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#1 2003-07-18 10:04:00


around 1905?

Hi! I am trying to trace my family history and I read about a business called Econopouly that was very popular around 1905. The source was the Brooklyn Info Pages by Margaret Ransom, but I have not been able to find anything else anywhere.
Here is a condensed version of what she writes: If you have any more info or pics, please let me know.

She states ECONOPOULY ran a large ice cream parlor at the corner of Broadway and Park avenue. Apparently he had converted the back yard into an outdoor movie auditorium with a piano and a screen at one end and rows of benches with attached tables facing the screen.
People could come in the store to buy excellent ice-cream sodas for five cents or they could go through a door into the garden in the rear and watch the moving pictures on the screen in front just by ordering something to eat or drink. And since, no matter how long one dallied over it, the picture usually outlasted a whole soda one would order a second and possibly even a third drink.
Thus, Mr. ECONOPOULY's enterprise very profitable. The back yard picture palace in the ice cream parlor had a very definite social consequence. No nice girl was allowed to go to a nickelodeon to watch a movie. No nice boy could invite a nice girl to one. But a nice girl could be invited to a walk and an ice cream soda.
It was little wonder then that so many walks seemed to converge at Econopouly's, especially in the summer evenings. The sodas were ten cents instead of a nickel. But the show was free, and the girl, coming home, could truthfully report that she had merely strolled down Bushwick avenue and taken a soda at a place on Broadway. There were many soda places on Broadway and one was not obligated to report every detail.
At about the same time many beer places at the old Bowery in Coney Island permitted people to look at moving pictures as they drank their beer, and the curtain or the swinging door leading into the ECONOPOULY backyard looked too much like a saloon for parents not to be alarmed at first.


#2 2003-07-26 05:34:00


Re: around 1905?


This business was known as the Hicksville Sweet Shop, started by my Grandfather George Econopouly. It was later moved to Broadway and West Marie Street, where my father and uncles took it over.


#3 2003-07-30 09:46:00


Re: around 1905?


My mother's maiden name is Econpouly and we (my cousins and myself) are tracing our family history. We know the Econopouly's had many businesses on Coney Island back in the early 1900's. I know the relatives of the original Econopuly's of Coney Island had opened an ice cream parlor in Hicksville in the 1950's, but this has nothing to do with the original turn of the century Coney Island business. I have been in contact with David Econopouly who told me of the Hicksville business. Are you also related to David?


#4 2003-07-31 14:59:00


Re: around 1905?


The New York Times historical files for 1901 through 1910 shows an article from September 17, 1907, about a "Mardi Gras" festival at Coney Island.  John Econopouly, who owned a hotel on "the Bowery" and several candy stores, was named King.  There is still a passageway among the amusements at Coney Island called The Bowery.
On October 13, 1907, the Times reported that "The Mardi Gras King Loses".  He had been prevented from showing movies on Sundays at his candy store on Broadway, and had tried to get a court order preventing the police from interfering with his business.
There is nothing under Econopouly in the Brooklyn Eagle database, but at present that only goes up to 1901.  Keep an eye on the Brooklyn Public Library homepage, because it is working at extending the file into the 20th C.  Or go to the Brooklyn Histlry Room and the BPL, Grand Army Plaza, and ask to see the clippings on Econopouly from the Brooklyn Eagle morgue.  The Eagle file is free and open to all.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.


#5 2003-08-04 11:39:00


Re: around 1905?


Mr. Thompson,
Thank you for the information and the time you took to help me.


#6 2004-05-12 03:17:34


Re: around 1905?


I'm an Econopouly.  The David that you are all
talking about is my Dad's cousin.  My Papou
(grandfather), Gus Econopouly, and his brothers
owned the Hicksville Sweet Shop until they sold it
before I was born.  The movie theater in Brooklyn
was owned by my family as well.  I find it funny
that we are in someone's family tree that we don't
all know - the movie theater in Brooklyn was
started shortly after my family came to this country
and we really haven't been here that long.

Well, good luck with your search.


#7 2004-05-12 22:21:41

Re: around 1905?

Econopoulys of Coney Island

These Econopouly brothers came from a little village outside of Sparta. If your family came this village more than likely you are related to them.


#8 2011-06-05 13:48:25

New member
Registered: 2011-06-05
Posts: 1

Re: around 1905?

My grandfather was Louis Econopouly.  I believe he was one of the brothers.  I have been trying to trace the family history also.  I've found that he came over from Greece in 1896.  His family was from Sparta.  I remember my father telling me that the family had bath houses and other businesses at Coney Island.  I would love to find out as much as possible about the family history.




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