Comments from jbertini

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jbertini
jbertini commented about Argo Theater on Mar 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I started my movie career at the Argo. Worked for Arnold Mittman and I was the usher , cashier and Marquee guy! I was 17 when I started there and I loved every minute of it! I went on to manage, the East Rockaway Criterion theatre, the Bellmore Movies, The Westbury Twin and ended up having a partnership at the Merrick Holiday Park Theatre later changed to a twin. I loved the business but slowly the old beauties became extinct! A real shame, no more showmanship in the theatres of today, all commercial, The theatre business still courses thru my veins it is really unbelievable and I am 50 now. The Argo was really an unbelievably regal, magnificent theatre from itscurving wide stairacase that led to a beautiful upper lobby where
the 400 seat balcony was to the beautiful and modern flush receptacles and recessed vending machines this theatre was a palace on Long Island. Art Deco I believe. To get o the Marquee it was one hell of a trek to the top, and then u had to venture in to the roof to do the Marquee!! One side was ok because u had plennty of roof but the other side ( Jewelry store side) was tricky and dangerous
the Marquee wasn’t even 4 ft from the over hang ( there was a collapsable railing but stil it wouldn’t have taken much to fall of the ladder and go over the side! I was 17 what did I know, and to get to the roof you had to brave all the pidgeons nesting under the fire escape, It gave me the creeps every week. But heck They paid me 75.00 a week to usher , cashier and do the marquee so I did it!! Learned a lot there and never knew I would fall in love with the motion picture business like i did! John Bertini, Garden City, New York