Lane Theater

168 New Dorp Lane,
New Dorp, NY 10306

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Showing 76 - 100 of 116 comments

Garth on March 22, 2006 at 12:30 pm

i passed by over the weekend, new signs have been posted pushing for a sale of the premise. i would like to mention to vito , the glass doors visible behind the front gate look like the same ones from when it was a functioning theatre. i wouldn’t be too hopeful of a sale, after noticeing that many of the other businesses in the area are either closed or moving to a new location….

Vito on November 6, 2005 at 10:58 am

Robert, I remember UA ran the Paramount for a while but don’t recall the Lane under that banner. I was woking for UA at the Syosset on Long Island at that time. I hadn’t worked the Lane after 1965 buy I suppose anything is possible.

RobertR on November 6, 2005 at 10:45 am

In this 1969 ad the Lane is listed as a UA?
View link

Vito on October 8, 2005 at 11:19 am

Thank you MTota, So all the projection equipment is gone. Sad, I cut my teeth as a projectionist in that booth. Pigeons seem to like old movie theatres, the Paramount was full of them as well, they had made a home in the projection booth. As to the stage, no the Lane never had wing space, or a stage for that matter. It was a very limited space, When we installed a slightly wider screen for CinemaScope the exits prohibited us from doing any reconstruction of the proscenium, we removed the traveler curtain and went as wide as we could. Just so I may visualise the old booth, when you reached the top of the stairs was there a small bathroom just to the left, with a large generator next to it? As you turn left at the stairs you reached a small room which was the rewind room, followed by the main booth and then a door at the end which lead to the air conditioning storage room.

MTota on October 8, 2005 at 9:35 am


Yes, I did walk up to the booth. It was converted into an office..I imagine from the night club days. It is there that I saw the pigeons living in the ceiling. It also seemed apparent that some kids broke in and vandalized…broken walls etc.

Yes, there was a small stage there, but actually this space is not suitable for plays. There isn’t any wing space and one cannot extend beyond the exits in the there isn’t much space for plays…but it would be perfect for a revial house/cafe..I would certainly be a part of any committee as well..

Believe it or not..the last movie I saw there was Gone With the Wind in the mid-90’s…it was a revival lhouse for a short time

uncleal923 on October 5, 2005 at 12:11 pm

My family wants to move to Staten Island, if a committee is formed to save the Lane, I will gladly join. I am on the committee to save several theaters already

Vito on October 5, 2005 at 1:13 am

Robert, the Lane served as a nightclub in the late 90’s. Perhaps someone remembers when the last movies were shown.

RobertR on October 4, 2005 at 1:17 pm

It went down fast, I thought it was open in the late 90’s?

Vito on October 4, 2005 at 10:46 am

MTota, that’s very sad news indeed, The same thing happened to the Paramount. When I saw the Paramount after years of neglect I was very depressed, I have worried the same fate might fall upon the Lane. Did you go up to the booth? if so what did you find there?
Actually someone did try to operate as a nightclub, I believe a stage was erected in front of the old screen. It was not successful and closed shortly and left to deteriate. I hope someone will come along and save her.

MTota on October 4, 2005 at 9:28 am

Sad news to report on this place. I was looking to buy this theater and return it to its former glory in the form of a revival house/dinner theater. The inside of this place is in shambles, the ceiling is coming down over the balcony and the smell from lack of ventilation is sickening. The walk up to the projectionist booth distrubed the pigeons that were living in it..getting through the broken window. It was a sad day for me seeing a childhood place left to such disrepair. This weas the place that introduced my generation to the Disney sad is all I can say…The realtor indicated that the place was going for over 1 million…it looked to me like it would take at least that to open it…may be less if someone is or knows a contractor….

uncleal923 on September 14, 2005 at 4:41 pm

Passed by the Lane earlier this month. The tower may no longer be rising above New Dorp, but the facade still hasn’t lost its 1940s art deco splendor. Too bad I never saw the inside.

Vito on August 17, 2005 at 1:33 am

Oh Warren, seeing that interior again was brought back so many wonderfull memories. While I was going to high school, my very first job in theatres was as an usher/marguee changer at the Lane. Vic Lobello, the projectionist taught me how to run the projectors and became a good friend and mentor to me. I stayed in the projection, and then theatre management, game untill I retired. I owe my entire carrer to my beginings at the Lane. The picture you posted reminded me of those great days with Vic, owner Elias Moses, assistant manager Josie,and Grady the maintanence man who also taught me a lot. I also worked for Fabian at the Paramount for a while but it was not the same as the family atmosphere at the Lane.

RobertR on August 16, 2005 at 11:03 am

What a shame another unique place sitting and rotting.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 16, 2005 at 10:51 am

Here’s an image of John Eberson’s intimate and modernistic auditorium. Hard to believe that this was the same architect who did the Chicago and Bronx Paradises (among many other atmospherics):

Vito on June 28, 2005 at 12:35 am

I wrote about the seating and other conditions at the lane as it was on my last visit which was a few years ago. Much has no doubt changed since then. Perhaps someone familiar with the New Dorp area has more recent information.

Garth on June 27, 2005 at 11:03 am

robert , if you mean ready as a movie theatre , i believe a previous poster stated the orchestra seats were removed when it became a nightclub. the balcony is intact according to the poster. when i pass by i check if anyone’s there ,to get a look but it is always closed.

Garth on June 27, 2005 at 10:58 am

robert , if you mean ready as a movie theatre , i beleive a previous poster stated the orchestra seats were removed when it became a nightclub. the balcony is intact according to the poster. when i pass by i check if anyone’s there ,to get a look but it is always closed.

RobertR on June 27, 2005 at 4:34 am

Is this in ready to open condition?

Vito on June 27, 2005 at 4:04 am

Garth, allow me respond to your post.
Initially, the Moses brothers were resistant to install CinemaScope.
Cost was a big factor and the attitude was one of wait and see.
Finally in the summer of 1955 when it was clear CinemaScope was not going to go away and we were passing on a lot of films, The decsion was made to at least buy the lenses and upgrade the projectors to “Fox Sprocket”. Because of the procedium restrictions, the screen would be only slightly larger in width, and we had to remove the title travelor curtain to allow for as much width as possible.
Basically what we had was a full CinemaScope ratio projected in a letterbox type image. It was called by some as SqueezeScope. Our first movie was “Love Me Or Leave Me”. I can still remember the sandwich board outside the theatre reading “Coming Soon, CinemaScope"
THe lighting was at times distracting whenever the side light panels on each side of the screen were left on. A practice only appied when the house was full.I don’t recall the ceiling motif of the planets being any cause of distraction. As for the sound, we never upgraded to mag stereo and the amplifier was only 50 about watts.

Garth on June 26, 2005 at 1:25 pm

going there in the 60’s and 70’s as a youth it was much smaller than paramount and st george. the “stadium seating” effect of the balcony still paled in comparison to those other theatres. i also seem to recall the interior lighting being rather bright during screenings , which distracted from the movie showing. the ceiling motif , i recall , added to this effect. the square screen could not accomadate the “cinemascope” format of the day , and the sound was muffled as i recall…..

uncleal923 on June 16, 2005 at 4:31 pm

If we decide to move to Staten Island, I may look into that idea of starting a small, community theater there.

Garth on June 16, 2005 at 12:03 pm

sorry gustav , i didn’t realize you meant amateur theatre. as far as i know they don’t have it at the st. george. i would question whether it would attract enough of an audience here to sustain the lane. in the village yes , but on s.i. i doubt it.

uncleal923 on June 15, 2005 at 5:33 pm

Does the St. George have amateur theater? I was never there. I want to go see it.

Garth on June 15, 2005 at 1:22 pm

the website didn’t work, and the real estate firm said the person handling it wasn’t in. gustav , as far as the community theatre idea goes, i think the ship has sailed on that. the has cornered the market on it , and the way the city crucified the owners of that establishment does not bode well for any potential owners of the lane.

uncleal923 on June 12, 2005 at 5:02 pm

What about adding performing arts into the Kings, like community theater. Many old movie houses have been changed to community theaters.