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Now, more than ever it’s time to try to get inside and take pictures. It was announced that The Village of Great Neck Estates Board will hold a public hearing on August 6 (2014)on a plan to raze the theatre to make way for a new apartment building with retail space and parking. The latter is something which is sorely needed.
There are attempts to have the building given Landmark status. At the minimum the Historical Society wants the facade preserved.
Anybody see the facade? Doesn’t look like anything, much less a theatre.
Probably will be part of the $600 million reseating project mentioned on the CT home page.
William McQuade does 340 MP mean anything to you?
Flushing Meadow Park has acres of parking and subway service. Really more accessible than Astoria or Flushing proper. As far as Bobby’s racism comment, I think the US is becoming more racist every day.
According to an article on theatre in Northport, N.Y. in Newsday for July 13, 2014, the cost of the conversion from movies to stage cost $3.7 million. The 1950 renovation which I alluded to in an earlier posting, cost $100,000. The article quotes the current seating capacity as 400.
According to an article in the Sunday July 18, 2014 Newsday on the history of theatre in Northport, N.Y., the original Northport Theatre hosted vaudeville acts and was used as a community center for recitals, commencements and roller skating (the seats were removable). In 1918 the soldiers training to become World War I pilots at Brindley Field were entertained here.
In the 1920s it was only opened on weekends. In 1930 talkies were initiated. Two years later it burnt to the ground.
Like RKO had a presence in Queens and Long Island to protect. There was the Alden in Jamaica and the Albee in Brooklyn. Without checking I’m sure the Keith’s closed before RKO opened the four sets of twins, Commack, Babylon, Rockville Centre and Lawrence.
But there are also a goodly number of Koreans, correct?
Bottom line, for most of Flushing proper, English is the second, if at all, language.
What then is right. Flushing is not an appropriate location for a performing arts center. Ethnicity of the area wouldn’t support it in any fashion.
I’ve added a photo dated 1935 of the interior of the original Southampton Theatre.
Ad is dated 1924. Have no idea why it loaded side ways. Don’t have the techie knowledge to correct.
At a 1997 meeting on he history of Southampton, oral history given by one of the participants alludes to the fact that, at some point, a roof had been added. Then, to accommodate hot summer days, panels were removed from the outer walls to allow for the circulation of air. The seating capacity was also reduced, supposedly, considerably.
The presence of an additional theatre on Main Street, which was destroyed by fire in the mid to late 1920s was also mentioned. No name was given. Back to research.
Manager Polley was again in the news in February 1914 when he announced that he was going to build an 800 seat air-drome next to, and fully independent of, the Babylon. Matinees and performances in bad weather were to be held indoors. Didn’t happen.
Riley’s Capitol in Riverhead was sold in April, 1925. This was less than a year after they lost their Capitol in Babylon as a result of bankruptcy. The theatre was sold for a reported $100,000 but one of the Riley brothers purchased $20,000 stock in the new company which redecorated the premises and renamed it the Riverhead.
Too many performing arts spaces on Long Island; one, long established, already in Westbury. Poor management, opening was more than a year behind schedule and the bookings are few and far between; bad location.
The new theatre hosted a performance of “The Eternal City” for the benefit of the Southampton Hospital. More than 919 people were admitted and many were turned away. The $202.43 raised seems meager by today’s standards. Hospital fund raisers were also held in subsequent years.
From the South Side Signal (Babylon) 10/17/1913:
“Captain Harrison L'Hommedieu, proprietor of the Alhambra, is planning to transform the hall into an uptodate theatre. He proposes to remove the second floor, and add large windows on the side, raise the floor of the first story on an incline, put in a good-sized stage, and otherwise make it an ideal playhouse. This will mean the losing to Babylon of its only large public dance hall, though it will make a more modern auditorium for other public gatherings. The cost of the proposed change will be well above $6,000.”
Well, that didn’t happen and he sold the building, excluding the motion picture equipment to the Odd Fellows.
The 1925 photo posted by Ken Roe shows the Bablyon with a very “home town” facade. This is a far contrast to the current modern one.
Reference is made to a comment made by Ken Roe on October 31, 2004 and those made by Orlando the same year. The original Babylon closed in 1922(see elsewhere on CT) the same year the current theatre, then called the Capitol, opened. After the Capitol went bankrupt in 1924 it was reopened under new ownership in February 1925. Presumably the name was changed to Babylon at that time because there is reference to theatre magnet Mike Glynne being injured in an automobile accident on the way to the opening of the Babylon theatre in February 1925.
According to one source, Glynne only acquired this Babylon, together with the Regent and Carlton in Bay Shore and the Garden in Southampton, in 1926. According to another, those four theatres were acquired by B.S. Moss from the Brewster circuit in 1926 never mentioning Glynne.
Land for the theatre was purchased in December 1926 for a reported $100,000. That was pricey. $100,000 was more usually the cost of the building.
But I trust you are familiar with the book. I actually ordered mine online from Walmart.
Really. I notice it’s not listed on the NY Drive In site. As a Drive In person have you ever crossed checked all the Drive Ins mentioned in The American Drive-In Movie Theatre by Don and Susan Sanders to see if they’re all on Cinema Treasures? I checked the ones from the Lost Broadway Theaters book.
On the Drive In site. I think they said 600 cars.
Tried phone books, newspapers the public library, people who lived there. Needless to say some of the information on that site, or any other, can be questionable.
If you look at the photos section in the reference made by Drive-in 54 there is information from the Peconic Bay Shopper. They did a subsequent followup article, too. That site shows a drive In in Centereach, NY. I, a theatre nut, do not remember it nor can I find reference to it anywhere else.