Majestic Theater

494 Seneca Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Showing 51 - 75 of 113 comments

DonNovack
DonNovack on September 22, 2004 at 2:19 am

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 20, 2004 at 4:00 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 20, 2004 at 2:18 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 20, 2004 at 3:29 am

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.

JohnFranz
JohnFranz on September 19, 2004 at 7:08 pm

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 15, 2004 at 4:54 pm

Richie…..You remember the train tracks? I guess that I’m not losing my marbles after all. I don’t remember the pony’s but I do remember some kind of animals being there. If you saw movies at the Majestic, you must be slightly older than me. What years did you play stickball on Greene ave?

RichieColeman
RichieColeman on September 15, 2004 at 3:17 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 13, 2004 at 6:06 pm

I’m sure that some of this seems trivial to some people, but I have learned that researching the surrounding buildings will give you more “clues” to go on when your researching the theater itself. If I was a detective, I would be more like Peter Falk as Columbo. I might look awkward but in the end I will get my man, oops I mean theater!

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 13, 2004 at 5:57 pm

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 13, 2004 at 5:51 pm

This man named Robert Adair keeps appearing during my real estate searches. He registered the lot that the Majestic was built on in 1868. Now I come across the next block starting with 502 Seneca ave, and the same man registered that lot and the lots that follow on that block in May, 1889. It seems like most of the land was owned by a few individuals. Another bit of trivia: I could never figure out where 502 Seneca ave was located since the first home after the Majestic was 504 Seneca. Well, it turns out that 502 Seneca is the small one car garages on the corner of Seneca and Greene. Even though the entrances to these garages are on Greene ave, the address is listed as Seneca ave. Inquiring minds want to know!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 13, 2004 at 3:16 pm

Thats a good question. Maybe “lower” Ridgewood around Wyckoff ave was called East Williamsburg and up further it was called Newtown. The document I read listed that area as Newtown. Unless the Queens clerk was located in Newtown and by mistake they listed Ridgewood as Newtown. I’m not really sure. The thing that I’m really concerned with right now is why I can’t find an owner listed for the Majestic.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 13, 2004 at 3:06 pm

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”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 12, 2004 at 7:28 pm

Here is more of what I discovered on the Majestic. In Oct. 1955 the building’s owner was listed as Lenroc Realty Corp. located on Seneca ave. The lienholder is listed as Hamburg Savings bank. The next document shows the same Lenroc Realty selling the property to Seneca Chapels Ltd. in 1964. So, this building stood empty for about 9 years until the funeral home opened in 1964. Some of these documents are difficult to read especially the hand written portions of them. What I cannot find is, who did Lenroc Realty buy the property from in 1955.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 12, 2004 at 5:17 pm

I found a document that explains who first owned the lot that the Majestic theater was built on. In 1868, a man named Robert Adair filed with the clerk of Queens county a property that belonged to him located at Seneca ave and Greene ave. The property was surveyed by J.L. Nostrand. It is listed as lot #101. For you history buffs, Greene ave was called Greene st and Seneca ave was called Covert ave in 1868. And Ridgewood was known as Newtown.
At least this gives me a starting point to locate who owned the Majestic.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 11, 2004 at 8:34 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 10, 2004 at 7:49 pm

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.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on September 10, 2004 at 7:02 pm

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 ?

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 10, 2004 at 6:28 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 10, 2004 at 4:49 pm

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?

SallyGenova
SallyGenova on September 10, 2004 at 2:42 pm

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

RidgewoodBill
RidgewoodBill on September 6, 2004 at 2:34 am

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 10:08 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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 23, 2004 at 9:22 pm

I have a question. Is there a way to edit the info at the top of the page for this theater? I want to enter the seating capacity of 600 that Warren found in his book.

While doing research for the Majestic, I have come across info on other theaters from Ridgewood like the Wyckoff and Partheon, I post that info in the appropriate place. As an example, I posted the dates those theaters opened and who owned them at the time. I think that the people that entered those theaters should take that info and add it to the intro at the top also if that’s possible.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 22, 2004 at 1:06 am

One other bit of information that I picked up is this. Seneca Ave was called Covert Ave until approx. 1912. Covert Ave was listed as Ridgewood, Brooklyn because Ridgewood and Glendale were serviced by the post office in Brooklyn, and the post office required the wording “Brooklyn, NY” in mailing addresses for Ridgewood and Glendale.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 22, 2004 at 12:39 am

Another comment that I received about the Majestic.

“…..most of the time we went to the Parthenon since it was cheaper than the Ridgewood or Madison theaters. Occasionally, we went to the Majestic on the corner of Greene and Seneca avenues. The Parthenon charged nine cents for children under 12. On Saturdays, the Majestic would show a double feature, usually westerns, and then 10 cartoons. Upon leaving they gave you a comic book.