints, it often made for a pleasant evening with a date.

Double features were common, but not much else. I used to cry out loudly to no one in particular, “Where’s the Road Runner? MEEP MEEP! Swoooossshhh!” No one ever paid me any mind, and I never got to see a cartoon, either…

One double bill was sort of memorable, a very odd pairing of a ‘60s musical (ugh!), “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” with Howard Keel, and Clint Eastwood’s “Play Misty For Me.” I suffered and sweated through the musical, but the second one kept me in bigtime suspense. Now if I’m correct, Eastwood included Roberta Flack’s hit version of “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” on the soundtrack. OK song, but not to one cranky and discontented old geezer in the balcony. Whenever she’d sing “your face” toward the end of the song, he’d groan and imitate her words and style. She crooned. He groaned. She jazzed it up. He razzed it up. Ever louder. Ever longer. What a duet for the benefit of the half dozen in attendance that afternoon. Grammy material.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Loew's Valencia Theatre on Jun 12, 2006 at 9:09 am

The Valencia, for years hidden in shadows of the 168th St. station, was IMHO one of the classiest theaters in Queens, not just Jamaica. I started attending St. John’s in ‘63, so this, the RKO Alden and the Hillside on Sutphin Blvd. (was there a Merrick Theater too?) were added to my list of movie haunts. Sadly, other than the earliest James Bond films with Sean Connery, I cannot remember too many other specific movies that I saw there.

What I do vividly recall are more atmospheric memories. For example, Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhummad Ali connected with many a black movie-goer by having some of his fights shown at this theater on closed circuit TV, very much like today’s Pay-Per-View. It was a bit out of my price range, so I never got to attend any of those.

Jamaica and other parts of Queens were changing ethnically and demographically, so the latter part of the ‘60s and the early '70s had a glut of the so-called “blaxploitation” films. In a way, this was good for black movie makers and chain theater operators, but white folks seemed to be out of their comfort zone with this. Sad, because there were a couple of real gems they missed, but maybe they caught up with later on TV or home video: “Foxy Brown” with Pam Grier and Richard Roundtree’s/Gordon Parks’ “Shaft” to name just two.

Jamaica Ave. doesn’t look the same to me without the el, and I saw that the Valencia is now a gospel-type church. Praise da Lord! Amen!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Keith's Richmond Hill on Jun 12, 2006 at 8:50 am

I lived up on Highland Blvd., robbie, formerly “Politician’s Row” in the bad old days. Was there from ‘58-'78, then off to sunny but sterile La La Land. Laughed my sorry butt off when I saw on the street signs that H.B. is now alternately known as Vito P. Battista Blvd.!!!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Peerless Theater on Jun 10, 2006 at 5:21 am

Look at the last line my post above. Is there any reason (it’s happened twice now in both Peerless posts) that the word a-d-u-l-t-s comes out as only an “s”?

Looks as if Cinematreasures might have a goofy filter of its own.

In the future guess I’ll hafta write g-r-o-w-n-u-p-s instead…

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Keith's Richmond Hill on Jun 10, 2006 at 5:06 am

It’s startin' to look like old home week around here…

Great links for those old photos, especially the old Myrtle Ave.-Ridgewood trolley shots of the ‘30s & '40s! QJ – midway between the #15, KK and J, Peter. And KenRoe sure gets around, too. A few weeks ago on eBay, I won a couple of DVD-Rs from a guy in Jersey, subwayal from Morris Plains, and these had B&W and color movies of Ridgewood and Richmond Hill from those eras. It was similar to owning a time machine, I swear.

Singer Jimmy Dean (“Big Bad John,” “North to Alaska”) had a big hit in ‘60 called “Sink the Bismarck,” based on the movie at that time. A bunch of us young teens from East New York took the #15 (now J) el train out to 121st St., then doubled back a couple of blocks to the RKO Keith’s to see it. It seems that as we got older, and with some additional expendible dough, we started to grow farther and further (taste-wise) from our own cinema roots, working our way into newer neighborhoods to check what they had going for themselves. (Wait’ll I eventually get to my Brigette Bardot story at a theater in Jamaica. Peter, remember the Legion of Decency’s “Condemned List” in The Tablet? Heh heh…)

Jahn’s was a cool ice cream joint. I was surprised on a recent trip to see that it was still around. (Farrell’s by Fascist Valley is the San Diego equivalent of free birthday sundaes and Kitchen Sinks. I couldn’t ever finish one, either.)

One time on summer vacation, a few of us were experimenting with the NYC transit system and ended up by the RKO Keith’s, but it was the one in Flushing. Our first reaction? “Where the @$#*&! did Jahn’s go???”

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jun 10, 2006 at 4:30 am

The Continuing History of Ridgewood in Multiple Volumes

Sure wish I had a dollar for every film I saw at the Ridgewood between 1968-1977. Even though I’m 3000 miles away on “the left coast,” I’ll still throw what support I can to convert the theater to an avant-garde foreign film showcase. (My movie-critic son, sadly deceased last year at age 23 from cancer) loved foreign films and re-ignited my passion for the really good ones.)

Also missed the Fresh Pond Diner on my trip last March. when did that disappear???

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 10, 2006 at 4:16 am

P.S. to klass, who graduated from Franklin K. Lane HS in ‘69: You were a few years behind me, so you may not remember a pop singer who also attended Lane, Brian Hyland (“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” “Sealed With a Kiss”). A lot of guys used to smack him around after school c. 1962 or so. No respect. Last month, I was at a buffet an Indian gaming casino in San Diego when I met a Lane graduate and his wife from that era. Asked him about Hyland. His reply? “We used to beat him up about once a week.” LMAO!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Albee Theatre on Jun 10, 2006 at 4:09 am

The Albee was one plush Brooklyn theater, reeking of class and the fragrance of fresh popcorn. As a very young kid, I was always familiar with it because my first dentist, a wizzened old gent by the name of Bruder, had his office in the Albee Building. (He always stocked his office with super Dick Tracy comics, probably worth a small fortune at today’s inflated prices!) The Dime Savings Bank Building was directly across the street, and Browning & King, an upscale clothing store for boys and young men, was also close by.

Brooklyn’s downtown area of the late ‘40s and early '50s was accessible by many city streetcar lines (the DeKalb Ave. trolley stopped right in front of the Albee), elevated lines (Myrtle Ave. el), buses and autos, though parking was always poor. My mom would drag me around all day to Abraham & Strauss (A&S) Department Store, Namms, and McCrory’s (a 5&10-cent store when nickels and dimes had a semblance of value for kids), but it never occurred to her to drop me off at the Albee, the Fox or the Brooklyn Paramount.

By the summer of ‘57, the lure of real and C-O-O-L air-conditioning (the Peerless on Myrtle Ave. only had a couple of cheap fans!) seduced me to part with a dime and ride the el two stops to the end of the line at that time, the Bridge-Jay St. station, and then take a fairly long walk over to the Albee. Some films I saw were on double bills such as “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and “Invasion of the Saucer Men,” and “The Delicate Delinquent” with Jerry Lewis, but I cannot remember what it was paired with. I didn’t attend many movies there, as my family moved to another part of Brooklyn in '58, but I was always fond of this theater.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Embassy Theater on Jun 9, 2006 at 11:09 am

I got the distinct feeling that this is a fairly new structure, Warren, built exactly on the same corner where the Embassy once stood. Of course, there are other native Brooklynites far closer to these demolition/construction activities than I was, living some 3000 miles away at the time…

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Bushwick Theatre on Jun 9, 2006 at 10:58 am

Well, Bway & PKoch, thank you both kindly for your responses to my postings from across the continent, “the left coast.” I, too, will be informing some dedicated film buffs on both coasts about this site so they can also enjoy this forum.

Tried to post a number of times today, but could hardly bring up anything at all. The one I finally got in for the Peerless was DOUBLE posted. Does this kind of stuff happen often here? Hope not, because I have a ton of theaters from NY to LaLaLand to post about. Ha! My PC committed suicide by electrocution several years ago, so I’m forced to use the ones at a local public library. The filter they use won’t allow me to access the RKO Albee! $%#@!?#…

To stay O/T, let me say that I really appreciated the overhead pic of the Bushwick’s interior that someone posted a year or two ago. Whoa – almost got a nosebleed. We can all collect flight pay, huh?

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Peerless Theater on Jun 9, 2006 at 8:23 am

A year ago, myrtleave posted that the Peerless never had a 3-D or CinemaScope screen. Partially true. In ‘53 or '54, I recall that we were given 3-D glasses as we paid the two dimes for our admission and watched one of the coming attractions, some kind of jungle movie. My whole row and the one in front quickly ducked a spear that was thrown our way by the natives (or so it seemed), but “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” originally shot in 3-D in '54, was projected in flat B&W.

I believe that CinemaScope as a process debuted with “The Robe” in 1953. The Peerless screen used to be referred to a “postage stamp” size, but at some point in the summer of ‘54, the theater did close for a while for some renovations. (Was it closed for 3 weeks? 2 months? Time is relative and very “iffy” to kids, even though we developed a knack for knowing what time of day it was by the way the shadows fell through the ties of the elevated structure above!) When it opened its doors again for business, there was a larger screen – perhaps not CinemaScope in size, as the width of the theater across Waverly Ave. would not permit that, but definitely larger than the one they had. There might even have been a new lens on the projector to accommodate this wider view. The new screen was a topic of conversation, both s and kids alike, for quite awhile afterward.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Peerless Theater on Jun 9, 2006 at 8:22 am

A year ago, myrtleave posted that the Peerless never had a 3-D or CinemaScope screen. Partially true. In ‘53 or '54, I recall that we were given 3-D glasses as we paid the two dimes for our admission and watched one of the coming attractions, some kind of jungle movie. My whole row and the one in front quickly ducked a spear that was thrown our way by the natives (or so it seemed), but “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” originally shot in 3-D in '54, was projected in flat B&W.

I believe that CinemaScope as a process debuted with “The Robe” in 1953. The Peerless screen used to be referred to a “postage stamp” size, but at some point in the summer of ‘54, the theater did close for a while for some renovations. (Was it closed for 3 weeks? 2 months? Time is relative and very “iffy” to kids, even though we developed a knack for knowing what time of day it was by the way the shadows fell through the ties of the elevated structure above!) When it opened its doors again for business, there was a larger screen – perhaps not CinemaScope in size, as the width of the theater across Waverly Ave. would not permit that, but definitely larger than the one they had. There might even have been a new lens on the projector to accomodate this wider view. The new screen was a topic of conversation, both s and kids alike, for quite awhile afterward.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Jun 8, 2006 at 10:48 am

Silly me. I posted on what I thought was the RKO Madison site today, only to learn from Lost Memory that there was also a Madison theater in Brooklyn near the RKO Bushwick. Live & learn…

Bway (in ‘04) and PKoch (recently) remarked in their posts about the very faded painted ad on the Madison’s wall, barely visible from street level or frm the Wyckoff Ave. station of the M line. I mentioned in the other “Madison” post that I have a VHS tape from Sunday River Productions in MA which shows that whole scene clearly as the old gate cars swung left onto Palmetto St. toward Seneca Ave. station. The painted ad is vivid and extremely eye-catching. (It’s called “NY Els of the 1950s.” Retails new at $39.95, but a good used copy can be obtained on eBay usually for less than $10 – well worth it for the memories.)

“Psycho” was my introduction to the RKO Madison during the summer of ‘60. A neighbor who unfortunately couldn’t decipher weekend movie start times in the local newspaper got us there and parted the black curtains to get to our seats just in time for the ear-shattering sounds and gut-wrenching sights of Hitchcock’s infamous shower scene. To this day, while viewing the DVD or tape, I always remember that scene as the beginning. Impressionable minds, they say…Ha!

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim commented about Madison Theater on Jun 8, 2006 at 9:47 am

oops!