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The Long Beach home where Oscar host Billy Crystal grew up

The childhood home of Billy Crystal at 549

The childhood home of Billy Crystal at 549 E. Park Ave., Long Beach.

Well, it’s been 100 Sundays since Pat and Suzanne Kinnier closed on the Long Beach home where actor-comedian Billy Crystal grew up.

The two-family, two-story house on East Park Avenue (photo), which the couple purchased on March 25, 2010 for $553,000, was the subject of Crystal’s one-man show, “700 Sundays,” which included a three-dimensional replica of the house, as well as 8-mm home movies and photos from his childhood.

Call it serendipity, but Pat Kinnier, a port captain and a bit of a comedian himself, has had nonspeaking roles in movies, including the 1996 film "City Hall," staring Al Pacino. And before he and Suzanne purchased this house, they lived about four blocks away on Shore Road in the aptly named Crystal House apartments. Pat recalls when he and his wife were weighing the pros and cons of buying the former Crystal house, he thought, "Worse-case scenario, we would have a fun place to live."

And so far it has been. Kinnier said they have a good tenant and enjoy the neighborhood. And the yard, where Crystal used to play and pretend he was Mickey Mantle is now the province of the couple’s energetic 9-year old daughter, Chloe, who loves to do cartwheels. “All you see are feet when you look out the window,” laughs Kinnier. They have another daughter, Kellee, 22, and a golden retriever, Buck.

The Kinniers have been chipping away at home improvement projects, such as taking down an interior wall to open up the dining room. Outside, they added a new roof and decks. For the landscape, they implemented a nautical flair with a small sailboat and pilings out front. “I’m trying to put my own spin on it,” says Kinnier.

And while Crystal will be in the Kinniers' living room via telecast this Sunday (the family’s 101st Sunday) as he hosts the Oscars, it is Pat Kinnier’s hope to one day host him in the flesh in that very same room. “That would be cool,” he says.


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