Plaza Theatre

107-09 150th Street,
South Jamaica, NY 11435

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Information would be appreciated about this small, subsequent-run movie theatre, which operated for many years in the predominantly black-populated section of Queens known as South Jamaica.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

mauriceski on September 18, 2005 at 7:13 pm

in the 1940s most kids that attended the following schools were in the plaza on sat ps 40,50,48,60,142,and st pious. the movie started at 1115 am . the same format every sat .a mystery movie a western and a comedy and a serial plus coming attractions also a cartoon.after the first showing it would be after 5pm. if you saw everything over again we are talking about after 11pm.then you would have to pay the piper with your life when you got home. some of the western heroes we saw were hopalong cassidy, sunset carson, the durango kid, buster crabbe, bob steele johnny mack brown and tex ritter. some of the serials were zorro.spy smasher and dick tracy

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 19, 2005 at 2:04 am

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook:1940-1955 editions as a Negro theatre.

mauriceski on September 27, 2005 at 11:32 am

this movie was in the italian section of jamaica.also it was near the polish hall which was on sutphin blvd.and about two blocks south of lakewood ave. this part of jamaica was known as dunton or duntin

mauriceski on December 1, 2005 at 7:19 am

Plaza Boy was a term used derogatorily to describe the guys that frequented this cut rate movie house.

kencmcintyre on December 4, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I think this is the current occupant. The photo is not very helpful.

JAB on April 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm

The Plaza Theatre was a wonderful, independently run neighborhood theatre. I spent my childhood at the Plaza and have many fond memories of it. My Mother, Jean Bruno owned The Plaza in conjunction with a Belgian gentleman named George. My Mother started working at The Plaza as a ticket-taker, well before 1940, as far as I know (possibly 1933). She and George ran The Plaza until she died in 1961. George then decided to retire and he and my Father disposed of its equipment.

Those of you who fondly remember their visits to The Plaza may recall my petite, Mother and her indomitable spirit.

Despite what The Film Daily Yearbook 1940-1955 editions state: The Plaza was not primarily an African American attended theatre for most of its existence. The demographics of theatre attendees reflected the changing demographics of South Jamaica. Up until at least the mid-Fifties, The Plaza was primarily attended by first generation Italian American, Polish American and other first generation Americans and immigrants of European descent, who lived in South Jamaica. As these individuals moved out of Jamaica to the suburbs, African Americans increasingly made up a larger percentage of theatre attendees.

I don’t know what other writers are referring to when they mention the Plaza Boys. My Mother was a no-nonsense person who never tolerated any roughhousing or other disrespectful behavior.

I have a picture of The Plaza in its heyday.

mauriceski on October 6, 2009 at 12:53 am

The term PLAZA BOY OR BOYS was by no means a derogatory term if anything it was a term of endearment.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Old thread, but I wonder if JAB still monitors this page and if he has the means to upload that photo of the Plaza in his possession? Anyway, looks like this is now occupied by a church. JAB says the equipment was disposed of in 1961… did they then sell or lease to a church?

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