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Hello louisA…My roots are mainly from South Ozone Park and I lived vic. of 118 st. & 97 ave. for a few years. Along Liberty Ave. I can recall a Trunz meat market a few doors from Lefferts Blvd on the south side of Liberty Ave. I sure do recall the St John’s restaurant. The owner was a greek fellow and he sponsored bowling teams that I bowled with for quite a few years. The restaurant was next door to Carters German bakery. They made the best stolen (sp?)at Christmas time and many in the neighborhood had their thanksgiving turkey cooked there in their big ovens.
(BTW)…The bowlin alley that I hung out at was the Aquaduct Bowling Center on Rockaway Blvd and about 104 st or thereabouts. Ever been there?? Also, I cannot ever remember an organ at the Lefferts theater and I surely do recall the goldfish pond in the Valencia on Jamaica Ave along with the moving clouds and stars on the ceiling.
Well, you young whippersnapper…lol…i’m talking about the 40’s and 50’s. I guess that the chinese restaurant was history when you frequented that area and the goldfish display in the Lefferts lobby was a marble pool on the left side of the lobby, about 8' across with an operating fountain and about a dozen or so large goldfish that were all around 6-8" long of many varities. Really quite a attractive display. With today’s society, the goldfish would probably be floating on their sides with X’s on their eyes.
louisA…I also recall a rather small lobby and, if memory serves me correctly, there was a good sized gold fish display with a fountain located just above floor level in the same lobby. The ice cream parlor that you mentioned was also a favorite of mine and my family. They made great malteds and ice cream sodas. Do you happen to recall if there was a Chinese restaurant almost directly across the street (actually Liberty Avenue) from the Lefferts. If so, we spent many a visit there for chow mein. I can still picture the waiter that used to take care of us.
Thank you Ed….Kudos to you for picking up on my New Yawk accent without even hearing it…LOL…
To LuisV…During the years that I alluded to in my post I lived on 123 St which was a rather short walk to the Farrell theater, given all the ‘short cuts’ we could take', then in 1947 we moved to 133 St (still in South Ozone Park) which was just a few blocks from the Park theater on Rockaway Blvd which then became our theater of choice. The Park theater was but a few blocks from the old (even at that time) Ozone theater also located on Rockaway Blvd. I haven’t the slightest recollection of what conversion transpired at the site of the old Farrell theater. Sorry about that lapse on my part. As regards the location on the Farrell, in reality, it was a good location in that it served many moviegoers in a well populated area of Queens for many years and was just a short walk from their homes. The alternatives were to hop on the Q-7 bus and go to the Crossbay theater about 2 miles to the west, or to the Park theater about the same distance to the east, or hop on the Q-10 and travel north on Lefferts Blvd to the Lefferts theater on Liberty Ave or travel further north to the RKO Keats (sp?) near Jamaica and Myrtle Aves. Of course, if you opted to go to the RKO Keats you could always finish off the night out with a stop at Jahn’s ice cream parlor which was right next door. Wow, I can still recall trying to finish off one of their special ice cream treats appropriately named “The Boilermaker”. Man, was that enormous. So, all in all, the location of the Farrell theater wasn’t all that bad of a location considering it’s ease of access to the given neighborhood.
As regards the OLPH church fire, the existing church was built on the very same location of the church that was destroyed by the fire. It was a wood frame structure that was but a few feet from the convent. I can still picture the Pastor, Father Flynn, running in and out of the blazing church, fighting off the firemen as he tried to save as many items as he possibly could from the fires. If memory serves me correctly, the fire somehow started in the vicinity of the manger scene at the rear of the church. Actual causes unknown.
The theater located on the south side of Rockaway Blvd, a few doors west of Lefferts Blvd was named the Farrell Theater. I went to many Sat afternoon matinees there during the early 1940’s (once won a yo-yo contest on stage during the intermission) price to get in was 10 cents and you could stay there all afternoon. When Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s RC Church burnt to the ground during those years a few Sun. masses were held at the Farrell (I recall this because I served as alter boy at many of those masses) until the school’s basement could be converted to a temporary church until the new church was completed.