Mermaid Theater

2816 Mermaid Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11224

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KashaKnish
KashaKnish on January 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

My favorite childhood movie was “The 7 Foys”. I saw it at the Mermaid Theatre. The candy store next door is where I would have my egg creams and pretzel rods. An ice cream cone was 10 cents and 2 cents more for sprinkles. I spent time sitting at the table there looking through and buying used comic books.

We moved when I was in 5th grade, but my dad owned the small jewelry/watch repair shop on the other side of the theatre.

Hubba Hubba and Meyers were where my sister and I would have lunch all by ourselves like grownups. (grin)

mermaidromance
mermaidromance on October 1, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Regarding the history of the Mermaid Theatre.
My father Murray Philip Roth was born around 1925. When he was a teenager, his job at the Mermaid Theatre was to run the projector, change the movie titles on the marquee as well as the light bulbs. He also would place a large block of ice in front of a large fan in the rear of the theatre. The banner outside the theatre read air-cooled inside.
Across the street on the corner stood the luncheonette named the HUBA HUBA. Above the HUBA HUBA was a walk up apartment building. My mother Blanche Strauss would sit on the 2nd floor fire escape watching my father change the marquee titles when he noticed her time and again and had a vision of his future with her. My mother was 17 and they married and had three sons, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. My father and mother told us this story from time to time. My father had eight brothers and three sisters and my mother had one sister and one brother. I remember when the luncheonette,theatre and a corner drugs store were still in operation. I am fifty seven and both my parents have pasted on. I also remember the city bus stop in front of the Huba Huba..My dad also told me when he was a kid Nathans hot dog was a nickel including the drink. I also remember when we walked to the beach there was a place on the way that sold fresh jelly-apples on 26th street.

heljes1
heljes1 on December 31, 2007 at 6:17 am

My email is already posted on my first message. Happy New Year! heljes

surasteinberg
surasteinberg on December 28, 2007 at 3:30 pm

I have left email asking the people who run this site to help me contact you directly or to send you my email address. This may not happen until I’m back in NY on Sunday as my outgoing email isn’t working from here. Also just spoke with my mother who remembers you and your father and told me about a boat ride sponsored perhaps by a NY theater owners group where she, her sisters and your family met. I’m hoping there are pictures of the theaters themselves to add to this site. Have just spoken with one of my cousins as well since I wrote the above and we’re hoping we can get you all together so that we can eavesdrop on your reminiscences.

heljes1
heljes1 on December 28, 2007 at 2:53 pm

I’m delighted by your response to my posting about the Mermaid, and hope that you find a way to contact me privately. I never thought it would happen so quickly because your postint was so long ago.

surasteinberg
surasteinberg on December 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm

Yes, “heljes”, I’d often heard the name Mr. Drogin when my mother and aunts talked about Grandpa and their theaters! I’m on vacation in Washington DC ‘til Sunday but when I get back to my mother’s (Harriet) I’d like to get in touch with you privately by e-mail. Don’t post your real email address here (too public). I’ll see if I can find a way for us to email privately. BTW, “Suskelah” is what my grandfather, who lived with us while we were growing up, called me. Well, it was more like “Suskelah, sit strait, you’ll get a hunchback…” I can’t wait to hear what you remember! Am very excited!

heljes1
heljes1 on December 28, 2007 at 1:43 pm

My father Abe Drogin [died 1941] was Sam Schill’s partner in the Mermaid and other theaters. I have many memories to share with Suskeleh about her grandfather.

RalphSims
RalphSims on July 10, 2007 at 4:46 pm

The Horwitz' lived next door to the Mermaid, above Sinrod’s Tuxedo shop. In addition to screening movies, they would occassionally book live acts. I remember when Jazz great, saxophonist Zoot Sims played there.

BunnyJ
BunnyJ on December 10, 2006 at 8:48 am

I grew up in Coney Island 1950 to 1960. We went to the Mermaid every Saturday with the whole crowd of kids, We saw 2 full length features 4 or 5 cartoons and a serial & newsreel for .25 cents. Candy was a nickel a box. We would scavenge soda bottles for the deposit of .02 each for candy money, Great little theatre….Great times

Theaterat
Theaterat on March 27, 2005 at 1:03 pm

Albert Peckman RE your comments on JohnWayne. John came from a working class background. He was a patriot who loved America. Sure his politics were rigt wing (something wrong with that) bot in no way shape matter or form was he an anti Semite.Suggest you read an unbiased biography on this American icon before you form your prejudiced views

cheap
cheap on December 21, 2004 at 10:36 am

the mermaid closed in 1965

albert peckman

cheap
cheap on December 21, 2004 at 10:34 am

the mermaid was unjustly called a ‘dump
it was a small cozy movie theatre
mostly featured was revival films
or abbot and costello, ma and pa kettle
i remember one rainy april saturday afternoon-there was a john wayne double feature –'sands of iowa jima; and 'they were expendable.'
the place was packed
the candy counter sold bonomos chocolate turkish taffy
the only one who did
these working class kids did not realize john wayne was a n extreme rightwinger and an antisemite who opposed everything that made life tolerable for those naive youths who idolized him
but in the eisenhower 50s who was class conscious

albert peckman

surasteinberg
surasteinberg on November 1, 2004 at 9:37 pm

I don’t know when the Horwitz family bought it, but my grandfather, Samuel Schill, owned it (perhaps later with a partner – I’ll check with my mother and aunt) from around 1924 – 1937. It was in Coney Island. I think it was the first “air conditioned” theater around. They unsnapped and rolled back a canvas roof at night in the summer. I’ll look for pictures and try for more details when I next visit them. Grandpa owned another three or four theaters during those years. I’ll see if I can find them here.

William
William on November 15, 2003 at 10:47 am

The Mermaid Theatre’s address was 2816 Mermaid Ave..

philipgoldberg
philipgoldberg on December 26, 2002 at 7:16 am

I recently gained much more information about this theater. It was owned by the Horwitz family and stood at Mermaid Avenue and W. 26th Street. It had 550 seats and had an extremely large screen. Double-feature programs changed three times a week, and Saturday afternoons were reserved for kiddie matinees. In 1962, Horwitz approached Fred Trump to buy fixtures and seats from the closed Tuxedo Theater, which was slated for demolition. Instead Trump offered him an opportunity to run the much more plush Tuxedo, which Horwitz and his family did for the next three years before it was finally closed and torn down. Yet he could not run both the Mermaid and the Tuxedo. So he sold the Mermaid in 1963""