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Thanks for the link to the article. They never did rebuild. The former theater is now a grass field. I am pretty sure that there will not be a theater there again.
Anyone have any old photos of the Grand? It closed when I was very young. I rememeber it as a John Hancock Insurance office (or was it Metropolitan Life?), then a medical center, and now a McDonald’s. It was totally gutted, so there is no evidence of it ever being a theater.
I passed by about a week ago. The building still appears to be in very good shape. I didn’t see anything about the El Gallo concert, but I really didn’t look at any signs that may have been up.
Lost Memory – That is definitely the correct Copake Theater. I can tell because I know the places in the other pictures in the album. It realy does look like it was a nice little theater.
A&P was on Calyer Street across from the back side of Greenpoint Bank. There is gym there now. Bohack Supermarket was on Manhattan Avenue across from the front entrance to Greenpoint Bank. It is now an Associated Supermarket.
Interesting point that my wife – a lifelong Greenpointer – brought up. The RKO Greenpoint may have not only took up the space on Calyer Street where Goodiwn’s (now Rainbow) is, but may have also included the remainder of the block to where a supermarket (A&P) stood that is now Otom Gym. That would indeed have made it a tremendous auditorium. The photo posted by Warren on 8/19/05 almost confirms this – it would have needed to go just a little further out to prove this.
Any long time Greenpointers out there who can comment on that?
The store that is now Rainbow was originally Goodwin’s, which was a local (to Brooklyn and Queens)mini-chain as far as I know. If I remember correctly, they also had stores in Ridgewood and Downtown Brooklyn. The fact that this used to be a theater finally makes the shape of the building make sense.
Unfortunately, the Graham had turned into a porn movie house for most of the 70’s. I forget whether it closed in the late 70’s or early 80’s. It changed its name to the Capri sometime before it closed. I remember some neighborhood protests to try to get them to show family oriented movies again, but it didn’t work. This left it so that kids from the area had to go to either the Meserole in Greenpoint or the Arion in Middle Village to see a movie. (At that time, we really didn’t think about heading over to The Commodore – too bad it couldn’t hang in there after that neighborhood turned around).
OK. I’ll make a couple of corrections to my previous post – The pharmacy counter is where the concession stand was (under the balcony) and the cahsiers are in the long hallway from the ticket booth to the concession area. The ceiling, the screen, and some of the metal trim are still obvious, as well as various aspects of the exterior. I give them a lot of credit for not just bulldozing or renovating beyond all recognition.
I’m on my way to Eckerds – in the Meserole Theater. I do appreciate that there is enough of the old theater that is still recognizable, right down to the Eckerd promo shots shown on the old screen and the cashiers in the old concession area.
I never got to take Bob Diamond’s Atlantic Avenue tunnel tour but I did take his trolley ride in 1994. My daughter (who was 2) even got her picture in the paper for being the youngest rider. I haven’t heard anything about him in years. I hope that all the red tape didn’t frustrate him to give up.
Great picture even if it is Van Wyck and not Woodhaven. I may need to spend some time at that site too.
The train that you show is the “J” train at the station on Metropolitan and Jamaica Avenues. That would be in front of the Van Wyck Bowling alley, where I bowled in a league while I was in high school. They finally built the Archer Avenue extension, and I think they finally tore that part of the line down and put a stop underground. By Woodhaven Lanes, there is some unused LIRR tracks that are heavilly overgrown but not torn down. There is now a Sports Authority and Home Depot right next to it, maybe where that multiplex was going to go, although there is still an abandoned factory there that looks like a candidate for bulldozing.
I remember the Greenpoint Bowl only too well. My brother and I used to go there almost every Saturday back when bowling was an affordable fun thing to do.
As of Friday, the urns were being removed from the outside.
Billburg – If you have a link to the photos, I would like to see them
I pass by the Commodore on my way home from work but unfortunately don’t carry a camera. The demolition has some very surreal qualities that were more obvious one night when they left the plywood doors open to the site.
The roof has been removed except for the metalwork structure. There is a marble wall on the far side that looks relatively intact. There is a ceramic tile wall with an archway doorway that probably was part of a bathroom that stands completely intact on the Rodney Street side of the building. There are one or two other things that are still standing and the outer brick wall, with the exception of a section that was removed to allow the heavy equipment in, still stands, including the marquee. But to the most part, the inside looks like a roof-less empty shell.
Like I said – a kind of surreal looking site.
I passed there yesterday. The exterior hasn’t really been touched much, other than the scaffolding around the ground level, but there was a side door (like an emergency exit) that was open, and the inside seemed to be totally gutted. I noticed scaffolding on the inside and I also noticed that I could see daylight when I looked through the building, so brenograph’s comment about the “roof had fallen in” may at least be partially correct. There really seems to be nothing left, except the sad looking empty marquee.
When I pass by, there is such a moldy smell. It almost smells like a building that had a fire, but I know of no fire damage. There are no signs of exterior demolition, but I’m sure there is nothing left of the inside.
Today, I noticed that wooden posts were installed around the outside of the Commodore. These look like the kind of posts that support a wooden fence that would go around a constrcution site (or a demolition site for that matter). I have not seen anything in the local papers about this, one way or the other.
Today I passed the Commodore and it looked like there was some filming going on around it and possibly inside it. I saw a whole bunch of black plastic garbage bags on the fire escape, which leads me to think that there was some form of cleaning for this filming. Unfortunately, I went home a different way so I did not see if there was any changes to make the building look different on the outside for the filming. If anyone has access to the city’s filming permits, maybe they can find out what it is being used for.
Yes it is fun to find people who enjoy sharing these memories. I also enjoy seeing the old photos.
It was the Chopin’s location. That is the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue looking north on Manhattan Avenue and the theater is on the east side of Manhattan Avenue (exactly where the Chopin was). Many of the buildings in the picture are relatively unchanged to this date. (aside from thactual businesses in the storefronts).
As Warren said, the Chopin was not a large theater. As I pointed out earrlier, Not for Publication was a 1927 movie and the picture is dated 1928. There is no question that this is The Chopin (or whatever name it went under in 1928).
The picture of the Chopin is the corner of Greenpoint Ave and Manhattan Ave. I do not know of any theater (nor do I see any) as far north as Freeman Street. The northernmost one that I knew in Greenpoint was the Chopin.
Sorry. I posted the link to the Chopin again in the previous post.
Here is the link to the Meserole: