Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life Magazine and McGirr's Pool Room


Alison Fischer from NYCgrind.com (no not that Allison Fisher -- the other one) sends in this little gem. It's an article she came across from Life Magazine from Oct. 8, 1951. Here's the link. I especially like the discussion of the famous old McGirr's pool room, which is where much of "The Hustler" was shot. (Director Robert Rossen also used the Ames pool room as a location.) McGirr's is described in this Life Magazine article as being located in the old Roseland building, on Broadway in New York City. However, it eventually moved over to 45th Street. (It has since closed.) You can read more about the famous old room, and its use in "The Hustler," in The Hustler & The Champ.


-- R.A. Dyer

8 comments:

PoolBum said...

Thanks much for posting the link to the Life Magazine piece. What a great article. I read it, and much like when I play, lost track of everything else. When finished, I realized how hungry I am and remembered the long list of things I have to do today, lol. It's OK, it was worth it!

Anonymous said...

For a while in the mid sixties I was a teenager working at Newman's Theater Tickets which was right below McGirr's (and also the Broadway Camel sign). I remember that each day the best two players at McGirr's (and likely the city) played either One Pocket or three cushion billiards. The rest of the pool hall stopped playing and gathered around the table. They were so good that if a player broke the pack a little bit off, the opponent would run 8 balls into his identified pocket and win. They never played straight pool because I think it would be too easy for them.
Ed P.

Anonymous said...

I remember McGirrs from when it was in the Roseland building. The things that stand out for me was the silence (except for the click of balls, the darkness except for the lights over the tables, and the older women dressed like French maids (black dresses, little aprons, and maid hats) who racked the balls. It was a very serious. They must have moved from the Roseland building around 1956 over to eighth avenue. But there they were in the basement and the lighting was fluorescent everywhere - and it didn't feel classy or mysterious anymore. We switched from there to Paddys over on 7th avenue. It was on the third floor. There was a taxi dance place on the second floor.

I don't think the Hustler was filmed at McGirrs. I believe the filming was done at Julius' Billiards on the second floor on 14th Street. I once saw Willy Moscone play there in an exhibition match.

Peter D Field Sr said...

It was Ames not

Peter D Field Sr said...

No Julius but Ames

Unknown said...

It is called Julian billiards and it is close now

james pellegrino said...

The place was called Julian billiards on 14th street

james pellegrino said...

The place was called Julian's billiards on 14th street