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Oh, one more LOCAL Cinema “Treasure” from the East Northport / Commack area: Modells Dept. store circa 1970 was it’s own universe if you recall; not only did they have a supermarket, a beauty parlor and a barber shop; they had a small Children’s Movie Theater! It was a 40 x 40 foot plywood “box” with a 16 mm projector, and an unfriendly “matron” running it. The seats , seemed like smallish generic church pews, with the vinyl coverings torn and the foam cushions popping out, and To make matters worse; all they showed was Three Stooges shorts and Woody Woodpecker cartoons! Does anybody actually like Woody Woodpecker? LOL. The theater was gone by, 1972/73? Just wondering if anyone else remembers this nightmarish lil Cinema “Treasure”.
…and FIGHT PAY T.V. !
longislandmovies! That’s the first time you used CAPS on here! But as for the bookings —yeah; like I said , I saw Lucio Fluci’s “Zombie” at the York…and a re-issue of “Last House on the Left”. Once I remember driving by, and seeing the pylon/marquee reading “Richard Pryor in Dynamite Chicken” (an earlier very obscure Richard Pryor movie that I’m certain he forgot about—from 1972!). This was all early to mid 1980’s.
Another great story, Saps! “Jessica…” is a classic (if you are into 1970’s horror movies). The star is the woman who used to do the “…Got a can of Goya beans in the house?” TV commercials, who I thought was Tyne Daley for years (but is not). I believe I have the ad/listings for it as well. If I find it, I will post it. I remember Mayfair being big and boxy…but for an movie theater that made it into the 80’s,it was a good thing. I approximated that most Suffolk County theaters and drive ins closed between 1984 and 1988—mainly because of the evil Commack Multi-Plex.
I’m pretty sure; the movie opened in 1979. It played as a “midnight movie” on and off through the 80’s—but I don’t think they would have gone out of their way with a van and masks and stuff for that?? Please ask your son if he remembers! Thanks!
One of my best childhood viewings at the Commack RKO:
…and a lousy booking at Larkfield (which was very common!).
…one more serious film playing at the never-so-serious Commack Drive In as well as the Commack RKO, and a JUICY Wetsons ad (that was across from the Mayfair in Commack, from what some say,that turned into HARDEES in the 1970’s—– although most Wetsons morphed into Nathans in some areas).
Sethkino; I was in Joan Seman’s art class in high school. Have not seen her in years…
…they should actually have a REAL grind house night with some “roughies” like “Olga’s House of Shame” (a perfect example of a movie that EVERYONE has heard about—but few have actually seen it) or the Coffin Joe movies (from Brazil) that don’t get seen very much at all. Oh yeah; they should let you smoke in the theater as well; just like the old days!——————————-
**So if anyone at Cinema Arts is reading this NOW, please send Dylan this link and a nudge. Do a little more exploring into rarely seen BUT often noted movies.
I’m happy that this place is still around. I remember the “old days” when it was just a run down school auditorium. They do a good job with booking classics, neo-art films, and newly neglected ones (like David Lynch’s “Inland Empire”). ______HOWEVER, I have a problem with their bookings of so called “Cinema of the Wild”, and other “psychotronic” movies. Dylan (the owner’s son; and a very pleasant fellow), tends to over-shoot and under-shoot his bookings. Often the “Wild” titles are movies you are all too familiar with (“Blue Velvet”) or too-obscure Asian movies that, aren’t that are not “wild” at all. A recent “grind house” summer film festival featured “Streets of Fire” and “Xanadu” (!?). I was baffled and disappointed.
Longislandmovies: The neighborhood behind the York is/was dubious; bet you PRAYED for movies like “Agnes of God” or “Passage to India” to play there!
Like many other theaters on Long Island, this one turned into a teen hangout that will test your patience until you snap!*
P.S. I have a huge ad collection. One ad I cannot find: I’m looking for ads for “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”…playing at ANY Long Island theater or drive in. So far, I have found nothing.
…the surreal part was standing in the vacant lot of the Commack Drive In, and having the RKO still standing (and operating)…and thinking “OK, at least that will never close”…
That would be GREAT to see. Yeah, I monitored the Commack D.I. in it’s A.D. stages… I moved upstate in 1997…imagine my shock when I returned! I agree with what you said about the Commack’s play list…by 1977, however, it was main-stream movies all the way (I call this the “Star Wars/Disco Era”—which I think was the rotten part of the 1970’s.) The Smithtown D.I. still showed “grind house” horror fare up until 1980. I saved some pull-top soda can tabs that I had found at Commack in the 1980’s…I guess they were from the 1970’s…who would clean between the gravel? D'oh! I should have saved a cup of the gravel too!
Geo1 also didn’t mention the “attitude” in Rockville Centre…
…oh yeah, I forgot about the high taxes…
Parking your car in Rockville Center (Centre) is a nightmare* Especially on a weekend, or during nice summer/spring nights.
…Like I said before, Larkfield was as cheap and generic as theaters come ——just a huge square box—no decor whatsoever, very UNcomfortable small seats, but I have so many memories…I think the last thing I saw there was “The Shining” (1980). I will never forget seeing “Tales from the Crypt” there in 1972. Gave me nightmares for weeks. For years, I had dreams that took place in and around this theater!
Saps! I’m freaking! LOL. My friends name was Bruce…kinda odd sorta chubby guy— very slightly effeminate, but friendly. He lived in Northport in the “Sand Pit” …pardon; “Northport Bay Estates”. He did not work there long. I believe, it was Fall 1979 (Junior year at Northport High). Not only did I see “The Big Bus” at Larkfield, (years later) Bruce stole the poster and gave it to me! He told me stories of the “couple” that owned the theater. Did they have the required “huge pile of valuable one-sheets” in a locked room?! I do not remember the soda machines, but they had CANDY machines, which was unusual for a theater with a snack bar. What’s the point? ….
I see a common thread here, with theaters closing. Seems like 1984-1988 was doomsday!
“Undertaker…” is very available on budget DVDs. My copy has “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” as a co-feature! “The Corpse Grinders” often played with “Undertaker…” in it’s original release. I’m amazed at how some of these movies that I have only read about in the Psychotronic film book, yet never saw, not only played on Long Island, but at good ole Commack Drive In!
Richard W. Haine- EXCELLENT STORY!
Hmmm….by the location ,demeanor and age of this theater…I’m surprised at how few posts there are here with stories and recollections on this decades old neighborhood theater!