Friday, May 14, 2010

Mae West: Bay Ridge Error

How do you feel when you read something about MAE WEST — — published by a newspaper in her hometown (Brooklyn, NY), no less — — that makes no sense whatsoever? First a little background information on a Bay Ridge intersection: Third Avenue and 72nd Street.
• • Bay Ridge Theatre [7120 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY] • •
• • Built with seating for 1,796 ticket-holders in 1915 — — when Mae West was 22 years old — — this playhouse was designed as a vaudeville venue, judging by its generous protruding stage and rather low proscenium. Eventually, this independent became part of the Loew's chain. Closed in the late 1950s, it was repurposed as an arena for professional wrestling, then a bingo hall. It's now a gym.
• • Clearly, John M. Heffernan does not know that Mae West, born in 1893, was a grown-up by 1915 — — and rather well past the days when she competed to win $5 prizes in an amateur contest. According to his Brooklyn Daily Eagle article: Two blocks was away was the Bay Ridge Theatre on 72nd Street, now the home of McDonalds (and once the location of Bentleys.) This grand theater opened in the early twenties and was owned by Samuel Fox and seated 1,796 people, doubling as a live vaudevillian theater where it is told that a young girl named Mae West won a talent contest in the mid-1920s [sic]. This Bay Ridge landmark closed in the 1960s. . . . .
• • Hmmmm. Should someone tell Mr. Heffernan that by "the mid-1920s", Mae was starring on Broadway in "Sex"?
• • Brooklyn Daily Eagle: 30 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; Tel 718-422-7400
• • Brooklyn Daily Eagle — — Email
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Heff’s Corner: Veteran Bay Ridgeite Recalls Days of Yore"
• • By: John M. Heffernan
• • Published by: Brooklyn Daily Eagle — —
• • Published on: 13 May 2010

• • Tell them you read about it on the MAE WEST BLOG.
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