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When doing some research on another theater I came upon information which indicated that the current building was built in 1927 but was damaged by fire in 1932 and closed. At that time the address was 6 Corners and it was called the Hampton Star. Corners are gone and now there is a traffic circle. The theater reopened in 1947. It operated as a summer theater for a time before returning to movies.
Visited here for the first time tonight. The place is a labyrinth of corridors leading to surprisingly large and well appointed auditoriums. I don’t know if all this was achieved within the space of the original theater or whether the property was expanded. The manager didn’t either. My only complaint was that the sound from the adventure film next door spilled over into my auditorium.
Seating is as follows: #1 241 #2 159 #3 162 #4 68 #5 68 #6 74 #7 235 #8 215
When the Playhouse was purchased in 1947 by James Poro, Manager of the East Islip Theater, is was rumored that the price was $50,000. At that time Mr. Poro indicated that he would spend $ 75,000 to upgrade the theater to include a loge and 750 seats. The article about the opening didn’t confirm the seating capacity.
There were a series of fires in Sayville in 1958, none of which were mentioned in the local paper, the Suffolk News. Presumably they were trying to down play them. Last ad for the Playhouse, at that time the Art Playhouse, was for August 29, 1958.
A side note, when the Playhouse opened for films on June 5, 1948, the other theater in town, the Sayville, doubled the size of its ad.
The local newspaper, Suffolk News, ads showed a larger ad for the Sayville when it opened. There was no promo ad or news article. The ad said “new” and boasted ample parking across the street. In time the format went back to the original but the term “new” reappeared possibly indicating an upgrade down the road.
The original open air space was called the Star Airdrome. They showed five reels of film daily with a 10 cent admission for adults, 5 for children.
Never heard of him or it. Wonder where I can get info.
Pouring over early editions of the Smithtown Messenger, the microfiche only begins in 1922, hasn’t clarified matters. Since the building which housed the final theater appeared in the 1927 aerial photo I was trying to determine when it opened. I found a couple of isolated ads for a Casino Theater in St. James in 1922, 23 and 24. Nothing for 1925, 26 or 27. Will have to spend another day check 1928 and on, possibly through 1940 when I actually have seen images of theater cards.
So was the St. James the former Casino? Was the aerial photo taken later? Hopefully the matter will be resolved.
While looking for something in the Smithtown Messenger from 1922 (the first date on microfilm) there are frequently ads for Assembly Hall which was the name in use for many years, referring to “high class photo plays”. Films were only shown on Mondays and Fridays. There were folding chairs. The Hall was used for other activities including dance classes. Over the years the management of the theater changed. In 1925 the management was assumed by the person running the Northport Theater, the original Northport Theater, not the one built in the 1930’s. The latter is not on CT. I’ll have to do some research. In 1925 seating was 300.
Advertisements in the Smithtown Messenger show the Carlton and the Regent operating in 1924. Movie ads were rare in the early 1920’s. Microfilm of the Messenger begins in 1922.
Island in Mastic is another. Seaford was a Department Store.
Same with the Shore in Huntington.
Work has finally begun on the Lowe’s Home Store. To this end a portion of the building which housed the western most auditoriums has been leveled. It almost appears that the rest of the building will be retrofitted. Time will tell.
Movie going was different in the 50’s. There was only one screen and most people only went to their local theatre. Mine was the Bellerose. I could count on the fingers of one hand the movies that I saw in the adjacent villages, Queens Village and Floral Park.
Turns out the closure wasn’t weather related but a problem with the heating system which caused a potential fire hazard. Since they had to shut the system down this could further impact the infrastructure as temperatures plummet.
I go there all the time and have no problem with the sound level. If you do they have infra red hearing devices at no cost (there is a deposit, however).
She wasn’t the only traffic director on LI. There was an elderly man in a baseball uniform on Rt 25A in Wading River.
I think they’re taking the wrong route re design which has chairs and tables on tiers on the main floor, like Studio 54 in NYC. Already sounds like they’re going upscale. Altho' a smaller venue I like Westhampton Beach Performing Arts. They have name performers, children’s programs, workshops and four series of independent films (in the summer, with a speaker).
In a surprise move, the theater which usually operates year ‘round, closed suddenly for a break before spring. Don’t think this was intended but the severe weather with it’s lingering snow must have been a factor. Also, in 2013 the bargain Tuesdays now cost $ 5.00 rather than the previous $ 4.00. Still a major bargain.
Big hoopla about the opening including a party where guests are encouraged to dress in 1930’s attire. Go to Suffolk Theater.com.
Oft times it’s also building codes and permits that kill projects such as the theatre in Stapleton, Staten Island.
According to the marquee, the Suffolk will reopen on March 2nd as a performance space.
scoldsteve – since you’re in the area perhaps you could get the address and ad it to the heading on this site.
I saw on some other site that there was a shooting at this theatre two days after the CT school incident???
A far cry from when it opened as a single screen theatre and the capacity was 2,200.