Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments
full length mirrors, that’s an interesting concept. I would’ve loved to attend the Super Bowl party at the Fair, wow. Porn, football, donuts and socializing – just like my activities at home…
And I thought the Castro here in San Francisco had a decent sense of community! I’m profoundly impressed.
Nice work naming The Good Shepherd, One Day in September and Monument Ave. I thought those were 3 excellent underrated films.
some more gems of the 2000s I thought deserved mentioning…
In the Loop
Steve Buscemi’s Interview
Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book
Little Miss Sunshine
The Royal Tenenbaums
In the Bedroom
Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima
Shaun of the Dead
Best Male Performances of the 2000s – –
Adrien Brody, The Pianist
Daniel Day-Lewis, There May Be Blood
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Bruno Ganz, Downfall
Jamie Foxx, Ray
Best Female Performances of the 2000s – –
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Julie Christie, Away From Her
Charlize Theron, Monster
Catherine O'Hara, For Your Consideration
Glad to hear the mighty Fair is still in operation..thanks for the update! I’ll miss New York, but I’ve been visiting some incredible theaters here in San Francisco, such as the legendary Castro.
Viva la Fair!
I’m in California now, but wanted to check in on my intrepid Queens friends to find out what the latest reports on the Fair are.
Any new dispatches or photos, anyone?
John J, your blog is insightful, well-informed, and an interesting read.
You also reminded me of some very good movies I had already forgotten about, like Vera Drake, Wendy & Lucy, Chop Shop & Ghost World.
Taste is purely subjective, of course, but some of the selections on this list were downright ridiculous. I don’t consider The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Kill Bill & Eternal Sunshine to be among the best films of the decade, sorry.
For me, The Pianist is hands-down the masterpiece of the decade.
Happy-Go-Lucky, United 93, The Queen, The Departed, Doubt, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, Milk, & The Counterfeiters are some of my honorable mentions.
Man on Wire, The Kid Stays in the Picture & Los Angeles Plays Itself were great documentaries.
A full year since the last comments regarding the Fair!
Hope all is well with my fellow intrepid theatre enthusiasts.
I couldn’t find any news online about solicitation arrests at the Fair, but I remember seeing several stories in the NY Times recently
about undercover officers targeting men exiting adult shops in Manhattan. The only one I remember specifically mentioned was the Blue Door in the East Village, which I understand isn’t even a theatre in the traditional sense.
So it’s wise for all to be alert and use common sense when visiting any theatre, adult or otherwise. I’ve driven past there recently & the place certainly looked the same from outside. Perhaps a 2009 trip is in order…..
Yes it is indeed the dump that I remember fondly. Good job!
I suppose this site isn’t updated very often anymore, since the banner above still lists this theater as open. A generic-looking medical/office building occupies the space now.
Generic, just like the rest of Long Island.
Thank you, NativeForestHiller, for the Daily News article, more information and your efforts with the Preservation Council.
Overall, I’m happy with the renovated Cinemart, and also have positive memories of going there when I was younger. When I was little,I remember my friends & I taking a bus down Metropolitan Ave. from Middle Village to Forest Hills around 1979 to see Breaking Away, when the Cinemart was a twin. I would imagine we stopped into Eddie’s as well. I also remember going there in the early 90s to see a midnight show of the bizarre Mike & Spike animation festival, which included some pornographic cartoons. Even when the Cinemart was a second-run house, I remember it being infinitely cleaner than the Arion or any of the other older neighborhood independents. I went to the Arion often, I believe I have a post regarding the Arion on its page.
To answer your question, I donâ€™t go out to the cinema very much anymore, being that I have a high-definition TV hooked up with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound & a Netflix subscription. But Iâ€™ve been to the Kew Gardens a few times, and I did enjoy seeing No Country For Old Men recently at the Cinemart. I havenâ€™t been to Main St Cinemas at all.
I took a better photo of the Main St Cinemasâ€¦if you go to the Photobucket album, youâ€™ll see some recent shots of the Fair as well.
<img src=“http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj177/mcginty400/IMG_0046.jpg” alt=“Main St Cinemas marquee”>
Thanks for sharing your information and insight. I find these theaters vital and fascinating as well, particularly the Fair & the Ridgewood. I was wondering what your views on the Cinemart on Metropolitan Ave. are.
I’ve only lived in Forest Hills for 2 years now, but I grew up in Middle Village and lived there for many years.
What theaters are you most concerned about now, specifically?
I live in Forest Hills, and pass by the Main St Cinemas pretty frequently. Is it just me, or does the marquee look like it’s about to collapse?
Is this one of those Zen questions?
I confess I had to look up the definition of “slag”, but it does describe the Fair quite nicely. I do like the fish tank there, however. To answer your question, Ed, the 2nd photo illustrates what the main screening room looks like today. Just imagine a huge wall completely cutting off the balcony section from the main, and that would make the balcony in the photo the present screening room. The small steps on the sides are still there. I would imagine the 2 porn screens & video booths presently occupy what was the larger seating down below. All in all, the Cinema Kings Hway & the Fair are still a cool glimpse into NY’s theater past…with the added bonus of porn & coffee, if you dare.
Today I happened to find myself travelling on the Belt Pkwy, so I visited the Cinema Kings Hwy for the first time.
As I paid my $10 admission, I instantly liked the anonymity of the unadorned marquee outside, and appreciated the fact that something like this theater could enjoy a low-key existence in a residental neighborhood in 2008. There were 2 older guys drinking coffee & sitting on barstools in the lobby, as I noticed this place was already cleaner and less ominous & forbidding looking than the Fair.
In the lobby, there are 3 doors leading to different screens….I chose Door #1 first. I walked up a few steps to a brightly lit screening room with a decent sized screen & maybe about 150 or seats. There was no one there except for 2 gentlemen reading newspapers, patiently staring at a DVD screensaver for Timecop, a Jean-Claude Van Damme epic. Door # 2 led me to a dark screening room with a small screen showing an explicit gay porn film, and about 30 or so seats with about 5 occupants, just bored older gentleman. Door #3 led me to an explicit straight porn film, and also to 40 or so video booths in the back, and the usual assortment of older men walking around aimlessly.
All in all, this theater possesses a certain mellow charm. It seems like back when it was a mainstream theater, it must have been enormous. Although similar to the Fair in what they’re exhibiting, the clientele & down to the the eclectic mix of 80s & 90s movie posters in the lobby, it’s nicer, doesn’t have the cigarette smoke, has less of a security presence, & I’d generally recommend it to people seeking that type of experience. I may even go back some time….
I’ve been told that the Fair is now closed altogether. Has anyone else heard anything about this?
Maybe the Fair is showing the Bollywood versions of Mission Impossible & Speed! I’m joking here, but the Indian film industry has been making blatant rip-offs of Hollywood hits for years. I saw a hilarious version of Reservoir Dogs that was called Kaante. It had some of the same dialogue, camera shots, some scenes filmed in English with a Los Angeles location and of course, many intervals of singing & dancing! I had to fast-forward a great deal, since it was a 3-hour movie.
Anyway, maybe Warren would like to visit with us to see what’s going on in the Fair these days. Heh heh…
The idea of a group trip to Kings Highway would be a fascinating sociological expedition!
I was wondering what the “much less out-of-control” remark above meant. Care to elaborate?
Very interesting post…I’ll have to make a field trip over to Cinema Kings Hwy sometime.
I agree with what you’re saying, but I just believe that even the Fair theatre management would be amused by the amount of discussion generated in this forum. For the most part, the Fair serves as a low-key meeting place for older guys to meet & maybe engage in a little sexual activity in private booths. No one seems to care much about what goes on there, from the management to the patrons to the neighborhoods to the city at large, and that’s just fine.
I also suspect that if indeed a particularly frisky M-F couple wandered into the straight porn screening room at the Fair (which is still a dubious account, in my opinion), it was most likely the first time in 20 years that such an occurrence took place.
“Sexual adventurers and predators”….you need to calm down and get hold of yourself! I doubt the editors of the daily newspapers, or most of New York City for that matter, care about the daily activities at the Fair theatre. I just wonder why it seems to get under your skin so much…..
And how do we know that post was actually from an MF couple…?
During my visits to the Fair, I have never seen a single person
sitting in the main screen to view the Bollywood fare, so I don’t think complaints will be a problem.
I agree that Jackson Heights & East Elmhurst are vibrant, important neighborhoods that are still improving all the time and should be celebrated, not disparaged.
I was quite amused at the Fair Theatre website. When I saw tabs for the “online store” and prices listed for children, it made me wonder if the site is indeed affiliated with the theatre, or if it was someone’s esoteric joke. Although the prospect of an official Fair Theatre sweatshirt, coffee mug or snow globe is intriguing….