The Space at Westbury

250 Post Avenue,
Westbury, NY 11590

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Showing 101 - 125 of 163 comments

PaulLD1 on March 7, 2005 at 6:37 am

Went by there yesterday. The new owners have soaped the windows so it is no longer as easy to see through. However, I noticed that the concession stand, where the popcorn was still popped right before your eyes (see previous post) has been removed, while around the corner, the trees by the building have been chopped down. The whole place looks very gloomy.

RobertR on February 16, 2005 at 5:17 pm

I went today to buy tickets at Westbury Music Fair (actually it’s new corporate name is Northfork Music fair)so I swung by the Westbury. The roof is covered with tarps nailed down to keep them from blowing away. I peeked in the lobby and nothing seems different except a lot of plaster and drop ceiling have fallen from the water leaking. The sides of the marquee have had the letters saying “Support the Westbury Performing Arts Center” removed, but the front still says “God Bless America”. All of the stores are empty, as is the apartments upstairs. It looked very sad and forgotten.

savdeef on February 9, 2005 at 11:49 am

I was born in Westbury and brought up in Old Westbury. I have not been back there since 1961. I have many fond memories as a child of going to the Westbury Theater on Saturday afternoons to see a movie. Sundays were spent going to St. Brigid’s Church, buying rolls at the bakery and a Sunday paper at the Drugstore and then heading home. In the 1940’s and 1950’s I spent many many hours at Annie McCarthy’s candy and grocery store/house which was located on the left across from the gas station as you headed into town on Post Avenue. She was my grandmother. It is heart breaking to read what has been happening to Post Avenue and the theater.

RobertR on January 19, 2005 at 10:31 am

Anything going on here?

chconnol on December 20, 2004 at 1:06 pm

Honestly, it was a shock to see it playing there and it was first run in the summer of 1990! I remember taking my wife there and she said “oh my God, isn’t this the place with the weird owners?” Now keep in mind, she was from Brooklyn. She had even heard of the stories. We actually had a fine time. The theater was packed and my wife loved the fresh popcorn. She said how nice an experience it was. That was what was so paradoxical about the place. It could be nice or not so nice. Like you said before, depended upon what meds they were taking.

RobertR on December 20, 2004 at 12:52 pm

No amusing stories about seeing Ghost at the Westbury? Back then they still used to get people into the theatre at least.

chconnol on December 20, 2004 at 12:14 pm

Look where Garden City is. One of the most bizarre aspects of LI is that drive up from Baldwin through Hempstead. Going north along Henry Hempstead, you hit the remains of the old trolley line and the street became Clinton St in Garden City. You literally go bump and one second you’re in slummy Hempstead and the next, beautiful Garden City with mansions all around.

Not to beat Nassau into the ground, but even Garden City isn’t what it used to be. Bloomingdales is now a SEARS!!!!!!!!!! The famed N. Franklin Street is NOTHING like it used to be. People who live there now brag about how nice it is. Huh? You didn’t see it back in the 70’s when it got and deserved it’s name as the “Fifth Ave. of LI”.

As for Roosevelt Field, this is not the place to discuss it but what the hell…as I’ve said before, it’s a shadow of it’s former self. Even back in 1998, it was still a great mall. But in a very short time, it’s become a disgrace…dirty, lack of maintenance, you name it. I have heard (from a couple of friends of mine who still live on LI) that the reason for the mall’s turnaround is a re-routing of several bus lines. I shall not elaborate. But I don’t think it’s just that.

God, I remember the mall and the theater back in the 80’s. It really was like a small city…with all the stores and that great WELL maintained theater. EVERYONE went there. Then I went there in 2002 and it was sooooooooooooooooooooooo depressing. I could not believe how bad the place was.

As for Westbury, I remember taking my future wife for dinner in a restaurant a couple of doors down from the theater (forgot the name) and then catching “Ghost” at the theater. Lovely time. Now? I shudder to think of what the area looks like now.

RobertR on December 20, 2004 at 11:47 am

I live in Forest Hills in Queens and although my area has stayed nice many other areas have gotten so bad. I looked at houses in Nassau but all the areas I would live in have taxes of 8 to 10,000 a year. Great Neck, Manhasset and Garden City are still top areas. The weird thing is the Loews Roosevelt Field is in Garden City but is drawing a rough crowd at times.

chconnol on December 20, 2004 at 10:50 am

“Nassau could never look like a borough of the city of New York!”

HA! Want to make a bet? It already does and Westbury/New Cassell is quickly turning into Nassau’s version of Brownsville or East NY…especially New Cassell.

Nassau fell apart in the 80’s. Back in the 70’s, it still felt like a decent suburb. But they developed the living hell out of it in the 80’s and destroyed so much.

Now it’s even worse than it was. I’m shocked at what I see there now…the gangs, the graffiti. I know no one my age who wants to live there anymore. Maybe 30 or 40 years from now, it will begin to regentrify. Brooklyn has more potential than Nassau does. How ironic…the 5 boroughs were nearly destroyed by the post war housing boom on LI. But now Nassau’s on the decline while the 5 boroughs continue to get hotter and hotter.

Sorry…I know this is not the place to have a discussion about urban/suburban development. But in some ways, the decline of movie theaters DOES pertain to the topic.

Divinity on December 19, 2004 at 4:35 pm

Unfortunately, most suburbanites do not walk to shop in local commercial cooridors. As mediocre as shopping malls are, they are more appealing to the lazy who could not even bear the thought of parking along a street that isn’t near the entrance of their destination. This is a result of poor urban planning that has taken place in the past fifty years with stagnant clusters of suburban homes that bear no architectural significance and have no offical center of town. Since there is no center of town in these developments and there is nothing worth walking to, except for a neighborhood shop that residents probably drive to anyway. I think
that downtowntown shopping cooridors will be a thing of the past if people continue to plan these developments so poorly. If community residents would take pride in supporting these local shopping cooridors, they could be greatly improved.

Nassau could never look like a borough of the city of New York!

JohnCM on December 13, 2004 at 3:19 am

I live in the downtown Westbury area and have to agree with the previous poster about Post avenue. It has certainly been going downhill. The grafitti is all over the theater building and they even tagged my building as well. Usually the grafitti says one thing, it’s a gang symbol and all over town. I never saw any movies there at The Westbury but it’s a shame that downtown theatres like these are neglected and then often torn down.
I agree that Nassau is looking like a 6th borough of New York City. I’ve lived in Nassau all my life (grew up in Levittown) and remember how much better it was. Roosevelt Field mall’s side roads are riddled with potholes and sometimes the gangs hang out there. The movie theater there is very rowdy I never go there, I usually go to Levittown’s Nassau multiplex.

RobertR on December 8, 2004 at 11:36 am

Maybe there meds were adjusted to the proper levels back then LOL. Seriously though they stopped doing good bookings as one of the above posts mention, they wanted the Paramount films because they were shipped free. If they had even gone second run with clean theatres and normal people working there it might have survived. How sane can someone be leaving holes in the roof while the theatre was open? Instead of playing the accordian in the lobby he could have glued some patches onto the holes in the roof.

chconnol on December 8, 2004 at 10:49 am

It’s doomed. Sorry but the neighborhood is in decline and has been for years. And there’s way too much competition in the area with the new megaplexes.

I grew up in Nassau County and I go back there fairly frequently to visit friends and relatives (I’m in NJ now). Nassau is becoming like a borough of NYC now, demographic wise. I was shocked two years ago by the horrible condition of the Roosevelt Field Mall and it’s movie theater. The mall removed that great “spitting” fountain that they had for what???!!!! A kiddie train ride…to generate revenue. Ugh!

Back in the 80’s, Roosevelt Field was THE mall to go to. And the theater, though mightily multiplexed, was fantastic. It was clean as hell and just a great theater to go to. HELL, even this Westbury place was OK. It was one of the few close by places to show unusual fare such as “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, “My Life as a Dog”, “Jean DeFlorette”, “Murmur of the Heart” and so many others. The only other theater on LI that show stuff like this was the New Community Cinema in Huntington. And that was quite a schlep. I would never have gotten the chance to see these fine films without the Westbury. Yes, the owners were a well documented couple of nut-burgers but they booked good stuff in the mid to late 80s.

PaulLD1 on December 8, 2004 at 9:30 am

Went by there yesterday. There is now blue plastic covering on the roof. Other than that, nothing.

RobertR on December 6, 2004 at 8:03 am

Has there been any activity here lately?

RobertR on November 9, 2004 at 1:53 pm

Yup thats the one LOL

chconnol on November 9, 2004 at 11:52 am

“King of Hearts”?

RobertR on November 9, 2004 at 9:22 am

I was just thinking what was that famous French comedy where the inmates were running the asylum? My story about the Westbury could be a remake.

chconnol on November 9, 2004 at 9:09 am

Well, the one side of Westbury(actually Old Westbury) has the million and multi-million dollar homes BUT it’s quite a stretch from where the Westbury Theater is located. 10-15 years ago, the main street in Westbury was very nice. But I was back there about a year ago and was kind of shocked about how it’s sunk. Westbury is a strange town the way it’s split. One area (near where the movie theater is) is rather run down and low on the economic scale. The area across Jericho Turnpike is beautiful. But I’d be willing to bet that the residents of Old Westbury don’t go near the old “downtown” area.

RobertR on November 8, 2004 at 4:28 pm

When they were one of the only full time art houses in Nassau County they did decent grosses (and that’s just what they reported). Without the screaming and badgering they could have survived. Who did they think was going to come there for all the Paramount movies they played with Spanish subtitles? One side of Westbury has million dollar homes and could have supported an art house indefinitely.

chconnol on November 8, 2004 at 3:38 pm

An odd spectacle. I hate to say this but the theater was doomed in more ways than just the owners. Then neighborhood itself is in decline and it’s got stiff competition just around the corner with the Raceway Theaters off of Hempstead Turnpike.

RobertR on November 8, 2004 at 3:18 pm

Odder even then leaving an open hole in the roof that left rain pouring in and destroying the place while it was still open. Then there was collecting money to quad the theatre that they just seemed to put in their pockets. There was a whole program to get your name on the marquee if you donated $100. What a sham.

chconnol on November 8, 2004 at 11:14 am

RobertR: it would be a comedy, drama and tragedy. What’s sad is that these people must’ve loved the idea of owning and running their own movie theater. But they were so odd and genuinely mean spirited that one had to wonder why they were doing it. Was it just for the novelty? Did they treat the theater itself like some kind of big toy and couldn’t be bothered with the details like being nice to your patrons? It was and is a very strange story…

RobertR on November 8, 2004 at 10:36 am

I feel like writing a screen play about this once great theatre and the insane couple who ran it into the ground, but who would believe it.

chconnol on November 8, 2004 at 9:59 am

Here’s one more annoying memory about the owners who were kooks. This happened after the infamous cough-drop incident.

My and a few friends were there to see an “art” film (maybe “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” or something like that. While waiting on line, this guy had one of those car radios that you used to remove from the dashboard (don’t know if they still make them). Anyway…the woman owner was working the counter and noticed this. She sent her husband over to the guy to tell him he couldn’t take it into the theater. The husband told the guy this and a pretty nifty little fight ensued. Of course the guy with the radio argued that it was a car radio but the owners would have none of it. Long story short, the guy was ejected from the theater (with his friends). We all had a big laugh. The owners, honest to God, were very strange people. Seemed like nerdy control freaks.

And yes, for awhile, it was one of the few places to see independent/art films on Long Island. The only other place was the New Community Cinema out in Huntington.