Anyone Remember Glen Cove’s Cove Theater?

posted by tomniven on February 12, 2004 at 7:25 am

GLEN COVE, NY — I’m seeking info on the demise of the Cove Theater. A large theater under the Skouras flag in the 50s and 60s. Always first with tech advances. Some said because the Loews family had a large estate in Glen Cove.

Max Cooper, always in a tuxedo, was the long-time manager. My friend’s mother, Lilly Dolan, was the matron. The Cove was also the summer home to Butch, a large St. Bernard, who enjoyed the air conditioned lobby. He was famous for getting on a LIRR train for a trip to nearby Oyster Bay for handouts.

I remember the opening of “The Robe” in 1953. The masking was dramatically changed at the start to introduce Cinemascope.

Comments (33)

js662 on February 13, 2004 at 3:29 am

I managed the Cove Theater in Glen Cove for about a month in 1967. The reason for the special care of this building was the fact the Dr. and Mary Calderone lived not all too far from this theater and visited often. Dr. Calderone owned this building. AIT took over the operation of this and all the Calderone theaters in the early 1970. The Cove was performing poorly at best and was the first theater that AIT closed. I think this happened in 1972 or 73. It sat empty for a long period and I lost track of what happened after all the Calderone theaters were closed by AIT in 1974. The Cove was quite a beautiful theater in its day.

graz on February 29, 2004 at 8:05 am

i am sorry to say, the cove changed into a CVS. the Glen,(which i believe was the one next to Exxon is now strip stores, various stores such as bagel, radio shack etc.
i was sorry to see them go also. I am a Glen Cove resident born and raised, 36 yrs.

mgevol on April 24, 2004 at 12:16 pm

Does anyone have any photos of either the Glen or the Cove? I remember the Glen growing up during the 80s. I don’t remember it ever being open then, but I could be wrong.

dw438 on April 22, 2006 at 2:43 pm

I do remember the Cove Theater; a Greek family ran it in the early 1970’s before it was turned into a dinner theater.
FYI Glen Cove in the early 1960’s had FOUR theaters.
The Cove – was a large, old-fashioned 1920’s theater palace with a balcony and fly space above the stage, for vaudeville or theater. And yes, film pioneer Marcus Loew had an estate in Glen Cove.
The Glen – was a small movie theater on Glen Street in the heart of the city. Burned down in the late 1960’s, replaced by a roadway leading to one of the city’s parking garages. The building next door to it has a Tudor facade; it’s still standing as architect’s offices.
The Glen Cove – modern cinema built in the ‘50’s, turned into a CVS drug store in the early '80’s. Further down Glen Street than the 1920’s ear Glen, its parking lot backed into that of St. Patrick’s RC Church. The theater had a small balcony.
The Town – modern cinema almost next door to the Glen Cove (in between was a Wetson’s burger stand, then a McDonald’s). Torn down in the late '70’s for shops. This theater did not have a balcony.
FYI my family preferred drive-in’s – the Westbury and the 110 in Huntington off the LIE.

Lightingguy on May 19, 2007 at 8:06 pm

The Cove Theater became the Northstage Dinner Theater from about 1977 ‘ish, to mid 80’s.

As a dinner theater the orchestra section had all the seats removed with tables installed for food service. A kitchen was added on the east side, with a bar in the lobby. The balcony stayed as theater seating. This was a truly beautiful theater, with Roman columns in a semi-circular room, framing painted fabric murals on the walls representing the 4 seasons.

My wife (GC born and raised) was a cashier here when it was a movie theater in ‘73 thru '75, she then went on to get a degree in technical theater, becoming a follow spot operator, then head prop mistress when it was a dinner theater. She remembers her father (also GC born and raised) talking about seeing vaudeville shows here.

I was the head stage electrician in 1978, then again in 1980 to 1981 and met my wife here. We ran some fun show – My Fair Lady, Shenandoah, Pippin, Camelot, with some memorable ones, such as Grease, whose cast and set came right off of Broadway the day it closed in NYC, including the Greased Lightning golf cart….ummm Car, as well as a set whose rear walls were covered in bubblegum after a 7 year Broadway run.

After an attempt by the us stagehands to unionize (I’ve nothing nice to say about the management or pay scale), the theater management switched the programming to R&R concerts – Gary US Bonds, Elvis Costello, Greg Allman, Ramomes, etc…

Eventually that too failed and the theater was closed, to be torn down with senior housing taking it’s place.

potato222 on November 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

Nice, dw438. Thanks for posting that. I grew up in GC and could never keep all those theater names straight. The Glen Cove and the Town were the two that I knew best and spent many hours in as a kid. I loved those theaters. The building that the Glen Cove was in is still standing. Like you already said it was turned into a CVS, but I’m pretty sure CVS has now moved out and is in the space next door (where the original GC Radio Shack used to be). I remember the day the Town was demolished and became a big pile of rubble. I should have taken some pictures because one of the original projectors was lying on top of the pile. It was a sad and eerie sight.

ccal on March 3, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Hi. I don’t remember what year, but I was watching The Love Bug in the Cove Theatre when part of the ceiling caved in. But kids have their priorities, and I guess management does, too. After a brief halt, the movie was put back on and we watched til the end. This was not too long before the theatre was closed, before it was turned into the Northstage Dinner Theatre. I wnet there a lot as a kid.
I also remember the theatres next door to Wetson’s. St. Pat’s took us there on field trips. Once to see Charleton Heston in ‘The Ten Commandments’, and another time to see ‘I Remember Mama’. The buildings had theatre faces on them, happy and sad.

mic777 on March 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I Lived on Rose Ave in Glen Cove from 1968-1971. I was 8yrs old in 1968. I remember going to the Cove theater like yesterday to see “Night of the living dead ” when it came out in 1968. I also went to South School for 4th grade, it became an Experimental school for a couple years,,It had a Planiterium and a library where u can evan take out Portable radios,,Half the Gym was Synthetic Ice to go ice skating and an awesome Photography class u could take ran by “Mr Ganz” who would take u out during the day with your own 35mm professional cameras and take pics then come back to school which had a darkroom and develop them, we also learned how to make our own movies. And for your regular classes it was a daily choice each period so 1 day i could go to math 1st then english ,then gym, then photography and so on,,,then the next day do it in a different order it was up to each individule…………. This was all just a 4th grade then the following year in 1970 they made it a 4th and 5th, but i missed all my friends because they all were going to middle school, so the 1st month of 5th i told my mom i wanted to go back to middle school and when i did i was like a year behind,,like i didnt learn anything in 4th grade math,science,english and social studies,,lol but i made it… Also played for Glen Cove Yauht Service little league team in 1969 and 1970. we came in 1st place in 1969 under Mike Rogers coaching and then last place in 1970..

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