Woodhaven Blvd north of 63rd Ave, looking south, 1972
While Woodhaven Blvd was a major road in 1972, things 48 years ago felt a little more laid back. Standing in front of the art deco Drake Theater, which had opened in 1935, the photographer captured Abbracciamento’s Restaurant next door, in operation since 1948, as well as a few establishments with neon signs that would be considered classic today. Decipherable are a liquor store, drug store and Sullivan’s Bar & Grill. Cars of the era were captured parked next to the curb.
In 2020, the distant streetscape appears much the same, although the businesses along it have changed, save for the liquor store. The Drake Theater closed in the early 1990s and Abbracciamento expanded into its space, but closed in 2014 and the entire block was soon demolished and replaced by a shiny new, dense and quite tall residential building. No cars were in the parking lane the day the photo was taken, but a new 21st century feature can be seen next to it – a rusty red bus lane now runs down the strip speeding up surface transit along the boulevard.