Showing 20 comments
Original name was UA Movies at Middletown. I think it was six screens and closed long before ‘97.
This was the neighborhood theatre for Harvey and Bob Weinstein of Miramax fame. They both consider the Mayfair their film school. When they attended this was a theatre that specialized in foreign filn. In the late 1970’s it turned to porn for survival. I was friendly with a projecdtionist who worked this theatre and kept him company many nights when he ran XXX product. Theatre could be found only with a Sherpa guide. Think it went XXX bevause if you didn;t live within a four or five block radius, you wouldn’t find it. Similar in design to other Queens theates Utopia, Drake, and Austin ( now Kew Gardens).
I remember playing Saturday Night Fever with Looking for Mr Goodbar
as a double feature at the Drake late in ‘78 or early in '79. It did great business. Coupling a classic musical with a minor classic drama from '77. This is what creative exhibition used to do to generate ticket sales. This is what a film buff would look out for to see a film that they missed on general release. This was the filmgoing experience before VHS and DVD. I enjoy the pristine look of a DVD but miss the theatrical experience. For NY'ers this is what the Bleecker St., Thalia, Elgin, Cinema Village, and at times St Marks qould supply.
Is the Crossbay gone? This was my neighborhood theatre when I was a child. Only a single house then. Nothing distinguished or endearing about the looks of the place- just good to know it was still there. You have to scratch your head over all the theatres in the immediate area that have closed in the last 25 years – Casino, Lefferts, City Line Cinema, Haven, Arion, Drake, Elmwood, Trylon, Forest Hills, the Lefrak. The audience of people who still see films in theatres must be less than half of what it was pre-VCR.
A District Manager for the Century chain told me that the Jewel was once a Century house. Difficult to understand how or why this petri dish remains open. I guess you have to be a people person to understand.
Theatre was called the Earl when I used to attend in the late sixties. Name changed to the City Line Cinema in the early 70’s. Admission at that time was $1.50 for a double feature. Theatre ended its life as an XXX house in late ‘76 early '77. Spot became retail.
Evelyn Mulwray sends her best.
Theatre operated into late 1960’s. I attended as late as 1967. I’m going to need some help here- theatre was reopened under a different name for a short period somewhere between 1974 and 1976. No matinees just evening shows. Building is still standing. Lobby area is used for seasonal retail. Boardwalk is just feet from the theatre entrance.
If you grew up in NY you have fond memories of Radio City. The Music Hall wasn’t always surrounded by the office buildings that shadow it today. In the 60’s if you didn’t pay top dollar , Balcony, you might have to wait several hours for admisssion to the Christmas or Easter shows. If it was very cold my dad would run across with one of the kids to Horn & Hardarts or Whelan Drugs to get a hot chocolate. Big films I remeber waiting on line for – don’t laugh – “Airport”. “That Darn Cat”, “Follow Me Boys”, “True Grit”, and “the Cowboys”. The last movie with John Wayne is the last I remember seeing at the Music Hall. For the trivia buffs, “Cowboys” is one of the few films the Duke dies in at the end.
The Casino was a gem. I consider it my film school. I can tell you what theatre I’ve seen a film in. Neighborhood theatre, under the EL = You’d watch a movie and every 20 minutes or so you would hear and feel the A train lumbering towards the last stop Lefferts Blvd. I recall several memorable film experiences at this UA theatre. No balcony-one level. Concession stand in back, partitions no doors. I saw the double feature Robert R. mentions in the above post but I think the second feature was a Blacula or Count Yorga movie. One Saturday in May of ‘75 I sat through a double feature of “Chinatown” and “The Conversation”. You can tell by my login name I was forever impressed. Other double features I saw here – “Charley Varrick” and “Sugarland Express” and “SSSSSS” and “Last House on the Left”.
Interior of this theatre was identical to two other Century houses, the Park East in Garden City and the Richmond on Richmond Ave in Staten Island. All were boxlike auditoriums w/o a balcony -built around the same time- mid to late sixties. The Five Towns suffered from its close proximity to the Century Green Acres house and identical booking policy. The shopping center it was part of rarely attracted destination/ chain stores. None of the three theatres mentioned made it into the mid-80’s. The closest theatre to the Five Towns was the RKO Lawrence Twin.
Great theatre when it was the Austin. Low admission price and double features. One of the few theatres to have a life after being a porno house. The Austin along with the nearby Cinemart are examples of theatres that are more viable today than 25 years ago. High real estate values and a sophisticated populace priced out of Manhattan have made these theatres up-scale and first-run.
I covered for this theatre one day in mid ‘79 when working for Century Theatres. This place was a small ONE screen operation. How did they get it to multi-screens?
Theatre is now a butchers shop/pork store. Theatre closed sometime in 1964. Theatre marqueee remained intact until early 1970’s when the butcher took over spot. Last film to play was “The Prize” . One Sheet stayed in the showcase window till the space was refitted for the foodstore. IMDB shows release date for “The Prize” of 12/63. Pix probably made subrun by mid-64.
Worked here as manager between Summer of ‘80 and Winter of '81. Surprised that theatre was only 30 years old at time. Looked like it had seen better days . Was told at time that Brook and Marine theatre (around corner at intersection of Flatbush and Kings Hway shared a heating system when both were in operation. After engagement of “Empire Strikes Back” theatre struggled and eventually reverted to a subrun dollar policy. Policy drew crowds- “Caddyshack” and “Dressed to Kill” are two titles that caused lines and balcony to be opened. Don’t know when or why end eventually came but building is now used for insurance offices. Apartment building adjacent to theatre on Flatlands and Flatbush collapse due to water damage several years ago. School across street, St Thomas Aquinas, was closed by Bklyn Diocese last month. Neighborhood was very vibrant up until early 80’s.
Worked as a fill-in here for the steady manager. Fellas name was “Rudy”. Admission during time I worked was 79 cents. Patrons would steal the toilet paper. Bathroom was constantly being trashed. Century kept it going. You’d fill half the house on a Tueday night with a snowfall. Don’t remember a concession stand but at 79 cents admission, clientele probably wouldn’t pay more than 3 cents for a Coke. Cashier told me she wanted a new job before 1981 ‘cause she wouldn’t be able to deal with all the pennies.I’ll chime in on the location – Theatre was in Nassau County on Jericho Tpke. Jamaica Ave in Queens becomes Jericho Tpke on the opposite side of the Queens/Nassau border.
What a beauty of a theatre. Balcony was so steep, if you tripped in the last row it meant certain death. The K2 of balconies. “Filled in” here for managers off days. Must of ran strictly 20th Century Fox product- worked both “The Rose” and “All That Jazz”. Huge white elephant for Century – never did any business. Booking and business compromised by Centurys other “big” theatre Kingsway – only a couple of blocks away. Closed somtime in ‘81. Parking was at a premium here and also at Kingsway. Kingsway did big business. One of those inscrutable things. Theatres only blocks apart – one sucessful , one not.
Smallest theatre I’ve ever seen a film in. Narrow auditorium with length being from back of theatre to screen. I’d liken the experience to watching a movie on a plane. Saw “Who’ll Stop the Rain”. Ceiling also had a large distracting and almost obtrusive air conditioning duct. Another theatre missing from 3rd Avenue.
What a terrific site! It’s taking me hours to catch up on the postings. I have many memories of filmgoing long before the VCR and DVD made it “easy” to see any film. My moviehouse haunts were in Queens, Blyn, and Manhattan. When I was a kid during my early years in College I worked at a couple of independent houses and for Century Theatres as an assistant to management. The trouble we got into. Those times were almost thirty years ago so when my memory cooperates I’ll share some thoughts.
The Arion was a shrine for movie buffs. Cheap, I think a $1.00 or $1.50, and always a double feature. Sometimes the lower half of the bill was the draw. Queens had a few of these places in the 70’s – Arion, Cinemart, Haven, Bellerose, Austin for a time. Loud theatre. No doors between auditorium and candystand. Always crowded because of price. Poor sound, picture, seating, etc.. But it served its purpose.
I can’t recall the last time I was in Lake George, but do remember seeing “Frenzy” at The Lake sometime in the Summer of ‘72. The theatre was closed on subsequent visits. My guess is The Lake closed in the mid to late 70’s. After shuttering, the front/boxoffice area of theatre was used as a souvenuir(?) stand. Beautiful area, great stop for history buffs with location of Fort William Henry.