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Bway’s concluding comments (2/28) should hit a nerve. As I’d said in a recent post, I plan to hit more than one flick during my upcoming multi-month visit. The corollary to that is to catch some with you “Ridgewood Regulars”
Afterward, as mikemovies suggests, we can tour and also hit a local diner or pizza shop for some lively discussions. We might even be able to offer the Ridgewood management some gentle unrelenting persuasion regarding sound business practices. Better still if we can get EdS & tapeshare to “traduzcase, por favor.” Ha!
P.S. to Bway, LM, mm, ts, f, EsS & PK: I’ll finally be able to give you those “Gojira” DVD samplers I’d saved from last year’s ComiCon. I’ve mailed them on ahead to NY and they’re a hoot!
[Had to be “Sir,” Peter. I believe “St.” was already taken.]
The Peerless was a dumpy 3rd-run “Itch” at the downtown/Clinton Hill end, 433 Myrtle Ave., between Clinton and Waverly Avenues. (Some good research and nostalgic entries on its page, btw.) The price of kid admission between 1953 and ‘60 was 20 cents, though it was raised by a fat nickel in its final year of operation ('61). Parents scrimped and saved just to get rid of us for 5 hours on Saturdays.
When I get back, I fully expect to take in a few flicks at the Ridgewood. It was a single screen when I last attended c. 1977, so my bearings may be off quite a bit now that it’s a 5-plexer. (Feel free to e-mail me anytime for additional trip details.)
As for the snow, be grateful none of you were living in Oswego County recently: 8' in 8 days!
Don’t own either “Caltiki…” or “The Flying Serpent,” guys, but I have scored on eBay recently with a dubious classic on DVD from 1955: “Creature With an Atom Brain,” starring Richard Denning. Hoots galore and a great Columbia print from Bad Brains Video. Ha! Sorry to have missed it on its original run at the Peerless, Ridgewood and the RKO Madison and Bushwick Theaters, as it would’ve been jujubes, Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy and soda cups being tossed at the screen time by us esrtwhile subdued street urchins.
And yes, Sir Peter, the Ridgewood IS immortal! (Almost.) Hope to see you all there after the “spring thaw.”
WINS 1010 DJ Alan Freed held his R'n'R shows here in the late ‘50s. After being slammed hard in the Senate Sub-Committee Hearings on Payola and losing his job in 1960, successor Murray the K took over, sometimes alternating venues at the nearby Brooklyn Fox through 1963 or so (pre-Beatles era).
Will be neat to see some of those names up on a theater marquee again, including Cousin Brucie’s (last heard doing a radio voiceover in “Brooklyn Lobsters” with Danny Aiello in ‘05).
Alas, no new info surfaced for either the Norwood or the Gotham, tapeshare. Will try to interview some locals and revisit both sites on my next visit during the spring thaw.
Sidenote: the 12 basement lanes of Gotham may have been sealed off or completely demolished when I last bowled there in 1960. As for “number runners and other seedy elements” in that part of ENY, not much has changed in almost an entire century. LOL!
In current medical ads, “60 is the new 30.” Conversely, for posting purposes only, is the Parthenon the new Ridgewood (or RKO Madison)?
You two never cease to amaze me! LM has become a living annex to the buildings code division, and tapeshare is probably the only guy alive in the NYC area who not only remembers the name of the bowling/billiards combo dive, a relic from the depression years, but also the Gotham Theater a block away! Whoa, bro! You are GOOD! :)
I did jump over to read up on the Gotham page. I had NO idea it had ever existed, yet I’d passed that site, with or without a building or theater, on the old #15 train (now the J) and the old B-56 Jamaica bus (now Q-56) from Van Sinderen Ave. many, many times between 1957 and 1978. Will check my ancient Red Books for any additional info on this. I’ll post it on the Gotham page if successful.
Fascinating research by tapeshare & LM. Only one thing threw me from the days I used Hale Lanes, c. 1958-65: “…the lanes ran parallel to Hale, not Fulton, so it was potentially a major renovation.” Yes, the structure had an L shape, but I recall that the entrance was on Hale and that the lanes were perpendicular to Hale. When expansion took place beyond the original 10, the owners added lanes toward Atlantic Ave.
My memories about this could very well be clouded and wrong. Speaking only for myself, the surprisingly good Hale Lanes pix on tapeshare’s ENY site added even more mystery than revelation and recollection!
[Sidenote to tapeshare: there was a combo billiard parlor and a 4 lane alley on Fulton St. just under the Alabama Ave. el station in the late ‘50s. I doubt if anyone living there now would even remember that specific hole-in-the-wall dive, but someday a pic of it – and one of the Norwood – might just be unearthed from someone’s dusty, musty vaults. Hope does spring eternal to historians.]
Old-timers on CT from this area may well remember Sam Insull’s interurbans that ran from the wishbone of Aurora and Elgin, meeting at Wheaton before proceeding into Chicago. The CA&E ended its run sometime around ‘57. Check this out:
Illinois movie theater pics occasionally appear in these wonderful transit magazines. (When I eventually get the capability, I hope to post a few, so stay tuned…)
From your list, “Assignment: Outer Space” (1962, Germany) is the only Grade Z dud I’m familiar with, mikemovies. (It was the one I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – recall from “The Sci-Fi Invasion” DVD collection I mentioned a short while ago. Truly the pits. The only difference is that you paid 5 bucks for it, and I paid one buck for all 4 bombs. We were both overcharged, fella. LOL!)
With Harryhausen, Peter, one may wish to be more selective than someone’s pricey choices for a boxed set, yet it’s not all that bad for the money. Love “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (included in the set). Saw it 4-5 times at the old Peerless, and have it both on DVD, as well as on a quality SP speed RCA VHS tape, the cover of which Ray kindly signed for me back in Aug. ‘05. “Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” (not included) and “It Came From Beneath the Sea” are two of his better works from the 1950s, prior to his Sinbad epics and others later on.
But as all this sci-fi/animation rambling of mine has absolutely zip to do with the Ridgewood, I’ll leave the page to LM to his “Art” museum and to ‘Tonino to his Rollo & Kojak. I’m pullin’ the plug on myself for the time being. Ciao for now…
I believe that Robert (“Teenage Caveman”) Vaughn was born at age 38, Peter. Faith D. did OK in her 2-3 movies in the mid-‘50s, but went downhill thereafter. She needed a big boost from Ray Harryhausen in the one I referenced (“Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet”).
[Have been having some problemas accessing this page thru the new filters recently installed at our local library, so here’s hopin' this gets through intact…]
To call “Terror in the Tropics” a BOMB is to give it a semblance of worth. The idea behind it was positively novel, integrating old clips with modern shots, complete with emulsion losses and graininess; however, the execution was dreadful overall, mikemovies. Save your %7.95 + P/H and donate it to charity – or to me. I suspect their entire budget did not exceed &7.95. After getting a copy of “T – i – T” from Nina’s in PA, I donated it posthaste to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, where it languished, untouched, for most of the summer and fall months. It really grated on my nerves.
And what’s truly frightening is that they are planning a sequel!
If you really want some Grade Z, bottom-of-the-barrel sci-fi on a lower-than-shoestring budget, mikemovies, get yer butt over to Wal*Mart and look for a slimcase DVD, “Science Fiction Invasion.” Includes 4 movies in color, one in WS, from ‘56 to '78: “Warning From Space,” “Cosmos: War of the Planets,” “Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet,” and one other instantly forgetable dud. The third one even stars Basil Rathbone, Faith (“This Island Earth”) Domergue, and a cast of unknowns who make community theater look like Academy Awards winners. Price? $1. (That’s .25 per flick, and overpriced at that! Ay!)
Still LMAO at LM’s holiday comment yesterday…
And EdSolero, no need to paraphrase, as per my e-mail request. Really appreciated your comments, as always.
Lastly (for now), who the $%#@! is Rollo, ‘Tonino??? (Jan. 4.) LOL!
Happy 007 to all!
Great job, Peter! Thx for the link. Mendoza &Diaz should have YOU on the payroll!
Also loved the reference to Hizzoner John Vliet Lindsay’s 1969 Blizzard, the impending Valentine’s Day storm of which he declared that it wouldn’t snow and promptly went on vacation. If memory serves me correctly, no salt spreaders were ordered out, and the Borough of Queens was snowbound for a week. And the Ridgewood Theater lost its marquee under the weight of all that white stuff.
Buon Capo d'Anno a tutti: ‘Tonino! PKoch! Lost Memory! EdSolero! Bway! mikemovies! tapeshare! robbie dupree! And anyone else – capitalized handles or not – whom I may have unintentionally omitted!
On May 4, 2006, Lost Memory had asked, hopefully in jest, “Was there ever an El train on Third Ave?” LOL! That was the infamous 3rd Ave. El, which ran the length of Manhattan from South Ferry to the Bronx, ceased operations in the city on May 12, 1955 and was razed soon afterward.
Today I purchased a 2007 calendar, “Old New York,” published by the City Museum of NY. One of the highlights was Berenice Abbott’s classic shot of the Lyric Theatre, c. 1936. Check it out.
“By the time the papers pick up the story, the anniversary will be over.” – Lost Memory
For tomorrow, Saturday, 12/23, suggest the Ridgewood immediately book “Dumb & Dumberer,” starring Diaz & Mendoza, those laughable, loveable buffoons we love to rag on. The combined spirits of Bud Abbott & Lou Costello truly live on! LOL!
(2nd feature could be “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Any other titles come to mind, guys?)
Happy Holly Daze to all the Ridgewood Regulars!
Was never sure exactly when the RKO Madison opened. Thx, LM.
As for the Norwood, I’d love to see a photo, even a slightly out-of-focus one from someone’s family album. When Hale Lanes existed (it’s gone now), it was a single-story building. The building must have been considerably higher, even for a silent-film emporium.
Happy Holly-Daze, my friend!
The book referenced directly above arrived today. Alas, no mention of the Norwood under the “Moving Pictures” section, (as opposed to Vaudeville, Burlesque, Theatre and Concert Hall listings). My guess is that the 1926 book was published toward the end of the previous year, and that the c/o was not issued until early summer, 1926.
[Fans of the Ridgewood Theater should be pleased that it was listed, one decade after it opened. The RKO Madison was not.]
En route to me is an old 1926 Brooklyn Street & Trolley Guide, which also includes theaters and playhouse listings. (Can’t even call it a “Redbook,” as the cover has faded to brown!) But it may shed some light on the Norwood. Will post any findings when it arrives…
Lost Memory asked, “Do you think that the tower is still used?”
The toilets probably wouldn’t flush without the water it supplies.
I could never shop at that second Woolworth’s beginning in the winter of ‘69-'70. They had installed an electronic high-frequency alarm system that most people were unaware of, but to those of us who could hear those upper frequency pitches, it was piercing enough to cause an instant headache. Nobody mentioned this in the weekend posts, so I thought I’d toss it in to see if anyone else was so affected.
I eagerly second Manwithnoname’s comment above. An excellent documentary!
Also ironically, demolition here in SoCal continues on the Pacific Trolley 8 Theaters, a victim of its own Pacific competition above in the nearby Grossmont Shopping Mall. Barely lasted one decade. Rumor has it that more condos will soon be erected in situ, and the rubber-stamping city fathers are wondering why so many folks now refer to this town as “Scam Diego.”
Ms. Newmar still looked pretty damned good, Peter, though I’m sure she has had more facelifts and tummy tucks than the original Frankenstein monster and all his successors combined. LOL! I’m glad you said the “To Wong Foo…” movie was 1995. That’s more like it, not ‘99. Kristina was 10, and Newmar was savvy enough to know the kid just didn’t have the dough for a signed pic. We were at the Hollywood Collectors Show, then held quarterly at the Beverly Garland Hotel in N. Hollywood. (I’ve posted the website for it elsewhere above last summer, as the folks who run it have switched venues: dear Ms. Garland would never install air-conditioning in her four ballrooms. Ha!)
Just posted over on the Whitney Theatre page, but because I wrote a second paragraph about the RKO Madison, thought I should restate it here as well.
“An El Called Myrtle” is a 32-minute color DVD originally shot on film by Mike Boland back in 1969, the last year of the old wooden Q-cars. Boland shot in sequence (and effectively used multiple POVs) from Brooklyn’s Bridge-Jay Street terminus to ground-level, end-of-the-line Metropolitan Avenue station in Ridgewood/Middle Village. As the old el cars approached and entered the Wyckoff Ave. station, the viewer can clearly make out the roof and water towers of the Madison.
Can’t speak for everyone, but IMHO, I’m pleased that there were photographers around who, for whatever personal reasons they had at the time, were able to archive a piece of NYC theater & transit history for us along the way.
Just received yet another DVD from “Subway Al” in Morris Plains, NJ, this time titled “An El Called Myrtle.” In this 32-minute slice of history, photographer Mark Boland had shot the line in sequence from Jay St. to Metropolitan Ave., end to end, in ‘69, the last year of the old wooden Q-cars. As the train pulled into the Fresh Pond Avenue station, one can clearly see the theater’s colorful brick architecture of the Whitney length-wise opposite the platform. I’m hoping that, with a bit of help from one of the Ridgewood Regulars, this shot may transfer well to CT when I get back to NY soon.
Although the front of the Madison Theatre was not visible, one could easily see its roof and water towers as the clanky old el train approached and entered the Wyckoff Avenue station.