Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"The Nostrand," a model Brooklyn Show House

Excerpts Moving Picture World,November 19, 1910:
"The 'Nostrand' is indeed an exemplification of all that we have been trying to teach our readers a thoroughly high-class place of amusement should consist of."

"As you enter the 'Nostrand,' instead of passing directly into the auditorium you enter a handsome spacious foyer about twenty-five feet square. Here are large easy chairs, settees and tables of green crex and the decorations are carried out in a deep shade of green.
"The floor is white tile and a few white marble steps lead up at the rear of the auditorium. There are mirrors where in the polished surface the ladies can assure themselves that their hats are set on the latest chic angles before leaving. This, so Mr. [Henry L.] Schloh believes, banishes one of the greatest terrors that the ladies have in removing their hats."   

 "On entering the auditorium you seem almost for the moment to have found yourself in some tropical country from which the last dim light of day is receding. The walls from about one-third of the distance up all the way to the ceiling are painted with an artistic mural frieze showing waving palms, sand beaches, long stretches of blue ocean and sloping hillsides. The artist has accomplished his work perfectly  and has left nothing to be criticised or desired."

"The auditorium is forty-seven feet wide and a trifle longer, and there is an incline from the back to the front of about eight feet perpendicular. There are three large skylight ventilators and four exits. The center aisle is six feet in width and there are two side aisles each four feet wide. The floor is heavily carpeted.
"For the convenience of the patrons a telephone booth has been installed, and by this means it is possible for doctors who wish to seek a few moments relaxation to visit the 'Nostrand,' for they are within instant touch with their offices and the hospitals."

"The operating booth is nine feet in length by seven feet in width and is topped by a skylight ventilator so that the operator is always supplied with plenty of fresh air. Recently a new Power's No. 6 machine was installed."

"One of the features of the 'Nostrand' is the music and not to mention this important adjunct would be to leave half unsaid."

"Mr. Martin Savage, who has charge of this department, has been in the game a long time, and judging from his gray hairs he might be said  a veteran in it."

"He operates with excellent taste about fifty-three 'traps' and is also a proficient bell-ringer. He keeps his bells on the table at the front all the time and renders selections on them between reels. This is the nearest approach to vaudeville that will probably ever enter the 'Nostrand.'"

"The 'Nostrand' is owned and operated by partners, Mr. William Haase and Mr. Henry L. Schloh. These two men can be easily classed among the leading exponents of moving picture exhibiting in Brooklyn."

The Nostrand was located at 657 Nostrand Avenue. "Those of my readers who know anything about Brooklyn, know that to live in the St. Marks section means that your bank account is a large one" (Moving Picture World).

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society. 

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