44-17 Greenpoint Avenue
From the 46th St. El, the former Bliss Theatre looms in the distance.
Motion Picture Herald, May 9th 1931:
“The Bliss Theatre in the Woodside [sic] section of New York City, one of the latest additions to the Century Circuit, seats 2,000 and has been designed in a modern interpretation of Egyptian architectural motifs, executed with simplicity, refinement and dignity.”
“Both interior and exterior designs are by William Rau of the Rau Studios, New York. Thomas R. Short was structural architect, and Theresa Jackson made the furniture selections used to complete the scheme and perserve the general motivating treatment embodied in rhe architecture.”
1940 Tax Photo
The Bliss acquired by Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1965 with all traces of paganism and nudity removed from the theatre’s decor.
Long Island Star-Journal, December 4,1965:
“Sunnyside’s Bliss Theatre this weekend begins its new career as the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Assembly Hall with an open public talk at 3 P. M. tomorrow by district minister Walter R. Wissman on ‘The Meaning of the Resurrection of the Dead.'”
“The society took title to the 35-year-old theatre at 45th street and Greenpoint avenue from the Century Theatres chain Wednesday. While no figure was announced, it was estimated that the sum involved was in the neighborhood of a half million dollars.”
Since 1997 theatre historian, Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of theatre talks and walks, available for historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition