Best, worst and weirdest assembly halls...

by Jamelle 46 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jamelle

    A recent thread about the experience of attending the 1969 convention as a young child really started me thinking. I have several fuzzy memories of assemblies I attended as very young child. This got me onto the track of the rather odd, uncomfortable or even really cool buildings I have visited over the years as a result of those conventions.

    So my questions to everyone are:

    What was the weirdest place you can remember attending an assembly at?

    What was the worst place? No air conditioning for example?

    What was your favorite place to attend assemblies at? Why?

  • SickofLies

    When I was living in the US I attended an assembly in Chacigo with an open dome and it rained all three days I was there and I still managed to get a sun burn at the end somehow. Thats gotta be the worst for me.

  • lucky

    I think the worst convention was as a child at Candlestick Park in SF. It was freezing in the morning and boiling in the afternoon.

    The best convention was at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island when we went to visit my grandparents. They lived 5 minutes away from the coliseum and my grandfather would drop us off at the front door in the morning and come pick us up and we'd go home at lunch and go swimming every day. We never wanted to go back for the afternoon session, though.

  • Jamelle

    What was the weirdest place you can remember attending an assembly at?

    I never went to an assembly in a building that was weird in and of itself - but I thought it was rather an odd choice for a Witness assembly. For District Conventions we used to go to the JACC on the campus of Notre Dame University.

    Walking around during sessions I could look at all the photos and Catholic memorabilia that was all over the walls, etc. And during sessions you looked down at a stage setup over the basketball court - and hung above that stage, from the ceiling of the huge dome - a gi-normus American flag. (They wouldn't take it down - the JWs asked )

    I always enjoyed assemblies there because there were tons of things to walk around and look at - and if you were good you could sneak into hallways where you shouldn't be - maybe even into the other dome. They cracked down on that in later years, but when I was young I remember going all over the place in those buildings.

    Another weird choice was the race track in Cicero, IL. Catholics and gambling...what were these brothers thinking?

    What was the worst place? No air conditioning for example?

    I think my choice would have to be the Romeoville assembly hall in Illinois. The words I think of when I think of that building are grey, grey and more grey. It was a boring box - no character - nothing to look at inside - the roof was so high there was no way to easily count ceiling tiles while pretending to listen to the talks. Now when a gal can't even count ceiling tiles to keep herself sane, that's pretty sad!

    There was some pretty landscaping done outside - but other than taking a smoke break out there once during a session I never really appreciated the ponds and water plants overmuch.

    What was your favorite place to attend assemblies at? Why?

    My favorite assembly hall's name is lost to me. I attended there as a young child - probably over 18 years ago. It was somewhere in Chicago and it was a beautiful old theatre - probably turn of the century (the last one).

    The lobby walls were lined with red velvet panels and the architecture was gorgeous. The main part of the theater was so pretty - I used to just stare at everything for hours (better than listening to boring rebellions started while I was young...)

    There were large curved staircases and crystal chandeliers. And near the baptismal pool was a huge wall mural in vibrant colors - a depiction of Jesus being baptized I believe. Obviously that was added when the JWs took over - but I remember loving to go look at it.

    Does anyone remember going to assemblies at a place like this? What was the name of that old theatre? I would love to find out!!!

  • LDH

    The words "Veterans War Memorial" will always holde a special place in my heart, LOL.

    Utica NY, where I felt like I would fall because the stairs seemed very steep.

    Syracuse NY where I was ripped off for volunteer labor three weekends a year.

    Henrietta NY (Rotten-chester) where I glued more f*cking seatbacks together than you can shake a stick at. My sister and I and several other young 'pioneers' built that shit from the ground up. Volunteer labor. This was in the late 80's. Now I hear Kodak and Xerox have offered over ten million dollars for it.


    Thanks for the memories (NOT!) Class

  • unclebruce

    Best: Woodville Town Hall - It was like a huge cinema with balconies and wide leather seats. I liked sitting upstairs. You could pretend you were at the theatre. Performing on a proper stage was good too.

    Worse: Ridgehaven Ass Hall. We built it ourselves but forgot to instal windows.

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    Weirdest: Hmmm...I guess they were all pretty weird in their own way.

    Worst: Philadelphia's Vet Stadium. Pure HELL. Between the heat, the artificial turf, and the programs, it was Pure HELL. No other way to describe it.

    Best: Probably the Old Monroe NY Assembly Hall. Up in the Mountains. Beautiful Surroundings. I actually enjoyed going up there cause the surroundings were so beautiful and peaceful. I used to love to walk outside, (especially during the program).

  • enderby

    The worst I can remember was a district assembly at Maple Leaf Gardens in the early 90's? Can anyone verify this? It was so stinking hot that people were crowded around windows during the talks and old people were passing out left and right. Brutal! I was a young kid, so I don't recall many details.

  • Ellie

    The football ground one was pretty cool, I think it was Manchester City, maybe someone can confirm that.

    The assembly hall in Manchester is really ugly, it has these circular things on the wall, and wierd tubing kind of thing on the stage, it definately could do with a make over.

    I once went to an assembly, I don't know where, I was only about 6, it was an amphitheatre with really steep steps, and it was so hot, not the best day I've ever had.

  • luna2

    In IL the DA would switch between two racetracks in Cicero, Sportsman's Park and Hawthorne Park. It was at least a 2-hour drive and getting there on Thursday could be a real bitch because you had to fight morning rush hour traffic. If you didn't stay in a hotel near the track, you could also look forward to hitting rush hour coming home in the evening. Nothing like a 2 or 3 hour drive after a mind & butt numbing day of sweating in the heat and listening to boring lectures that you could barely hear.

    I can't remember which racetrack it was, but one of them was mostly open-air which was not fabulous because our DA's were held in sweltering July heat most of the time. Once I got there late and we had to sit on stupid folding chairs right on the racetrack in the sun all morning. Got major sunburn out of that one. There is just nothing like stuffing your beat-red face with a mystery meat hogie and a crappy luke warm Shasta while dizzy from heat stroke (almost).

    At one of the racetracks there was a club section with lovely upholstered chairs that revolved (and may have tilted back, but I'm not sure about that) but, of course, those were always taken. There are perks to working the Assembly. I also remember that the gate would be locked to the masses until the "official" opening time. A big crowd would gather at the chain link gate, chomping at the bit while waiting for the brother to unlock it. An announcement would be made not to run...but most of the city dubs didn't listen and a stampede ensued. All us more obedient types would have to flatten ourselves up against a wall in order not to be run over by the maddened herd. I don't know what they were running for...the club section seats already had bibles and magazines all over them.

    Sometimes I wonder wtf I was thinking by putting myself and my kids through this torture year after year.

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