Islip Cinemas

410 W. Main Street,
Islip, NY 11751

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Showing 26 - 50 of 181 comments

robboehm on March 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

It seems as all the plans to revitalize theatres on Long Island are falling through. There were plans for the Islip. A recent newspaper article says they’re going to tear down the Patchogue Plaza rather than going for for the Media Arts Center. Work seems to have stalled on the Suffolk in Riverhead. Haven’t heard any more about the Westbury or the Paramount in Huntington.

MPol on March 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I’d be curious to hear what’s really and truly going to happen to the Islip Theatre, even though I don’t reside in the area.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Feel free to drop more hints..

Mike48 on March 23, 2011 at 5:41 am

Something might be happening with the islip Theater.. possibly a working movie theater again… but I’ve already said to much =X

MPol on December 3, 2010 at 11:37 pm

That, too, is unfortunately, wally75. It’s clear that the people who put the Islip theatre up for rent have other ideas for its use, rather than a theatre.

wally 75
wally 75 on December 3, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Nothing happening, just a big for rent sign…

MPol on September 4, 2010 at 3:20 am

It’s sad to see a movie theatre that one used to constantly patronize while growing up fall into such disrepair, or to be changed so drastically to multiple screens. Although I don’t reside in the Islip, NY area, here’s hoping that your theatre is renovated, up and running soon.

FriarFrank on September 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I have recently had an occasion to see the inside of this theater which is in terrible disrepair. I had such fond memories as a kid, spending so many hours in the dark watching film after film. I remember seeing “Nine To Five” in 1980 after it had just been transformed from a one screen movie house to a three screen (I remember it both ways) in the right screening room on the main floor. I saw “The Elephant Man” in the balcony theater which was my favorite room.
Currently, it’s not even a vague shadow of its former self. But I have hopes of its resurrection some day.

MPol on May 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm

That sounds like a wonderful idea, susieq60! Hope it all goes well, and that the community continues to enjoy this great-sounding little movie theatre!

wally 75
wally 75 on May 9, 2010 at 8:40 pm

anything new to report

susieq60 on December 26, 2009 at 6:56 am

From Newsday, Dec 21, 2009
New owner has big plans for former Islip Theater
December 21, 2009 By JENNIFER MALONEY

The Islip Theater, which residents rallied to save from demolition, has been granted an encore.

Under a new name, the Dorotheater, it will offer movies and music and house its own symphony orchestra, said the building’s new owner, Edward Lambese, who chose the name to honor his mother, Dorothy.

“The building said, ‘Help me!’ ” Lambese said. “It was nothing short of a miracle.”

The former owner, Jim Nazzaro, applied to the Islip planning board earlier this year to raze the vacant cinema, which stopped showing movies in 2006, and build a day care center on the property, on Main Street in Islip. Though Nazzaro, of East Islip, had already entered into an agreement with a New Jersey-based day care center chain, The Learning Experience, he gave Lambese permission to begin cleaning up the building in case the day care deal fell through.

Nazzaro, a developer, withdrew the application for the day care center on Nov. 25. His withdrawal letter to the town did not cite a reason.

Nazzaro did not respond to requests for comment.

Lambese, a professional string player who performs with the West Islip Symphony, said his purchase of the 60-year-old cinema was finalized two weeks ago. He would not disclose the sale price.

Town Planning Commissioner Gene Murphy said the town is pleased by the plot twist.

“The planning department had concerns about the scale of day care,” he said. “The goal of preserving the theater and preserving its use as a theater is something the town completely supports.”

Lambese, 53, of Bay Shore, said he’s tentatively planning an opening concert for early January, pending a furnace repair. He has submitted an application for nonprofit status.

His vision of the space – “a little Radio City Music Hall” – will require major renovations: new plumbing, new air conditioning and a conversion, in progress, from triplex to the original single auditorium. But shows can begin in the upstairs auditorium, he said.

Acknowledging the recession and the recent closure of Huntington’s IMAC Theater, Lambese said his business model is different. “We’re going to be a multipurpose entertainment playhouse,” he said. “It’s going to serve the community’s entertainment needs.”

The theater will present live performances on weekends and classic movies during the week, he said.

drummer on December 11, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Hi all,

If anyone can please tell Mr. Ed Lambese that the Spoonful-O-Blues band ( would love to play there again (like the old days), and as long as we are available for the date chosen, to play the opening of the theater (or any other night thereafter). We can also line up other acts as well to play with us or for other nights. We can be reached at or at 631-592-2952.

You can see pictures of us playing there on our website here –

This theater is just about our favorite Long Island venue to play.


Ken Flint
Drummer and Vocalist for Spoonful-O-Blues

TomCilmi on December 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm

According to today’s Islip Bulletin, the Islip Theater was purchased last week by Ed Lambese, through Dorotheater, H.I.T.S. (Historic Islip Theater Society). They plan to operate it as a theater/concert hall with a planned opening of later this month.

All those who were critical of Jim Nazzaro owe him an apology. He pulled out of the deal with the day care center in deference to the community, having sacrificed tens of thousand of dollars over the years trying to keep it as a theater.

Hopefully Mr. Lambese will be successful. Everyone in this community will be rooting for him.

atmos on October 1, 2009 at 6:11 am

The archives at the Wolfsonian in Florida have a theatre building listed as Islip Theatre in Islip,New York with a date of 1946.The architects were John and Drew Eberson.

wally 75
wally 75 on September 30, 2009 at 11:21 pm




LIRefugee on September 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I’m curious to know as well. I drove past it yesterday and there was no indication of any change.

robboehm on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Recent photo is all well and good. What was the outcome of the meeting. Has the fate of the theatre been sealed?

robboehm on August 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Didn’t make the vigil due to a crisis at home. Anybody out there make it. Tonight is the planning board meeting. This could be the moment of truth.

RyanForsythe on August 4, 2009 at 8:47 am

There was an article in Newsday a few weeks ago about a guy from East Islip that has been in contact with JJ Nazzaro to reopen the theater as a performing arts venue. If anyone knows who he is, I would really like to get in touch with him!

MPol on August 3, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Thanks, rvb. Looking forward to reading it.

robboehm on August 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm

In addition to this comment I contacted the folks at CT hoping they will make this tomorrow’s lead “story”.

MPol on August 3, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Hi—I just received the same email, rvb. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make the candlelight vigil and meeting because I don’t live in the area. All the best of luck in your fight to save the theatre.

robboehm on August 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I just received an alert that there will be a candlelight, or flashlight, vigil at the theatre tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th at 7:30 PM. Try and make it to save the theatre. At the very least sign the petition and do it now. The next planning board meeting is this Thursday, August 6th. The fate of the theatre may be ruled on at that time.

drummer on July 16, 2009 at 8:49 am

I’ve signed it.

Jay1 on July 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm

The plan that the current owner is actively seeking is to tear down this beautiful art deco theater to erect a daycare center in its place. There is no time to waste as the next meeting at Town Hall will have already determined the fate of the theater and the public will not be allowed to debate or discuss it any further once this next meeting takes place(could be in a week or 2). This is why it is crucial for everyone to show their support now!!!

I URGE EVERYONE TO go to this website to sign the online petition to keep OUR ISLIP THEATER standing for generations to come.
View link

You can also write to:
Re: Application SP2009-014
655 Main Street
Islip, NY 11751
Att: Vee Bobelis

or call:
att: Dave Genoway