Showing 201 - 225 of 1,300 comments
Longtime Rockaway historian, Emil Lucev, happened to contact the Rockaway Park Wave and spoke to my contact. Apparently there was a prior Arverne Theatre which burnt down in the Great Arverne Fire of 1922. Have to do some research to determine if the new was built on the same site as the old but now have some new resources to check.
Roof gardens were quite popular. The Park, down the road, which became the Belle Terre also had one.
As far as seating capacities I’m amazed that they would be so large. There were probably more than a dozen theaters on the Rockaway Peninsula at that time when, for many, their operation was seasonal, as was the Arverne.
Shirley Temple made her Mark(er) in June 1934. See photo section.
Remembering Shirley Temple. The Little Colonel opened at RCMH on March 21, 1935. See photo section.
I got some information on the St. James from Geoffrey K. Fleming and found the image of the original (see the other CT listing) in his book. This theatre building also appears in his book as a 1927 aerial view. I have not been able to determine when it was built or obtain an exterior photo of the facade in it’s day. Tried with the Buildings and Tax Department but their records only go back to the 1940s. When I visited this theatre a couple of years ago Ruth let me go upstairs where I photoed the restored ceiling decoration. One of these days I’ll upload them.
I only got wind of the St. James when I was looking for something else in an old Newsday Movie Time Table.
Since this was a Calderone Theatre acquired by the son of Salvatore, who was the theatre magnet, and died in 1929, there would be nothing in the Calderone collection at Hofstra.
I’ve tried looking at the newspaper records which are available on line but found no activity. I did find, however, references to other theatrical activity in the town (but didn’t record that).
The 1932 Film Daily showed a capacity of over 1,000 whereas the 1928, on which I based my entry, showed 300. Which, if either is correct? Needs more research.
Aha. I had seen the reference but not the date of appearance. I’ll still do some digging.
Built in 1922. New roof in 1930. Not a good thing.
Well, I’ll correct the address. But if the theatre was only built in 1922, there must have been a previous, probably, open air, theatre. I’m going to go back and see if the earlier references carry the same address.
From the Thursday, June 12, 1930 Rockaway Park Wave: “The Arverne Theatre located at the Boulevard and Beach 62nd Street will open for the season Saturday and will show during the season, the latest released in talking pictures.
The interior of the theatre has been repainted and redecorated and a new roof and ceiling has been built. Entirely newly renovated, it is now one of the handsomest theatres in the Rockaways. There has also been installed a $22,000 Western Electric System which is one of the best installations for talking pictures.
It is assured that the house will be more popular this year than ever before and this popularity will be well deserved."
Comments: In those days the street was known as “Boulevard Avenue”,
$22,000 sounds a lot for a sound system when one hears about $80,000 to convert to digital these days. The building, itself, probably didn’t cost anything near that.
“A new roof and ceiling has been built”. Does this imply that it was an open air venue previously? Or would they have said it is now enclosed?? Open air theaters, particularly in summer communities, were quite common at that time.
Re all above. The Arverne Pier Theatre went for a swim out to sea in 1914. Despite it’s being at the water’s edge the pilings and bulkheads supporting the Boardwalk held for many years. Per the notation with the postcard it was still viable in 1939.
Theatre was operated by the same lessees as the New in 1929. Referred to in an article about the Arverne owner (the Arverne which I’m still researching to set up).
I have uploaded three postcard images of the Boardwalk courtesy of rockawaymemories.com. However, this is NOT the Arverne Theatre, but rather a theatre in Arverne. I have seen newspaper ads where both the Boardwalk and the Arverne appear. I’m working to “get it right” before I create an entry for the Arverne.
In the pre air conditioning days the Park screened films in it’s roof garden per references in the Rockaway Beach Wave.
Photos of this theater are needed. There was one in the distance on a book about Huntington Station but not clear enough to get onto CT.
In all the ads I’ve seen for the New they favored the spelling theatre.
Contrary to the 9/12/2008 posting the actual opening date of the Drive-In was July 1, 1953. I just came upon an ad which I’ll scan and put in the photos area.
In May 1949 thieves decided to rob the theater after the Saturday night show. However, their timing was premature since the proceeds had not yet been released to the assistant manager. According to newspaper reports they got the princely sum of $1.21. Yes, $1.21.
At the time Century announced it would build the Shore in the Village of Huntington it indicated it would build a 1,000 seat theater in Huntington Station. They felt the developing area could support the Huntington and the Shore in the Village and the Station and the new theater in the “Station”. That second theater was never built and the Station, itself, only lasted a couple of more years as the neighborhood deteriorated.
Subsequently, Century did open two theaters in what was technically Huntington Station: the York in the Big H Shopping Center and the Whitman at the Walt Whitman Shopping Center.
At the time Century announced it would build the Shore it also indicated it would build a 1,000 seat theater in Huntington Station, in addition to the one which was already there. It was felt that, the way the area was developing, it could sustain two theaters in the village and two in the “Station”. The second theater in the Station was never built and, when the neighborhood went down the Station was closed. Century did, however, subsequently open two theaters in what was technically Huntington Station: the York in the Big H Shopping Center and the Whitman at the Walt Whitman Mall.
A word of moderation here. Addresses in real life are subject to change. My own house number, for example, went from 383 to 296 by a sweep of the pen in Town Hall. I always wondered how the Willard in Queens got it’s name. Street has been subsequently renamed. The older the address the more likely to be problems.
World Premiere of “Modern Times” February 5, 1936 with performances beginning the next day. Ad posted in photo section.
Orlando, I’m confused. Postings in 2013 indicated the building had been demolished then?
Mike – pictures please.
The thousand seater would seem more like the legit. I’ll have to go back and do more research. A 300 one too. Really have to delve into this.
Re my comment above I was on the Fulton Historical site and saw mention of an Arverne Pier Theatre which, since there was mention it had been purchased by the Schuberts, would have been legit. Boardwalk capacity too small for a legit theatre. Did it show movies later?