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I was afraid of that when I saw them building the new CVS on the site of the old Meyer Chevrolet. I guess the Oasis will begin yet another chapter, and I hope that doesn’t include total demolition, even if the building as been partly destroyed by fire, partly demolished, and so forth. We shall see.
Is there any theater ornamentation left in the store?
In all likeliness, the theater was built as new construction on the site of the old Trolley barn. When seeing the original facade of the building, it screams “theater”. There is an old photo that shows the right most upper corner of the building was smashed off, probably when the el was built, and to facilitate the curve for the trains. So I am going to assume the building was built just before the el was placed in front of it. The el used to end at Wyckoff station, and then go down a ramp to ride on the surface to Metropolitan Ave. The el used to not turn right onto Palmetto St like it does now, it went anothe50 or 100 feet further onto Myrtle, and then turnaround a building that used to be at the corner of Myrtle and Palmetto (where the large brick building is now, where Koletti’s used to be). It then came down a ramp around the Ridgewood Grove site, before street running on Palmetto to Onderdonk Ave where it turned down it’s own ROW as the el does. In any event, when the el was extended through Ridgewood in 1914, that’s when the sharper turn was made to go around Palmetto as it does now. It is also quite possible the corner was knocked off even at a later date when they added the catwalk for workers to walk along the track, which isn’t original to the el.
Graffiti is not just a problem on ground level, the roof level has a severe problem with graffiti too, and it’s been up there for decades, people can see it with every M train that passes the building, it should be removed up there too.
Well, I hope you are feeling better Peter.
Good to hear from you.
Matt, thank you so much for posting those wonderful photos!
Peter, where have you been!
The theater’s current name (if open) is the name that is used for the theater. That’s to be consistent on the site, and it’s the policy.
Personally, I like the way these photos are presented in the messages, they are very vivid, and striking.
Hi John, I am keeping the same hope alive for the Ridgewood Theater too… “It’s not over till the fat lady sings”, so they say…. I was disappointed in the recent photos posted of the Ridgewood. In just 4 short years, the theater’s paint is really peeling inside, probably because the building is no longer heated in the winter, or Air Conditioned in the summer, so the extreme cold, heat and humidity have already taken it’s toll.
And in the 70’s and 80’s it was a hellhole. Better what it is now, than what it was then. The refurbishment of Times Square didn’t destroy the “old” Times Square, the 70’s and 80’s destroyed the old Times Square.
These photos are amazing. These are teasers! Please post some more!
By the way, I can’t believe how fast paint begins to peal. This was a functioning theater less than three years ago. But it also shows how much of the original theater is still all there waiting to be preserved behind the fake sheetrock walls! I guess because the building is left unheated it begins to make the paint peal.
WOnderful! I never thought I would see THAT again!
Yes, MORE photos, these are GREAT!!
Peter, you are missed, it’s been a while!
Sounds wonderful! So happy the Joy has a happy ending…or actually, a great new beginning!
This place was amazing.
That is correct. It was approximately where the courthouse is now. I believe it was next to the last older building to the east is, so partly where grassy area is, and the east extension.
Yes, I believe that is because the UA Twin is no longer in operation, so the best known name is used. If however the Rivoli was currently open, it would be titled the UA Twin.
By the way, the search feature on the site searches current AND former names. If you search “Astor Plaza” for this theater in the search box above….one theater comes up. The Best Buy Theater. So if you are searching theaters by their “most famous name”, even if the name is now some other name, the theater will come up in search.
Ed, in reference to “using the most recent name” is a decision that was made for consistency. Many theaters had several names, and sometimes it’s latest name is it’s most popular. Sometimes, it’s old name was the most popular, sometimes some name it had in the middle. For consistency’s sake, they chose to title theaters by their most recent name. For every theater that may have suffered by having it’s “most recent name” as the current heading name, there are others that benefited from it.
It makes sense for consistency, and otherwise subjective things would have to be used to title a theater.
WOW! Amazing photos! I can’t imagine that that lobby photo was taken after the theater was closed. They destroyed it I assume. Does the YMCA use the old building shell, or was it razed?
Fantasia played for many weeks there. I remember it on the marquee when i used to go under it every day around 1990 and 1991.
Wow, great spread of photos and article!
I don’t know how the Granada met it’s end, but the Unique, aka The Rialto burned to the ground in the 1970’s and was not used as retail afterwards, the fire was a complete loss.
I guess I am “trained” now on how theaters operate, but I do understand what you are saying. When I was a kid, we would just go to the movie theater and just spend all day there. Gone are the days of going to a beautiful movie Palace like the Madison, Ridgewood, Oasis, Elmwood, or fill in a blank…. Kids today will never know the feeling of walking into a large building like that chosing between the balcony or downstairs, and coming into the dark building with the credits from the showing before going….
I wonder if that really was a foolish practice, and I wonder why more theaters didn’t do it. While I can totally understand some of the negatives (large 2 hour+ gap between showing times for a movie – meaning that if you couldn’t make the 7:00 showing the next one would be before 11:00, and that’s if the movies shown are under 2 hours).
Some of the positives would be that they could in essence make the theater a “twin” without having two screens. If people didn’t care for one of the movies showing, perhaps they would like the other, meaning that week you wouldn’t lose that patron.