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Warren, thanks for the two pix you posted of the interior of my most favored place when I was growing up. My father, Pasuale (nee Patsy) worked at the Loew’s Coney Island for almost 30 years as their general handyman. I probably spent all of my formative years attending every Saturday. On Tuesday evenings, after doing my home work, I’d go to the Loew’s and see a double feature and the vaudeville show. Always the same seat – third row aisle, stage left. I can still smell the Nathan’s hot dogs and fries. Thanks again.
I live in California, but I still have family who living in Brooklyn. I attended a neighborhood reunion at Gargiullo’s Restaurant in Coney Island a few years ago. At that time there was talk about making Coney into another Atlantic City. It appeared that funding was no big problem, but the current gambling statutes would have to be amended. I really hope it happens. I took a tour of my old neighborhood and I was shocked how it had deteriorated. Very sad. At least Nathans still has the best hotdogs.
Hi BoxOfficeBill, Not sure if it was my dear father who showed you around, although it sounds like something he would do. I just kinda doubt he would have taken any money. His name was Pasquale, but most called him Patsy. You’re quite right about the huge screen. I also was amazed that you could see the movie while standing behind the screen. Upon close inspection, while no movie was playing, you could actually see the thousands of pin sized holes in the white screen fabric. The stage door entrance was indeed on Stillwell Avenue adjacent to a sporting goods shop. Anyway, regarding the theatre personnel, they were like family and most worked at Loews for many years. On my father’s 25th anniversary, he was given a party and presented with a small lapel pin depicting Leo the Lion in which whose eyes were imbetted two small diamonds. Unfotunately the pin was misplaced many years ago. Not exactly sure how MGM and Loews were affiliated. I remember the A pictures showed by Loews were from MGM and Paramount. I believe the Tilyou Theatre at Surf and 19th street had the exclusive showing for 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. pictures.
A few gays ago, a friend advised me of this page devoted to the Loews Coney Island Theatre. I was born and raised in Coney Island
during the late 30’s to the late 50s and I have a wonderful close history with the Loews. My father was its custodian/electrician for decades and I took advantage of his affiliation. While growing up, I attended all kiddie shows and Saturday matinees. But my great enjoyment was attending the Tuesday night double feature and vaudeville shows. My permenantly reserved seat was on the aisle, third row, stage right. The movies were B pictures from Republic Studios, but the live acts were a thrill and a precurser to the Ed Sullivan and Milton Berle TV shows. This incredible theatre played host to the greatest vaudeville and clean burlesque acts. Acts like Gallagher & Sheen, Peg Leg Bates, Pat Rooney, Sr., The Boswell Sisters and dozens of singers, comics, jugglers, and novelty acts. My father found me, usually asleep, right after the curtain came down and we’d walk home to 2841 West 22nd Street. I never paid to get in. However, during my high school years at Lincoln, I reciprocated to the Loews by making it my business to carry the heavy film cans from the lobby to the projection booth high above the balcony. For some strange reason, the cans holding MGM musicals always seem to be the heaviest. Frankly, I’m glad I wasn’t around to see that beautiful theatre spiral downward to a porno house. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a Michael Eisner type came along and renovated the great lady as Eisner did for the Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd Street?