2012-05-11 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Special Horror Shows At The Far Rockaway Strand Movie Theatre
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Back in the good old days in Far Rockaway (when we had three motion picture theatres in Far Rockaway, one in Edgemere, one in Arverne, one in Hammels, one in Holland, one Rockaway Park, one at the Point Colony, and two open air movies on the boardwalk in Arverne and Edgemere) special shows were held on occasion …And were well attended.

One such show was held in the long closed Strand Theatre, at 714 Central Avenue, on Monday, July 28, 1952. The price of admission was $1.00, and for the price of one buck you got a cartoon, a newsreel, coming attractions, a double feature of horror movies, and a stage show. Showtime was 8:30 p.m. and the show let out at 1 a.m.!

Upon leaving you could hop the bus home, walk to your car parked on the side street, or window-shop on the way to the parking lot by the railroad and bus station at Mott and Central Avenues. There were no iron gates on any of the shops to obstruct the view of the nicely decorated windows. As a matter of choice, some stopped at the old State Diner on the southeast corner of Beach Channel Drive and Mott Avenue (at present, McDonald’s). Another favorite was the Pizza King in the swamps of Old Rosedale, or over the bridge (for a dime) to Weiss’ in Broad Channel.

One nice thing about these shows is that the girls got scared and held on to us guys, and we …….!

A ticket stub of this show is presented today in Historical Views. And it describes the content of the show presented.

The movies shown were the classic Frankenstein and Dracula films, which are still enjoyable when shown on cable.

For the live show the house lights flicked on and off as Frankenstein did pop up here and there scaring the young ladies out of their wits, a skeleton traversed over the seats on a wire doing the same, and the guys made the girls flip with a few shouts and touches!

And got punched or slapped in return! We loved it! We loved it! –

Right fellas? And some girls did, too!

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