The former Paris Palace at 292-294 Court Street (today's Amico Child Care)
Similarly, Reader Stephen just found an old ticket from 1925 to the "Primo Annuale Ballo" in his house. It offers a cool glimpse into the neighborhood's Italian-American past. In an email, Jess wrote:
"Nine years after we bought our home on 4th Place, we are finally getting ready for major construction, turning the house back into a one family home where we can raise our three kids. One of the most exciting parts of the whole process is seeing what pieces of the past we uncover.Last week we removed the pier mirror in the parlor floor, sending it off for restoration. Look what I found hiding behind it. I have no doubt that 87 years ago the mirror was a bit wobbly and someone tore up this ticket to steady it! What a wonderful glimpse into life in the neighborhood back then.
I am so curious about the history of our house, and the families that lived there before us. If I find anything else interesting I'll send it on to you."I knew that the Paras Palace mentioned on the ticket still stands at 292-294 Court Street. It was once a movie theatre which belonged to the Scotto Family. The theatre had a big open space on the second floor which was used for various celebrations by the community."
Eager to find out more about the 1925 ball and the Society behind it, I sent of the photo to John Heyer II,lifelong neighborhood resident and the parish historian for Sacred Hearts - St. Stephen's Church. Over the last few years, John has tirelessly worked to collect and preserve unique documents pertaining to the oldest Italian parish in Brooklyn.
He immediately wrote back:
"This is a very exciting find, for a local Italian archivist at least.I asked John about the confusion over the name 'Paris Theatre', as I had seen it spelled Parus or, as on this ticket, Paras. Heyer explained:
You are correct that this event was held in the hall of the Paris Court movie theater. The group was a social organization made up of immigrants from Sicily's 2nd largest city, Catania, and it's surrounding towns within the province. I checked with the Federation of Italian American Organizations and they have no current registration for this group still existing today. Church records also do not show any feasts or activities from the group...I will, however, check my collection of church journals to see if the group ever placed ads in one. most of the Italian societies often did this and the ads often show the address of the organization and when it was founded."
"It's the same place with an Italian twist on the name...the name never changed just the people reading the sign above the door."
Can't wait to find out what else Stephen finds during his renovation. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to John Heyer for the historic background.
If anyone else has come across some cool item from the past, shoot me an email and send me your photos.