Meserole Theatre

723 Manhattan Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

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Showing 1 - 25 of 208 comments

rmdittus on March 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

To the comments regarding the 2 Rite Aid sites – the one that was the Meserole did start as a Genovese, then an Eckerd, and then a Rite Aid. The other one opened as a Rite Aid when it became a store of this type. It was never a Duane Reade. There is a Duane Reade a couple of blocks north where a former Harrico Drug Store was (across from the old Chopin Theater site which is now a Starbucks after being a Burger King).

BabyBoomer on February 3, 2011 at 8:03 am

John……Thanks for the great link.The family enjoyed the pix of the ol'e neighborhood

johndereszewski on February 3, 2011 at 5:38 am

So sorry for getting JF’s name wrong. It is of course JF LUNDY! And, it is a wonderful – not wonderdul – treasure trove that he was kind enough to provide.

johndereszewski on February 3, 2011 at 2:37 am

The great JF Lufty recently posted the attached on another page. It depicts MANY pictures of 1928 ers Manhattan Avenue, including two rare shots of the Meserole’s one time competitor, the Garden Theatre.

Please enjoy this wonderdul treasure trove.

View link

BabyBoomer on January 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

In regard to these old theatres has anyone gone to the Brooklyn Eagle archives web site maintained by the Brooklyn Public Library? You can either type in the search box a name or go to a specific date and get the whole newspaper. They have two sites one from 1841 to 1902 which is easy to navigate and the other from 1902 to 1955 which I haven’t yet figured out.

John…….If you type in the date July 29 1896 you will see an article entitled “Two New Polish Parishes” which describes the cost and construction of St.Stan’s.

johndereszewski on January 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Here is the link to the Greenpoint Star’s page. Hope you enjoy it.


johndereszewski on January 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I went ahead and added the Driggs Palace and the Greenpoint Star to the theater listing. The link to the Driggs Palace appears below.

Incidently, I guessed wrong about this old theater’s location. It actually was situated at the northweat corner of Driggs and Newell – just across from the St. Stan’s convent. Part of this structure may still exist.


johndereszewski on January 1, 2011 at 7:16 am

BabyBoomer, the Brooklyn Theatre Index, which just came out, lists two other old Greenpoint theaters that were once situated on Driggs Ave. The first was the Driggs Palace, which was situated at 206-08 Driggs and existed from 1913 to 1918. I suspect that this site now lies under the roadbed of McGuinnes Blvd.

The second, known as the Greenpoint Star Theatre, had a capacity of 258 and operated from 1912 through 1922. It was situated at the Southeast corner of Eckford – across the street from the Polish National Hall – and had a 255-7 Driggs and 92 Eckford address. I believe a furniture store once occupied this site. In addition, the Greenpoint Public Library used this building as its temporary home in the early 1970’s after the old Carnegie library was rudely demolished and before its drab replacement opened.

Since both of these theaters went out of business MANY years ago, your dad probably did not remember them. They might not even have been movie houses. But at least this helps fill in the record. Happy New Years.

BabyBoomer on December 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

@Bway……….I think you hit it on the nose. The one down by Cayler was once a Duane Reade.Thanks for the pix.

@John………..It sounds like the only one on Driggs Ave. Pop remembers is the one where the Met food is now.I’m only a Greenpointer by marriage(born and raised in Woodhaven Queens)and just passing along his stories that I think might interest the readers who lived in Greenpoint and attended St.Stans.Thanks for the link to the old Winthrop. I do enjoy reading the history and memories of others who lived there before me however.

johndereszewski on December 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Baby Boomer. I was just trying to identify a new “Driggs Ave.” movie site that was situated somewhere between Manhattan Ave. and the Winthrop Theatre at Russell St. If your dad was referring to the Winthrop then I guess the search is at an end. If not, we need to dig a bit more.

Anyhow, the Winthrop has a rather short page on CT that you may wish to peruse – and hopefully add to.. It appears below.


Bway on December 16, 2010 at 8:37 am

The reason there are two Rite Aides have something to do with the fact that there Genovese became Eckerds which became Rite Aid. I think Genovese is what originally went into the Meserole. The other Rite Aid may have been a Rite Aid or a Duane Reade which switched over to RIte Aid also. Through the mergers/acquisitions, you wound up with two of them.

It was an Eckard still, when I took this photo some years ago:

Click here for photo

BabyBoomer on December 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm

John………My wife talked with her Dad this evening about what you asked.Pop told her there were houses on the convent and school corner before they were built.She said there was a movie house where Met foods is now on the corner of Humboldt and Driggs across from the park……..Take care Bob

BabyBoomer on December 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm

If I remember right the years on the corner stone of the school and convent were quite a few years apart.I’ll ask Pop when I call him tomorrow night and get back to you.

johndereszewski on December 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm

BabyBoomer, great to hear from you and especially your dad. My father was born in 1924 and his parents probably had to make a similar contribution to get him through St. Stans. And my parents told me many stories about Greenpoint’s old horse barns.

Some questions for your dad: What was situated before St. Stan’s moved across Driggs Ave. and constructed the nun’s convent and the new school? Could the old Driggs Movie Theater that you referred to previously possibly have been located there? If not, where do you think the old movie house was located?

Hope to hear from you soon!

BabyBoomer on December 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

There are two Rite-Aids with-in blocks of each other(one at the ol'e Meserole and the other on Manhattan Ave.near Cayler Ave.)so I can see them closing down one of them. However I can’t imagine anyone putting money into re-building the Meserole. A one screen movie house today just won’t bring in money and thats about all the space thats available at the current location.

BabyBoomer on December 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

John……..I was talking to Pop and he said he remembers when he was a boy they were asking 10 cents from each kid in order to buy one brick to build St. Stan’s school.He was born in 1917 and didn’t remember the exact year so I went to the school and the corner stone says 1928 so Pop would have been 12 years old.We can walk through the neighborhood and he would point out what places were when he was growing up.Like right off the corner of Diamond and Norman(on Diamond St.)he said there was a stable where people who had horse drawn wagons would keep the horeses at night.For 93 he has some memory.
All the best and Merry Christmas to all.

johndereszewski on November 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Thanks for the post. This is one of many fine articles that the writer, Aaron Short, has contributed about north Brooklyn.

Given that the old Mezzy is largely intact – and the fact that Greenpoint is currently a very hot community – the Mezzy’s restoration is certainly not out of the question. It is definitely a long shot – but this is why hope springs eternal.

Best of luck on this.

CSWalczak on November 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

This article indicates that the building’s owner has put the building up for sale. The broker handling the property does not think it is out of the question that the building might return to theatrical use – especially if the drug store currently occupying the property does not renew its lease: View link

johndereszewski on November 13, 2010 at 7:17 am

TT, actually the article that you posted initially appeared on this page last March, and I made te same correction a couple of days later. I guess the Garden’s early demise plus the fact that the Meserole still LOOKS like an old theater while the Garden has been altered beyond recognition makes it easy for people’s foggy memories to fuse the two movie houses into one.

Beyond this one error, the article does a terrific job of illustrating how the old Mezzzy lives on. It really is worth a look.

johndereszewski on August 28, 2010 at 1:14 am

Babyboomer, I really owe you a response, and I’m sorry that I have taken too long to do so.

I hope your father is doing well. I was fascinated to learn that he remembered the Public Palace Theater, which closed at the end of the silent era. This was the only first hand remembrance of the place that I have come across. (The other evidence is old building records.) There is a small page in Cinema Treasures about the Public Palace – with a recent picture of the place – that I am sure you and your dad would be interested to see.

By the way, I am actually an alumnus of St. Stan’s and do remember when it was one of many Catholic schools in Greenpoint.

Talk soon – and give my best to your dad.

BabyBoomer on March 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

John…..I just got off the phone with Dad and sorry to say but he doesn’t remember any Post Office by the Garden theatre.He really enjoyed the members of this site bringing back memories and hearing the names of the old movies houses such as the Public Palace which he remembered.

Going off topic here he told me a story which I would like to pass along.It seems St.Stans school when he was young closed down for 1 week in February to conserve fuel. Now St. Stans is the last one to being running a school and all the other parishes schools in Greenpoint are closed due to expences.

Thanks again for the memories…….BabyBoomer
(I grew up in Woodhaven Queens)

BabyBoomer on March 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

John….As I said the name Cinema Warsaw was determined through my research and not Dads memory. Not knowing what the locations history was in the past(it opened in 1914)and seeing a possibility of a movie front on the Flicker web site picture inclusion might be the safest direction to take.
I’ll be talking to Dad tonight and will let you know more.

johndereszewski on March 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

By the way, if a “Driggs Theater” did exist at or near the Graham Ave. intersection, the address would have been in the 200-220 Driggs Ave. range. Identifying a precise site will, however, be difficult since, in the late 1950’s, much of this area was demolished to make way for what is now McGuinnes Blvd.

johndereszewski on March 15, 2010 at 3:51 am

I don’t think Cinema Warsaw fills the bill here. The building hosting it was and continues to be the Polish National Hall. During my days in Greenpoint, and I only moved to Forest Hills in 2001, this was exclusively a concert, theater and party venue. Cinema did not play a role at all. “Cinema Warsaw” was only established here recently, and films are only shown on a very periodic basis. Currently, the Polish National Hall is far better known as a venue for cutting edge rock concerts. There is even a debate on Cinema Warsaw’s CT page over whether or not it should be listed here. (In a close call, I favor inclusion.)

So, if an old “Driggs Theater” did exist, it either has not yet been identified in Cinema Treasures or it may have been the previously mentioned Public Palace, which, by the way, was once also known as the Sacks Theater.

I look forward to hearing from you – and your father – very soon.

BabyBoomer on March 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

John…….Upon further research(his leaving open names had me wondering now)I’ve come up with the Cinema Warsaw located on 261 Driggs (between Eckford and Leonard)which is one block away from where dad said it would be.When you google Cinema Warsaw you get a current picture that says it once was the Polish National Hall.You could definatly see the possibility for the front of a movie house however.I believe you can find Cinema Warsaw on this site also.
I’ll ask Pop about that Post Office tomorrow when we talk to him…………..Take Care… Babyboomer