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I think Theaterat and YankeeMike might be mistaken about the dates. The Deluxe was showing porn movies before I left Brooklyn and went upstate in September 1973. I remember passing by and being shocked to see it. Is it possible that they were showing both porn movies and legitimate movies on different days before becoming all porn?
I lived on Bay 19 from 1954 – 1972. Tommy, who are your grandparents and father? Email me at
My graduation from Lafayette High School in 1966 was held at the Loew’s Kings which never made much sense to me being that Lafayette is in Bensonhurst. But for some reason, many high schools in Brooklyn had their graduation there. Interesting though, my wife’s graduation in 1968 from Erasmus Hall High School, which is right down the street, was not held there, but rather on the school campus.
We lived on Bay 19th Street between Cropsey and Shore Parkway. I remember walking home with my parents and my older brother on a cold wintery night after seeing a movie at the Oriental in the mid 1950s. I was about 7 years old and I was FREEZING. My mother opened up her persian lamb coat and wrapped both me and her in it as we continued on our trip home. I was toasty from then on! The Oriental was the “classy” theatre in the neighborhood as opposed to the less opulent Deluxe or Benson. As a kid the huge dimly lit upstairs lobby at the Oriental, with it’s large woooden chairs that looked like royal thrones, would scare me, but the air conditioning on hot summer nights was a welcomed relief.
I went to PS 200 in the mid to late 1950s. People from the Deluxe would come to the schoolyard and give out cardboard flyers (5" X 10", a different color each week) that would advertise the upcoming Saturday show. There was always a main feature like the “Three Stooges” and numerous cartoons. There was a also a number (approximately 6 digits) on the top of the flyer. If your number was posted on the theatre’s glass doors on Saturday you got in free! Many times one of the film segments shown would be races with Joe E. Brown. There was some sort of contest tied in with that, but I can’t remember what it was. The show would last about 4-4 ½ hours. Admission was 26 cents. Many kids, me included, would bring a bagged lunch to eat during the show. My mother would also give me 10 cents to buy candy (5 cents a bar). During the show a big fat woman in a white uniform with a flashlight…THE MATRON!….would yell at unruly kids and shine the light in their face. If you were really unruly she would throw you out!