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Also, a number of years before this theatre was built there was a sign on Route 110 announcing the building of a multiplex on the site where the driving range is. I don’t recall which chain was supposed to do it but, as I recall, there was also an artist sketch of the building.
Then, later when the now Regal opened it was basically on an adjacent piece of property around the corner off 100 although the pylon is on 110.
The little Starbucks on 110 at the tip of the multiplex property actually looked like a mini theatre when the steel work went up.
There was also to be another multiplex at Republic Airport containing 12 theatres but that never materialized. It would have been ridiculous to have three multiplexes with 36 screens within walking distance of each other in a town that, in good times, had trouble supporting one theatre.
Oddly enough, in the year before it closed a new pylon was erected. It just said United Artists Theatres. The actual features display area was actually split in two leading me to believe that the theatre was to be twinned. When it closed after featureing Miss Congeniality I was sure. Months later Sandra Bullock was still in place. Eventually they did the renovation adding windows at the second story level where, today, you can see people running around the track.
A second 150 was to have been built in the Gardiner Manor Shopping Center on Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore. The sign announcing it was up for a long time but nothing came of it.
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.
Always liked the images and they were in a number of Century’s shopping center theatres. What ever happened to them when the theatres closed. And what happened to all the stuff in the Century front office. Another posting mentioned a montage of the marquees of all the Brooklyn theatres. I remember the old coming attractions fliers they used to send out. Until I moved I had samples of each. Who would have known I’d find Cinema Treasures. If I still had them I could share. That’s why people save stuff, you never know when you might have use for it.
Before it became IMAC it was known as “The Balcony”.
Warren, your September 2006 link no longer works. Any chance of reestablishing it?
It would be nice if someone could locate a photo. I checked American Classic Images but there was none.
I was only in the York once. I don’t remember what the interior looked like and only, vaguely, the exterior since I drove by the location on occasion. Also, don’t remember what the movie was but I was driving a 4 door blue Valiant. When I came out of the movie the lot was filled with dozens of blue Valiants from then LILCO, now LIPA. Altho' their cars were a different shade than mine the lighting in the parking lot made them all look the same. I walked up and down, up and down. Now whenever I have trouble locating my current car it’s hit the door lock button, look for the flashing lights and the horn.
Can’t help you on that. I suggest you call the theatre at 516-783-5440.
I remember the one cashier very well. She was tall, attractive and had a luxurious head of dark hair worn in the Andrew Sisters' style of the day. Story was she was a single mom with two sons, a widow, or heaven forbid, a divorcee. The ticket takers all looked alike, tall and old in those heavy military looking uniforms.
I remember a promo they had geared to grammar school children at Floral Park – Bellerose School, and, probably its Queens County equivalent at the time King Solomon’s Mines was showing. We all, somehow, received long, narrow colored paper good for a free admission at some given show – if we had the right color. In restrospect these were probably ½ of an 8 ½ x 11 to keep costs down. We all lined up in front of the theatre and way around the side of the building on 246th street (odd, in the evening if there was a line it faced the other way to 245th Street). Anyway the winning “color” was white and there were darned few of those in evidence.
Sylistically the marquee looks like the one at the Hard Rock.
The only time in my life that I took the Jamaica El to lower Manhattan, was as a special treat, being a Long Islander. The only thing I remember from that trip is being on the left hand side of the train and seeing the old marquee from the Alba. Obviously, I was a theatre nut, afficianado, at an early age. Thank goodness for the internet, I can spend my waking hours with other kindred souls and remember the long, lost theatres (rather than spending an arm and a leg to go to some glorified cubicle.
Still no luck in getting info on the Mayfair but I did speak to someone who is trying to gain access to parts of this theatre not involved in the conversion to condos. She said there are dressing rooms and cages in the basement from the days when vaudeville was the main source of entertainment. She’ll keep in touch with me and I’ll post any developments.
The Community House still shows movies each year.
Love ken’s 1956 photo since it shows the “capitol” name in a distance, which is the way I always remember it, in the distance. Was only inside it once.
I spoke to someone at the historical society and the only Casino reference she had was some sort of nightclub which was destroyed in the 1939 hurricane. Have to pursue this further.
I was just browsing the American Images site and, incorrectly, in Merrick, they have a photo of the theatre with a traditional marquee proclaiming “The Movies”. Still haven’t come upon one of the old “Bellmore” marquee before they modernized the building’s facade.
How does one correct something on the American Images site? In Merrick they have two 1981 images of the Playhouse marquee and one of The Movies? I wrote them a note a couple of months ago and no change.
Warren, I can’t open this photo, is the problem at my end? I used to work in the Gramercy Park area and often took a lunchtime stroll past the Variety. It was certainly vintage. The only time I was actually inside was for an off-Broadway performance of, I think, Annie Warbucks. No real memory of the interior – not as impressive as the exterior.
Still working on getting the hardtop up – working with the local librarian. Hardtop was on Bethune off Church. Building has been razed and part of the site it a restaurant.
And if you’ll notice, I added the old theatre to the site a couple of weeks ago. I was inside and way pointed out some of the remnants of the old theatre hidden in a storage area.
I believe the theatre was closed during the depression and only reopened at the end of WWII. I have a vague recollection of my father saying that during the depression he could have purchased the building for $8,000.
There were no observable structural changes since the procenium was already very wide. I remember, vaguely, that the curtains opened wider after the installation. This was a theatre where they always used the curtains, often to great theatrical effect.