Hyperion Theatre

11101 43rd Avenue,
Corona, NY 11368

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 28, 2008 at 10:37 am

Here’s a new link to a 1916 image of the Hyperion’s exterior:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 23, 2008 at 8:57 am

Ron Marzlock’s “I Have Often Walked” column in the current (2/23/08) issue of Queens Chronicle focuses on the Fox film studio that I mentioned above in my post of 10/20/07. Marzlock gives a location for the studio in East Elmhurst, “between Couch Place, Buell Place and 31st Drive, right off Astoria Boulevard.” The article includes a B&W photo of an administration building with a sign “Fox Film Corporation” across the front. It reminds me of a “false front.” I wonder if there is a real building behind it? William Fox was so cunning that he might have erected it while trying to attract investors to build a studio on that site, which amounted to about 22 acres of land. The photo can be seen at www.queenschronicle.com

pmullinsj on December 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm

I totally disagree, and think these historical contexts of the neighborhoods of the theaters are wonderful. Of course, they could also be put on the other link, but to respond to all these superb, not to mention time-consuming, reflections, as if the neighborhoods as they’d evolved over the years did not shed even more light on the theaters which were located in them, is quite ungrateful and pedantic in the worst sense.

You are a pretty good scholar and collector of memorabilia, Warren, but you are often unnecessarily controlling. In this case, where the material is not even wounding to the Puritan consciousness we’ve seen elsewhere, it is totally misplaced, and I, for one, thoroughly loved coronainmymindseye’s memories of Corona. In fact, I am going to print them out and go out there and see what I can see there. For those who want to look at certain old remaining structures, including theaters in Manhattan, the ‘Songlines’ sites for individual streets can be easily accessed—that’s how I discovered the real Tin Pan Alley on 28th between Broadway and 6th, and I’m sure that this horribly OFF-TOPIC notation can be remedied by looking at the Songlines for 42nd Street, which will have THEATERS, even if they have other OFF-TOPIC things on the very same streets!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 28, 2007 at 6:45 am

These off-topic memories of Corona seem more suited to www.queensboard.com I think they would get a better response there than here.

ps19crew on December 27, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Some more neighborhood jewels. We had miller brothers deli Bodega on 102 and 37avenue, and dante’s next door, who daughter dania who is currently the Queens DA office supervisor of Paralegals, we had the old Soap Factory on 102-101 street on 37 avenue. We had Pitstop autoparts which is still there today on 37avenue and 102-103street. We had Hernandez light foot realty, operated by Victor and Judy Hernandez, who has made a resurgance and is operating under the same name out of a store on 103 street off 34th avenue. He’s doing taxes and Real estate, just as he did in the 1970’s. There was the infamous sirenna Bar on 39th avenue and 104 street. This was the seediest part of our little neighborhood with all types of undesirables lurking after dark. There was the chuchifrito right across the street where pretty latin women would serve typical dominican foods to Patrons. There was a Furniture store right next to clappers and the pizzaria that had a traveling baseball team that had some very very good players from back in Corona’s hey day. Clappers by the way is one of the places where Current Mets GM Omar Minaya worked, as well as in the clappers on Junction Blvd next to the Original Banco Poplular. Mostly anyone who knows of all these locations went to PS 19 where the principal Mr abromowitz Was arrested back in 1974 for stealing funds from the school.

ps19crew on December 27, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Some more notable locations and business is Corona were, Contes Supermarket. There was Carvel ice cream, adjacent to the corona plaza train enterance, between national and 104 street, there was the shoe store on the corner of 41st avenue and national street that had the old film violas, where you put in a nickel and as you crank the handle the still pictures would create a moviing film, I don’t know the name of the aperatus but I know it was fun and original. I remember the old supermarket call potash, it was a mega fruit and produce market which was cold and had chipped wood all spread scross the floor. It was on 42nd avenue directly across from the union evangelical church. There was clappers mens store and 103rd 3 stores from 39th avenue. Probably shared part of the lot of the old hyperion theatre with Angelos Pizzaria. Morris Mens shops was also right across the street. With the rosa blanca restaurant 2 stores down. Corona Hardware store right on the NW corner, and right across from the flower shop which was right on the NE corner were the hyperion theatre once was.

ps19crew on December 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I.S. 61 was in Corona as well. That school had all the neighborhood toughs and there were many many big rumbles after school. There were the dominicans -vs- the iatlians the Greeks -vs- the Italians, the blacks vs the italians, and on Holloween, WOW, there would be a couple mobs numbering into the hundreds, roaming through their blocks, bombing with potatos, tomatos, eggs, and more. It was a dangerous dangerous time to be outside of your block. if I recall correctly there was a large rendevous area behind the old plaza theatre, adjacent to Linden Park where mobs would stage their surges from. During those few holloweens that I recall, not even the police came out, it was that ominous. Fortunatly it was a time with little or no guns, and not many people were seriously hurt, it was more for posturing and to show alliances.

ps19crew on December 27, 2007 at 12:55 pm

does anyone remember newfields on National and 42nd ave, Keyfood was next door. Newfields used to be called the 5 and 10. up 1 block and a half on 41 ave, there were two ialian deli, phils latacini and toms latacini, they sold all kinds of meats and had many types of fresh nuts outside. They would be lined up outside in barrels with burlap bags, we would try to pick at them and run as little kids but the owners would stabd outside with threatening stares, we’d only fake at the bags but never take anything, as the owners looked scary and mean. The delis were across and adjacent from the old union evangelical church, (Big Wooden White Church) The boys scouts used to be in the basement. In Linden park a big Neighborhood gangster called Dutch, was killed, by a sniper.

ps19crew on December 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm

I grew up in corona and new the ins and outs of the area thoroughly from 1970 to present. I too recall linden park, the pool and the shoe cubby holes. Yes, Eddy does still have a hotdog truck, he’s parked on 43rd ave and 104 street. Other theatres that operated in and around the area were the colony theatre on 82nd street between 37th ave and roosevelt, and the boulevard theatre on 83rd and Northern-what is now a spanish restaurant and THEATRO, CALLED, “NATIVES”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 20, 2007 at 8:41 am

In June, 1926, William Fox announced that Fox Film Corporation had purchased 22 acres of land in Corona for a movie production studio to be called “Fox Film City.” The initial construction work would cost $1,000,000. Fox planned to erect a large, two-story administration building, four studio plants (each with 15,000 square feet of working space), and a factory for making all the scenery and costumes for the movies. A large laboratory would be capable of processing 2,000,000 feet of film per week. There would also be a concrete storage warehouses and a fully-euipped hospital and restaurant to serve the 2,000 or more people working at the studio. The 22-acre plot started on the north side of Northern Boulevard (between 110th and 111th Streets) and extended north and beyond Astoria Boulevard down to the waterfront of Flushing Bay (part currently known as World’s Fair Marina). William Fox said he bought the site to take advantage of a location that afforded a large outdoor plain and big water effects for use in film productions. He also expected to profit from its proximity to Manhattan’s stage industry, which would make it easy to find actors, writers, directors, and other skilled workers that were required. Here is a sketch published in the June, 1916 issue of Queensborough Magazine. The palatial Northern Boulevard entrance is at the bottom:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 30, 2007 at 7:23 am

I’m pleased that I was able to help. Please ask the remaining Sheers if they remember anything about the Colonial, which seems to be the most un-documented of the four theatres.

Dougster on August 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm

OK, the Sheer brothers were in fact Samuel and Dan Sheer.

Dougster on August 29, 2007 at 6:02 pm

Once again Warren. Just amazing investigative work. I plan on sharing your findings with the remaining Sheers. Goes to show we need to record history before it slips away. Ask the elders questions before they are gone. Thanks again. I’m recollecting the son of Dan Sheer, Henry Sheer, ran one last theater until the early 1950’s when he died. I’ll have to do some digging too.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2007 at 11:27 am

This ad from July, 1920, is more informative about Sheer’s Theatres than the one that I displayed above on 8/26/07, so I’m removing that to make more room in my scrapbook for other images: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/colonial720.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2007 at 8:51 am

While advertising says “Sheer’s Theatres,” the company’s name might actually have been Sheer Brothers' Theatres. An article in the June 4th, 1918 issue of the LI Daily Star says that Samuel Sheer, one of the owners of the Sheer Brothers' circuit, had been in charge of movie theatre collections in Queens that had raised nearly $40,000 for the Red Cross. Of that total, 25% would go to the Queens County chapter of the Red Cross, and the rest to the parent organization. For his efforts, Sheer received a gold Elgin watch engraved on the back with a commendation from William Fox, who was the head of the film industry’s campaign to aid the Red Cross during wartime.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 26, 2007 at 1:39 pm

I could find no evidence to support my 8/23 claim that Sheer’s operated two theatres in Astoria. It seems that Sheer’s ran four theatres, but all in the Corona/Elmhurst area— the Hyperion, Palace, Victoria, and Colonial. Sheer’s apparently sold or turned over management of the theatres to the Small-Strausberg Circuit. The Victoria was eventually re-named the Newtown. I have scant information about the Colonial, which probably did not survive into the sound era. A 1926 publication of the Queensboro Chamber of Commerce said that the Colonial was on Jackson Avenue (now known as Northern Boulevard) and had 500 seats. This ad for Sheer’s Theatres is from seven years earlier (1919): www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/sheer19.jpg

Dougster on August 24, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Warren, thanks so much for the additional information. All of the children of Dan Sheer, the theater owner, have passed away and with them the stories of theater ownership. I believe the last of the theaters was sold in the mid 1950’s. If you find the ads from the LI Star-Journal I’d be very interested in viewing them. Thanks again.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 23, 2007 at 6:07 am

Yes, Sheer did have a small circuit of theatres in the silent era. I’ve seen them advertised in the Long Island Star-Journal. If I can find one of the ads, I will display it. I don’t recall there being more than four theatres. Some were in Astoria, possibly the Arcade and Arena (which have their own listings at Cinema Treasures).

Dougster on August 22, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I am the grandson of the first owner of the Hyperion Theater. If you look at the name at the bottom of the picture/postcard at the website liste below and if you can look at a blowup of the picture it clearly says “Sheer.” From what I understand, my grandfather sold this along with a few other theaters before the Great Depression.


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 8, 2006 at 5:41 pm

The upper facade looks almost like it belongs to a fake studio back-lot set… All plywood and paint, held up by supporting two by fours behind it.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 8, 2006 at 5:04 am

This is an uncropped version of a 1916 photo that I previously mentioned above on 12/13/05:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 14, 2005 at 4:23 am

Next time my Mom’s over the house, I should take her for a ride through the old neighborhood and see if I can grab a dog from Eddie… red onions and all. I’ll probably have to wait for the weather to warm up a bit! I loved growing up in this neighborhood and was very sad to move away to Laurelton when I was 9. While I enjoyed living in Laurelton through my teen and college years and would meet my oldest freinds there, Elmhurst and Corona occupy a very special place in my heart. I lived on 41st Ave between Junction and Warren in Elmhurst in a crowded 2 family house (plus 2 illegal apartments – though I didn’t know that at the time) along with my Grandparents, Great Grandparents, a pair of Aunts and cousin. My Uncle and Aunt and 4 cousins lived in a 2 family over on 98th Place off Alstyne in Corona, which was a quick 2 minute drive or even a nice casual stroll away. It all felt very homey and most of my warmest and fondest memories of family spring from this time.

Great page, Christina… I really enjoyed reading it. One quibble: you talked about the Lemon Ice King and Spaghetti Park, but you forgot to mention the great Parkside Restaurant and I didn’t see any mention of some of the great (and, sadly, gone) Italian bakeries like Stassi’s and Baldi’s. Anyway… thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

nutrichris on December 13, 2005 at 4:26 pm

According to the Vincent Seyfried book we used for the FNY Corona page, there were several incarnations of the Hyperion Theater – it kept being moved, renamed, got new owners, etc. So we all may be correct about its location(s). Eddie, the hot dog guy, is supposedly still in business, although he sells out of a van now rather than a cart according to someone who wrote to me about the page.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 13, 2005 at 10:24 am

The Hyperion was replaced by a post office about 75 years ago, so it’s quite possible that the building is no longer used for that purpose. Also, it might have been a BRANCH post office, with other businesses in the same building. The current building depicted at forgotten-ny might well be the one that replaced the Hyperion, though probably modified over the years.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 13, 2005 at 9:39 am

One more point… Warren’s introduction at the top of this page indicates the theater was replaced with a post office, however, the photo on forgotten-ny shows a two story building with a pizzeria on the ground floor. Do you think they’ve got the location wrong? There is a Post Office a few doors down from the Loew’s Plaza on Roosevelt Ave.