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Remember the day you just went to a movie? Now they have all these bells and whistles and charge you an arm and a leg.
Concept boggles the mind.
For those of you have been there could you narrow down where it was. What is on the site now so we could have an actual address. Any time frame on when it closed? Was the floor pitched? Was there a center aisle? Any physical description? Marquee?
Historic theater was destroyed by the weight of the snow on it’s roof on Friday night during the ongoing blizzard.
According to the lead the murals are still visible. How come no one has taken interior pix?
Better exterior photo uploaded.
In the current market fifteen or twenty is not unusual.
Uploaded the theatre card for Mummenschanz referred to above.
Uploaded a picture of the Community Center in which the theater was housed.
I remember Newsday carrying movie listings for the Community (which was in Ocean Beach) and Point-O-Woods. Haven’t seen any in recent years. However, have been to Ocean Beach in recent years. The Community, which was just the Community Hall with blackout curtains on the windows, still showed movies up until a couple of years ago. Never been to other Fire Island towns so I can’t comment on them.
Uploaded a 1969 photo of the theatre still in operation. This was taken after a median was installed and the sidewalks were reduced in width. Notice that the front of the marquee has been severely damaged. Aluminum was placed over a portion of the bottom. The section which read “A Century Theatre” has been totally trashed. Additional ornamentation which was originally above that is missing.
So, now we need to see a picture of the marquee in its entirety and a picture of the original which was boxy and had white incandescent letters spelling “Bellerose” and yellow running lights.
Renovated or torn down and rebuilt? That’s been the plan for the last decade or so.
Great photos. Who knew what a grand playhouse it started out as.
If you really want inaccurate information go to any historical society.
So what’s it like after the long reno?
On Long Island there were only two tiers, adult and child. Yet, although you paid adult at 12 you still had to sit in the children’s section. Being tall for my age I segued into the theater proper as soon as I was 12. Previously, I carried my birth certificate with me to prove I was under 12 for the cashier. In the darkened auditorium there was no contest with the matron. An aside, still proofed at 26 because I looked under the drinking age and at 65 because I looked too young for the senior.
Going the Music Hall in the day was THE theatrical experience. The lobby, the lounge and the huge auditorium. The organ, the orchestra on the risers, various stage effects. And all for peanuts. Now you spend $10 plus to sit in a space the size of your living room reclining in a chair similar to the one you have at home.
The Millenium folks did a marvelous restoration of the auditorium. I would think that only the techie stuff needs to be upgraded.
The Millenium folks did a spectacular job on the restoration of the auditorium. See the photo section. I would think only the techie stuff would have to be upgraded since it hasn’t functioned as a playhouse in several decades.
There had been some talk about adding a balcony to the Bellerose. The ceiling was certainly sufficiently high and there was a grand staircase which went up to the lounge. I believe when the theater was originally built the restrooms were in the basement and the upper lounge only done in later years. The theater was shuttered for a time in the 1940s and was renovated when it reopened. That may have been, if it was done later, when the upstairs lounge was created. However I don’t think the new marquee occurred until later.
As far as Bellerose vs. Floral Park is concerned, not too many years ago it was decided that the Nassau County portion of Bellerose not be serviced by the Bellerose Post Office (which is a hell of a lot closer than the Floral Park one to which it was assigned). It was already confusing enough with the Jamaica Avenue/Jericho Turnpike split but they compounded it by making Bellerose Nassau, Floral Park.
In retrospect I wonder why they put a new, modern marquee on the Bellerose. The ones on the Floral, Queens and Community (all Century operated) basically kept their old marquees but just modified them. The Bellerose most resembled the community but all the lights were incandescent. Same color scheme as the Queens, yellow running lights, green background, Bellerose letters in white.
Re being a discount house. After being a discount house the Bellerose was closed and the Floral became the discount house. Then the Bellerose was reopened. Don’t really know what the story was with the Floral. If nothing else the Bellerose was better situated with proximity to the Cross Island Parkway and the Q1 and Q36 bus routes. Parking was a problem however. Was just back in Bellerose in September, 244th between Ontario and Superior, and it looked liked the city. Not one open parking space to be seen. When I was a kid not everybody had cars and those that did, with one exception (and that was, I suspect, that they were show off their Chrysler) kept them garaged.
When I lived there the median island hadn’t been installed separating Jamaica Avenue and Jericho Turnpike. When it was they narrowed the sidewalks resulting in the marquee taking some bad hits.
Doubt if you’ll find pictures of the old marquee. If my memory is correct it was installed around 1950. Remember them modifying the steel and chipping some of the facade on the building.
An aside. Were you around when the, then, Franklin National Bank had the drive in window off 247/Colonial with a turntable? I believe the turntable may still be there.
I have been trying to get pictures of the Bellerose with the original boxy marquee. The Bellerose was alive and well when I moved east in 1967. At that time the store on the corner of Jericho and 246th Street, in the theater building, was a florist. The store to the west was the American Beauty Shop. Moskins was the double store further west, then the tailor, butcher and barber shops.
Check out Denver: Curtis Street – Denver’s Old Theatre Row on Skyscraper. A lot of good info and photos.
According to the archives of the Historical Society the Isis opened in 1949 and was operated by Fred Maller. There were still references to it in 1958. The building, which was located on Park Avenue (now Highway 290), no longer exists.
There is also a reference to movies being shown in the former People’s Saloon by Angus Linton in 1926.
Just watched the TV Christmas movie A Prince for Christmas. Filming was done in East Aurora and the exterior of the theater can be seen in several scenes.