2004-02-19 / Little Old Canarsie

The Big Building Boom Hit In The 20’s

John Denton

T’ was just after the first world war, which ended in 1918, when a great building boom started here in the 1920’s. All over Canarsie, new homes sprang upby various builders. On Rockaway

Parkway between K & M on the east side of it, rows of bungalows were built by "The Brownsville South Realty Co." also a lot of

2 families on East 98th St. between Avenue L & M, and East "95th St. between Avenue K & L. On the west side of the Parkway between K & L were some twofamilies owned by Jarek, a man who was on the New York Fire Dept. with a title of Lieutenant. He also owned a few on Avenue K between the Parkway and E. 96th St. There also were many two families built on E. 93rd Street between Ave. K & J. also on Ave. K between E. 92nd Street and Remsen. Ave.

Most of these homes being built there were put. up by Henry J. Maurer and Gus Kern.who were partners at the time. The hardware and supplies for all these homes being built were supplied by two merchants on Avenue L Ernest Schacht who had his store on the L near E. 94th St. and Morris Kevelson on the corner of E. 96th St. who had a son Al and his brother running around with kegs of nails on a truck to supply the builders’ needs.


At this time, a large building which was tobe one of Canarsie’s synagogues was built on E. 96th St. between Ave. K & L. The other one was on Glenwood Road and E. 95th St. As Canarsie’s population started to grow, there were rumors going around about a new movie theatre coming up. One place on Rockaway Parkway alongside the old Flatlands Fire House was started by a man named Sam Lesselbaum who had already built the Fortway Theatre on Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 65th Street. He was to build a movie house which would be called the Stadium Theatre. But, the story told at the time, in 1926, was that he had passed away. And so it never was built and in its place a large A & P Supermarket came there.

In a store on the same side, next to the volunteer firehouse, came an uptodate ice cream parlor with the well know "Oettings" from Church and Flatbush Ave. to establish near the movie theatre, but this never came about there. At E. 93rd St. and Ave. L a large movie theatre was built by Field & Maggioli, a team of theatre builders who sold the building to a couple who were well known in the movie theatre chain of the S & S circuit. The late Samuel Strausberg and Morris Bleendes who named it the Canarsie Theatre. The first feature picture shown on the openin dayOct. 11, 1927, was The Blood Ship with Noah Beery, who starred in it.

And so ends another chapter of Little Old Canarsie.

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