UA Midway Stadium 9

108-22 Queens Boulevard,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Showing 1 - 25 of 125 comments

El_Muerto
El_Muerto on January 27, 2014 at 2:31 am

Upy, I’m sorry for your similar experience. Perhaps, I should’ve posted earlier on this but I tend to be a progressive rather than regressive person. I was also hesitant to expose such a past, unseemly event of what is generally a wonderful and admirable profession. But certain things should to be brought to light because it may help with future thought and care for young people to engage in this or any other career or hobby. Happily in today’s world this ill is being exposed, sanctioned and dealt with more authoritative effort, efficiency and most importantly-belief of those affected.

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on January 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm

No matinees on the weekend. $13.25 for afternoon showings on the weekend, $10.25 during the week, outrageous.

upy
upy on January 6, 2014 at 10:04 pm

I also found myself alone with Freddie Krueger in his off at the Midway theater one afternoon in the early 80’s.Somehow the conversation worked its way around to his hernia. Before I realized what was happening he had his pants unzipped and grabbed my hand so I could feel his lump through his white briefs. I remember pulling away, cursing at him and wanting to punch him in the face . However, I couldn’t do it even as he dared me to do something.

He never attempted something like this with me again but the inappropriate comments and questions never did stop. He would ask how often I got laid/jerked off, what positions I liked and if I could have more than one orgasm at a time.

Other co-workers repeated similar comments being made toward them. I never heard first hand of anyone being physically abused. Older employees, especially projectionists used to tell Freddie Krueger stories and jokes regularly.

How did UA not know of his behavior?

His wife worked as his secretary for a while, until she had their son. How did she not know? Or hear the rumors?

As Division Manager his territory covered the 5 boroughs and maybe 15 to 20 theaters. He had access to many young teenage males. It must have seemed like one big playground to him.

No one ever drew the courage to punch him out like I wish I had?

Shame on you Freddie.

El_Muerto
El_Muerto on January 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I apologize for this comments length. I feel it important, though, for prior young male U.A. workers in the 70’s-80’s (for whom I worked at multiple locations at for near a decade). Esp. for people associated w/the Forest Hills Theatre, Midway or Continentals then.

Although, it is considered ill mannered to speak poorly of the departed, some cases are worthy of that breach of etiquette. Such is the case with 70’s-80’s long tenured N.Y.C. 5 boro U.A. Division Manager (whom I’ll refer to here as the cinematic molester ‘Freddie Krueger’). Regretfully this testimony may bring pain to “Krueger’s” relatives or social circle. That is sincerely not my goal. However, forthrightness & a scarred memory compels me to speak. On the surface “Krueger” was a pious, “religious” man. Twice married with kids. Underneath that veneer, he was a serial sexual predator. His prey was often teen or young adult male ushers, male candy staff or young male managerial staff.

As the sad multiple priest scandals & the Jerry Sandusky Penn State scandal show…the cliché that you can not trust a book by it’s cover is sometimes true. Such was the case here. Or actually it was not. Because “Krueger” was always vulgar, lewd & obvious to most people. His victims today show-the pain, anger or whatever residual feelings there may be that never go away completely. I am sad for all the young people who were affected by this vile, real life ‘Freddie Krueger’.'

Some were willing participants drawn by his tenured power, more were coerced or pressured. I was one person who said no adamantly. I knew one manager who said yes and unfortunately filled me in on the ugly, gory details as if he were proud of his ‘happening’ w/‘Krueger’ which happened in the candy stockroom of the (still opened today)U.A. twin theatre on Austin street in the late 80s.

It’s fair to ask, am I telling the truth. I can only answer that one Saturday late morning in ‘87 (I think), while summoned to “Freddie’s” D.M. office in the Forest Hills Midway at the time, before the theatre was open, he made his move on me. And to this day I still wish I didn’t have the knowledge of knowing that “Krueger” was uncircumcised. He dropped his trousers mentioning his hernia. Exposing everything to a shocked me. That was his way of “enticing” me in his warped mind. Later, I thought how dumb & naive of me to show up when the theatre was closed. Never made that mistake again. He often held bible meetings for young men in Forest Hills when he became a mgr. Of course these sessions were in the morning when the theatre was closed.

It was wonderful, when the “Krueger” dynasty finally came to an end in the late 80’s. He was unprepared/unable to handle the oncoming great expansion into the multiplex and computer era. A new, very smart, & fair D.M. replaced “Keueger” who was demoted to being a mgr. to a Forest Hills triplex then. Free from the yoke of being ‘blacklisted’ for not sexually complying to “Krueger”, I was free to advance on my merits alone finally. Within the first few weeks of the new D.M’s run, I was suddenly promoted. Surprised not. A year later, I confided to the new D.M. at his new office in the Sheepshead Bay multiplex, the horror of “Krueger’s” crude advances and comments to me. It was then that the long term D.M. secretary (and a former mgr. herself) there had also clued in the new D.M. of “Krueger’s” true nature & validated my words. He was just speechless. Although then, quite young, I’m happy to have been, at that moment, brave enough to be honest and not suppress the ugly truth. At that time, in the late ‘80’s, that kind of abuse sadly was just not brought up. Victims feared that they would be the guilty or labeled ones. That they had done something wrong to bring about such behavior from their sexual aggressor.

Happily now, more and more, kids and teens are encouraged and more important BELIEVED when something aberrant like this happens. And I say to any young people seeing this post who are unfortunately in any similar bad situation-say something. Please don’t suffer. You will be listened to & helped by the right services/people. In the mid to late ‘90’s, ravaged by ill health from excessive smoking, “Krueger” became a doorman at the Midway in the weekday afternoons. In ‘97, when going to see a film there, he still made a crude statement to me when I came across him. Sad. This old man at the ticket stand in the garish colored clown costume tops U.A. made their employees wear in place of the old style jacket & bowtie unis of the past. He had always been a scary looking man with his dark tinted glasses and his hard, haggard, very wizened face with the phlegm while talking. Old age rendered him even more creepy looking. From D.M. to doorman. Near him & the ticket stand was a small oxygen tank. Outside the theatre was his outdated even in the ‘80’s, old, big & ugly dark blue Oldsmobile Delta 88 car that I used to see roll into theatres when he was D.M. Am I harsh. Cruel. Yes. But if it was you or you had a child, relative or someone you knew that was affronted by a sexual predator how would you feel. His latent homosexuality isn’t the issue here. I want to absolutely stress that. It doesn’t matter. There is enough bigotry of that in the world. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s that he forced, coerced or enticed so many innocent, impressionable teens & young men that forever lingers with me. And that one regrettable Saturday when I was ambushed. I said no. I am sorry for those that felt pressured/accosted to say yes.

NYCer
NYCer on September 19, 2013 at 2:57 am

Looks like there’s a new owner who bought the building for $20.5 million and is looking to develop the property. http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130918/forest-hills/investors-who-bought-midway-theater-building-hint-at-redevelopment

hdtv267
hdtv267 on March 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

Early shows are $10 here, just checked this morning for the weekend.

quartetguy
quartetguy on December 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Saw a lot of great movies here.

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on October 25, 2012 at 1:03 am

Are you kidding me, $13.50 non matinee showings. I think this is even more expensive than Manhattan.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on October 21, 2012 at 4:00 am

The Queens Ledger-/Forest Hills Times features “Midway Theatre 70th Anniversary Benefits Alzheimer’s” by Michael Perlman: http://www.foresthillstimes.com/view/full_story/20349385/article-Midway-Theatre-70th-Anniversary-Benefits-Alzheimer-s On 9/24, patrons saw Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (1954) & the proceeds benefited the Alzheimer’s Association (NYC Chapter). The Midway opened in 1942 & was named after WWII’s Battle of Midway. It was designed in the Art Moderne style by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas W. Lamb. Please share & feel free to post a comment on the article link.

taketheatrain
taketheatrain on October 21, 2012 at 3:00 am

when the midway closed in 1997 it was a quad (two downstairs and two upstairs). the only thing remains from the original is the staircase and screen 5 and 9 is the original balcony

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Used to be able to find some parking on the side streets north of Queens Blvd, paktype. But you had to be very lucky. I think this theater has been one that called for use of mass transit for many years, now – unless you live within walking distance.

paktype
paktype on October 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

If you’re going to see a movie there today, take the subway if possible. The traffic in that area is terrible and unless you want to put your car into a garage and pay $20, there is very little on-street parking available because of all of the apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Perhaps, but it may be hard to locate a showable print; in addition, the film does not appears to have been released on any form of home video to-date, which suggests that the rights may be entangled.

LuisV
LuisV on September 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm

It’s official: The Midway Theatre 70th Anniversary film to be shown is Rear Window! Admission is $10 with the proceeds going to charity.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120919/forest-hills/historic-theater-celebrates-70th-birthday-with-hitchcock-flick

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on June 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Thanks, Tinseltoes, for unearthing this material. Michael Pearlman may want to add this to the Midway site.

paktype
paktype on June 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm

If I recall correctly, the Midway showed the Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnights on Saturday for a number of years, when it was still a quad.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on June 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

“Coming Attractions: Legendary Midway Theatre To Turn 70” in the Forest Hills Times/Queens Ledger by Michael Perlman.

Mark your calendar for a 70th anniversary celebration, likely on September 24, 2012. Let’s preserve & commemorate our Art Moderne theater designed by the great Thomas Lamb, & named after WWII’s Battle of Midway.

If you would like to share your theater memories or experiences or any comment, please feel free to post on the article link:

http://www.foresthillstimes.com/view/full_story/18969666/article-Coming-Attractions—Legendary-Midway-Theatre-To-Turn-70

A thank you to all who contributed to my article’s interviews.

Tom_Padilla
Tom_Padilla on June 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Just fascinating that Murray the K may have emceed; a moment poised on the verge of Beatlemania hitting our shores just over a year later.

Tom_Padilla
Tom_Padilla on May 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I worked as an usher at the UA Forest Hills Twin on Continental in the early 80s….I’ve got a question: In my collection, I have a ticket on yellow stock, about the size of an index card, that says:

Skouras Air Conditioned Midway Theatre, In Person – On Stage, Sunday, August 26th at Approximately 5 P.M., Sensational Star of “5 Weeks in a Balloon” Fabian Extra Guest Star Peter Lorre, Plus! WINS’s Fabulous Disc Jockey Murray The K, – On the Screen – ‘5 Weeks in a Balloon’ plus Swingin' Along'

There’s no year, but imdb has 1962 for the release. Does anyone know if it was common then for the Midway, or the Forest Hills Theater on Continental, to host such live appearances? Appreciate it if anyone has any info. Thanks!

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 19, 2012 at 2:45 am

This the theater where my family and I saw “Operation Crossbow” when we came to NYC primarily for the World’s Fair in 1965.

Bway
Bway on September 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Ed, you read my mind! That’s how I also remember that it was a quad, as as a kid we would do the same thing there. I remember the ornate railing on the left that used to go up to the second floor. On the second floor landing up there, there were a bunch of video games, and I remember playing them when waiting for the movie to end prior to the time we were going. We also would try and sneak into one of the other theaters afterwards. I remember the Midway to be very clean and well kept at that time (at least next to my home theater, the Ridgewood). We would make the trek from Ridgewood on the subway to the Midway or Continental over on Austin St. While both were better kept than the Ridgewood, i think half the fun was riding over to the Midway on the subway “by ourselves”. I would usually just tell my mother that we were going to a movie at the Ridgewood.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Nice catch, Bway. I recall sneaking around to various films after seeing the film for which I paid admission. Sometimes a tricky task because there were one or two old timers on patrol in the lobby watching for such shenanigans. It was actually easiest when there were crowds queued up in the ticket lobby for popular films. My friends and I would casually exit from one auditorium into the lobby and visit the men’s room and then wait until we could filter into the crowd as it was allowed to proceed into their auditorium. This sort of thing is so much easier now, with the standard multiplex practice of ripping tickets right by the entrance to the lobby – not to mention the young minimum wage staffers who, by and large, could give a damn if you spend the whole day there migrating from one theater to the next.

Anyway, I was particularly fond of the two upstairs theaters, where we used to sit in the first row with our feet up on the railing due to the comfortable distance to the screen from that vantage point.

I also recall during midnight showings of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” that folks would run out onto the floor beyond the railing in front of the screen to participate in some of the usual audience rituals for those viewings (such as jumping up to “touch” the image of Susan Sarandon’s breasts during the “Touch Me” number). Looking back, I realize now that the floor between the seats and the screen was just a false ceiling erected to seperate the balcony theaters from the orchestra level. It’s a wonder none of the “Rocky Horror” participants ever fell through onto whatever was screening below!

Bway
Bway on September 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

The original description for this theater is incorrect. The first line says “Located in the Forest Hills section of Queens. After decades as a single screen movie palace, the 1942 built; Midway Theatre (named for the famous Battle of Midway) was sold in June 1997 to the Heskel Group……The theater was closed two months later and completely renovated into a nine-screen multiplex.”
While that is true, it did NOT go from a single screen theater “after decades of being a single screen movie palace” to the 9 screens it has today. From the mid to late 80’s to 1997, it was cut up into a quad, with two movie auditoriums in the old balcony, and two movie auditoriums in the orchestra level. I saw many movies in that theater in the quad set up, particularly in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on September 15, 2011 at 3:01 am

Just went here for the first time in my 13 years living in Queens, saw Bucky Larson, Born to be a Star. Big crowd, 2 people myself included. Theater was quite nice, spiral staircases to the upper theaters, concession stands and bathrooms on both floors. Could never tell theater was 69 years old. But the admission prices compare to the Atlas Mall theather in Glendale. Matinee was $9.50! Nighttime showings are $13.50 with $17.50 tops for 3D!

kurt
kurt on August 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I agree with joemanfre’s post about his father, Charlie. Not only should a section of the lobby be named for his father but the entire lobby should be named “The Charlie Manfre Lobby”.

Charlie was a great man who worked harder than anyone could ever imagine. His dedication to the Midway Theatre should always be remembered.