Bliss Theatre

44-17 Greenpoint Avenue,
Sunnyside, NY 11104

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MAJ216ROCK
MAJ216ROCK on May 13, 2013 at 9:11 am

Hello, I wanted to comment on LarryC’s question as to what year Jehovah’s Witnesses began using the Bliss Theatre. The property was purchased in 1965 and went into use shortly thereafter. This location is used as an Assembly Hall, where Witnesses meet for annual one and two day assemblies and 3 day District Conventions. Although the public is more than welcomed to attend, keep in mind that foreign language congregations also use this assembly hall. So, ask an attendant if an English language assembly or convention is going on the day you visit. Otherwise, you may not understand the language spoken. But, you’re still welcomed to stay! :–)

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on January 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

If anything, I’m surprised that the Bliss lasted into 1965 as a movie house. Were it not for TT’s documentation, I would have placed the conversion at least a few years earlier. At least that’s how my less than perfect memory records it

LarryC
LarryC on January 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Correction. Another site says it changed to the JW hall in the 70’s.

LarryC
LarryC on January 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Does anyone know the exact year that the Bliss Theater closed and when it became the JW assembly hall? It says above the 70’s which sounds correct. Someone on the fb Woodside site says that it closed in ‘65 and became the JW. Says she has vivid memories of that. I called the JW hall and they said it was renovated in '65 and that is when it became the JW hall. I remember it being later.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Looking at the photo you posted on August 11, 2010, also appears they removed at least two decorative elements from the main facade above the marquee: what appears to be a glazed terra cotta set of wings high on the center elevation and two series of carvings or “drawings” on either side. I wonder why the interior was stripped so drastically? Meanwhile, in Jersey City, the Witnesses have painstakingly preserved original Stanley Theatre auditorium.

Willburg145
Willburg145 on June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

Any pictures of the interior as it looks now? I wonder if they would let anyone take photos. Why are some people against letting someone take a photo?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Here is an item in the August 1, 1953 edition of Boxoffice magazine:

NEW YORK-Police arrested a ring of youthful theatre bandits Wednesday whose members said they concentrated on houses showing 3-D pictures “because they take in more money”.

The holdups began June 12 with a $1,600 haul at the Sunnyside Theatre, Queens. On June 28, according to police charges, the robbers got $1,300 from the Bliss Theatre in Queens, on July 8 $800 from the Fortway Theatre in Brooklyn, and $400 from the Dover Theatre, Bronx, Monday July 27. In between theatre jobs, the bandits are alleged to have held up a number of taverns.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on February 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Thank you, Ross, for your attention and help !

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on February 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm

As those of you who have visited this page over the last few days will notice, I have deleted a number of off-topic and/or antagonistic emails.

The next attack wins a free suspension! :)

habitant
habitant on March 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Hello, my name is Guy Smith, and cant believe I found thus site. I lived at 53-07 43rd Street, Maspth in buildings called the Flats near the Calvery Cemetary from 1959-1963. One summer day on a Saturday, myself and my friend Danny Finn and another boy went to The Bliss Theater to see “Jack the Giant Killer”, must have been in 1961. Wonder if anyone has memories of this area as I was seven in 1961, remember a Key Food, a small candy store, a bakery, a doctors office…which I hated, and a Buster Brown shoe store nearby. My e-maol is Thank You.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2008 at 10:52 am

This photo was on a site called bridgeandtunnelclub.com. There are several photos of current and former theaters in the NYC area. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t seen it already:
http://tinyurl.com/3cd38s

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 17, 2006 at 5:19 am

Great image, Warren, despite the graininess. The auditorium appears to have been far more elaborately ornamented than I would have thought, particularly for what would be a 2nd run nabe. I imagine the intentions were a bit loftier when it was built? Perhaps Century’s thought it might compete with the Valencia and Triboro? I love the straight line and right angle patterns. No curves in sight – not even on the chandelier! An interesting contrast to the usual Adamesque or Art Deco/Moderne interiors found in most nabes throughout the borough.

PKoch
PKoch on May 12, 2006 at 9:48 am

Thanks, EdSolero.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 11, 2006 at 4:41 pm

I reorganized my photobucket account, so the photos I originally posted Sep 7th are now located in this album.

PKoch
PKoch on September 7, 2005 at 11:36 am

You’re welcome, EdSolero !

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 11:16 am

Thanks for the encouragement, PKoch. And have no fear… I am imune to religious indoctrination! Ironically, my father was raised Jehovah’s Witness (but abandoned it in adulthood). Maybe I can use that somehow to curry favor with those who have the authority to let me in with my camera.

PKoch
PKoch on September 7, 2005 at 11:06 am

EdSolero, the former Valencia, now the Tabernacle Of Prayer, is a different story. It reads like a strong Christian church, and I see no reason not to go inside.

I have read that the interior there has been repainted in colors gaudier than the original decor, and that the naked cherubs on the ceiling have been covered for modesty.

Warren, I never knew that St. Sebastian’s in Woodside was once a Loew’s movie house. I’ve passed it so many times on the el, yet have never been inside. Yet a friend of mine once was. Thanks for mentioning this.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 11:00 am

Thanks for the tip, Warren. I’d also love to get my camera inside the old Valencia on Jamaica Avenue, one of these days. Presently, the level of nerve I can work up on these excursions only allows for exterior shots. But, when I stop to think about it… what have I got to lose?

PKoch
PKoch on September 7, 2005 at 8:36 am

EdSolero, please don’t become a Jehovah’s Witness, just to get inside of, and photograph the interior of, that former theater ! It’s not worth it !

My first memory of the Wyckoff Theater (there’s a page for it on this site) in Wyckoff Heights, Bklyn, is as a Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 8:26 am

Here are some exterior shots I took a couple of weekends ago:

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I wonder if the Church would allow me to take some photographs of the interior one Sunday after services (or perhaps on some other day of the week)? Next time around, I’ll give it a try.

RobertR
RobertR on July 11, 2005 at 3:50 pm

The Bliss ran this double bill Christmas 1954
View link

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 17, 2004 at 11:44 am

The Bliss can be glimpsed at mid-left edge of the following image. Look for the watertower (as opposed to WatchTower) :

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?510