2008-11-28 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

And - Once Upon A Time The Rockaway Had Some Sort Of Nightlife
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Long, long ago … in a Rockaway far, far away - there was a little entertainment nightlife. The point had the Colony Club with dining and dancing, Far Rockaway had the Wavecrest Lodge and the Grove Club, Holland had the Monte Carlo night club (which had the first juke box here), Rockaway Park had the Harbor Rest, and all hotel managers must have had a regular meeting all the time … because each hotel had a show or other entertainment, which did not conflict with another hotel. So seven nights a week there was a place to go or something to see.

The Colony, Monte Carlo, and Harbor Rest were directly on the bayfront, with Colony at Reid Avenue at the point. Monte Carlo at Beach 92 Street in Holland, and the Harbor Rest at Beach 116 Street and the bay in Rockaway Park.

Today is a blast from the past with views featuring a full page ad from a 1937 edition of Rockaway Review magazine, published by the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce. Harbor Rest was torn down in the 1960s, Monte Carlo was replaced by the Moulin Rouge and burned, I believe, in the early 1940s, the Grove Club and Wavecrest Lodge also burned around this time, and all the hotels disappeared one at a time. The Rockaways once had, over a span of years … seven movie houses … as well as private clubs and organizations throwing dances on holidays, and these are down to the wire at present.

Crossbay Road during the twenties and thirties had several night spots between Grassy Bay and Broad Channel. Most of these were lost to fire after surviving prohibition and the great depression years.

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