UA Lynbrook 6

321 Merrick Road,
Lynbrook, NY 11563

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 14, 2005 at 5:01 am

Yes… that’s right. Each auditorium had two sets of doors – one closer to the center lobby area and the other down the foyer hallway leading towards either side of the theater. I think there used to be benches against the wall near those doors down the hall.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 14, 2005 at 4:40 am

I think that you can see the screen from the end (side?) doors, but the center door views are blocked by the booth. Next time I go I will make some observations.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 14, 2005 at 4:03 am

Hmmmm. Is the view of the screen through the doors completely blocked or just partially? I can clearly remember being able to see the screen (or part of it) through those windows back in the late ‘70’s and '80’s. I recall the incident I described previously where I frightened my younger brother with a glimpse of the original “Dawn of the Dead” and on other occasions waiting patiently for the end of the previous showing of a particular movie to end – trying very hard to resist the temptation to peak a glimpse at the film’s ending.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 13, 2005 at 5:20 am

There is little evidence of the original decor. On the orchestra level the windows are still in the doors, but the wide booth blocks the view of the screens.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 13, 2005 at 5:15 am

Saps… just curious. Are there any remnants of the theater’s original decor in its current configuration? It’s been ages since I saw a film here and I frankly don’t recall much detail about the interior other than the windows on the doors leading from the foyer into the original orchestra-level theaters.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 28, 2005 at 5:34 pm

I was here Saturday night and was happy to see the place was packed. There’s nothing like the excitement of a crowded movie theatre, everyone there to have a good time.

Meredith has moved on. But I think he reads this page so maybe we’ll hear from him.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2005 at 9:49 am

Is Meredith Rhule still posting on this site? He is (was) the projectionist here and posted back in 2004 that the only thing holding up the demolition of this theater was the Cuban restaurant that occupied one of the store fronts in the building. While the other retail spaces do indeed seem to remain vacant, I passed by the place the other night and noticed that a new Greek restaurant is now a tenant in the building (to the left of the theater entrance). Is this where the Cuban restaurant was? Is it the same business owner operating under the same lease as before or have plans to demolish the building been scrapped and a new lease written for the Greek place? Just for old times sake, I ought to catch a flick here one day. If nothing else, it’ll be an excuse to grab some Cold Stone Ice Cream across the street afterward!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2005 at 8:42 am

I remember this theater as a quartet back in the late ‘70’s and early '80’s. I saw many movies here (and snuck around from auditorium to auditorium on a single ticket on more than one occasion). We lived in Laurelton, which is the last neighborhood in Queens as Merrick Blvd crosses into Nassau County and becomes Merrick Road, and we’d often take walk to the Nassau border in Valley Stream so we could take the N4 bus to the Lynbrook. There was another smaller theater on Hempstead Ave just a block or so away called Studio One. I remember one night my Mom took a whole bunch of us out to the movies and everyone wanted to see “Rocky II”, except for me and my friend Mike who had seen it already. So they all saw that movie at the Lynbrook while Mike and I took in “Alien” at the Studio One.

I remember taking my little brother to see “The Muppet Movie” here and the virtually X-rated gore fest “Dawn of the Dead” was playing the downstairs theater on the right. Back in those days (and maybe still today?) the doors to the auditoriums had these square windows through which you could view the screen. My brother was too small to peer in to the theater, but he was curious about the zombie flick – which I had already seen and giddily described to him in vivid detail. I picked him up and let him peek in through the window just in time for him to watch one of the characters in the flick plunge a screwdriver deep into the ear of a zombie in graphic close-up. He was 7 years old at the time and it’s an image that is burned into his memory – as well as a story he still loves to tell to this day!

We used to lie about our ages to get into R-rated movies. Even at 14 or 15 we passed pretty easily for older kids and rarely had a problem. One time, however, we couldn’t convince the cashier that we were 17 and had to buy tickets to a PG-rated movie, when in fact we wanted to see “Dawn of the Dead.” I want to say we bought tickets for “Rocky II” but I’m not entirely sure. Anyway… we snuck into “Dawn of the Dead” regardless and were allowed to settle in and enjoy the flick for about 25 minutes until one of the ushers (a young guy probably college-age) came in shining his flashlight and asked to see our tickets. When he saw the stub, he just looked at us slyly, said “Son of a gun!” and escorted us to the front doors! So, we plopped down on the curb waiting for the bus to take us back to Queens and after a while that very same usher comes out of the theater and sees us sitting there rather dejectedly. He tells us that he was just getting off and wasn’t going to come in after us, but found himself gripped with a strong sense of duty! We certainly weren’t as amused as he so obviously was with himself and sent him on his way with a few choice words. We wound up finally seeing “Dawn of the Dead” at the Rivoli Theater in Times Square, where age restrictions weren’t quite as dutifully monitored.

I also remember having to walk all the way home from this theater after seeing a late show here one week night in the summer. The movie let out around 11pm or so and we didn’t realize that the bus stopped running completely after 10pm! We sat at the bus stop in front of the theater for nearly an hour before an usher exiting the theater informed us that there would be no bus until about 5 in the morning! What a walk that was! I was never so happy as when we finally came to the 7-11 located near the Queens border and realized (a) we could get something to drink and (b) the end of our journey was near! My sides start to hurt me just thinking back on that trek.

The UA Lynbrook was one of my many local cinematic haunts during the time. We also had the little Laurelton Theater on our side of the border, the Valley Stream, Belaire Twin, Century’s Green Acres and Sunrise Cinemas in Valley Stream as well as the RKO Twin and Fantasy Theaters in Rockville Center, the RKO triplex in Lawrence and the discount second-run Five Towns Theater in Woodmere.

DennisLeight
DennisLeight on October 18, 2005 at 4:34 am

There once was a small Kimball theatre organ in this theatre. I looked at it once, back in the early 70’s while I still lived on Long Island. The console was intact and the cables still connected to the windchests in the chambers. The blower also still could be started. Unfortunately almost all of the pipe work had been removed. Everything relatively small, from Tenor C up had been removed by someone. The manager, whose name I have forgotten, was surprised to learn this from me. She had no explaination. Systematic vandalism, I suppose.

chconnol
chconnol on February 2, 2005 at 8:48 am

Ugh! None of the old ornamentation is left? What a disgrace. This place was one of LI’s true movie palaces. If I remember correctly, it was (and pardon me if my architectural phraseology is not up to snuff) done in a “Spanish” style. What a shame.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 28, 2005 at 1:04 pm

I recently had the opportunity to meet the projectionist here, a great guy called Meredith Rhule. He took me to all four (!) projection booths (one for the two orchestra theaters, one for the two balcony theaters, one on the former stage and the last in a former commercial space off the lobby) where I watched him run a grade-A show. We talked a lot about the deplorable state of modern movie presentation and had a few laughs at the expense of the dopes at Regal/UA for some of their arcane practices. Meredith was cool enough to show me around the place as well; we poked around the old backstage dressing rooms and downstairs I got a look at the orchestra pit, which really is a pit nowadays. We searched a bit for any signs of the former ornamentation, but little is left. It was a real treat to shoot the breeze with a true union professional, a man with a sense of history (he also worked the Chinese Theater and at private Hollywood screening rooms for many years before moving east). This guy takes pride in his work and it shows, a precious commodity in a world where the high-school usher often runs the show.

chconnol
chconnol on December 22, 2004 at 10:03 am

The Fantasy might’ve been designed properly but they also gutted a fine looking theater.

taketheatrai
taketheatrai on December 21, 2004 at 8:39 pm

The UA Lynbrook is a terribel place to see a movie when its crowded. In Theatres 1 and 2, the seats have obstructed vews with the persons head blocking the film.

The upstairs auditoriums are MONO. No stereo or digital sound. Cinemas 1 and 2 have DTS.

REGAL plans to expand it to 10 to 14 screens. The Fantasy in Rockville Center was built in 1989 was design properly. All Fantasy screens had DTS sound.

RobertR
RobertR on December 6, 2004 at 12:51 pm

Yes, Cineplex did the same with the Green Acres, Fantasy, Fresh Meadows and I think a theatre in Brooklyn. As far as Lynbrook is concerned it’s a miracle it’s still open with UA running it.

chconnol
chconnol on December 6, 2004 at 12:17 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but the Green Acres in Valley Stream and the Fantasy in Rockville Centre did get this so-called Midway treatment, right? In some ways I find that more brutal as it complete destroys anything that resembled the old theater.

I was on LI over Thanksgiving and went by the Lynbrook. GOD that place was huge. You can see how high up the arched ceiling goes. I guess a creative architect could’ve maintained the original architecture while multiplexing it but the cost would’ve been cost prohibitive.

RobertR
RobertR on December 6, 2004 at 11:20 am

The Midway was totally gutted down to the four walls. They then added new floors to create a multiplex. It is the only UA theatre they ever multiplexed properly.

chconnol
chconnol on December 6, 2004 at 11:18 am

“it will get the Midway treatment” from saps above dated 8/2/04.

What is the Midway Treatment?

chconnol
chconnol on November 8, 2004 at 12:35 pm

Gee, I wonder why the Sunrise Multiplex isn’t listed? I’m sure lots of people have “interesting” stories about it.

As for the Lynbrook, this was one of my favorite theaters growing up. Maybe my memory is tainted but I remember it as being HUGE. And very ornate. It was done in a Spanish style. A lovely place to see a movie. The most memorable movie I saw there was “Rocky” in 1977. About a year or so later, it was multiplexed to four theaters. At first, this was cool. Wow! Four theaters in one place! But now I realize what a loss it was and is.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 4, 2004 at 11:01 pm

Sorry, I was there again tonight and there ARE six screens, number six being in a former retail space adjacent to the lobby and not part of the former auditorium. And it is a little shoe-boxy, though it’s wide and shallow rather than long and narrow.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on August 3, 2004 at 8:18 am

UA was not known for the upkeep of their theatres, usually they would run them into the ground. I’ve been to this cinema and it wasn’t bad at all, but it is obsolete by modern Regal standards, and according to them it is due for an overhaul.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 2, 2004 at 8:04 pm

And there are five screens, number five on the old stage being the only one that could be called a shoebox, yet even it has a high ceiling and is roomier than you might think.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 2, 2004 at 8:02 pm

I was there tonight and was surprised about how not-awful it was. The three auditoriums (I know that’s wrong!) I went in were all clean, no noticable broken seats and the screens were bright and focused. The lobby was also well decorated and pleasant to be in.

I saw a movie upstairs, which seems to be the original balcony divided in two, and it was nice to imagine what the whole thing must have looked like and felt like, and imagining where the original screen was.

I have heard both rumors about this place: That it will be demolished and a new house built, or that it will get the Midway treatment. Either way, I recommend seeing a movie here, especially upstairs, for a little taste of the olden days.

edward
edward on March 12, 2004 at 5:22 am

UA Lynbrook 6, 321 Merrick Rd., Lynbrook, NY 11563, 516-593-1050:
http://www.uatc.com/

Vito
Vito on March 12, 2004 at 4:28 am

As a projectionist at The Lynbrook during the 60s and 70s I can tell you the booth was not equiped for D-150, We had two Norelco 35/70 projectors and ran a lot of 70mm during which two projectionists on duty at all times. I remember “Oliver” as my favorite. “The Sound Of Music” played there a second time in 35mm with four track mag stereo sound.

joemasher
joemasher on March 11, 2004 at 5:43 pm

The Lynbrook will receive the “Midway” treatment at the end of this year, as will the Marboro, according to my sources.