Majestic Theater

494 Seneca Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Showing 26 - 50 of 65 comments

Bway
Bway on January 19, 2005 at 7:21 am

I also noticed that in the movie “The Majestic” with Jim Carrey, they use the Graumann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood both outside in the courtyard and in the auditorium at the beginning of the movie.
However, does anyone know where the “Majestic” Theater is that they use in that film is? They use the interior and exterior of an old theater as the basis of the film, and was wondering if it was a real theater, and if it is, where it is and what it’s called.

I didn’t know where to ask this (and I of course know it’s not this “Majestic Theater”), but didn’t know where else to ask this.

boygeniusandme
boygeniusandme on December 3, 2004 at 7:23 am

The factory building next to the majestic is now a laundromat.

Carlo
Carlo on October 21, 2004 at 11:57 am

the majestic opened in 1923, the grandview in 1924, the oasis in 1927 the same year as the madison theatre

Bway
Bway on October 11, 2004 at 10:01 am

I also posted a current photo of the Oasis site in it’s section:
/theaters/4624/

Unlike the Whitney which was demolished in the 20’s, the Oasis building still partly survives. The lobby, the entire right side of the building, and the stores connected to the theater on the Fresh Pond Road frontage was torn down in the mid 1990’s. However, the main auditorium still remains, and new exterior walls put on it from where the other parts were ripped off. It is currently a CVS.
The stores that faced Fresh Pond Rd were in the same Egyptian design on their one storry fasades as the main part of the theater. Unfortunately, all of that is now gone.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 11, 2004 at 9:55 am

The history of the Oasis (designed by Thomas Lamb) is posted at that theatre’s listing. It was not the same theatre as the Whitney. In fact, the land sites are quite a few blocks apart.

Bway
Bway on October 11, 2004 at 9:42 am

The Whitney and the Oasis are not the same theater. The Oasis opened as the Oasis in the early 1920’s and was located on Fresh Pond Rd, near Greene Ave or Menahan St, not near the subway tracks.
The Whitney was located right next to the subway tracks, and there are photos of it from the 1910’s showing the theater next to the tracks. The Oasis and the Whitney are seperate theaters, both on Fresh Pond Rd, but quite a few blocks apart.

Orlando
Orlando on October 11, 2004 at 9:29 am

According to my records, the Majestic closed in 1953 maybe ‘54 and opening in the early 1920-24 period. The Grandview 1929-1954. The Evergreen opened in 1920 and closed in 1928 (only a silent film house). The Whitney opened in 1920 and closed in 1927 and then became the Oasis in 1927. The Whitney and Oasis are one in the same.
I was in the area yesterday. P.S. See the STARR theatre on this site.

Bway
Bway on October 1, 2004 at 2:09 pm

Yes, that’s that discrepancy which occurs with a lot of the buildings in Ridgewood. (Remember this came up with the EVergreen Theater’s neighboring buildings too). That 1931 date seems to come up for a lot of buildings incorrectly. It is highly unlikely much got built in the 1930’s in Ridgewood, as that was the beginning of the Depression. No one was investing anything back then in that decade.

Bway
Bway on September 22, 2004 at 2:12 pm

Here’s a current view of the Majestic Theater taken today.

Click here for link

The is theater is now Seneca Chapels.

DonNovack
DonNovack on September 21, 2004 at 6:19 pm

This was not as bad as people make it out to be I didnt mind going here at all

JohnFranz
JohnFranz on September 19, 2004 at 11:08 am

This theatre was owned by a gentleman named gitenstein who fell upon hard times in the 50s.

RichieColeman
RichieColeman on September 15, 2004 at 7:17 am

I remember the Majestic from the early 50’s I lived at 1726 Harmon Street in the early 50’s before my family moved to Fairview Avenue. I saw a few flicks there mostly westerns. Us kids would play stickball on Green Avenue right next to this movie house. I remember a small barn on Harmon Street near Seneca Avenue where the old train tracks ran past the back of the buildings and a man kept ponies in there. Geez it really brings back some good memories.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 13, 2004 at 9:57 am

And inquiring minds WILL know, so long as they keep inquiring !

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 13, 2004 at 7:06 am

Thanks, lostmemory, for the interesting details. But I thought Ridgewood was first known as East Williamsburgh, and that Elmhurst was first known as Newtown. The Grand Avenue stop on the local Queens Blvd. subway is still sub-titled “Newtown”.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 10, 2004 at 11:02 am

Is it possible to contact the firm (or its descendent, if it has one ?) that designed and built both theaters, to ask them this question ?

SallyGenova
SallyGenova on September 10, 2004 at 6:42 am

The Majestic opened one year after the Wyckoff theatre and were constructed by the same firm

RidgewoodBill
RidgewoodBill on September 5, 2004 at 6:34 pm

The B38 bus followed in the footsteps of the trolley that preceeded it. The route was identical for both trolley and bus.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 23, 2004 at 2:08 pm

Yes, lostmemory I remember that there were two B-38 buses, one continuing on Seneca and the other turning northeast to Grandview.
I remember riding another B-38 from downtown Bklyn to Ridgewood in mid-April 1976 and the ride ending at Broadway and DeKalb Avenue in Bushwick. I had a little walk home to Ridgewood from there also.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 20, 2004 at 1:11 pm

lostmemory, probably Ft. Greene Place. You would know better than me.

I think DeKalb changes from one to two way at Bushwick Avenue, based on your and my experience of the B-38 bus, and because it jogs slightly at Bushwick Avenue.

Incidentally, there’s another great old theater near there, at DeKalb Avenue and Broadway, the Casino, formerly the DeKalb, at 1153-55 DeKalb Avenue, for which there is a page on this site.

Yes, times have certainly changed, and not for the better, regarding children going alone to movie theaters.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 20, 2004 at 9:43 am

lostmemory, I know what you mean. Ridgewood literally often slips through the “crack” between Brooklyn and Queens in terms of being covered in books, and is often not mentioned in books about either borough. Shame.

BTW, last night I was browsing through “Confessions Of A Brooklyn Trolley Dodger” by Stan Fischler on the way home, and it had a chapter on the DeKalb Line, and a photo of the DeKalb trolley at Brooklyn Tech, at DeKalb Avenue and Greene Place.

Warren, as undesirable as a crotchful of lice may be, it’s still not as bad as a stunt recently pulled by some sicko in some theaters, putting HIV-bearing needles on theater seats, with notes saying :

“Congratulations. You are now HIV positive.”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 20, 2004 at 8:43 am

“Dumps” seems a polite synonym for “Itch,” which was the usual word for rundown theatres with lax sanitary conditions. In some, you could actually be infected with lice if you sat in a seat just vacated by a carrier.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 20, 2004 at 8:14 am

Thanks, lostmemory. Much of the brick housing in Ridgewood was built near the end of World War I, 1918, so those tracks, which must have been sidings, or, as you prefer, job sites, off the LIRR Bushwick Branch, were at least a few years older. I will leave the finding of the exact date to more knowledgable railroad buffs than myself.

It would be easier if there were a book about this titled, “The Building Of Ridgewood”, or something similar.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 19, 2004 at 11:43 am

lostmemory, you’re welcome to the links about P.S. 81.

I’ll pass on Roswell, too. I am not a paranoiac Roswell conspiracy theorist-fanatic. I’m not waiting for my savior to step out of a U.F.O. I’ll stick with Ridgewood.

Bway
Bway on August 19, 2004 at 10:07 am

Great comments! Apparently, the buildings fate didn’t change too much as people continued to go to “The Magestic” feeling depressed as it became a funeral parlor….
Obviously, the theater did last into the 50’s as a movie theater.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 19, 2004 at 10:01 am

lostmemory, there’s several recent articles about PS 81 in the “Our Neighborhood” column of the Times Newsweekly that you may want to check out at :

http://timesnewsweekly.com/

Just click on “Archives”.

Your assumption about the brown boxcar being dismantled and trucked away is probbaly correct, but as the starship Enterprise has been known to travel back in time to the 20th century, as in the episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” of the original series, Scotty may have beamed it somewhere after all. Or maybe it’s in that Air Force hangar in Roswell, New Mexico ….. for more info, see “The X Files”.