21 April 2014

A Memory of Brooklyn's Happy Hour Movie Theatre

Over the years, I've heard a remembrance here and there of the Happy Hour Movie Theatre, or of two movie theatres that lined Columbia Street that that Brooklyn thoroughfare was a bustling shopping district (the other was the Luna, currently being replaced by a condo tower). But this is the most detailed account I've ever been sent: 
The Happy Hour movie theatre was located at 225 Columbia Street. During the 50s & 60s every kid in the neighborhood was there every weekend. They had a section in front for all unescorted kids so that the adults could watch the movie in peace. For your 40 cents admission you got a double feature, shorts, cartoons and coming attractions. At 6:00 they would let the parents go in for free because they were just picking up their kids. They always showed a current film with an older one. I remember in the mid 1960s they showed "Beach Blanket Bingo" along with "Against All Flags" with Errol Flynn. Izzy's candy store was next door to the theatre so everyone would pool theie extra money and buy a bag of penny candy and bring it into the theater. Just before it closed down the theatre was not in the best shape. I remember that you had to walk along the walls in the bathrooms because the ceilings leaked in the center of the room. It was still the best way to spend your weeking. I miss it.
The Happy Hour was built in 1915. It was a small theatre. It closed in 1966 and was demolished in 1972. Wish I had a photo of the place. Anyone out there have one?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't have any photos of the Happy Hour Movie Theatre, but my sister got to go to it. We live on Colombia St I believe from the 60's to late 70's. We actually lived on Woodhull St first. for a long time then we moved to Columbia St. Woodhull st. is where I have the best memories of my childhood. I believe the house with the two lion heads stairs is still there. Anyway, going back to the theatre, my sister use to tell me that they also use to give out plates to the people as a promotion so they keep coming back for the full set on each visit. I remember the candy store right next to it which sold comics and it was a very small store. My sister use to collect tons of comics from that store. We live in the building you see behind the clock. We were there after the clock did not work. There were mob in the neighborhood right down the block from us. The Galos. Believe it or not this was a very peaceful neighborhood everyone knew each other. One day I actually saw a man running down the street behind a car with a gun. I heard a shot and looked out my window and saw the man running, but that's all I saw because my sister pulled me in. That was the only time that happened. We use to buy Italian Icees right across the street. Cream nut was my favorite. We were the luckiest people ever to grow up with the best Pizza ever made in Brooklyn on Union St. We were also there when the city destroyed the neighborhood with all the digging and construction on Columbia St. I loved those good old days. I was very proud to see my photo of my communion in the window of the neighborhood photo studio there was one on each side of the street. There was a candy store on Woodhull St in the middle of the block we knew it as Josie's she was old and so sweet, her husband's name was caruso he ran a bird coop on top of a building across the street which made olive oil or bottled it, not sure I was a kid. He was always on that roof with those pigeons, they were messenger pigeons. We had the best block parties on Woodhall St. People use to throw money out the window to everyone in the party wrapped in wooden clothes pins. We walked the streets all the way from Red Hook to Congress Park, to Court St. Now that's where I saw Grease in the theatre they had, or have there. More cream nut icees on Court street too. Ok, Ok, too much Info huh?