Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Beverly on Church Avenue

The next time you’re walking from the subway on Church Avenue, make sure to make a left into the "T-Mobile Store".

Take out that two dollars you have in your pocket, and hand it to the lady in the ticket booth on the side where that guy sells all the hats
and gloves.

She will probably not smile and give you a small "Admit One" ticket. You will then walk up the long entranceway that leads inside the Beverly and immediately start to smell stale popcorn. But not to worry, because you see them popping it in the machine on the other side of the heavy wooden doors.

As you open the door to the go inside, a young man will be standing there to take your ticket. You hand it to him and he rips it in two, one half goes into a wooden box, the other you put in your pocket.

Hey, how about some fresh popcorn and a Coke? You walk up to the concession stand and immediately notice a roach under the glass, walking upside down. You pass on the popcorn and opt for "Snow Caps" instead. You hand the woman a dollar and wait for your change, you think for a second about telling her you saw a roach.

But hey, this is the Beverly and Church Avenue isn't exactly Madison. So you just walk away and up the ramp that leads to the main theater. And there it is again, no matter how many times you've been to the Beverly the chandelier that’s bigger than a house is just beautiful as ever, hanging from the ceiling. It must have over a thousand lights, and hundreds and hundreds of crystals. It simply gleams like a star in the darkness, even though it's covered with dust.

The 70's have not been good to the Beverly and you wonder what that place was like when your Mom was young. Did the screen still have that giant stain on it? Was the floor always sticky? were the seats always torn?. Suddenly the lights dim to black, the screen awakens and the movie starts.

You just sit there staring at that big magnificent chandelier, its crystals still sparkling in the darkness, and you can't help but imagine a Beverly that you never knew, a long, long time ago.

Ron Lopez


Elliot James said...

I spent many, many hours in the Beverly from 69 to 72 even though at the time I was living near Brighton and took the subway to Church Ave to get there. I remember in 1972 sitting one night through two showings of Duck You Sucker, directed by Sergio Leone. There's a lot of great historical info about the Beverly on

Diane Hochman said...

Hey Ron...

I just came across your blog the other day when fooling around in PS 179 group on facebook.

I grew up at 550 east Fourth Street up till 1979 when my family moved upstate. My grandparents had lived in 552 probably since the 40s or before so my family had a long legacy there. (The Kahns)

Your blog has brought back so many memories.

Where is your house?

Do you live the next block down across Cortelyou (sp) Road?

Trying to figure that out :)

Thanks for sharing all these things.

I miss Brooklyn and to know the neighborhood is still there makes me smile.

I loved going the The Beverly and felt SO grownup when I was allowed to go on my own.

I can smell the pop corn and see the roach in my mind!

And oh yeah..the chandelier too!