Loew's Willard Theatre

96-01 Jamaica Avenue,
Woodhaven, NY 11421

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Showing 76 - 100 of 113 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 15, 2006 at 7:47 am

“Plan 9 from Outer Space” is one of the all time great bad movies… So bad it’s sublimely entertaining. A must-see. And once you’ve enjoyed it, take a look at Tim Burton’s fanciful bio-pic of the film’s director, “Ed Wood” which hilariously re-creates much of the making of “Plan 9”.

mikemorano on August 15, 2006 at 7:28 am

I find some odd movie titles PKoch. Ever see any of these movies. I haven’t. Plan 9 from outerspace. The Brain Eaters. Mesa of Lost Women. Funny line from Plan 9; “Now, don’t you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I’ll be locked up safely in there.”

mikemorano on August 15, 2006 at 7:01 am

When you look in IMDB site PKoch it gives many TV shows that Whit Bissell guest starred in. He seems to be a famous character actor. I read the message from the Troll Institute. A troll is smelly so we should smell the troll before he arrives. haha

mikemorano on August 15, 2006 at 6:19 am

More Whit Bissell trivia coming at ya PKoch. Whit Bissell played Tom the scientist in Target Earth.

mikemorano on August 14, 2006 at 7:29 am

Whit Bissell was in The Manchurian Candidate. He is not in the credits. His character was a Medical Officer. I am at a loss as to Jay Overholts.

PKoch on August 14, 2006 at 7:18 am

I’m reminded of my bus ride past Loew’s Kings on Flatbush Avenue this past Thursday July 20, 2006. I knew roughly where it was, and had my eye out for it. Then (pleasant surprise !) I actually saw the name “Kings” in two places on the marquee.

Then I got an idea of the true size of the auditorium, when I looked above the marquee and saw its roofline looming several stories above adjacent lower buildings, like the profile of the back of a brontosaurus walking through low trees and brush, and protruding above it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 14, 2006 at 6:47 am

Lost only toys with me because he loves me so much. And he knows I have a fondness for talking to myself (at great length I might add) on these theater pages. Go to the page for the Argo Theater in Elmont, NY to see a perfect example. That one spanned over several months! And no OT bilge on any of them!!! Actually, it is quite comical, isn’t it?

Thanks for the ground level shot, Warren. The aerial view was a bit deceptive.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 14, 2006 at 6:13 am

One should not judge the true size of anything from a view taken from thousands of feet away. Here is a ground view from 2003 showing part of the stage housing. It is commensurate with the overall dimensions of the auditorium, which ran parallel to Jamaica Avenue and had considerably more depth than width:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 14, 2006 at 5:18 am

The fly space seems pretty narrow from that view, doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem to be much wider than what the width of the proscenium would be. I was going to ask if that was common for a lesser vaudeville/movie house, but Warren commented early on this page that the Willard was considered a luxurious first-run house when it first opened.

PKoch on August 14, 2006 at 4:30 am

Thanks, EdSolero !

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 13, 2006 at 3:43 pm

Well… naturally it doesn’t open precisely as it should have. When you open the link (it doesn’t work on Macs, unfortunately) close out the Welcome window on the left and zoom in by clicking on the larger building icon on the tool palette. Then you’ll have to use your mouse to click and drag the image to the right in order to bring the theater into view. Sigh. Local.live is a great little site, but it can be damn frustrating post as a link!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 13, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Sheesh! I come back from a week’s vacation and find that Warren wants me exterminated! If I know what’s good for me I better stick to statistical facts and historically significant data germane to this theater…

Well… here’s a local.live view of the old Willard (which looks perfectly intact from the exterior despite the interior gut job we know took place in the ‘50’s for conversion to catering space):

View to the East

Hopefully, this opens properly. You may have to open the window to full size and zoom in, but the structure should be easily identifiable as an old theater, sitting along side the elevated J train tracks on Jamaica Ave. You can use the directional palette to rotate the view in any direction.

Saul on August 8, 2006 at 9:09 am

The Manster is (was?) available from sinistercinema.com

PKoch on June 22, 2006 at 6:48 am

Thanks, EdSolero !

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 22, 2006 at 6:34 am

The Creep was the host of WNEW’s “Creature Features” program (portrayed by former two-bit actor, radio personality and voice over artist Lew Steele) on Saturday nights at 8:30. He was a fixture in the early 70’s. Around 1980 or so, they brought him back for another couple of years. He was a slender middle aged man with silvering hair who wore a black turtleneck under a dark sports coat and a pair of sunglasses. He had a dry and subdued sense of humor and would often run word games where they’d flash certain words in caption format during the broadcast and towards the end if the Creep picked your name from all the entries and called you up, you would have to arrange the word into the name of a movie or what have you to win a prize. What an awful run-on sentence that was, but I have no time to fix it!

Anyway, Steele died in 2001 of a heart attack at age 72, survived by his wife – radio and TV psychic Laura Steele.

By the way… Steele was the guy who first intoned the words “It’s 10 PM… do you know where your children are?” that precedes the Channel 5 broadcast of the 10 O'Clock News to this day!

PKoch on June 22, 2006 at 6:01 am

Bklyn Jim, EdSolero, anyone else that’s interested, here is a link to the board I hang out on to discuss monster and other type movies.
It’s troll and flame-free, and there’s lots of great people there :

View link

PKoch on June 22, 2006 at 5:02 am

Come on in, the water and the monsters are fine !

Yes, EdSolero, that’s exactly it !!! I first saw it on “Supernatural Theater”, Saturday 8:30-10 PM WOR Channel 9 in the spring of 1965. Yes, it WAS Japanese, but the guy who had “The Manster” growing out of him was white, and played by an actor with an uncanny resemblance to William H. Macy.

Tell me more about The Creep from Creature Features !

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 21, 2006 at 3:35 pm

If I may join the fray for a sec… was “The Manster” the one where a monster is growing out of a guy’s body – and it begins with an eye on his shoulder!?!? I think I recall that one from my Creature Features days with The Creep on WNEW channel 5. I don’t remember that one being Japanese… but my memories of it are very faint.

BrooklynJim on June 21, 2006 at 11:58 am

Nah, no green liquid, PK. And too cold for clothes removal. The one you’re referencing may have been in the 1959 color import, “The Mysterians,” something I’ll be posting about very soon on the RKO Bushwick page. (Lookit! My own Coming Attractions! Sheesh!) Anyway, please remind me if it doesn’t go up in a week or so.

“Half Human” had to do with the Abominable Snowman, or something like that. Avalanches. Cute Japanese wenches. Wooden acting. Loud snoring…

Never saw “The Manster” that I recall, but you’ve gotta see “MANT” within the John Goodman flick, “Matinee.” I KNOW yer gonna luvit!!! Rent it this weekend and let them memories roll…

PKoch on June 21, 2006 at 10:35 am

Good, good ! Thanks for the tip on “Half Human”. I remember a apanese sci fi flick in which a man told a woman to take off her clothes, and people turned into pools of green liquid. Was that it ?

Speaking of Japanese, ever see “The Manster” ?

I remember the antenna line from “Them !”

BrooklynJim on June 21, 2006 at 10:06 am

Tech Sgt. Leonard Nimoy, as he walks to the teletype machine and sez to the cutie: “It’s T.S. stuff – Top Secret.”

“T.S.” is “Top Secret?” Wasn’t in my part of Brooklyn.

In “Beast,” one of the scariest moments for me was fire destroying the roller coaster in Coney Island! “NOOOO!!!” The other was watching the soldiers drop to the ground from the wounded beast’s infected blood. The funniest was his coming ashore in lower Manhattan’s Fulton Fish Market. Loved those guys' expressions!

If you get a chance, rent “Half Human.” It’s a likeable, pleasant enough bomb, and like “Godzilla” (same Japanese director), the film also features the same three Japanese lead actors/actress from “Godzilla, King of the Monsters.” They also add the likes of John Carradine, as they did with Raymond Burr, to woo U.S. audiences. (After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, why would they even bother? They’d get even in years to come by selling us their cars, tvs, stereos, etc.)

“Get the antennae! Get the OTHER antenna! He’s helpless without it!” – Professor Edmund Gwenn to Nevada Trooper James Whitmore in the desert

PKoch on June 21, 2006 at 9:50 am

Thanks for the compliment, and for calling me young !

“THEM !”, eh ? I know what you mean about that squeaky fan belt sound, growing ever louder.

“Enough formic acid pumped into him to kill an elephant !”

“Saturate the nest ? If I can still lift an arm when we get out of here, I’m gonna see how saturated I can get !”

Did you notice Leonard Nimoy’s bit part ?

“The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” :

“It’s exactly as I pictured it, except that the dorsal fin is singular, not bilateral ! But he’s enormous ! And the clavicular suspension is … cantileveric ! But the most astonishing thing about it is that …”

The scariest part for me was when the rhedosaurus ate the NYC policeman.

“Monster at Nassau and Pine !”

The scene of the monster coming ashore at the Fulton Fish Market was later copied in the 1998 film “Godzilla” with Matthew Broderick.

The original “Godzilla” was inspired by the success in Japan of “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms”.

Whit Bissell, Tor Johnson, Ned Glass, Stanley Adams, William Schallert, Robert Shayne, Richard Deacon, Raymond Bailey, John Hoyt, John Agar, Morris Ankrum ….

“Oh, no ! Not HIM again !”

You could be right about the softball !

BrooklynJim on June 21, 2006 at 9:34 am

For a young guy, ya did a lot of catchin' up. I’m very impressed, Peter! “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” was one of my earliest faves. Bradbury! Harryhausen! (Check out their superb interviews on the WB DVD.) My mom wouldn’t let me see it that summer, that it would give me nightmares, but when I explained my nightmares had been pretty tame, she relented and I got to see it on the next go-‘round at the Peerless. But she totally freaked out the following year when her movie-addicted first-born kept clammoring madly for “THEM!” (To this day, I immediately check the horizon if I should hear a squeaky fan belt in the distance growing ever louder…)

Hey, if you check out today’s comments on the Loew’s Kameo page, do ya think it’s possible to hold…

pausing here to catch breath

…a WHIT BISSELL FILM FESTIVAL in TriBeCa later this year? (Tor Johnson remains my alternate suggestion.)

[i still say 104th St. probably clobbered 102nd St. in softball.]

PKoch on June 21, 2006 at 8:50 am

Either that, BklynJim, or it was to achieve consistency with the Liberty El (Lefferts A Train) 104th Street station, which, as you probably know, used to be the eastern end of the old BMT Fulton St. el.

It IS odd, because 102nd Street is a two-way street, and becomes Freedom Drive in Forest Park, and 104th Street (the former Oxford Avenue) does neither.

I leave it to el expert Bway to elaborate further.

I first saw “The Giant Behemoth” on TV WOR Channel 9 in fall 1961 at age six, then for the first time on a movie screen at Film Forum in summer 1987 or 1988. I now have it, and the other two Eugene Lourie-directed dinosaur movies, “Gorgo” and “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” on VHS, taped off AMC.

“Black Museum” : I remember those binoculars spring-loaded with six-inch prongs, so when the victim put them to her eyes and adjusted the focus ….

BrooklynJim on June 21, 2006 at 8:40 am

Seeing this Willard page knocked my socks off! Because it closed about 1960 or so, very soon after I’d moved to the new neighborhood, I’d almost totally forgotten this B-I-G gem of a theater.

The guys and I would take the el to Woodhaven Blvd. station, and then it was only a few blocks' walk on Jamaica Ave. Had seen a couple cheezy Hammer films there, “The Giant Behemoth,” with animation by Willis “King Kong” O'Brien, and one called “Horrors of the Black Museum.” Every kid in the neighborhood came back trying to devise a pair of binoculars with needles or sharp nails that shot out directly into victims' eyeballs and blinded ‘em. We were fun dudes.

I think there was a catering hall there that went belly-up prior to being taken over by Le Cordon Bleu. My kid sister had her “Sweet 16” party there in 1973.

One oddity: The next station on the el used to be 102nd St. Now I find that end closed and the station has been renamed 104th St. Did 104th St. have a stronger and more influential block association???