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I went through my old photos, and found a COLOR snapshot of the old BROOKLYN THEATER, that I took in MAY, 1980.
I will post it on this site, just as soon as I figure out how!
It’s a close-up of the right (west) half of the building.
The stucco was beige, with a reddish-clay-tile mansard fascia, and ornate terra-cotta capital trim, at the front of the roof.
The “BROOKLYN” sign atop the marquee had white lettering on a faded red backgound.
The marquee read:
MIERCOLES 2 X 1 … . . JUEVES KENO 650
… A N T O N I O . A G U I L A R …
… . S A B O R . A . S A N G R E …
E L . C H E L E L O . E N . E L . R E Y .
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And, there was a white FORD F-150 Pick-up
parked in front… with no license plates!
ONE FINAL NOTE:
While it was open and operational, the theater was ALWAYS on “Brooklyn Avenue”. The theater reportedly closed in 1989.
The street was not re-named East CESAR E. CHAVEZ Avenue
until after Mr. Chavez’s death in 1993, in his honor.
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CESAR E. CHAVEZ (actually CESAR CHAVEZ ESTRADA)
born March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, U.S.A.
died April 23, 1993 in San Luis, Arizona, U.S.A., age 66
World War II veteran, U. S. Navy, 1944-1946; VOLUNTEERED
at age 17, served 2 years aboard ships in the Pacific.
Back in the 1960s, Anaheim was BIG on parades.
And, one time, another parade passed the ANAHEIM FOX THEATER.
In 1967, when the Anaheim Convention Center Dome first opened, the
Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town, and had a huge old-fashioned circus parade heading west on Lincoln Avenue, right in front of the THEATER.
Working there that day, I stood in front of that old FOX THEATER as elephants, giraffes, clowns, and circus wagons with lions & tigers all passed in review, (followed by circus staff with shovels and wheelbarrows!)
The Anaheim Holloween Parade mentioned above passed in front of the FOX ANAHEIM THEATER annually. The parade started at La Palma Park, went south on Harbor Blvd., turned left on Lincoln Avenue (formerly Center Street), passed the FOX, then ended behind Lincoln School. Because the streets were closed-off by the A.P.D., it was very difficult to get to the THEATER on parade day.
NEW EFFORT TO :
SEND MESSAGES TO RayH
This is a great story! It’s both instructive and inspirational.
I am just starting to get a similar effort going to try to save
and restore the CANARSIE THEATER, which you can also see listed in
CINEMA TREASURES. Please go to and read that article; there are many
comments listed there about that sister Brooklyn theater.
OKAY, PRESENT AND FORMER CANARSIENS (CANARSIE-ITES?) :
As per my previous message, I just established an E-MAIL ADDRESS:
Everyone interested, please send me a message…
Hopefully, there will be a lot of interest in this.
I look forward to hearing from HUNDREDS of you…
Or, at least, DOZENS ! Thanks, RayH
ANYONE INTERESTED IN TRYING TO SAVE THE CANARSIE THEATER, or maybe even try to find someone to restore it, renovate it, or convert it to a live theater/playhouse/music hall, let’s try to form some kind of grass-roots organization. I’m in California now, but I’m willing to work on-line and by telephone to try to organize such an effort.
We may start by trying to get the CANARSIE THEATER designated as a National or State or City of New York Historic Site. That would at least give time to work and save it from possible demolition. INTERESTED PERSONS may send an E-MAIL to me, RayH, at a new E-Mail address I am going to create and post in the next message in a few minutes.
OKAY, TINSELTOES, ET. AL., YOU ASKED, SO HERE’S THE REAL DEAL:
That 1959 photograph of the CANARSIE THEATER that’s all over the internet was taken on SATURDAY, JUNE 20TH, 1959 …
I know this, because I AM IN THE PICTURE.
I am (was) the boy standing in the line in front of the theater, directly under the word “MAN” in the movie title on the left side of the marquee. Standing on my right is my little sister, holding her bag of goodies. I have several copies of this photo.
There’s even a colorized version of this photo on the front cover of a recently published book about Canarsie. In that photo they made my jacket brown. They could have at least got it right… it was a blue denim Levi’s jacket !!
The picture was taken by a man named Mel (or Mal) who was with my Uncle Jimmy, who worked with him. They stood across the street on Avenue L, in front of ZIRKIN’S Kosher Butcher Shop.
We were NOT waiting to see AVA GARDNER naked. Actually, Ava Gardner did NOT appear naked in that movie… only her PORTRAIT, (Goya’s painting, “The Naked Maja”) appeared naked.
We WERE waiting to see THIS KIDDIE MATINEE, double feature movie:
“FRANCES IN THE NAVY”, starring Frances The Talking Mule, with Donald O'Connor, and a VERY YOUNG CLINT EASTWOOD !! —and—
“TAZA, SON OF COCHISE”, with ROCK HUDSON as an Apache Warrior !
PLUS, (five?) (ten?) Cartoons.
The following week, I was there with my two brothers, to see another double feature, ‘THE ROBE", and “DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS” two Biblical epics; But WE were there for all THOSE GREAT SWORD FIGHTS !!
That Canarsie Theater was a second home to me in the 1950’s …
That’s when it was in it’s prime, and the center of the community.
CANDY BARS WERE FIVE CENTS, and COKE & POPCORN WERE TEN CENTS EACH !
IT’S SOOOOOO SAD to see it dilapidated and abandoned.
Maybe somebody with megabucks can restore it as a live theater?
Canarsie is not too far gone for that to be a possiblity… RIGHT??