Babylon Cinemas

34 West Main Street,
Babylon, NY 11702

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Showing 26 - 50 of 59 comments

jukingeo on August 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Ahhh, the good ‘ole Babylon Theatre. This theatre and I go way back…way back to 1982. The first movie I saw here was “Conan: The Barbarian”. Back then the theatre was a HUGE single curved screen with a gorgeous proscenium arch. The theatre had a balcony too. In the lobby there was a huge art deco type chandelier and a beautiful stairway up to the balcony (which already had partial stadium seating). That same year (1982) “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” was released to this theatre. This was the first movie I viewed multiple times here. While E.T. is in my top 3 favorite movie list, the first time seeing it at Babylon was perhaps the single best theatre experience I ever had.

Then in 1984/5 tragedy struck the Babylon and it was divided two three screens. The large auditorium was divided into two and the balcony became the third screen. Much of the beautiful ornamentation in the theatre was gone. The chandelier still remained though. Gone was the large curved screen and it’s beautiful proscenium. Instead you had just simple rectangular screens on a simple black background.

The first movie I saw after the conversion was “Cocoon” (1985). It was shown on the balcony screen. However, the conversion wasn’t completed and the air condition wasn’t running yet…it was mid summer! Needless to say, my first viewing after the new conversion wasn’t a pleasant one.

Afterwards I have seen many more movies at this theatre which include: “Alien 3”, “Back To the Future II & III”, and many others. The balcony screen is the best of the three.

When the movie theatre changed hands from UA to Clearview, I pretty much stopped going there.

As Bway pointed out above, the outside of the theatre hasn’t changed much since 1983 despite the drastic changes inside. One major plus though, is that the theatre has retained it’s large neon vertical sign on the front.

For those visiting the theatre, there is a small parking lot to the right of the building, but it fills up fast. Street parking is metered, so you would have to use a municipal lot across the street, behind the Main St. buildings.

It is still a good visit to check out, but it definitely has lost quite a bit of it’s luster from when it was a single screen. I only enjoyed this large screen for 3 years, but still to this day the single screen version of this theatre was my favorite.

wally 75
wally 75 on May 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

Who will pick up the Clearview Theatres? Any ideas..

jpark377 on January 2, 2011 at 1:58 am

It’s rather amazing how many years they got out of those Heywood-Wakefield seats that were in those auditoriums. When UA sold that theater in the mid-nineties, it still had those old HW seats, though I know they were re-covered and painted many times. I really liked the “finger” design that HW used on the seat pans: it made them really easy to remove from the floor standard for service (didn’t need a wrench). The HW achilles' heel was the use of springs below the cushions for support, and the use of springs for the pan riser function (the better seats of today are “gravity risers”, hence no springs to break). The riser springs would fatigue and break, and the seat pan would then flop down; but I guess that was better than a malfunctioning cushion spring that would pop through the seat upholstery and snag a patron’s clothes. An argument could be made that if the seats weren’t used in excess of their normal service life (I don’t know, perhaps 20 years or so?), these malfunctions probably wouldn’t happen. All this being said, when you look at old pictures of auditoriums from the 50’s and 60’s, chances have it that the seats were Heywood-Wakefield. I can’t even imagine what HW’s market share was in their peak years!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2010 at 8:31 am

I misspelled the architect’s surname in my previous comment (as did the Heywood-Wakefield ad.) It should be Sornik.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

The mid-1950s rebuilding of the Babylon Theatre was designed by architect Maurice D. Sornick. A few photos appeared in an ad for Heywood-Wakefield seats in Boxoffice of January 7, 1956.

A photo of the auditorium was on the cover of Boxoffice, June 2, 1956. The Babylon was operated by Associated Prudential Theatres.

Bway on April 20, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Here’s a photo of the Babylon in 1983. It really hasn’t changed all that much.

View link

robboehm on February 28, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Also, somebody mentioned the last theatre with a vertical. What about the Fantasy. And, in recent years they added one to the Greeport when they split up the old auditorium into a handful of theatres. As far as the simple neon style I believe the old Cambria and Laurelton had these. The big guns of, course were the Queens, Floral, Triboro, Valencia, Astoria, etc.etc,

robboehm on February 28, 2009 at 11:54 pm

My only experience at this theatre was a performance of Rocky. Although I don’t usually see movies first run this was an exception and, as a result, I had to stand on line. I couldn’t believe the audience got so worked up during the big fight scene that they were out of their seats cheering. Talk about a movie grabbing you.

jpark377 on May 29, 2008 at 2:03 am

I appreciate this website, but they have to work on running correct initial desciptions of the buildings. This was a UA Theater before Clearview took it over in the mid-90’s.
When Lee was the manager here in the 80’s, you could quite literally eat off the floors. It’s was one of the cleanest theatres I’ve ever worked in. Her husband Joe was also an incredible theater manager. Real theater people like that are tough to find today.

wally 75
wally 75 on August 5, 2007 at 7:45 am

wgli went on air in mid to late 50’s….wnyg became wbab am & fm

in late 50’s back to wnyg 1440 am….now

the only two people that may have done this broadcast that i can think of is ray heatherton aka friendly B O B of
bank of babylon….or jack elsworth of W A L K [still there]…

GeorgeStrum on August 4, 2007 at 3:26 pm

I,d like to repeat a question I asked about two years ago. Perhaps new visitors to this site might remember. Does anyone remember radio broadcasts coming from the lobby some afternoons in the mid 50’s? Thanks.

wally 75
wally 75 on May 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm

also suffolk theatre in in danger..

wally 75
wally 75 on May 1, 2007 at 3:25 am



BobT on March 4, 2007 at 10:41 am

Big giant screen unfortunately cut up into three. The seats upstairs were better than the orchestra section. The balcony theater is huge. We had to sit front row balcony, always front row center, even if it meant getting there extra early and waiting up in the restroom/loge area. On the MGM “Red Carpet” circuit. Saw “Carrie”, Woody Allen’s “Sleeper”. Saw “Hair” here the second time after seeing at The Ziegfeld opening night. Sorry about the problem John R had with “ET”, but the film was a sold out, lines around the corner, huge burst of applause finale smash here. The traffic and parking was ridiculous, but they just came and came. I even relief managed a few nights after it was tripled and “Dune” was playing in the empty balcony theater.

JohnMoviola on March 4, 2007 at 6:20 am

I saw a few movies there, but always remember seeing the first showing of “E.T.” there, and the sound was hard to hear, then too loud. I also saw “Hair!” there, just as the ad link in a previous post shows!

Bway on October 4, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Perhaps they knew the Islip Theater was closing?

longislandwally75 on October 4, 2006 at 3:12 am





Bway on June 8, 2006 at 2:35 pm

I know it’s a little late to ask now, but what exactly was a “Theater tour”?

Orlando on August 16, 2005 at 10:56 am

This theatre will be on the theatre tour on Sept. 11, 2005. See the Lindenhurst Theatre on this website for more info.

teecee on March 11, 2005 at 9:34 pm

4/30/79 newspaper ad listing this theater:
View link

wirelessmedia on February 17, 2005 at 5:43 am

What about the South Bay, up the road in West Babylon (I think it opened as a twin.. it now has 6 “screening rooms”). It’s somewhat rundown, but the movies are still cheaper than most (and it does show first one). Last movie I saw there was “Good Will Hunting.”

GeorgeStrum on January 27, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Does anyone remember a very tall, handsome and disinguished gentleman who broadcast a radio program from the lobby of the Babylon theatre in the mid-fifties? Maybe I imagined it. Thanks.

Jacker on November 6, 2004 at 3:23 am

Prior to Clearview, it was a UA Theatre. We bought it from them..(I work for Clearview).

Dear Mr. Masher,

I am training to become a projectionist with local 640. I am also trying to get in Clearview as a manger. I had Thelar Thatch from Human resources contact me but still waiting. Do you know of any positions opening up in managerial in Long Island?


Email me at:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 31, 2004 at 9:16 pm

I have a 1925 photograph of the exterior of the Babylon Theatre. It was certainly named the Babylon then, and not Capitol. The architect was J.H. Phillips and the seating capacity was 1,050. It was designed in a Colonial style. In the descriptive article I have (written by the architect) there are also photographs of the auditorium and lobby taken in 1925.

Bway on October 20, 2004 at 4:45 pm

It’s got to have the West in there though, because 34 East Main St would be the other side of Deer Park Ave. I think Deer Park Ave and Main Street (Montauk Highway) is the “zero” point for Babylon.