Comments from jackahearn

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jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:10 am

John D. and others concerned with the restoration. This reminisce may be of some pertinence; that of an early 1950’s incident regarding the Ridgewood’s lobby.

I don’t know if the ‘marquee type’ sign board still remains above the inner doors to the auditorium. However, I distinctly remember that full, lobby width, ‘coming attractions’ board was installed about 1950 or 52ish.

The time frame stands out in my mind because; the mother of one of my friends worked at the Ridgewood as a Cashier. When we first saw that new ‘indoor marquee’, heralding upcoming movies, he ‘bragged’ the elongated sign was his mother’s idea. We didn’t believe him, ….so we just razzed him for fibbing. We were about 15 at the time.

jackahearn commented about Whitney Theatre on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Peter…Rather,… perhaps just a sign of my aging…sigh..:)

jackahearn commented about Whitney Theatre on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Hmmmm..and to think, that according to my family Uncle played at the Whitney as a vaudevilian…(as above, July 28th ‘08)

jackahearn commented about Grandview Theater on Nov 19, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Peter..Might I suggest…the outcome of those movie houses is now a..Dead Issue…:)

jackahearn commented about Grandview Theater on Nov 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Warren..thank you…I was about to Post the following when your most recent and confirming comments popped in ahead of it

A plausible tie-in as to a joint ownership of the Grandview, Majestic and Belvedere theaters might be; during the 1940’s and (very) early’50’s, all three had their Coming Attractions leaflets processed from the same Printing Company. The folded, single sheet ‘Programs’ were of a deep blue color with the same format and I recall, each of the three theaters were listed on the lower back page.

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Nov 18, 2008 at 9:42 pm

John…In response to your ‘Dish Nite’ query; As far back as the early 1940’s and thru the ‘50’s I personally remember only one Ridgewood (proper) theater offering that promotion. As you suggest, the Ridgewood and the RKO Madison did not offer dishes. If either did, I’m sure safety minded movie-goers would hesitate to sit in the orchestra level on such nites, particularly had there been a Sci-Fi flick playing. (Duck..a Flying Saucer!)

Also, absent from my memory of Dish Nites would be the Grandview. With only five hundred seats to fill, I’d submit that their ‘Open Air Nights’ did more than any cup or saucer promo might do. So, which is the one I do remember?….The Glenwood….which I wrote of in my August 26th 2008 recollections. Dish Nite might not have broken record attendance records at the Glenwood…but it sure did sweep up some broken dishes…!

jackahearn commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Oct 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm

B'way….thank you for a few breaths of your nostalgic elixer. Uh, any signs of that Usherette I was infatuated with in 1954?

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Sep 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm

I read with interest the many comments indicating an interest in a move to save the Ridgewood Theater. A Community Action Project such as this would, at first, seem overwhelming. However, it appears evident from the well written and inspired comments regarding such a project, that there are local and nearby area individuals experienced and well voiced in such procedures.

However, many more could contribute, if sought and given a mechanism to do so. For example, data of former Ridgewoodite’s could be legitimately obtained from Alumni
Associations, American Legion and V.F.W. former area members and perhaps the local newspaper’s out-of-town subscribers. The latter, although relocated, are demonstratively interested in current neighborhood happenings.

What could these long distance Ex’s do? Well, should an exploratory group of neighborhood(s) enthusiasts be formed, they would require seed money for administrative expenses egg: legal filings, stationary, postage etc. A well presented request to former area residents could, at the least, pay for petitions and perhaps coffee for those obtaining signatures on a wintry day. My point is; such an undertaking would take many interested and willing volunteers, some nearby, others not. Even twenty-five to a hundred bucks from a few dozen out-of-area nostalgic individuals could inspire a home town effort and start the ball rolling!

Note: Off the soap box and into my shoe box. If such a fund raising project is formally instituted; I will initially commit to a One Hundred Dollar donation. Jack Ahearn, Sacramento, California.

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Sep 26, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Peter…Least I get off topic, I’ll combine a movie house with your understated definition of ‘Hungerleiter’: There was this one Herr Hungerleiter', who being so frugalisterical, bought his ‘Stadts-Herald at the Wyckoff Ave. Station and then read it under the bright lights of the Parthenon…rather than expend the expense of his ten-watt light bulb at home!

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Sep 26, 2008 at 10:37 am

“Thank you for calling the Ridgewood Theater; Today’s Feature is;
‘Sorry, Wrong Number’..Feature Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster'

jackahearn commented about Glenwood Theatre on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:31 am

Peter, Thank you for your Comment and the suggestion of my having a Super Memory. Indeed…I’m happy to remember the name of the Movie..I did see! It’s possible that the theater has us in for a special screening of just ‘Bells’,as I don’t seem to remember having a problem with seating. However, Re: my last paragraph, Murray wouldn’t seem to support such a generous act. I do remember we being seated in the rear, left side. Or, being a weekday matinee, they had a light movie house attendance.(light movie house..oxymoron?)Anyway, I yeah still don’t not remember seeun no 2nd feature der. I’ve even forgotten how to talk!

jackahearn commented about Glenwood Theatre on Aug 26, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I believe the first time I went to the Glenwood Theater, I was accompanied by two Nuns ….(Be a great place to end this, wouldn’t it!)..and about 30 classmates..(Oh, Pheeeew).

It was 1947 and I was in Grade 5-A. on a St. Matthias School ‘Field Trip’. I guess I could say ‘The’ field trip, as it was the only one I remember. The movie we were taken to see, not surprisingly, was “The Bells of St. Mary”. As I recall, also not surprising, we didn’t remain for the second feature. If anyone wonders….yes, we walked, double file. No School Buses back then!

During my High School days, when I didn’t go to the ‘Biggies’ on Myrtle back toward Wyckoff Ave., the Glenwood was really nice to visit. I enjoyed seeing a bunch of good movies and, unlike the Ridgewood, one didn’t get blinded by the sun after leaving a summer matinee!

In my later teens, I took a few dates there on a Friday or Saturday nite. Mostly because those Gals lived either in Glendale or in the nearby area around Fresh Pond Rd.

Hey…I just realized what I like so much about this site!…I don’t even have to think about mentioning, as in the above paragraph, that on neighborhood dates…we walked. So we went to the nearest movies, ice cream parlors, etc. I think readers here, remember and take that as a given. Nice.

As for the theater itself, I remember a feeling of being relaxed. Other movies I saw there during the late 40s and early 50’s were mostly the ones I would have missed seeing at the two, afore referred to, Biggee’s.

A fun (?) thing about the Glenwood was their promotional ‘Dish Nites.” How cruel younger patrons could be; when some person carelessly placed a dish in their lap and then, absent-mindedly got up to buy candy or pop-corn. The accompanying clapping of hands was deafening. I’d wonder (after clapping, tee-hee) if the embarrassed dish collector ever came back to his/her seat.

I noted an above Comment by ‘Murray’, (June 5th, ’04) stating he was Manager during that time. It be interesting if a Group Rate was offered or if his, Jack Benny type telephone story, suggests S.M.S. paid full price?

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Aug 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Peter.K Thank your for your welcome thoughts and flattering request to reprint my August 12th Parthenon article. I’d be pleased to share any of my recollections of Ridgewood and Bushwickology in a media form which you condider appropriate.

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Aug 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Note: In my above recognition of “the years of longevity” I refer only to their long years of membership and valued contributions to Cinema Treasure.

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Aug 13, 2008 at 2:54 pm

As a recent and enthusiastic newcomer to Cinema Treasures, I’m a bit hesitant to offer a comment on Warren Harris’ observation regarding ‘off-topic’ chatter.

Firstly, a strict reading of C.T.’s stated policy on the matter is in agreement with Warren Harris’ remark. I think in an open forum as this, a voice, as his, is needed. There is no ‘Moderator’ on this site, and as adults we should write responsibly, within the given guidelines of the web page rules.

The following reflect conditions of the 1940s, ‘50s and ’60s. The times of which we write.

I believe that, aside from a Theater’s structural design and historical significance, we should also recognize the overall impact it had on the Community.

Theatres are not an oasis in a neighborhood. Indeed, they are an integral part of its societal and economic profile.

A group of several neighborhood theatres could attract several thousands of it residents in just one week end. Those dollars remained in the community. Theatre employees also lived in the area. I would often buy a new tie or shirt for a Saturday nite Movie Date. After the show, we would stop at a Pizzeria…. Also in the neighborhood.

I offer, as my point of view; that limited ‘off-topic’ comments of a theater, when such input accurately and concisely illustrates the fuller impact and significant contributions that Theatres presence had made to its neighborhood, as outlined above…are acceptable.

I also recognize the years of longevity to those I address and respect them and their points of view. I also thank Cinema Treasures for permitting my thoughts on this subject.

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Aug 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Peter..Perhaps the name was ‘The Rathsbrau’! No, I don’t recall a local E&B, but ate at several in the Wall St. area wherein I worked during my High School summers. Nedicks or Chock Full-O-Nuts, anyone?

jackahearn commented about Parthenon Theatre on Aug 12, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Peter…Once again, I thank you for your response. And an insightful one it is…You are correct, the Rathskeller was the name of the subterranean eatery. Odd, that they would go to all that trouble to change the name to ‘Hofbrau’ just for those few brief moments when I looked at it in my decades old ‘mental mirror’!

Yes, one could go anywhere on, what we didn’t yet know as…‘Mass Transit’. Today’s term is so uncalled for when all you have to do is get triple karatied into a subway car with an over flowing crunch of passengers, turn blue from being ribbed, kicked, stepped and beaten on with a folded newspaper to conclude; “Ah, This must be what they call ’Mass Transit”! Oh, and when I first rode them …It too was a nickel!

Peter, those pretzels were sold for a nickel. I know, because on several Saturdays, my friends and I would go to a ‘now forgotten’ dirty cellar (basement) ‘bakery’ near Halsey St. and buy One hundred (100) for fifty-cents (.50). Yep, bought them for two cents and sold them for a three cent profit…unless some one bought three…which we sacrificed for five cents! Yes, I’ve also seen those latter day ‘Mall’ rip-off’s. I cringe at them, just as I do when I see a Credit Card machine at a theater box office!

Enough ‘off topic’ comments for this entry. Thanks, Peter, for your aid to my memory.

jackahearn commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Peter .K….Thanks for your response….as for your suggestion to flesh out the ‘What if’ scenario…..a good and provocative thought.

However, like many at my stage of life; I’ve come to realize that in looking back at what might have been a pivotal point, It‘s best to simply accept, in the final analysis;….reality prevails and one adopts the lyrical ode; Que~Sera~Sera. What will be.. will be. Or, as in the span of ones life, what was,…was.

Alas, being only human and a frustrated romanticist….I’ll still wonder…‘What if…?’

jackahearn commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Aug 6, 2008 at 1:44 pm

To all friends of the R.K.O. Madison,…past & present;

I just came across a tidbit I forgot to include in my vintage memories of the Madison, (Aug. 6.) As I did in my Ridgewood Theater submission, (July 29.), I’ll now submit my best all time favorite Double Bill I attended at the R.K.O. Madison:

‘The Will Rogers Story‘, playing with, ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’! I saw these glorious and richly heartwarming Bio’s about 1952-’54. I attended during a weekday afternoon and sat in the balcony…sans Matron or Usherette. P.S…..I’m still wondering…’What if’…

jackahearn commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Aug 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Panzer65…..Be careful when exploring ‘Beyond that Door’ and other musty darkened halls of the Madison..there may be a stalking Ghost of that White Clad Matron still roaming around….and believe me…she was…Mean…!

If you see a beam of light suddenly shinning on you..Run to the Lobby..there may still be a stretcher to recover on.

jackahearn commented about RKO Madison Theatre on Aug 5, 2008 at 11:10 am

peter .k, panzer65
Preceding note: The following reflects my memories of the 1940’s and early ‘50’s.

The very sound of ‘R.K.O. Madison’ evoked a tone of distinction and grandeur!

Upon leaving the Box Office, one was guided through the brightly illuminated outer Lobby along brass plated stanchions interlaced with red velour cords leading into the Main Lobby. It was there the full majesty of plush carpets and marbled walls, highlighted by magnificent chandeliers, emblazoned the Madison’s regal splendor!

On the left side of the plush lobby, multiple double doors opened into the orchestra floor . However, if one opted for balcony seating, a charming treat was forthcoming!

After ascending the white marble staircase, one entered into the cavernous mezzanine. The affluence of the ornate terrazzo floor was reflected in the richness of the deep toned wood paneled walls. While awaiting a friend, or start of the Show, one could comfortably relax in genuine leather covered chairs or equally plush sofas. There were also magnificent paintings for viewing .Complimenting that luxury and entering from its seating area, were the spacious Ladies and Gentlemen’s Lounges.

Walking through carpeted, wood paneled access hallways, patrons were then ushered forward into Loge seats or escorted upwards into one of the balconies. The seats were very soft with comfortably wide armrests. Adding to the ambiance; during the seating period, live organ music helped to quicken the flow of the many hundreds of patrons being guided by nattily uniformed ushers and usherettes. An added touch of class was the flourishing of the of the stage curtain as it ceremoniously signaled the start of the Featured Movie. Note; The music accompanied Friday and Saturday evening performances. Also, in latter year of my visits, I think the music was ‘piped’ in.

The pictures shown were mostly R.K.O. produced or distributed. For a full history of Radio-Keith-Orpheum go to;

So as not to overly aggrandize the Madison, I’ll point out that they had some less regal
ballyhoo. For instance, when publicizing an upcoming horror movie, compared to the Ridgewood Theatre, which merely advised audience’s to notify management of any Heart conditions. The Madison blatantly announced they would have emergency care provided in the Lobby. Alas, some matron in white, who drew the short straw, would be stationed aside a cot…. waiting for the faint of heart to be carried in from the shrieking audience

They were also a bit less ‘regal’ when ejecting kids from their designated front-right orchestra ‘battle zone’. The ‘all-seeing, all-knowing’ white clad ‘guards’ had a very effective way of restoring quiet during the ‘mush’ scenes. The stratagem was not a single ray of light directed at one unruly kid, but rather, a broad beam flashing across two entire rows, accompanied with the crackling command: “These two rows,…Out” !!!

The vision of two dozen kids being marched out of the theatre by the conquering Matron, quickly brought about a more easily controlled Saturday Matinee.

My last reflection is of my late teens and conjures up one of life’s, ‘What-If’, scenarios: Friday nite at the Madison; dressed in a light sport jacket with matching shirt and slacks, etc. My buddy and I were escorted to seats along side one of the balcony’s access passage ways. I was attracted to our usherettes vibrant smile. My seat was right along side the passageway, in which I happily noticed, she was stationed. As the music played, I noticed a slight movement of her feet, beneath her flared uniform slacks. The shifting increased with the music’s tempo as though subtly dancing to the rhythm. To emphasize those moments of inner excitement, I lit a cigarette while glancing and shyly smiling at the black-haired usherette. Then it happened…..She coyly looked down at her shifting feet and miracles of miracles; she looked back up…at me…and smiled…invitingly!

More than fifty years later, I warmly reflect on my many memories of The Madison. Alas, the most cherished was a Friday night, the balcony, and a smiling usherette in a sparkling black and red uniform. I saw her several more times during the Show, but in my youthful awkwardness, I didn’t (work up the nerve?) speak to her.

I’ve recalled that early boy-girl awareness several times during my later life… each time wondering….What if?

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Aug 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I note that our C.T. Home Page listing of the Ridgewood Theatre currently numbers over 2,500 Comments. As a newbie, I don’t know if this sets a record for any one theatre, but it certainly reflects an impressive amount of enthusiastic interest and concern.

The recorded 2,500 + number may also add a persuasive tone, if included in the required papers needed to be submitted for preservation or other similar goals. Just a thought….

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Lost Memory and all others….I’m pleased to say that I have joined you and others in signing the on-line petition…Since joining Cinema Treasures, I no longer feel 3,000 miles away from Ridgewood and its beloved theatres.

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Warren G. Harris and all Ridgewoodites and Ridgewoodettes!…Warren, you are correct in referencing the fervent efforts of all. In my July 31st, 2:31 p.m. comment I made reference to ‘You gentlemen’.
I acknowledge the lacking in this faux pas and apologize to any who have taken offence to it

jackahearn commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jul 31, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Peter .K, Panzer65, Lost Memory and B’way ….I’m experiencing mixed emotions while reading the ongoing discussion regarding the ill anticipated ‘Fall of The Ridgewood Theatre.’

I experience a sense of personal frustration due to my not being a current area resident, nor having set foot in Ridgewood since 1970. On the plus side, I see a mood of positive thought and preliminary ideas arising from you who are closer and deeply concerned with the Theatre’s fate.

Most of my adult life had been spent in Hotel Management. Consequently, I’ve been in urban areas wherein, similar dilemmas have arisen. Interested party’s came forth, Civic, Historical, and other Interest Groups joined hands and dealt with many challenges and multi-agenda’s. Sadly, hoped for dreams were few. However, in those locations where determined minds overcame the myriad obstacles, I’ve seen some truly fruitful outcomes.

I’m confident that in the Ridgewood area, there are concerned individuals, such as yourselves and groups as described above. You gentlemen bring to my mind the image of responsible citizens who, beginning with high ideals and hopes, met those myriad challenges and contributed mightily to a successful solution. My hopes and confidences are with you!

Now retired, it may bolster your hopes that, as a volunteer docent, I happily expend many satisfying hours in a historic Hardware Store built in 1849! Such dreams and hopes can be attained! Thank you for your indulgence with my point of view.