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By the way, the search feature on the site searches current AND former names. If you search “Astor Plaza” for this theater in the search box above….one theater comes up. The Best Buy Theater. So if you are searching theaters by their “most famous name”, even if the name is now some other name, the theater will come up in search.
Ed, in reference to “using the most recent name” is a decision that was made for consistency. Many theaters had several names, and sometimes it’s latest name is it’s most popular. Sometimes, it’s old name was the most popular, sometimes some name it had in the middle. For consistency’s sake, they chose to title theaters by their most recent name. For every theater that may have suffered by having it’s “most recent name” as the current heading name, there are others that benefited from it.
It makes sense for consistency, and otherwise subjective things would have to be used to title a theater.
WOW! Amazing photos! I can’t imagine that that lobby photo was taken after the theater was closed. They destroyed it I assume. Does the YMCA use the old building shell, or was it razed?
Fantasia played for many weeks there. I remember it on the marquee when i used to go under it every day around 1990 and 1991.
Wow, great spread of photos and article!
I don’t know how the Granada met it’s end, but the Unique, aka The Rialto burned to the ground in the 1970’s and was not used as retail afterwards, the fire was a complete loss.
I guess I am “trained” now on how theaters operate, but I do understand what you are saying. When I was a kid, we would just go to the movie theater and just spend all day there. Gone are the days of going to a beautiful movie Palace like the Madison, Ridgewood, Oasis, Elmwood, or fill in a blank…. Kids today will never know the feeling of walking into a large building like that chosing between the balcony or downstairs, and coming into the dark building with the credits from the showing before going….
I wonder if that really was a foolish practice, and I wonder why more theaters didn’t do it. While I can totally understand some of the negatives (large 2 hour+ gap between showing times for a movie – meaning that if you couldn’t make the 7:00 showing the next one would be before 11:00, and that’s if the movies shown are under 2 hours).
Some of the positives would be that they could in essence make the theater a “twin” without having two screens. If people didn’t care for one of the movies showing, perhaps they would like the other, meaning that week you wouldn’t lose that patron.
I am sure you are right. I wrote the blurb for the top of the page when I added this theater. I remember as a teenager “cruising” through that parking lot with friends and know I did it in around 1986 1987, but thought we did it a little later too, and didn’t realize the theater closed by 1987.
The whole shopping center fell into complete disrepair by the late 80’s (perhaps when the theater closed). What is now Wendy’s was an abandoned KFC for years. They even tore the whole east end of the shopping center down (to the right of where the supermarket is now), they center went all the way to the end of the parking lot there. It started improving after they tore that down and gave the whole place a facelift.
Here’s a photo of the Haven from the net:
Paradise, the Federal Aviation Administration has nothing to do with the city….the plan WAS approved by the city if I am not mistaken. Why should the city have to pay for something they have nothing to do with?
Hahaha, I don’t remember that, but at least I’m consistent!
Thanks for the link to the article. Ironic that the Commack Cinemas closed after being sold to “Lowe’s”…. Now if this had been a Loews theater, imagine the play on spellings and words that could have been….
Wow, you know you are getting older when things you remember brand new and opening up 20 or 30 years ago are now closing…..
Yes, that is a theater that really closed before it’s time, the Brookhaven Multiplex was not even 20 years old, and wasn’t in bad shape. I remember going there as a teenager, and the place was mobbed on a Friday night with lines of people waiting to get into the theaters….
The Multiplex must have been right on the verge of opening. By the way, the old Drive in at the Multiplex site also had an “indoor” theater for when weather was bad. That old indoor theater was incorporated into the new multiplex built around it and was the 13th theater in the multiplex.
We also exited from the side door of the Plaza when I saw my last movie there. It was the left theater if facing front, and used the side door to the alley by the cleaners/Dunkin Donuts side.
That’s right around the time the Patchogue Multiplex opened at the old Patchogue Drive in site. The Patchogue Multiplex closed the old Patchogue Theater (now the performing arts theater on Main St), the SunWave, and the Plaza in one swoop.
The Broadway Theater (Lowes Broadway) also had a shortened name on the marquee…. “Bway”….
Hopefully it will hang on your new building one day. Or at least one that looks like it…with the original on display in your lobby or something….
That is GREAT!! The signage lasted better than the building itself, and if you look at my photos from Tuesday, was still in great shape right till the bricks began falling. You gotta keep that script looking “Plaza” as your logo!
Leighton, the frame was still up as they were first stripping away the concrete and brick veneer from the building. They have begun the dismantling of the steel now too. I drove by earlier today. The front is now only one story high, and the back is completely exposed now.
There are buildings on either side of it, so it’s not like they could just push it over. On the left is a business building, and on the right, towards the back is a home up close to it, so Slowly but surely it’s going piece by piece.
Ed, you read my mind! That’s how I also remember that it was a quad, as as a kid we would do the same thing there. I remember the ornate railing on the left that used to go up to the second floor. On the second floor landing up there, there were a bunch of video games, and I remember playing them when waiting for the movie to end prior to the time we were going. We also would try and sneak into one of the other theaters afterwards. I remember the Midway to be very clean and well kept at that time (at least next to my home theater, the Ridgewood). We would make the trek from Ridgewood on the subway to the Midway or Continental over on Austin St. While both were better kept than the Ridgewood, i think half the fun was riding over to the Midway on the subway “by ourselves”. I would usually just tell my mother that we were going to a movie at the Ridgewood.
Yes, while it absolutely was an eyesore for the better of the last 20 years, I too am bittersweet about the whole thing.
I took a close up so you can see the bird sitting on the Plaza sign….the theater has been home to pigeons for at least 15 to 20 years now inside. When they were having the ceremony, one of the politicians said something to the effect of, “Well Ironically I am sure Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” may have played here…..
The original description for this theater is incorrect. The first line says “Located in the Forest Hills section of Queens. After decades as a single screen movie palace, the 1942 built; Midway Theatre (named for the famous Battle of Midway) was sold in June 1997 to the Heskel Group……The theater was closed two months later and completely renovated into a nine-screen multiplex.”
While that is true, it did NOT go from a single screen theater “after decades of being a single screen movie palace” to the 9 screens it has today. From the mid to late 80’s to 1997, it was cut up into a quad, with two movie auditoriums in the old balcony, and two movie auditoriums in the orchestra level. I saw many movies in that theater in the quad set up, particularly in the late 80’s and early 90’s.