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« Over the Rooftops | Main | Karmic Justice? »

January 12, 2010



As I recall, it was the Trans-Lux East. "The Harder They Come" played there at some point.


Make that Trans-Lux 85th Street.


There was a Baskin & Robbins across the street. What was the name of the restaurant with the blue whale on the awning?

Alex in NYC

The would be Moby Dick's, I think? When I was a junior in high school around the corner (at Loyola), the senior class cut the whale down to give to one of our English teachers (I believe they had to bisect it to do it).


Thanks for the reply! Remember Brew 'n' Burger, Leo's, the Bagel Nosh? How about MaBell's and the AutoPub? (I grew up on 84th and Madison.)

Gregory Athis

I worked at the Trans-Lux 85th street theatre in the summer of 1977. We showed two films that summer. Annie Hall and New York,New york. When I was hired the boss Norman Toy told me the A/C was out. He then told me that the theatre owners where planing to sell the the place and that they would not fix the A/C. I was to come in every morning and run a cold water fauset full blast while a large fan blew the cold water vapors into the theatre. If anyone ask if the A/C was working (as did the actress Maureen Stapleton) I was to tell them that the "CITY" was cutting back on power. I felt so bad lying to Miss Stapleton(she was so sweet). I worked there with a lovley lady by the name of Jean Jacksina. Jean was the ticket both lady Iwas an asher. One day the movie director Otto Preminger came in to see New York,New York. With in 10 min of the film he walked out , I ask him if there was anything wrong , he said no but that the movie was a peice of shit. Had a great summer there before I left for San Diego. God bless you Jean.


Gregory Athis -- Thanks for a great story.


This page has brought me back in time. My dad managed the Puffing Billy for many years and then went on and owned the Moby Dick Restaurant which he sold in 1985. On busy days at the Puffing Billy which my dad brought me to often he would have a waitress bring me to the Translux to watch a movie ( Bad News Bears)and many others. Does anyone remember MR. PHILLIPS Florist shop on on the corner of 85yh st. or the deli on the corner corner of 86 st.caddy corner from the puffing Billy? Aleck.

CLP shows a picture of the theater


The deli was called Goulden's! And there was also Ellen's candy and confectionary store on Madison. And womrath's bookstore right next to the movie theatre. The puffing bully had a great grilled cheese and those red booths with buttons on them. And Moby Dick was a great restaurant too! I loved that wonderful trans Lux. I think I saw her ur the love bug, the cat from outer space , death in the Nile and some movie about Sasquatch there.

Fred M

Summer of 1977 I watched Annie Hall eleven times sitting and smoking in the balcony. I was in love with a girl named Anne and eventually wrote movie sceipts of my own.
I will always tresure the New York if yhat time that alowed a dream palace like the Trans Luz to exist.

Larry Bogue

I moved to New York City in 1976, living at 20 E 76th St. I discovered a great local restaurant nearby called the Puffing Billy". Being from he South, I was extremely pleased that this restaurant served fresh brewed iced tea. It became an instant favorite place for my wife and me to eat. The food was always excellent too.


Definitely saw the Sasquatch movie there as well as a “documentary” called Beyond and Back about people who died and came back—scared the heck out of me and my friends. I remember Puffing Billy has these cool salt and pepper shakers which were a small rectangular bock with two chambers, one for salt and one for pepper. To dispense, you’d simply press the white or black button on the top and the spice fell out the bottom. Quite advanced for the 1970: and to a kid, really cool. On 86th was Madison Avenue Deli (long gone), and there was Venture Stationery on 85-86th. You all may recall a toy store on the West side of Madison 83rd street called Youth at Play. Those mom and pop stores were the best and always smelled like Crayons and play-doh. They had a rack with Mad Libs! Moby Dick was a landmark as the location where the 86th street crosstown bus stopped (then called the M18, now more sensibly called the M86). One other note: the Coffee Shop on the SE corner of 82nd & Madison, now called Nectar 82, was called The Copper Lantern and was featured in the Oscar winning film Kramer vs. Kramer. In later years the area we are discussing also had a stationery store called Diversions, a candy store called Sweet Temptations and also NYC’s first $1 pizza (that was expensive in those days), which was Ray’s on 79-80th on the West Side of Madison. Thanks for the walk down Madison Memory Lane.

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