Boardwalk Theater

66-18 Boardwalk,
Arverne, NY 11692

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Boardwalk Theater

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This was a small theater located in Arverne, Far Rockaway, Queens. It closed around the late 1940’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 11, 2014 at 1:35 pm

The Arverne Pier Theatre was advertising vaudeville and moving pictures in 1912 so it could be added to Cinema Treasures. Another theatre that I found advertising in 1915 was Priestley’s Atlantic Theatre in Seaside on the Rockaway Peninsula. There are probably a number of these early theatres that were operating in the Rockaway’s that aren’t listed on CT.

walterk on February 13, 2014 at 2:45 am

I found a New York Times article about the 1914 storm that destroyed the Arverne Pier Theatre, saying it had a seating capacity of 1500 (other accounts say it held 1200) and cost $50,000. It also gave the location as near the boardwalk at Arverne Avenue,which doesn’t help much, as the street doesn’t appear to exist anymore, and I haven’t access to older maps. The neighborhood of Arverne extends from Beach 56th to Beach 73rd, so it was located somewhere in that stretch. It would be nice to narrow that down. Also I came across a 1912 nighttime photo of its entrance with a sign advertising photo plays at the website of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston which can be viewed here:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

The Arverne Pier Theatre is mentioned in newspapers that I have found as far back as 1904. At that time it was advertised as the Hurtig & Seamon’s Arverne Pier Theatre. A 1909 item in the real estate section of the NY Sun states that William Fox has leased the Arverne Pier Theatre for five years. It also stated that the theatre had 1,800 seats at that time.

A 1904 ad for Hurtig & Seamon’s Arverne Pier Theatre gives the location of the theatre as Boardwalk and Gaston Avenue. A 1914 newspaper article about the storm that destroyed the Arverne Pier Theatre gives a location of “the outer side of the Boardwalk near Gaston Avenue”. I think Gaston Avenue is now Beach 67th Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm

The caption of the second photo in this slide show at Rockaway Memories says that Gaston Avenue became Beach 67th Street. The caption of the fourth photo says that the renaming had taken place by 1920. The site of the Arverne Pier Theatre must have been very close to that of the Boardwalk Theatre.

walterk on February 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Lost Memory, thanks for the mention of Gatson Avenue, it led to a bit of discovery. Joe, your source and LM’s guess at the location seem to be off by a block. Apparently Beach 67th St once went by the name of Vernam Avenue. One block west was Gaston, now known as Beach 66th St. I discovered this with 2 mentions on the Rockaway memories website, one being a list of the Beach Streets in Rockaway and their original names as reported in the local newspaper in 1993 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of their publication. The second mention on that website deals with the elevated train line, which I won’t link here but also mentions Beach 66th as the former Gaston Avenue. However, here’s the link for street name changes :

I also found an extensive list of street name changes in Queens according to the US Census records. It is thought this list dates to the 20’s or 30’s. This list also mentions Gaston as now being Beach 66th.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm

A June 16, 1907, New York Times article mentions “…the Pier Theatre, at the foot of Vernon [sic] Avenue….” Another bit of complication. Was the 1907 Times article right about the location, or was the 1904 advertisement Lost Memory cited right?

But at least we have the approximate location, which was probably on the short block between Beach 66th and Beach 67th.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for those links Walter. I’ll save them for future reference. The 1904 ad does give the location of the Arverne Pier Theatre as Boardwalk and Gaston Avenue. I’m going to upload the Pier Theatre ad to the photo section for this theatre. I’ll remove it in a few days after everyone has had a chance to see it.

robboehm on February 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Why not just create an entry for the Pier and upload the photo there. There has been enough information to set this up discussed above.

robboehm on February 20, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I would go for the Pier at Gaston because of the ad. Therefore, the reference to it being at Vernam in Old Rockaway, New York, in Early Photographs by Vincent Seyfried and William Asadorian would seem to be incorrect. They, however, say that Vernam became 67th whereas other sources say Gaston did.

They also maintain that the Boardwalk was directly across from the Arverne Pier and was known as the Arverne Pier Danse Movie Palace.

Oy vey.

robboehm on February 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Armed with my trusty magnifying glass I scanned the photo on Page 42 of the book. A sign on the facade and a vertical, in fact, do read Arverne Pier Danse. So they probably were directly across from each other.

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