Hobart Theatre

51-05 31st Avenue,
Woodside, NY 11377

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oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

egg salad sandwich at eddies was twenty cents, malted milk same price. Slice of pizza you are right fifteen cents and an egg cream at the candy store was fifteen cents. My dad filled a tooth for five bucks, extracted one for I think ten? Haircut was fifty cents and the movie ticket I think was fifteen cents???

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm

DeDona Pizza was past Key Food. The one by PS 151 – cannot recall if it had a name beyond Pizza. I know there were price wars between the two when pizza was 15c a slice and soda was 5 cents for a 7oz. cup

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm

PS Fred, where did you live? may have asked before. I think you are a big younger than I am. You knew Danny, did you know Gary Edles or any of the kids who lived on 54th Street? Danny is alive and kicking Still lives locally and spoke to him about a year ago. Edles lives in the UK and teaches at the University there and until last year I think he is now done, at GW or Georgetown. He was number two lawyer at the old Civil Aviation Board.

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm

to your earlier, my bedroom overlooked fifty fourth st and the chinese laundry and the liquor store were adjacent to each other. There was an alley way on the other side of the laundry and we placed stoop ball about twenty feet in. We also went up the hill, across the next street and used to take sleds down, crossing the street at some speed and risk. We called it the Big Hill and the Little Hill. You had to carry a lot of speed to make it all the way down. I’m glad I can still remember any of this in my 79th year.!!!!

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Hi The drugstore on the corner of the “Island” was absolutely Pat’s Pharmacy and then taken over by Danny. The other pharmacy with the lunch counter/soda fountain was Eddie’s. He was a slightly disabled WW2 vet and made me egg salad sandwiches every day from 1948 to 1952.I think I remember DeDona Pizza right next to PS 151 and there was another Pizza shop right next to Wintermeyers bakery, so we also had two pharmacies and two pizza shops. Two by Two. The original drugstore as I recall was Rexall and became B&D. My memories only cover up to maximum 1960 or maybe even earlier, so lots changed.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

The drugstore was “B&D” and the soda fountain was called “Eddie’s” when I arrived in ‘55 when my classmate Frank Eisenberg’s dad ran it before selling to Harry Lipshitz when it became known as Max & Herman’s. Remember DeDona Pizza with Silvio and Pop?

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm

I remember mustachioed Pat Abrams and his protoge Dan Siegel. I used to get stamps there as it was an official US Postal Sub-station. How about one-armed Mr. Greene of Green’s Corner, later taken over by Herb and Sally Katz. That store broke through the wall of the Chinese Laundry and expanded in the 70’s, I think.

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

YES THEY WERE ON THE TRIANGLE NEAR THE BUS STOP TO MASPETH. PAT ABRAMS PHARMACY WAS ON THECORNER OF THE TRIANGLE LATER TAKEN OVER MY MY BEST CHILD HOOD FRIEND DAN SIEGEL UNTIL HE SOLD OUT AND WHENT TO WORKON NORTHERN BLVD. FRAN’S SOLD LOTS OF STUFF MAINLY GREETING CARDS IF I RECALL. IMAGINE, TWO BAKERIES, TWO BARS, TWO LUNCHEONETTES ALL WITHIN TWO HUNDRED FEET!!!

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Correction: Benkert’s and Shamrock were on a triangle of land bordered by 51st St, Hobart St. and 31st Ave. Since their front entrances were on 51st St., which splits from Hobart Street at the apex of the triangle, they would be on 51st St (formerly Bowey Bay Road). Their back walls were on Hobart Street opposite PS 151. The triangular “strip mall” was on a hill. Every so often, a car would miss the turn at the Hobart-51st St fork and plow into Frandahl’s Stationery at the apex. We project kids stayed away from Frandahl’s (which everyone pronounced “Fran-DELL’S,”) as they watched us like hawks. Hobart Street runs just two blocks – from 31st Ave. to 28th Ave. where it becomes 50th St.

QUESTION FOR EXTRA CREDIT: which came first: Hobart Street or Hobart Theatre?

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

YES, THAT IS THE ONE,BUT A CHINESE NURSERY OCCUPIED THE ADJACENT PLOT ONTHE CORNER OF 54TH STREET AND 32ND AVE AND
THE CEMETERY WAS COMPLETELY DERELICT WHEN I WAS A KID. I SAW THEY PUT UP FENCING TO PROTECT IT SOMEWHAT FROM VANDALS. WE CALLED IT THE CHINESE CEMETERY BECAUSE IT SEEMED A PART OF THE CHINESE OR MAYBE JAPANESE NURSERY. THE CARNIE WOULD HAVEBEEN IN THELATE FORTIES OR EARLY FIFTIES BEFORE FIFTYFIVE.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

All before we moved from Kingsboro Houses in Crown Heights in 1955. Heard about the carnival. Chinese cemetery? You’re not referring to the Moore-Jackson Cemetery on the Hobart Bldg. block (still there)?

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm

By the by, do you remember the carnival that used to take place in the field before the Projects were built. They then moved a smaller operation next to 31-12 before they new apartment house was built. At that far corner was the oldest chinese cemetery in New York which is Think still there. The hothouse for a weird operation was burned down by kids and they built a professional office for I think her name was Dr.Hilda Ratner. I used to buy a pint of ice-cream for the security guard at the second carnie location at the candy store next to the drugstore across the street on 31st Ave. sold candy and milkshakes. At the top corner was Wintermeyers Bakery which had big problems as he was a member of the German American Bund and got boycotted. Was a great baker!!

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 1:30 pm

I am sure you are right Fred. Do you remember the Sunoco Station??

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Packed too the Hilt on Saturdays. I worked as assistant usher.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 1:28 pm

No, the corner saloon was Murphy’s Bar and Grill, barely readable in 1940 NYC Tax Photo above. Shamrock was kitty-corner on Hobart Street near Benkert’s Bakery.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 1:25 pm

The Hobart Theatre was a “77-hour house” – 11 hours a day from 1:00 PM until midnight in its last years ending in 1964. They ran kidder matineees on Saturdays, which were heavily promoted by distribution of multi-colored handbills.

On Saturday, if your handbill color matched the one taped to the box office window, you got in free. This was rigged – the winning color, usually dark maroon, was pre-selected and only a few of its clones were given out, usually to adults who were regulars.

For a while, they ran a kid show Comedy Race reel. The 7-min. Race had 10 competitors who wore numbered jerseys. One week it might be cars, the next week it might be bicycles or runners. Every kid got a numbered stub that, if it matched the winner on screen, got a small prize.

Those kid shows were always PACKED!

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

PS. The bar on the corner was called The Shamrock and opposite on the corner of the projects was Larry Stolbach’s Sunoco gas station.

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm

I have been thinking and I think she might have been Scandanavian and her name might have been Inga or Inge. It wasn’t Frances. I visited a couple of years ago when I was in New York and most of the upstairs was taken over by a Hispanic nursery school. They wouldn’t let me past Old Doc Wiles door. Understand, kids, etc. Will try next time with an appointment.

markp
markp on June 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Double Features lost flavor around 1978 as more theatres were twinned and more multiplexes were built. And video was just becoming popular. All these factors along with the way film companies began booking theatres and the double feature, dollar houses were finished. I know since I was a projectionist in many of them and watched them all close.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 4, 2018 at 3:35 am

Wasn’t her mother a matron at the kiddie shows? Perhaps German? Can’t recall names. Elsie was candy attendant in the 60’s. Just noticed earlier post from Kenneth K about Frances, who I suspect is your beloved.

oxfordblues
oxfordblues on June 4, 2018 at 12:47 am

As far back as I can remember having lived in the Hobart Theatre building since 1940 there were always double features plus on saturday mornings, an additional Buck Rogers or some other added attraction. I think, but not sure the theatre ran its first features of the day around 12-2PM weekdays and from 10AM on Saturday Morning. Don’t remember the Sunday schedule. I do remember in the early 50’s having a crush on the woman in the ticket booth who was either a refugee from Germany or somewhere else in Europe. Can’t recall her name. Maybe Fred does?????

robboehm
robboehm on June 3, 2018 at 11:35 pm

Double features were a curse and a blessing. Eastern Suffolk theaters only did single features; two evening performances and a matinee on weekends. Most Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau theaters had continuous performances and a double feature. All that was cut back when the movie business started to go sour in the late 70s.

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on June 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm

The only problem with that is that the Hobart was, with the exception of an occasional first run under Steinberg, a double-feature house and to what you described, you would have to sit through the second feature before the first came on again, by which time, who can even remember the first feature?

HP
HP on June 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm

I grew up in this area and went to PS 151 through 6th grade. I used to go to the Hobart Theater quite frequently as child. This theater was at 51st Street and 31st Avenue, just down the street from the school. I have many fond memories of seeing double features and cartoons at the theater. However when I attended the theater I was not aware as a child that movies had a scheduled starting time until I went downtown to Manhattan theaters. I would always attend and stay until the main feature came to a point the film which I had already seen. (smile)

Fredhadley
Fredhadley on July 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm

I worked at the Hobart from 1963-1964, its closing year. I used to go-fer coffee for the staff from the White Tower on Broadway. I started hanging out in the projection booth with the operators, Eddie Pearle, Nat Brody, Irwin “Smitty” Smith and others. The booth had 2 Motiograph 35MM projectors with Brenkert Enarc carbon arc lamphouses and RCA soundheads. I would run the show while the operators snoozed.

The address is definitely 51-06 as it was on the even side of the street and 60 feet from 51st St. (In Queens the number after the dash times 10 equals the approximate distance from the cross street. (So called “Philadelphia” system and, for my money the best of all the boroughs for ease of locating addresses). Note that Bryant HS, on the same side of the avenue as the Hobart is at 48-10 31Ave.

I recently looked at Wikipedia’s year by year list of movies in order to pinpoint when the Hobart closed. It would be 1964 as I remember Goldfinger played there. None of the 1965 movies were shown, so it closed in late 1964. At the time it was managed by Stanley Borushik, the step-son of mini-chain owner Philip Steinberg. Before Stanley took over, Steinberg’s right hand man, Eddie Bigelper(?), “Mr. B” ran it. Steinberg owned several other dumps, the Olympia on Steinway Street and a few in Brooklyn, including the Boro Park. I ran into Steinberg at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY at Frank Zappa Concer in 1970. Apparently he had a piece of that.

Steinberg would come every night to pick up the day’s receipts after box-office closing at 10 PM. He would park his big white Caddy right in front of the marquee (illegally).

The entrance was definitely a “tunnel” consisting of an outer lobby, inner lobby with concession and stairway to the 2nd floor toilets. As noted by a previous poster, the entrance was to the crosswalk separately the stadium-style balcony from the orchestra. There were just under 600 seats, a threshhold set by the Projectionist Union, Local 306, which I joined in 1969 after turning 21 and passing a fairly stringent NYC Dept. of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity written and 3-part practical exam in the sub-basement of the Treasury Building in which a mock booth with one working projector was set up.

After the Hobart closed, it was gutted so that the sloping floor could be repoured as a flat one in preparation for the Associated Supermarket that took over the space. Its entrance was on 51st St. Where the two exit doors that straddled the screen was. After watching a matinee, some kids would crash out through theses doors which would flood the theatre with ugly daylight until the matron closed it.

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