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Ed, I’ll try to find more. In one of your photo tours see if the people at the law firm at the former Farmingdale will let you in to see the balcony, which is supposed to still be in tact. Also, if you’re in St. James check out the former theatre on Second Av. There are supposedly remnants there. If you get to the old Mattituck quonset get into the storage area and see some of the old decorations and look back for the projection booths holes. Projection booth holes can also be seen at the old Center Moriches. I tried, unsuccessfully, to get into the auditorium of the former Bellerose to see if anything was left. I’m sure the ceiling treatment is still there but, I think, they’ve put corrogated panels under it to protect the merchandise in what has now become a two story warehouse.
The woman said something about cages because there used to be animal acts in vaudville. No windows. Questionable ventilation? And, as I said they used the basement in Southampton. They erected an awning over a walkway that lead down a flight of steps outside the building. I have no idea what the space was. I’ve actually been in quite a few underground spaces- a multiplex under the marketplace in Toronto, the later Paramount in NYC, the Actors Playhouse in NYC and the Criterion in London, England. The Actors Playhouse was accessed by a single narrow staircase. I felt really uncomfortable about that particularly since there was also a very low ceiling. I think Circle in the Square in NYC is also below ground as was Westworld, or whatever that was called on 49th ST in NYC.
One of those comments was from me per discussions with someone from the historical society. She was trying to gain access to the backstage and basement dressing room areas. Have to try and get back to her. Appartently in “the day” dressing rooms were in the basement. Before they built the new Southampton auditorium, on the old facade, some of the basement area was made into an additional screening room.
It’s interesting to note that the front of the marquee says Floral Park when the name of the theatre was the Floral. This was not the marquee that I remember so it had been changed or modified at some point in time. The vertical also doesn’t look the same as I remembered it. Theatres often changed marquees but, generally, only eliminated verticals so I may be wrong. Needless to say I came up with an exception recalling the new vertical installed at the Triboro, which I actually witnessed.
There was an earlier theatre closer to Tyson Av, per earlier notes. It was called the Lily. It is on Cinema Treasures.
Also, on the subject of parking vs neighborhood theatres, the Bellerose was the dollar house in the area until Century decided to close it. Then they made the Floral the dollar house but business was so bad they reopened the Bellerose. Reason location. The Bellerose was two blocks from the Cross Island Parkway and at the point where Braddock Avenue met Jericho Tpke/Jamaica Av.. It was also accessible by NYC buses as well as the private Schenck line.
Incidentally many Floral Park people always went to the Bellerose because the western part of the village south of the Long Island Rail Road was linked to Bellerose by a tunnel at the grammar school that emerged a couple of blocks from the theatre. Those living further east could also use the tunnel at the LIRR station. Bellerose was the shopping area for a large segment of Floral Park because of these tunnels.
Century redid the marquee of the Bellerose in the late 40s; the Park in the 60s when they also upgraded the interior. The facades of the Baldwin and Fantasy became white in the late 60s and the marquees simplified. They added sinage to the Alan which only, originally, had the name on a semi-circular marquee and put the signage for the Floral on the corner of the building when the widening of Jericho Turnpike necessitated the removal of the marquee. They also took the vertical away at the same time.
I was looking at the Century Brooklyn Rialto and found reference this “second” one built by Schwartz. Kind of unusual to have two theatres with the same name in a small local chain.
According to the Historical Society these were Tuesday only; no mention of taxes.
I’m on your “mailing” list so I’ll hear about forthcoming events. But what’s the story on the Plaza building? If they tear it down is there a plan B for PlazaMac?
So what’s happening on this?
According to Mr. Purdy of the Historical Society the entrance to the current Park Avenue Grill, 178 Park Av is at the approximate location of the alley which led to the Lyceum auditorium from Park Avenue. Also, with respect to the aerial map mentioned above he said that the Star Theatre can be seen on Broadway. (The name of the Star was changed to Amityville when acquired by Prudential.)
Correction, the name is OLC.NY. That stands for Orstein, Leyton Company, NY. They have a current property in Moriches. I believe they’re going to call this Bluepoint, which is a bit of a stretch.
If you go to the Amityville Historical Society web site the center photo of the home page is Broadway (aka 110) looking north. Way in the background to the right you can barely discern the semicircular marquee of the theatre.
Inasmuch as the Lyceum burnt down in 1915 I don’t know what the “Amityville Lyceum” would have been. The blurb from the Historical Society dated 1983 said the newer buildings were still in existance. I’ll give them a call next week to see if I can get a more precise location.
The biggest concentration of prostitution that I encountered when working and playing in the city was on 8th Avenue. Never noticed it on Broadway or 7th. Only time I did the cross streets was for a Broadway show and never noticed any in the 5-11 PM periods.
According to Amityville Historical Society records the theatre, as the Star, opened in 1913. It was a long, narrow building with a center aisle with six seats on either side. It had a rectangular shaped marquee advertising the films.
It is not clear whether the original building was expanded or a new structure built. But as a result, the Star Barber Shop which had been adjacent to the theatre (remember the first Amityville theatre started life as the Star) had to relocate. The theatre was not first run but about two weeks after a feature was shown at the flagship Bay Shore Theatre.
An interesting concept was when reduced admission passes were given to local merchants to distribute to their favorite customers. Tuesday was pass night, and very popular. Other incentives tried were dish night and offering money prizes for playing lotto.
I don’t believe these last two links are the World. The World building was not just a box. There was a peak in the center of the facade and, altho' original pictures of the Punch and Judy show three floors, there was never open office space of the type shown in these pictures.
When the Punch & Judy, by then called the Charles Hopkins was no longer viable as a legit theatre because of it’s size it became the Westminster Cinema in 1934 playing solely British films. In 1935 it became the World showing French and Italian films.
This must be where we had “culture night” from the office and a coed group went to see The Devil and Miss Jones.
As it turns out there were THREE Amityville theatres on the same site. The first started out as the Star and was renamed when taken over by Prudential. Prudential then built a new, larger theatre on the same site taking over neighboring retail space. Then when Broadway was widened the second theatre was “in the way”. A new, ever larger Amityville was built by Prudential. Then twinned. Then closed.
A lot of the heading is in contradiction to material in the files of the Amityville Historical Society. They say that in the late 1920’s it was sold to the Prudential chain. The new owners installed new equipment for talkies and changed the name to Amityville. Then in the 1930’s it was deemed obsolete and suffering from competition by neighboring village theatres which had smoking loges and AC.
The theatre closed on Sunday, January 26, 1936 with the promise that a new theatre, “the finest of its type on Long Island” would open in ten weeks. The final film was a “Tale of Two Cities” with Ronald Coleman and Elizabeth Allen.
And on May 6, 1936 the new theatre opened. Since that 1936 theatre doesn’t exist on CT I will create it.
My company had a satellite office in nearby St. George. Wandering around at lunch one day, in the 1970’s, I came upon the theatre which, as I recall was an empty space for rent with trees and bushes making it look like a real relic. Better a reused space rather than an abandoned one or one that has been demolished.
Good to hear, Victor. I’ve avoided the place because the shopping center is so sleezy. The only time I ventured onto the premises was to get the seating capacities of the seven auditoriums.