10. Judy Garland performed at the Maspeth Theater

Maspeth Theater

The Maspeth Theater was located at Grand Avenue and 69th Place and was built in 1924. The 1,200-seat theater showed movies until 1965, after which the lobby was adapted for retail use. The auditorium was converted into a bingo hall, signs for which can be seen from the street. It was built by Straus and Strausberg, and it went bankrupt in 1929 after the Wall Street crash, after which Metropolitan Playhouse took it over.

The Ridgewood Flushing trolley car line allowed people from across the city to see performances and the latest movies. The theater is perhaps most notable for helping launch Judy Garland‘s career — Garland performed at the theater perhaps before playing the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She also made an appearance when doing a promotional tour for “Gay Purr-ee” in 1962.