UA Crossbay

9411 Rockaway Boulevard,
Ozone Park, NY 11417

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Showing 51 - 75 of 144 comments

jedweber
jedweber on December 13, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Luis V, I also remember that “Go Ape” promotion and can’t believe I sat through five Planet of the Apes movies in one day! Today I’d need a few days to recover from sitting in those chairs that long!

I wonder if anyone remembers the Christmas shows that local police (or maybe the PBA?) would have for neighborhood kids at the Crossbay in the early 70s. We’d see some cartoons, a feature (one year it was John Wayne in ‘Brannigan’) and then every kid would get presents.

I was out of the area for many years and was surprised to find both Crossbays were closed this year. I must have seen dozens of movies here in the 70s and 80s. It’s sad that neighborhood theaters have to disappear like this – and I’m surprised that a theater couldn’t be profitable in this location if it were properly run. On the other hand, there was nothing special about the Crossbay. If there was anything noteworthy about the 1924 design, I’d imagine it was lost when the theater was first twinned and then triplexed. (And there was never anything nice about the utilitarian Crossbay 2)

PKoch
PKoch on August 7, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Thank you, LuisV. Yes, Warren, I know about the search engine. It doesn’t always work, though. The theater # ALWAYS works.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 7, 2007 at 1:36 pm

There’s a search engine in the upper left hand corner of this page. You just need to enter the name of a theatre and it will show if it’s listed here. You don’t need to know the listing #. If the name doesn’t turn up, you should try an alternate name search.

LuisV
LuisV on August 7, 2007 at 11:43 am

The Lefferts Theater was on the south side of Liberty Avenue and 122nd St. It was three blocks down from the Lefferts Blvd. subway terminus. It had a big (and I thought very handsome) marquee with flashing yellow script lettering. I thought it was the best feature of the theater.

I’m happy to say that I am way too young to have a “personal experience” with either The Farrell or The Park theater. I was born in ‘59 and I believe both of those theaters closed by the late fifties. As I have noted on those theater’s pages, I was quite surprised that there were any theaters at all in South Ozone Park in general and on Rockaway Blvd in particular as this was never a big commercial strip or hub. Certainly not in the same vein as Liberty or Jamaica Avenues. But, in the era when Radio was prime entertainment, I guess these theaters were able to hold on until the advent of Television.

p.s. I don’t know where to get the theater number. It doesn’t appear on the page. I only see it when I get an emial response to a comment. In the meantime just type in south Ozone Park under “City” and these two theaters will pop up.

PKoch
PKoch on August 6, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Thank you, LuisV. Where was the Lefferts Theater ? At Lefferts Blvd. and Liberty Avenue, at the end of the el ? What number pages are the Lefferts and Farrell Theatres on this site ?

LuisV, what was your personal experience of the Park Theatre, if any ? Was it named after Baisley Pond Park to the southeast ?

LuisV
LuisV on August 6, 2007 at 3:18 pm

If you’re interested in theaters in South Ozone Park, look up The Farrell Theater on Rockaway Blvd and 118th St. In addition, there is some additional discussion of the Farrell Theater on the Lefferts Theater page (in nearby Richmond Hill).

LuisV
LuisV on August 6, 2007 at 3:18 pm

If you’re interested in theaters in South Ozone Park, look up The Farrell Theater on Rockaway Blvd and 118th St. In addition, there is some additional discussion of the Farrell Theater on the Lefferts Theater page (in nearby Richmond Hill).

PKoch
PKoch on August 6, 2007 at 9:31 am

Thanks, Warren. I’ll go take a look at it.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 6, 2007 at 9:29 am

The Park Theatre was in South Ozone Park and listed here at #8328. I’ve also posted a photo there. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was this particular Park Theatre, but I’ve discovered since that it definitely is.

PKoch
PKoch on August 6, 2007 at 8:29 am

Thanks for your answer, kong1911.

kong1911
kong1911 on August 6, 2007 at 8:24 am

I remember a Park Theatre which was located just off Rockaway Blvd. East of the Van Wick Expressway. I don’t remember the exact block it was on, the last time I was inside was to see Old Yella and I remember very little about the inside of the building. I was about 6 years old at the time. I do know that the building was taken down in the early 60’s and was left as an empty lot for many years. It may still be a empty lot.

PKoch
PKoch on August 6, 2007 at 7:43 am

Thanks, Warren.

Where was the Park Theatre in South Ozone Park ?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 4, 2007 at 8:04 am

The Crossbay went bankrupt intially due to incompetent management by people with no experience in the movie business. The new manager hired, identified only as J. Celler, had “been engaged in the show business for more than sixteen years,” a report said. He was able to book a higher grade of movies than his predecessor…Our Civic (later Casino) in Richmond Hill and the Park in South Ozone Park were other theatres built by selling stock to local people. Furtherout on Long Island, it was done for the Freeport Theatre in Freeport.

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on August 3, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Interesting factoid Warren. I’d not heard of these neghborhood “co-op” groups formed to build movie houses. You make it sound like it was a common occurence. What were some of the other Queens theaters built in this manner to which you allude? Which ones were successful?

Sounds a lot more rewarding than todays straight venture capitalists.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior
‘Tonino

PKoch
PKoch on August 3, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Thanks, Warren. Why DID the Crossbay go bankrupt by June 1925 ?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm

The Crossbay was another of those Queens theatres built by selling shares to area residents. In this case, about 360 people, mostly from Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Richmond Hill, put up the $300,000 needed to build the Crossbay, which opened in December, 1924. Within six months, the Crossbay went bankrupt and was forced to close. The property went up for public auction in November, 1925, and the shareholders eventually received some compensation after all the debts of the original corporation were settled. The Crossbay finally re-opened under its new ownership on January 30th, 1926. Ironically, the first movie was entitled “The Wrong Doers,” though I doubt that it was an indictment of those responsible for the Crossbay’s initial failure…Incidentally, reports of these events in the Richmond Hill Record of that time always spelled the theatre’s name as Cross Bay, not Crossbay. I don’t know when the two words were merged into one.

ShortyC
ShortyC on August 9, 2006 at 11:41 am

Great photos Lost Memory.

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on July 17, 2006 at 4:58 am

Never meant to imply that the Crossbay was in the same league as the Valencia or RKO Keiths or Madison. It was a family movie house comparable to the Lefferts, Glenwood, or Oasis. Not an itch like the Acme or Haven.

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on July 17, 2006 at 4:49 am

Sorry for the confusion. Upon a second look I see that the pictures were all in front of Rockaway Blvd and excluded Liberty Ave. The area does appear cleaner and brighter than in ‘57 to '61 when I lived at 96-11 95 Ave, or through the '80s when I visited my mother.

There used to be a great diner a few blocks south on Woodhaven Blvd, east side. Name escapes me. Is it still there?

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on July 16, 2006 at 3:08 pm

The LIRR structure south of Rockaway and Woodhaven is still used by NYC Subway’s A Train to Aqueduct Racetrack and The Rockaways.

ShortyC
ShortyC on July 13, 2006 at 2:29 pm

Maybe ‘Tonino meant the LIRR elevated area that is by Rockaway and I think 100th street (it runs by John Adams H.S). That structure has been abandoned since the 50’s or 60’s, they should really put it back in service, to me it looked liked a good route. I agree with LuisV, the Crossbay would never reach the status and grandeur of the Wonder theatres and other great movie palaces. But if UA payed more attention to both structures (1 and 2)the theatres would have been better and may have seen more people. But UA let everything go with the Crossbays, which led to their demise.

LuisV
LuisV on July 13, 2006 at 1:24 pm

The el is still there! I grew up going to the Crossbay 1 or is it 2? The older one and while apparently it was much better than the multiplex, I still think it was a dumpy theater. It was no Valencia, RKO Keiths (Flushing or Richmond Hill), Elmwood, TriBoro, Alden, the list of quality old theaters in Queens is long. The Crossbay is not in that company.

AntonyRoma
AntonyRoma on July 13, 2006 at 9:45 am

Having only known the “Crossbay” on Rockaway Blvd/Liberty Ave and Woodhaven Blvds, I’ve always been fascinated to see it referrede to as Crossbay 2 and the johnny-come-lately duplex as Crossbay 1. The building still looks very nice on the outside. The streets look very alive and clean with the Liberty Ave el gone…..What a waste.

ShortyC
ShortyC on July 13, 2006 at 8:34 am

I was talking to the manager and I also saw the construction being done after Crossbay was closed. The building was completely gutted and then made to Modell’s specs. The only thing you can really see from the old theatre is the exterior which is now painted in a creamy color. Also the gate area on the Rockaway side is still the same (rusted dull look) and the coming soon area is still that aged gray. Its funny that they used a huge peice of plywood to cover the coming soon boxes. Personally I would say Modells rushed to open this store to make some money. I really didn’t mind Crossbay 1 closing being that it was small and really a bad theatre, but Crossbay 2 was a bad move to close. It just needed a renovation but that idea is dead.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 13, 2006 at 7:40 am

Thanks Shoty, unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing left of the theatre to photograph inside (it’s all been covered over-or even maybe removed?)