Suffolk Theater

118 E. Main Street,
Riverhead, NY 11901

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Showing 26 - 50 of 75 comments

robboehm on October 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Atlantis is attracting great crowds in Riverhead. They even built a hotel next to it. In the redevelopment of town there is also the plan for a multiplex. Restaurants are doing well, some because of Atlantis but most, I would think, because of the courts. Something by the expressway would be ideal. There was originally supposed to be one up by Riverhead Centre. It’s all such a crap shot. Certain areas, despite high population density can’t seem to support a movie theatre. Patchogue immediately comes to mind. Then, in other areas, they overbuild, two theatres in Coram and one in Port Jeff only a short distance away.

moviegoer on October 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I too have wondered just how many performing arts theaters Long Island needs. Perhaps it’s true that they rely entirely on their local community rather than the Island in general (clearly nobody is going from Yaphank to see a show at the Engmann in Northport, for example) but I live smack in between the Patchogue and the Gateway Playhouse (less than 5 from minutes from both) and I’ve never been to either. CM and Boulton are both also easily accessible to me on the south shore.

Four theaters and I’ve never been to any of them. Five if you count WHB. They just never seem to have any performances that interest me. I did once try to buy tickets to see Colin Hay at the Boulton but it was already sold out.

The Suffolk will make 6 theaters within less than a 30-minute drive and will be about equally as far from me as the Boulton. Assuming they ever have a performance that interests me, the cabaret-style seating would make it the most appealing to me of any of the six theaters within range (though the sheer proximity of the Patchogue -and the ability to walk to any of 6 or 7 bars after a show- would probably still trump it for me).

But I would have much rather seen it restored as a movie theater. The Suffolk was probably in a bad location for it because Riverhead is a bit remote, but I continue to believe that in the right location a single-screen show palace type of theater could work, even out here in suburbia.

robboehm on October 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Forgot to mention Patchogue which is large and has been up and running for many years. I think the setup of a space is also going to be a factor. The Suffolk will be the only one with cabaret seating of all the performance spaces. Will that appeal to people? Where I live the runs to Riverhead, Westhampton, Patchogue and Port Jefferson are not significantly different. Riverhead, because of the seating, would be my last pick.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Robboehm… with traffic conditions what they are on this island of ours (which is to say, miserable!), I think there is ample room for multiple performance spaces. I think most people on the Island prefer to remain local for their entertainment, unless they are making a special trip to NYC for a show. The question really comes down to a matter of location. Will the local and neighboring communities be able/willing to support each theater? Of all the venues on Long Island (both large and small), I think only Nassau Coliseum, NYCB Theater at Westbury (the former Music Fair) and the ampitheater at Jones Beach really draw from the entirety of the Island (Brooklyn to Suffolk). Most of the others, I believe, draw largely from their immediate surrounding communities.

robboehm on October 12, 2011 at 5:42 am

He didn’t even have knowledge of Studio 54. I explained my reference to him to clarify what I meant. For a time Hollyrock, at the former Regent, now Boulton Center in Bay Shore had removed the theatre seats and operated in a cabaret setting. I really question whether something of this nature will work out here. I like Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. It’s an intimate space. If they are expanding the stage area at the Suffolk that will give some flexibility. Just how many of these venues can Long Island support? Smithtown, CM in Oakdale, Westbury, both the old renovating theatre and whatever the Music Fair is now called, Theatre 3, WHB, Boulton Center, Engemann in Northport, Landmark in Port Washington, plus the well established Arena Player, etc., etc..

wally 75
wally 75 on October 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

The only reason I brought it up, you said in Sept. “The Studio 54 reference was lost on him.” I do understand what you mean…But, if it was my theatre and I told someone about cabaret seating, I would not like anyone saying it will be like Studio 54…When anyone hears Studio 54 they don’t think about the seating. They think the disco and coke era..not the way it is today…I don’t think it was lost on him,it was the image that came to mind. All in all, you were right about the seating and life is a cabaret..

robboehm on October 11, 2011 at 5:21 am

The Studio 54 reference still holds. The developer specifically indicated to me that there would be cabaret seating on the main floor with theatre seating in the balcony. If that’s not Studio 54 what is?

wally 75
wally 75 on October 11, 2011 at 12:34 am

PS: I was reading an old post…Studio 54 ref. When you do a big make over, you have to take out all the seats til' it is safe [for the seats] to put them back..This will be a live show prof. arts center ie: Northport and Patchogue..

wally 75
wally 75 on October 11, 2011 at 12:16 am

Ed and company…was at Riverhead Country Fair Sunday.. I also got a tour of THE SUFFOLK THEATRE…They will be giving updates and photos to CT soon…looking to ad 30 feet to the stage through the back stage wall..if you are in the area and the doors are open stop in..

wally 75
wally 75 on September 12, 2011 at 1:40 am

Ed, don’t know if this helps…WRIV radio is 40 West Main in the Landmark Bank Build….and I know the Suffolk is east of WRIV on the same side of the road and could not have an odd number address…

DianneBob on September 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

You are correct. The address of the Suffolk Theater is 118 East Main St. in Riverhead. At one time the theater had offices at 11 West Main over the Science Center. I will have them correct this.
Thank you

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

To carry over a conversational thread from the nearby (and demolished) Riverhead Theatre, the address for this theater seems to be wrong. The Suffolk Theatre is on East Main Street and the address listed above (11 West Main) belongs to the L.I. Science Center, several blocks to the west and on the other side of the street.

I think we should reconsider the address someone posted earlier of 118 East Main Street. Seems to fit better in the way the rest of the businesses on the street are numbered.

robboehm on September 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

That is some great picture taking to capture a portion of the moving image on the marquee. If they’re being this top shelf with the marquee I can hardly wait to see the interior. However, wait I shall since, according to the “man in charge” completion is a year away. The final product will have a combination of cabaret and regular theatre seating. I queried, “Like Studio 54?” That reference was lost on him.

Bway on June 1, 2011 at 5:08 am

Can the street view be reset? Someone clicked the wrong location for the Suffolk Theater in this view, it needs to be further east on Main St….

robboehm on August 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

According to one of the workmen on the site all the seats have been removed. The new space will have chairs around tables, like the old Hollyrock in Bay Shore or Studio 54 in Msnhattan. However, unlike Studio 54 the table and chair concept will be continued in the balcony. It would seem to me that this type of seating, particularly in a space that is long and fairly narrow, is going to severely limit the type of entertainment booked. The old Westhampton, now the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center kept the old seating plan and offers independent movies, concerts and specialty programs. The future form of the Plaza in Patchogue will break it up into a series of venues for screenings, classes etc..

DianneC on August 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm

After Five long years of delays, on Aug 9th 2010 the restoration of the Suffolk Theater has started. The website is being designed and will be up and running by August 31st 2010.

robboehm on March 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Believe it when I see it. Correction on the above – Patchogue Plaza.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 21, 2010 at 5:24 am

deal gives old theater new life

newsday march 19th 2010 by mitchell freedman…

robboehm on March 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Like that’s ever going to happen. That’s three pending projects – Suffolk, Islip and the Patchogue Rialto that have grand designs; four if you include Westbury.

CSWalczak on March 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

According to this article, the owner now has until August 22, 2010 to get the necessary permits to get the work going, and then two years to complete the work: View link

robboehm on January 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

I’m holding my breath on this just like the Islip. Two projects which have bad track records.

CSWalczak on January 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Here’s an article that indicates that the long-delayed renovations o the Suffolk may begin in March, 2010:
View link

chelydra on October 20, 2009 at 11:19 am

Moved to Riverhead a few months ago, into a home owned (1922-2009) by the family that owned the old West Main Street theatre (predating Suffolk). Unfortunately they didn’t leave any memorabilia behind, but perhaps I can contact our seller to see if she can help us set up a web page for her grandfather’s theater.
Although my glib remarks in my first post above struck some as slanderous, I’ve always liked Riverhead a lot, and totally fell in love with the town while staying with family at one of the local trailer parks. Aside from the better-known tourist destinations (the historic and amazing Vail-Levitt Music Hall, aquarium, annual Blues Festival, etc.), it’s worth a visit (even a major family outing from the city) just to have a sundae at the Star Confectionary (Roanoke & Main), or to shop at Griffing Hardware (Osborn & West Main). Show your grandkids what America was like before you were born. (Note: If you must go to the monstrous Tanger Mall at the west end of town, the only decent store there, with value for money, is (believe it or not) Brooks Brothers. All the rest are scams.)
The Suffolk Theater is still dormant. No one seems to know what’s going there. Several rival groups are, as always, scheming to “revive” Main Street (some say the landlords are the problem, others say they’re the solution). Ever since the Town decided (circa 1959) to chop down all the grand old shade trees (due to bird poop on car windshields), Main Street has been in a tailspin â€" there are plenty of other factors at work, but that event marked the beginning of the end. What’s bringing Main Street back to life now (aside from a couple of nice pubs with good pricey food) are the Mexican and Guatemalan groceries and restaurants â€" check out the restaurant just east of the tracks, reputed to be the most authentic and best on the island.
Sooner or later, the Suffolk Theater has to be reborn â€" that is, if there’s any trace of its former glory still intact when the town is finally ready to get its act together.

robboehm on June 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I was just in Riverhead today. Nothing seems to be happening at the theatre. Who pays the electric bill for the marquee. Once, as a child summering on eastern LI I attended a showing of The Key with William Holden and Sophia Loren. There was also a promo with the local WT Grant store. The theatre gave you a key and you went to Grant’s to see if it opened the box. It did and I won boys briefs.
Referencing Sammie Girl’s earlier posting Riverhead had the misfortune of having a downtown populated by chain stores that either went out of business or had financial difficulty. Freeport also had a similar problem. Add Sears to the closed stores. Riverhead now has more empties than full. The Marine Store relocated to Route 58 and the Bagel Store across from the school complex. Chase took over one of the banks and closed their original Main Street branch. The Dinosauer and Reptile Museums closed but the Atlantis Marina packs them in. Except for some specialty type stores the restaurants are the big thing. It’s the courts that keep them alive.