Showing 76 - 100 of 141 comments found
lostmemory….I am virtually sure that it is, because most of the facts fit.
See Werba’s Brooklyn Theater page for more information about the Montauk / Crescent / Brooklyn / Minsky’s Theater’s history.
This theater has a long involved history. It started life in 1895 as a legitimate theater called the Montauk. Shortly after being built, it was threatened by the construction of the Flatbush Avenue Extension. The decision to move it seemed more cost effective than demolition, so in 1907, the 8500 ton theater was rolled several hundred feet to the Extension and Fulton Street (precursor of the Empire rolling down 42nd Street). After the move the theater was renamed the Crescent. In 1912 it was acquired by B.F. Keith and later by the Schuberts in 1917. Fanny Brice was one of the many stars who appeared there. At unknown dates the name was later changed to the Brooklyn theater and finally to Minsky’s, a burlesque house. Its final transformation – into a parking lot – occured in 1940.
lostmemory…Did you read the Momart page? I just transferred some info posted by Orlando a while back on the Orpheum’s (Brooklyn) page
concerning the Montmartre (Momart).
The following information for the Momart was found on the Orpheum (Brooklyn) page and really should be here…..
Up the block (from the Orpheum) was the Montemartre (aka Momart) a small theatre which opened in 1927 at 590 Fulton Street. The Momart was opened by Warner Brothers and featured foreign films for its' 26 years as neighbor to the RKO Orpheum. This area of theatres came about in the early 1900’s as the turn of century theatres of the 1860’s started to move away from Brooklyn Government Buildings now Cadman Plaza. The movie palaces where in the proximity of Flatbush & Fulton Streets. Brooklyn’s Times Square was just as impressive as New York’s. How 12 theatres in the area boasting over 40,000 seats survived the depression is just how important movies and theatres were a fabric of society during the 1930’s and ‘40’s.
posted by Orlando on Mar 1, 2004 at 2:57pm
In addition to above, The Momart went down with the Orpheum 1n 1953-54. The Strand was out by 1958. The Majestic just kept on going.
posted by Orlando on Mar 1, 2004 at 3:00pm
lostmemory….The theater that you are looking for is listed on this site as the Momart. It was located near downtown Brooklyn on Fulton Street near Rockwell Place. It was surrounded in the immediate area by the RKO Orpheum, Majestic and Strand theaters. It opened as the Montmartre and changed at a later date for some reason to the Momart.
Perhaps there were too many letters to light up with neon ! !
lostmemory….I frequented the Navy Street area from 1953 to 1957 when I attended Brooklyn Tech and took the Myrtle Avenue elevated line to the Navy Street station. I never saw any theater in the immediate area. If there had been one, I would have been drawn to it like a bee drawn to honey. Actually, the area around the el station was rather depressing, smelly and consisted mainly of run down ancient housing and a few decrepid stores. It was doubtful if the area could support a theater at that time what with the Majestic, Momart, Orpheum, Strand, Fox, Albee and Paramount amongst others a relatively short distance away. I might venture to say that if the United Theater ever opened, it may have been a “negroe” theater because the neighborhood in that vicinity under the el was primarily African American. Also, the theater may have been an early casualty of television and closed before I became familiar with the area.
Thanks Warren for the explanation, That may be what it was because I only witnessed it once. However, I did run into a young projectionist at Fort Dix who had worked at the Savoy and he gave me an explanation, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was.
Unfortunately, that was some 41 years ago and I don’t have total recall.
Thanks Warren, as usual, you are indeed a source of a wealth of information about all these things. I guess these screens were a kind of synergy of the times if RCA still had an interest in RKO.
However, they were a disappointment to both of us and just did not live up to their hype. Thanks again.
Need a projectionist who worked at the Albee in 1952 to give me an answer….My father took me to the Albee, when I was 11 years old for my first encounter with “King Kong”, which was reissued some time in 1952. The ads in the Daily News at that time advertised that it would be shown on some kind of new type of screen, which I believed was designed by RCA. As I also recall, when we saw the film, it was projected onto the rear section of what appeared to be a shadowbox of some sort. My question is what was the purpose and what was this type of screen supposed to do to increase the King Kong experience.
Hopefully, there is someone out there who can answer this inquiry as well as the one I posed on the Savoy (Jamaica, Queens, NY) website.
Yes, Simon, you are correct. Garbo’s Camille did play at the Capitol.
However, Porter is referring to a clip of “Camille” that was blown up and used in the “Annie” movie musical. It was used quite erroneously. As I recall, Daddy Warbucks buys out a performance at Radio City and takes Orphan Annie et. al. to see Garbo in “Camille”.
As far as I know, “Camille” never played RCMH.
lostmemory….Just one more bit of trivia on the inimitable Mae. You mentioned above that she played the Jamaica Theater in 1911. There must have been an earlier Jamaica Theater because the one listed on this site was built in 1913. Maybe that is why it was sometimes referred to as the Skouras New Jamaica Theater. Oddly enough Mae did appear on this theater’s stage in the very early 50’s when she toured her revival of “Diamond Lil” on the “subway circuit”.
lostmemory…Thanks for the vote of confidence.
I too remember seeing “Magic of Lassie” at RCMH with Lassie on stage.
However, it was more memorable for one of the last big screen appearances of the late, great Alice Faye as the waitress in the diner.
I also remember “Matilda” What a super dud that was. They really scrapped the bottom of the barrel on that one.
Hi lostmemory…That’s it, I think I have finally lost my marbles. Sorry for the idiotic posting. I swore I rechecked the Broadway page and saw 700 Broadway and not 912. You are correct. There must have been 2 theaters with the same name and different locations. However, I would imagine that the one at 700 may have closed or agreed to a name change when the much larger one was built.
lostmemory….You may have stumbled on something. The Broadway, which Loew’s took over in 1915 was a far cry from what could be considered a nickelodeon. Perhaps, one was on the site, which was then razed and then the much larger Broadway was built. Does anyone know when the Broadway wa built??
Apollo….I have always heard that the name of Hamburg Avenue was changed to Wilson Avenue during WW I. Perhaps someone else could verify this one way or the other.
Bway…The former elevated station was the 160th Street station. The theater was located in essence near the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Parsons Boulevard. The rear and stage housing was on Archer Avenue. The stage door was on Parsons Boulevard up from Archer going toward Jamaica Avenue. The entrance to the theater was a few doors west of Parsons. There was a long inner lobby which led to the auditorium. If memory serves correct (after 50 years), the interior was not too exciting. The overall color was brown with some faded murals above and to the sides of the prosenium arch. In retrospect, the theater may not have been taken care of all that well at that time since it closed in 1957. It was also located on the same block due east of the Savoy, which was directly across from Kings Park.
I have fond memories of the Jamaica. 21 color cartoons on a Saturday matinee, touring Broadway shows on the “Subway Circuit” during the summer and vaudeville in the late 40’s. The theater may have been old, but it had a certain ambience to it.
As far as I know, the Richmond Hill Keith’s was never triplexed. Although I never saw a movie there, I did go to one of their bingo games and everything was pretty much as Bway described above. Perhaps, longislandmovies has this theater confused with the RKO Keith’s in Flushing.
Are there any projectionists out there who worked at the Savoy in the mid 50â€™s? Was there anything odd about the projection system at this theater?
The reason that I am asking is that I once got to the theater before the first show. The lights dimmed, the curtain opened and the picture appeared on a screen, which seemed to be at the back of the stage and then moved closer to the audience and the front of the stage. Does anyone else recall this and why it was done this way?
The photo of the Parthenonâ€™s marquee posted by Peter K on 8/20 dates from early 1950. There are 3 key words on the marqueeâ€¦ERROL F, FORSYTE and CROOKED, which leads me to believe that the full marquee reads ERROL FLYNN in THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (released by MGM in 11/49) and the co-feature is CROOKED WAY (released by UA (4/49).
Attended the Parthenon only once around 1954 for a Saturday matinee double feature of the 1943 version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in glorious IB Technicolor and the Ritz Brothers in ARGENTINE NIGHTS. Do not recall anything about the dÃ©cor except that the theater was very wide.
I believe that the 659 Grandview address is the correct one because the entrance to the theater was, more than likely, where the parking lot for the Ridgewood Chapels is today. The auditorium ran parallel to Grandview Avenue and took up the 3 addresses of 659, 661 and 663.
As you will note from the picture on the funeral home’s website, the parking lot to the left is quite spacious. That part of the theater must have been demolished to make space for the lot. Whether or not the funeral home building is a portion of the original theater is a good question. I attended a wake there recently and would never have thought that it was once a theater as there was not any clue anywhere. I only found out when one of the “old timers” there mentioned that she had gone to the movies at the Grandview in her younger days.
I do not believe that the picture of the Casino posted above is the one in Richmond Hill because as I recall that Casino was a small one level neighborhood theater and never had vaudeville. The picture posted looks oddly like the Casino on the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Broadway, which was originally named the DEKALB and did have vaudeville at one time.
Fellas, sorry but I jumped the gun on this one. The GRANDVIEW was at 663 Grandview Avenue, which is the current location for the Ridgewood Chapels. It does seem odd that two theaters relatively close together ended up as funeral homes.
If I am not totally mistaken, I believe that the name of the theater that “lostmemory” is looking for is the GRANDVIEW. Oddly enough I attended a wake at the funeral home a few years ago and one of the old timers there had mentioned that it was once a movie house named the GRANDVIEW, which dated back to the silent movie era. They also showed movies outdoors (on the roof?) during the summer months.