Showing 76 - 100 of 432 comments
Tim O, London Squire was the name I knew that restaurant by. Many thx!
Great catch, Life’s too short! Can’t begin to tally how many 60Â¢ admissions I paid at that very entrance between 1958 and 1961!
Glad to see some new folks on this page: welcome, tkinz & Jack Tomai!
Robbie Dupree & I corresponded briefly on this page (and others) in 2006, but the last post of his I saw was above on Mar. 26, 2007. If he is who you say, I’ve got his “Steal Away” on a red label 45 from the summer of ‘80. Excellent track!
Like Peter, I don’t recall that Italian restaurant, but there was a great seafood place on the corner of Crescent & Fulton in the ‘70s. Their Boston Baked Scrod was su-poib!
A big thx to Michael Coate for the corrected Queens theaters and timeline. I hadn’t realized it was already August when we’d seen “Star Wars,” but when the Continental was listed, Bingo! That was it! Tempus fugit and memory sometimes goes south… Again, thanks!
Forgot to mention in my initial post that the late “break-in” satirist, Dickie Goodman, had released “Star Warts” on 45 RPM later that summer. It was a hard piece of vinyl to find. I remember finally scoring a copy at Merle’s Record Rack on Chapel St. in New Haven that fall. Funny stuff!
Imagine, folks – 30 years now for “Star Wars” and 40 (on 6/1) for “Sgt. Pepper’s.” Where does the time go? whew!
210 was right across the alley from me at 196. You had 13-14 stories, with speedy elevators, but our much older building had only 5, all with staircases. Somewhere in my family photos, I have one that was taken on Mother’s Day, 1947. It showed the brand new Clinton Hill Apartments directly across the street: all the windows had big white X’s on them.
‘53-'54 were the years we kids atarted attending the Peerless in earnest. There was a candy store on the corner of Clinton & Myrtle, but the guy was a total grouch. We never bought much of anything there, as there was a much friendlier store at the Vanderbilt Ave. station. There might have been a radio & TV repair shop next door, and then Louie’s Barber Shop adjoining the Peerless at 433 Myrtle.
You mentioned the projectionist’s ladder on the far (wall) side, exactly as I’d remembered it. Can’t recall any other theater of that era having no balcony and a ladder up to the booth. Smokers got the last three rows or so – center, left and right.
In a novel I’ve just completed, I “borrowed” a description of the art deco green, orange and yellow sconces mounted on the walls near the blade fans for summer use. Always reminded me of a cool sherbet.
The screen was postage-stamp size until 1954. CinemaScope had been available to major theaters for a year or so when the Peerless closed for a time for renovations. The new screen did not appear wide enough to fit the CinemaScope category, but it was considerably larger than the one it replaced. I think this occurred soon after the screening of “Them!” (To this day I still check the horizon if I hear a car’s squeaky fan belt a block or two away.)
Glad you’re aboard, BobD, and I encourage you in your efforts to get other family members to sign up for and to enjoy this great CT website! Thx!
After our honeymoon, my new bride and I saw “Star Wars” once it had expanded into Queens theaters, probably late June, 1977. I believe it was at the Midway on Queens Blvd., but I won’t swear to that.
As a kid, Lucas must have enjoyed the same Saturday matinee fare that became so much a part of our collective childhood. It showed in his movie, and we loved it!
Topps, the baseball card gum company, quickly obtained marketing licenses and issued 5 separate series of cards from the movie between 1977 and ‘78. Boxes purchased at Brooklyn’s Farmer’s Market cost about $3.75 each. Stickers found within were far fewer in number, so later for-sale prices reflected that when you bought a set of 66 cards “plus 22 stickers.” We took 5 unopened boxes with us when we moved to CA later that year. Four years later, a Philadelphia dealer bought them all when I needed money for my car’s front-end work. Wow!
I will always respect the original because it was fun and it was the first, though I believe the darker “Empire Stikes Back” was perhaps the best, especially when compared to the third, a ploy for Ewoks and other new toys to sell to kids.
Today’s Native American casinos in SoCal have three slot machine variations of “Star Wars.” Last month, I hit a “Death Star” game bonus for 112 free spins (caused by 3 separate re-triggers) and an 11X multiplier. I cashed out for $305. Not bad for a 30Â¢ bet.
“Star Wars,” the movie and its characters, simply morphed into our consciousness and national fabric, for better or for worse. The movie held up; my marriage didn’t. That’s life.
Good job, Lucas!
Welcome, BobD! Finally a “Peerless” relative has surfaced!
This neighborhood theater, as you know, was for years an inexpensive but major staple of entertainment for hard-working middle class folks who lived anywhere from the vicinity of the Brooklyn Navy Yard right up through the range of Clinton Hill Apartments (to Greene Ave.), Pratt Institute and Fort Greene Park itself. Unfortunately, many of the old residents, including some I grew up with, are no longer with us. The Peerless page, therefore, fails to generate the massive response as found for such other popular theaters as the Ridgewood, RKO Madison, Radio City Music Hall, etc.
If you go back about a month or so of news entries on CT’s home page, you’ll find one entitled “Peerless Memories” from John C., whose relatives owned the tailor shop next store.
And thanks for sharing your memories with all of us CTers! Hope to read more of your recollections in the near future!
Bway, in the words of Dizzy Dean, I must have “slud” one past you. When I indicated the condition of multiplexes and the movie industry, it was only within the context of my fictitious novel, “Boulevard,” projected several years in the future. It may well never happen…
Guy, demand yer money back from the Evelyn Woods School of Speed Reading! LOL! ;)
I’ve enjoyed the recent discussions here. In a brief segment of a novel nearing completion, the years 2014-15 are devoid of both single screen or multiplex theaters. Movie-making as an industry has dried up in the country, fractured and impoverished.
However, there are still a few resourceful entrepreneurs who develop small movie-art houses in which the old films can be shown. As displayed on one marquee, “Remembering 1953” offers cartoons, a newsreel, coming attractions, a chapter serial and a grade-B sci-fi feature, in B & W (natch!), delighting an audience of tomorrow.
Survival is on all their minds – in that particular future, and as it has always been…
Thanks, bushwickbuddy, for reminding me of local school graduations held at the RKO Madison. I recall that J.H.S. 93Q – Ridgewood Junior High, still open for business up on Forest Ave. between Madison & Woodbine – used it from at least ‘66 up to about '75 or so (that I’m aware of). Man, that sure jogged my memory vaults…
“… Is that Carl LaFong? Capital ‘L,’ small ‘a,’ capital ‘F,’ small ‘o,’ small ‘n,’ small ‘g’?”
LaFong? I wouldn’t admit it even if it waz…
Q: “Did 42nd Street have trolley tracks as the photo depicts?” – mm, 4/6
A: Yes. The Third Ave. Railway ran the “X” crosstown line from the west side piers at 12th to Tudor City on the east side. There were no overhead catenaries. Electricity was provided through underground conduits between the rails.
My day started well, Peter: Logged on – 43 guests + Carl_LaFong on deck!
Retired: yep. “GM,V:” Ditto. (Cronauer nowhere near as funny as Robin W.)
Time for serials? one chapter per night.
Correction on “Junior G-Men of the Air:” 13 chapters.
Another TV hero who started playing bad guys in serials was Clayton (“Lone Ranger”) Moore. Think he was also in Cody’s “King of the Rocketmen,” but not 100% certain. DVD is back at Brooklyn casa.
Ridgewood Theater … “safety reasons” – ??? Rats? 4-legged or 2?
Many serials I mentioned are available on DVD, mikemovies, and the rest on VHS tape, usually in a 2 cassette package. Check catalogs such as Critics' Choice (Itasca, IL) – they currently have a good sale on about a dozen or so, including King of the Royal Mounted, Captain Midnight and the Phantom, or online at deepdiscountdvd. Also search eBay. You’d be amazed at what’s floating around out there in cyberspace!
As for price, these pups will range from $5 up to $24.95. There’s something for everyone’s wallet & purse if the interest is there. Let us know what ones you eventually get. I just ordered Junior G-Men of the Air (1942, 12 chapters) with Huntz Hall, the Dead End Kids and the L'il Tough Guys – a brand new B&W transfer for $15. Can’t wait! LOL!
Peter, the “Batman” serial you referenced with Croft, Lewis & Naish was actually the ‘43 wartime original. Saw it again in toto – all 4 hrs. 20 min. – in the late spring of '66, just before leaving for boot camp on scenic Parris Island.
When the VHS copy was released in ‘89 or so, all snide, rascist remarks had been either cut or dubbed over. Why? Very simple. Sony had bought out Columbia! But they left one in:
Unconscious Linda Page awakens in Daka’s underground hideout. She sees him and shrieks, “You’re a JAP!” Naish gleefully rubbed his hands, grinned and replied, “Please to say ‘Nipponese.’” LMAO!
Forgot to include stuff such as Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd), Spy Smasher, Junior G-Men (with the Dead End Kids), X-9 Secret Agent… Gad, the list is endless! Theater owners were savvy enough to know that these 12-, 13- & 15-chapter serials would bring us rug rats and street urchins back each and every weekend. How right they were!!!
Perhaps we should get that lady hooked on the old Republic, Columbia, Universal and Mascot chapter serials: Batman (‘43 & '49), Perils of Pauline, Hurricane Express (w/ 1932-vintage John Wayne), Raiders of the Ghost City, Jungle Jim, Nyoka & the Tigermen/Jungle , Don Winslow of the Navy (& Coast Guard, too), Panther of the Congo, Tim Tyler’s Luck, Mandrake the Magician, Radar Men of the Moon, Zombies of the Stratosphere, Mysterious Dr. Satan, Masked Marvel, Captain Marvel (SHAZAM! – “the Big Red Cheese”), Green Hornet, Daredevils of the Red Circle, all 3 Zorros & Flash Gordons, Buck Rogers, Commander Cody, Flying Disc Man of Mars, the Green Archer, the Shadow, and on and on, ad infinitum et nauseam…
I’ll bet over 90% of these played at the Ridgewood kiddie matinees from the FDR Depression 1930s through the early 1950s of Harry and Ike’s presidencies. So bad they were great, mikemovies! Check ‘em out…
Great memories, John! We were once neighbors a block apart!
The guy with the DVDs is Alan I. Zelazo in Morris Plains, NJ. If you go to eBay, search for subwayal. (Please be aware that he offers 2 separate DVDs on the old el, but what you want for the Peerless c. ‘68-'69 is not shown on the one entitled “An El Called Myrtle.”) If you have any trouble locating him, let me know & I’ll e-mail you his address. I just may write you anyway…
Your 6/05 Peerless pix are much appreciated, Ken! They are also most illuminating regarding the acoustics question I’d posed last June 13.
My memory was correct about the two stories of apartments over the Myrtle Ave. entrance. Access was under the 2nd maroon canopy at far right. But the angle from which you shot that photo reveals a much shorter end to the rear of the apartments (left side) than I’d remembered. The small apartments would barely make it lengthwise over the projection booth. (The Peerless had no balcony: the projectionist had to climb a metal ladder at the far north end of the theater to enter the booth.)
From your view, just beyond the original four doors, (now newly redesigned, at least since the early ‘90s), I can recall the large lobby area and all the colorful displays for upcoming features. Up the ramp to the right was the ticket booth: admission for kids was 20-cents up to 1958. A man took our tickets, ripped them and deposited half in a glass and wood stand. We then continued up the ramp, past the restrooms on the right and windows at left showing yard space.
At the projectionist’s booth were the black curtains. We entered the seating area by making a sharp 90-degree turn to the right. The floor began to slope toward the screen, concession stand under the screen and exit doors at Waverly Ave. The middle rows had the most seats, maybe 20-22, and two side rows of 5 seats each. Old art deco sconce light fixtures (soft green, orange and yellow) were mounted on both north and south walls.
Back outside in your view, I still miss the shadows of the Myrtle El train. We kids had learned to tell time by how the shadows fell, regardless of season! The small marquee hung where the white church sign is now. Immediately to the left was Louie’s Barber Shop, now gone, too, along with ol' Louie.
The Waverly Ave. shot revealed no structure above it, so the loudness of the sound system would not have affected the apartment dwellers as severely as I’d previously thought, though the renters may still have used noon-5:00 P.M. on Saturdays to do their weekly shopping or to go visit Aunt Matilda.
Damn good job, KenRoe! And big thx for jogging my aging memory vaults!
The exact date for the State Theatre photo mentioned in the post above is Dec. 5, 1936. (It appears on p. 18 of “F&F” magazine.)
I’m going purely from memory on this, but there’s a fine B&W pic of the State, c. Dec. 1936, in the current issue – Spring 2007 – of “First & Fastest.” (Am unable to reproduce it here as I lack the technical equipment, but perhaps another traction/movie fan can.)
“… a Coppola laffs.”
LMAO! Rimshot revoked. Wished I’d thought of that one, Ed!
Yeah, 25 Feb 07, Peter.
We watched the awards at a party held at the home of one of SoCal’s noted playrights. Everyone seemed stunned that Clint Eastwood was able to translate Morricone’s acceptance speech. Why? Not odd at all, considering how many spaghetti westerns he made way back when. He hadda order lunch sometime.
When folks asked me how accurate Clint’s translation was, I said that he was cleaning it up for Ennio. What Morricone actually said was: “P-tui on Coppola. He no hire me to score ‘The Godfather.’ He should-a sleep with the calamari!”
Scorcese knew. (Spielberg didn’t.) LOL. Anyway, it got a coupla laffs.
[No PC from dat wiseguy Jimmy from Brook-e-ling!]
Ed, I had saved a newspaper clipping from the late ‘80s or so regarding the Marx house in Queens that had been landmarked. Location given was approximately 133rd St. & Jamaica Avenue, very close to the Van Wyck Expressway. I’m sure that show biz people of that era moved around quite a bit.
To rg1945, glad to read about your excursion down memory lane. That, along with theater history, is what it’s all about on the pages of CT.
… and when movie composer Ennio Morricone (“The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” + 400 more, including all those linguine westerns, plus his perpetual Italian grammar and diction lessons for his American cumpare, old “No Accent” Clint E. hisself) boldly hoisted his Oscar statuette for Lifetime Achievement, he was heard to exclaim, “Ebay, domani!”
5 straight posts! A bit excited, are we? LMAO, Peter! ;)–
The ‘54 version was Inoshiro Honda’s vision regarding nuclear peril. Gojira’s food supply had dried up and vanished. The '56 Burr version made him a rampaging beast, but that was the way to sell the film to American kids, hungry for monster movies during that era. (BTW, the quality of the restored print is excellent.)
As far as meeting at the Ridgewood Theater – and/or among the good burghers of Ridgewood itself – all of us will have plenty of time for get-togethers, based on personal schedules. Multiple opportunites. “No Cineaste Left Behind,” I say!