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Thanks for the info, Warren.
Much thanks for the photos, Warren. Would you know what years those photos were taken, and when the marguee shown was changed to the one that is still partly in place today? Also, could you tell us the source of those photos? Is it a book that’s available on the market?
Thanks for the link, 55tbird. A nice christmas present. Seeing that photo is sort of like suddenly remembering a dream long forgotten, or seeing a ghost.
ERD, sorry to hear about your aunt’s photos. I’m sure many of us have instances of old photos, documents, etc. that we thought were safe and sound and suddenly finding otherwise, though I doubt they were as great a loss, on both personal and historical reasons, as your aunt’s photos. At least we still have our memories. Or some of them, anyway.
Thanks for the info, ERD! I have vague memory snippets of going into that drugstore with my mother. I remember an old man behind the counter who looked like the pepperidge farm man, and those big bottles with different colored liquids in them. Never knew what they represented/signified. Any plans to make public your aunt’s no-doubt fascinating photos?
All the dreamers (including me) who would like to see the 46th become a theater again, consider that in that neighborhood, from 42nd to 62nd streets, 9th to 20th avenues, there is not ONE dvd/video rental store anymore. The one’s on 8th avenue are chinese languuge DVDs. If there aren’t enough people in the area to support a single dvd store, forget about keeping a theater going, even a yiddish theater. The hasidim are very anti any sort of public entertainment. Even when yiddish was a living language and culture, here and in europe, their feelings towards yiddish theater, culture, etc, were on a level with the puritans who banned shakespeare and public concerts. (This can clearly be seen in the astoundingly negative attitude the manager of the furniture store. Like the very idea of being in an old theatre buidling is somehow treif).
The fact is, this area went through a sea change, culturally,in the mid-sixties, when the types of jobs that had employed people for generations (longshoremen, factories, the army base) all disappeared at the same time. Families moved to where the jobs were, there was suddenly a housing glut, property values sank. The leaders of the hasidic communities in other area saw an opportunity and took it. For non-hasidic jews(like me), and non-jews, especially kids, it was like an invasion. It suddenly wasn’t our neighborhood any more, all our friends were moving away, everything was shutting down. For older members of the community, it was something of a salvation, in that, unlike in other areas, (even as close as sunset park, until new immigrants moved in and renovated it) because of the hasidim, the area didn’t decline physically, and the streets were safe. But boring. Very, very boring.
A quick note regarding the French Connection chase: Though most of the footage does show the 86th street area, as noted, if you watch closely, you see New Utrecth Avenue as far north as 51st street, what used to be a bicycle shop, and a few other quickly glimsped places. I always found it amusing that, because of how the scene was edited, popeye doyle is driving in bensonhurst, then boro park, the bensonhurst, without ever turning around.
Another quick note: I didn’t think anyone else on the planet remebered 13 Ghosts. I also saw it, in 3-d, at that same flatbush theatre. I held on to those 3-d glasses until they disintegrated. Another movie tie-in: that flatbush cemetery mentioned above was shown, briefly, in Arsenic and Old Lace, which took place in that neighborhood.
In response to Bway’s question of Jun 13-In the early 70s Boro Park was well on it’s way to being the bastion of religious conservatism it is today, but there were still a few bars in the area, even a nightclub of sorts in the basement of the building adjoing(and originally owned by) the old 46th street theater (now the site of the Mosque of the Crimean Turks). I don’t recall porn at the 46th, but just before closing for good, they had a series of concerts featuring the likes of Little Richard, jerry lee lewis, etc.
In regard to old theaters in Boro Park, I’ve heard tell of an outdoor theater on New Utrecht, maybe on the site of the old Bohack sumpermarket, now a hardware and lumber store. Any info?
Just a bit of trivia here. Professor Irwin Corey, the World’s Foremost Authority, grew up in an apartment facing the old Boro Park Theatre. Not sure if it was the 12th or New Utrecht ave. side. Anyone know? By the way, Prince & Sons shoe repair is still there.