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The Rialto opened on December 1, 1920. At a cost of a half million dollars it was hailed as: “one of the largest photoplay houses in New York bearing comparison with any other theatres on Broadway”. The opening film was “Something to Think About” with Gloria Swanson and Elliot Dexter. The house also boasted a twenty five piece orchestra and a gigantic pipe organ (mentioned in a much earlier comment on CT). There was a special exhibition agreement with Famous Players-Lasky and Paramount.
Although other references to this theatre show it as being built by Al Schwartz after the success of his Rialto in Brooklyn, it was purported to be a local project using a local architect and financing. It was to be operated by the Long Island Motion Picture Company, two of whose officers were the Alterman Brothers who are listed as the new owners when the theatre reopened as the Savoy in 1929.
The Queens went porno after it was closed by Century. The Plaza in Corona also continured for a time as Spanish language.
You’re right, Meadows was NY Life. Lynbrook was one of the Calderone theaters that was leased out. Century had the Valley Stream and the Lynbrook. All the rest were Skouras, subsequently UA. I always figured Century didn’t own the Argo. When the whole building went up there was an announcement that the Elmont Theater would be coming. When Century did a project they always had “a new link in the chain of Century Theaters” signage. And it did operate after Century let it drop. I believe the ad said “Goodman’s” or something similar.
I’ll check out the wikipedia site after I finish this.
I’ve heard about that clause. Yet, if what you say is true, when the Community was closed and twinned I don’t remember it still being Century.
But the reality is the way the motion picture business went of all the Century owned or leased theaters the only ones still operating are the Meadows, Roosevelt Field, Franklin, Fantasy and Lynbrook. I’m not including the Shore because that’s a rebuild. As far as commenting, I never complained to Prudential and mentioned it on CT when I first learned about it in 2009.
Love to know the whole Century history, all the theaters that passed through their management and what ever happened to those comedy and tragedy masks that were part of the decor in the Glen Oaks and a couple of others theaters. I think they were also in the Argo.
I made my comment on the projectionist at the Hollis Theater (on the Glen Oaks site) because there was a discussion about projectionists. I actually lived in Bellerose (Nassau) so also did neighboring theaters. Projectionist at the Bellerose was an artist. The film I was attempting to see at Hollis was Tunnel of Love with Doris Day and Richard Widmark.
I think that’s even more sad than the ones which are in tatters.
Tevhmsn I have no idea what you’re talking about. I never said or inferred the Hollis was in a shopping center. My comment had to do with a lousy projectionist at that site, which was on Jamaica Avenue.
Hollis Theater in Hollis, NY on CT. For whatever reason the picture used above is the back of the theater. As I said it was an add on to the shopping center.
See my comments on the Hollis site about the totally incompetent projectionist: didn’t make one transition and was swearing so loud you could hear him in the theater. The usher said, “I don’t understand it; he’s union”. Yes, I said usher.
Too often the pictures I want to see don’t play within a 25 mile area. Theaters are too into the “blockbuster”. Else, they’re only around for a week. Took an act of God to find Her and Philomena. Never got to Dallas Buyers Club, the one about saving art from the Germans and several others.
Glen Oaks shopping center opened in 1951. The Glen Oaks was an add on sometime later.
Somewhere in the comments a contributor wondered about the age of Century founder A. H. Schwartz. I saw an obit for him in 1938. The quality of the microfilm was poor but I think his age was only in the late 50s.
Purely by chance I came upon a notice in the August 11, 1919 Brooklyn Eagle that the Beverly Amusement Corporation was building the 1,600 seat Parkville Theater at the intersection of Gravesend and Church and that there would be stores on the Church Av side. It was going to be outfitted with an organ costing approximately $ 20,000. Obviously not the same Parkville. Was a theater built on that site? Did one replace the other? Was the theater mentioned in the piece opened under another name?
After posting the above reference to the million dollar purchase I came upon another article indicating the Floral had been built at a cost of $ 100,000. The Floral had stage and film capabilities and a balcony. The other theaters in the purchase were strictly for motion pictures, did not have balconies and had smaller seating capacities. So the one million tab for the four seems inflated. Or, perhaps, one or both articles were incorrect.
The former Rialto opened as the Savoy on December 28, 1929 under the ownership of local businessmen, the Alterman Brothers. In addition to a complete renovation there was the installation of a Western Electric sound system.
The Savoy became the first theatre in Queens to serve as a first run house for Warner Brothers films.
In this Oscar season I’ve uploaded a photo of an ad from February 18, 1948 for “A Double Life”. Ronald Coleman won best actor 1947 a month later qualifying because the film played a limited engagement in LA the previous December.
If you ever get to eastern Long Island try to attend a performance or a film at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (Westhampton Theater). It’s not huge but it’s intact and a jewel box. Sag Harbor has a nice interior too (see photos on CT).
In a real estate piece in the April 24, 1927 Brooklyn Eagle there was a discussion about the development of Floral Park. It was anticipated that 300 new homes would be built within the year. It was also noted that the Floral, which actually read Floral Park on the front of the marquee, had just opened the prior Monday, April 18th, and had been built at a cost of $100,000.
According to a reference in the September 22, 1928 Brooklyn Eagle the Lily was acquired, along with the Park (New Hyde Park), Floral(also Floral Park) and Bellerose theaters, for $1,000,000 by a new corporation. Century?
Will Dunkin – An informed source tells me the reference is actually to the Washington Theatre in uptown Manhattan.
To mauriceski long after the fact, when I came onboard CT there was a lot of confusion of the manner in which Queens theaters were listed. To that end I contacted the powers that be and made sure only community names appeared and that the word “Queens” was only acceptable for Queens Village.
I never remember the Jamaica ever being open. When I was a teenager I would sometimes take the bus to Jamaica to go shopping. I would pass this empty hulk on my way to Montgomery Wards. In all those years I never saw any sign of vandalism. We live in a different time.
To the projectionists out there. I always maintained that the Bellerose had the largest, if not one of the largest, Cinemascope screens on Long Island because it’s proscenium was almost the entire width of the building, which was a big box. Any feedback?
Ad from February 24, 1929 uploaded to photos. The, at that time, Shubert. Ad for nearby neighbor Valencia, too.
This is not a new concept. One of the adult theaters in New York did this once to discourage “interaction” between patrons. Think about it. It made it easier.
Cost was reported $50,000 which, presumably, included the pier itself.
Across the boardwalk was the Arverne Pier Danse [sic] which was subsequently renamed the Boardwalk. See CT listing for that.
An aside. Fox’s lease was for five years. Ironic.