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There was a fire in April 1955- I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere in the comments. I guess that’s why it was remodeled/reopened in 1956?
Story appears in 1st paragraph.
Grand opening ad Sept 18, 1957 added to photos.
Updated pics/info added.
Updated pics added. I worked there with projectionist Pat Ryan and his brother Bobby from 79-81. Do any of you guys know them and how they’re doing?
Monie, can you email me- we HAVE to talk!!
Here is a link to a small b&w pic of the interior of the theater after the fire. You have to click on page 3 and it is the bottom right with a caption below. You will have to copy and paste this link into your browser:
Ken, do you have any other info on A.I.T.’s history?
Updated info: The Amity theater opened on Friday, October 30, 1959. The opening feature was Alfred Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest”. It also featured Kiddie matinees every Saturday and all school holidays.
I would like to know more about the “tough cookie” matron that was at the matinees in the 1960’s if anyone has any stories to share. I attempted to contact Don Rosen who wrote the original post and he acknowledged my email but never wrote back with anymore info about her. I love the description of her outfit— classic!!
Thanks for the update- I assume, of course, that they were siblings and not “sisters” as in nuns!!
To longislandmovies, can you tell me more about the sisters who ran the Amity theater. Were they employed by AIT? How did you know they took very good care of the theater etc. etc.
One last bit of trivia- they were showing a double feature that week but I only remember the 2nd feature which was “The Bobo”. I should have taken notes and jotted down the other!
I was actually able to locate the exact date of the fire which was Jan 23, 1968. At the time the estimated damage was 250,000 dollars. The Newsday story said that the fire was luckily confined to the theater and did not spread to the 10 adjacent stores. Apparently the fire started in the rear of the lobby in the pre dawn hours and spread across the ceiling and into the auditorium destroying the screen and “backstage equipment”. The fire was spotted by a patrolman at approx 7:00 AM. According to the article, the theater had closed at approx 3AM that morning (kind of odd time for a weeknight closing). I did notice in searching the Newsday movie ads that at some point in 1967, AIT stopped including the Amity as well as Kings Park and one other theater in their regular ad. At one point, these 3 theatres were grouped together as 1.00 admission houses. Perhaps AIT sold them off??? or just didn’t want the cheaper admission prices shown with their other theaters. I have a copy of the picture taken of the front of the theater but it is kind of hard to see too much detail.
There are currently 2 side by side strip malls with a driveway in between them(there is a Pathmark on the left and a Dots on the right- the right side looks physically older than the left). Which side housed the Amity theater? Was the building actually demolished or does it house another store?
Hi Orlando, are you Charlie Orlando the projectionist??