Showing 26 - 31 of 31 comments
In response to the last comment, I saw what remains of the theater two days ago. The front entrance, which would have been the lobby, is still standing. The auditorium is completely gone. Given that this is Yonkers, I wouldn’t be surprised if it stays this way for some time to come.
It’s sad that this theater was destroyed by fire. I was a college student in Binghamton from 1981 to 1985 and never visited the theater because it was a porno theater at the time, but in its later life, it showed some wonderful films, films that otherwise would not have found a commercial run in Binghamton.
Many of the small (less than 10 screen) theaters mentioned as surviving in Westchester were originally single screen houses. Bedford has gone from 1 screen to 2 over the years, Bronxville and Larchmont have gone from 1 to 3, Mamaroneck has gone from 1 to 4, and Mount Kisco has gone first from 1 to 2 and then from 2 to 5. I kind of decribe being in one of the 5 theaters in Mount Kisco as watching a movie in a 737 airplane.
I lived in thie area from 1973-74 and saw many films there with my grandmothers, who both lived in the area. For some reason, my most vivid memory is of Barbra Streisand in “What’s Up Doc?” My schoolbus used to pass the theater on my way to school (5th grade, 1973-74) and I always used to look out the window on Wednesday morning to see what the new movie for the week was.
This is an interesting setup — the original entrance with the marquee is closed and you enter in the rear through what is really the original basement. All the theaters are therefore upstairs. Two are carved back to back in the original stage space and the other three are created out of what was the original auditorium. Although it is unusual, at least this old, downtown theater is still standing and still showing movies.
It is a shame that NYC will be losing it’s largest movie venue. With the Astor Plaza gone, the only large theater left will be the Ziegfield with 1200 seats, though it will still be 300 seats less than the Astor Plaza. Personally, I hate to see a movie in a tiny theater, though there isn’t much choice left these days.