Jersey City Assembly Hall Memories

by LexIsFree 12 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LexIsFree
    So I was watching clips from the annual meeting. I must say I do miss the Jersey City Assembly Hall. I loved going to that place as a kid. I remember before the renovation was done, going into the area where you picked up your food. I always went with my dad with our tickets and stocked up on those chicken sandwiches. LOL. And who can forget the ice cream machine they use to have (chocolate syrup on mine of course). I also remember my dad always taking our McDonald's lunch order during the baptism talk. It's weird that I can honestly say I do not remember one single talk or experience from the Jersey City assemblies, but I do remember the ambiance and running around with my friends. I also remember one time an "evil apostate" running into the front stage area yelling at the top of his lungs with a huge sign and the elders/attendants surrounding him and pushing him out of the auditorium. Who would have known then that me as a young kid would become an 'evil apostate'. If any of you went to that hall, what stories or memories do you have of it?
  • LexIsFree
    Oh! I also remember all the cool kids and disfellowshipped ones sat in the top level all the way in the back rows. I was never, ever allowed to sit up there. But I did enjoy my time up there as a teenager scoping out hot sisters. LOL
  • steve2

    Nice memories. It's amazing what we recall years later about our experiences as children.

    I really enjoyed going out in the field service with any one of my 4 grandparents - I think why those experiences stood out is because they gave me one-to-one attention. Looking back, I admired their clear sense of purpose and commitment.

    Of course, that was a different time (and age) and I now realize that, by any other name, they and I were deluded. But, yes, many happy memories.

  • respectful_observer

    What I find amusing about it is that J-dubs always love to judge "Christendom" for their elaborate churches full of expensive materials and finishes, and biblical imagery on the walls. Yet they fawn over and show off this theatre that is full of all those things.

    We were recently touring a historic church in another country with some J-dubs and they were all commenting how freaked out they were over all the bible scenes painted on the walls and . "I'm so glad our Kingdom Halls don't look like this!" I couldn't help myself and finally said, "Actually all these fancy columns and wall murals remind me of the Stanley Theatre." The looks on their faces was priceless. One person offered up a quiet: "Well that's different.", but the whole group suddenly stopped their criticism of Christendom's churches.

    If you hung a big crucifix over the stage it would indistinguishable from a lot of big churches out there.

    Closest thing the Watchtower has to St. Peter's Basilica.

  • done4good

    I remember working on the large addition they put on the building in 1992 or so. I was working on the roof at the time, when another crew was redoing the concrete steps to the roof. I somehow missed the announcement that was made that the stairs were going to be closed off for the remainder of the day...meaning climbing onto the scaffolding, which had no planks at all...just an overgrown set of monkey bars...all the way down to the ground!!!

    Nearly shit myself over that and never was so glad to be back on the ground.

    I do miss the ice cream, however...


  • Dunedain

    I used to have my assemblies at the Stanley Theatre, too. I was going there since probably 8 years old. I actually gave a bible reading there, when i was 9 years old. Also, did a part on there as one of the kids of a "spiritual family", with another young girl my age, who was the PO's daughter, and our "parents" were a middle aged pioneer couple, lol. I was nervous as HELL, being a 9 yr old kid up on that stage, and in front of THOUSANDS of people. The worst part, was being backstage waiting before you went on stage, thats when your nerves kick in.

    Later on, in my pre- and early teens, i remember all the "hang out" spots, that the Stanley theater had. Sometimes, i would meet my friends, during lunchbreak, at the lion fountain, on the side of the main seating area on the ground floor. We would call it the "spitting Lion", it was a Lions head with water sqirting from its mouth and into a "bowl".

    Or, we had a meeting spot, downstairs, by where the underground bathrooms were. Does anybody remember HOW MANY stalls there were in those bathrooms? Especially the womans room, they probably had over 50 stalls in a row, just so there would never be a line. After one assembly, it was my congregations turn for the cleaning assignment, and i will never forget ALL those bathrooms/toilets/sinks, that needed cleaning.

    This really applies to any older assembly, not just Stanly theater, but i remember the old food "tickets", and the food, like burritos, chicken sandwiches, and the ham n egg breakfast sandwiches, or at least in America they had that. I DO remember the ice cream machines at the Stanley theater. There would always be, bad little kids, loading up on TOO much ice cream, and getting "caught" by MaMA, as she threw little Jamal, an ASS WHIPPIN.

    I remember, when you first walked into the theater, there was a large, circular, tiled compass?, on the floor, and i remember a "sister" holding a baby, slipping and falling on the, nice slick tile.

    My, father used to always want to sit towards the front, and i used to HATE that shit. When you went to the bathroom, you would have to walk that whole, long walkway, to the back, and you are thinking everybody is staring at you. LOL, i remember a large, fat, "brother" making the "long walk" back to his seat, and his suit jacket was shoved/tucked down his pants, in the back. It looked like he had a "quicky" and barely got his pants back on. There would always be the "sister" making the "long walk" back to her seat, from the bathroom, and with a length of toilet paper stuck to her high heel.

    And, lastly, i will never forget all the fashionable "black sisters", and their GIGANTIC FREAKING HATS, lol. Some of those things were INSANE, and looked like satelite TV dishes, on their heads. There were these. big, flowery, lacy, monstrosities, randomly all over the place, and blocking children, and short adults, from seeing anything on the stage.

    Good times, good times, at the old OPULENT STANLEY THEATER. Makes many of Christendoms houses of worship, look like a garage.

  • tragical
    Same here. I loved going there for the opulence, definitely not for the spiritual food.
  • Dunedain
    OH, and who can forget those "light shows" that they would do, at the end on the last day, after the last talk, of the weekend assembly. They would dim/ shut off the lights, play that horrible music, and "light up" the "stars". It was the same "show", every year. They would have the "clouds" spinning around on the ceiling, and the lights twinkle like stars. Then when it was over, everyone would "CLAP", like it was the most incredible thing they had ever seen. Honestly, i think everyone was clapping because they knew that boring as shit assembly was finally OVER, lol.
  • Diogenesister
    Dunedain I've really enjoyed that, you totally took me there!👍
  • LexIsFree

    @Dunedain Hilarious post! I too remember that lion. And who could forget that compass on the floor. I saw many a person bust their ass cus of those slick tiles. LOL

    @done4good I remember my dad working there some where in the ceiling running some type of cabke for the stereo or heating system (not sure). And the ice cream was THE BEST!!!

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