Comments from MrK

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MrK
MrK commented about Old Bethpage Theatre on Feb 11, 2005 at 9:25 am

I posted this under The Bethpage as well, just incase. It’s either this theater or The Bethpage, which ever one was located on Hempstaed Tpke and next to The Embassy Diner, was at one time owned and operated by the same gentleman who owned The Deer Park Theater, The North Babylon Twin, The Levittown Twin (on Hempstead Tpke), The Franklin Square Twin / Quad (Hempstead Tpke) as well as others. My father was GM for the owner and ran all his theaters. After the owner bought it, he twinned it. It was the first theater I actually worked at with my dad, Christmas 1976. Eventually I would spend most of my time at the Deer Park Theater but at some point worked at each theater my dad ran. One picture I remember opening there was Julia with Jane Fonda …ZZZZZZ…well I was a kid and it wasn’t my knid of film. Still, it was here I learned the art of ripping tickets, sweeping a lobby and making popcorn salty enough that you just have to get a soda, a large soda to go with it. Great memories.

MrK
MrK commented about Bethpage Theatre on Feb 11, 2005 at 9:20 am

It’s either this theater or The Old Bethpage, which ever one was located on Hempstaed Tpke and next to The Embassy Diner, was at one time owned and operated by the same gentleman who owned The Deer Park Theater, The North Babylon Twin, The Levittown Twin (on Hempstead Tpke), The Franklin Square Twin / Quad (Hempstead Tpke) as well as others. My father was GM for the owner and ran all his theaters. After the owner bought it, he twinned it. It was the first theater I actually worked at with my dad, Christmas 1976. Eventually I would spend most of my time at the Deer Park Theater but at some point worked at each theater my dad ran. One picture I remember opening there was Julia with Jane Fonda …ZZZZZZ…well I was a kid and it wasn’t my knid of film. Still, it was here I learned the art of ripping tickets, sweeping a lobby and making popcorn salty enough that you just have to get a soda, a large soda to go with it. Great memories.

MrK
MrK commented about Bay Shore Cinema on Feb 10, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Wasn’t there a big grand theater in Bayshore on Main Street years ago? Now I think its a YMCA. It was right by a church, St. Pats, Paul’s? It had a big lobby with a chandelier. It might have even had a stage. I remember seeing Midway and Earthquake there with my father. When it closed, there was a battle to preserve it as a historical building but that failed. Does any one remember it?

MrK
MrK commented about Bow-Tie Franklin Square Cinemas on Feb 10, 2005 at 1:05 pm

In the early ‘80’s the Franklin Square Theater was purchased by the same gentleman who owned the Deer Park and North Babylon Theaters (see my posts for those theaters). He had sold the Old Bethpage and Levittown Twins and quickly twinned this theater. My father was GM for this gentleman’s theaters and I, as well as my entire family, worked many of the theaters. Eventually he turned it into a quad by splitting the balcony. The two small screens upstairs sat approximately 50 patrons at best (very, very small). At one point, around 1986, he picked up the store next door at made it a video store, Cinema 5 Video. I worked there as well for a spell in college. From what I’ve heard, the gentleman who owned it now has about two or three theaters way out in LI. For a while, in the early '80’s, he was huge with theaters throughout LI, Queens, Upstate, the Bronx and even Florida. There is nothing like the feel of these neighborhood theaters. Loyal patrons week after week and the local kids that worked there, what a way to grow up.

MrK
MrK commented about Levittown Theatre on Feb 9, 2005 at 3:14 pm

At one point, this theater was owned by the same gentleman who owned the Deer Park, North Babylon, Old Bethpage, Franklin Square Twin / Quad as well as many others. The theaters were operated under different corporations, GSW Theaters, Southland Theaters even 110 Theater Management. My father was GM for the owner and at some point I worked at each. I remember one time we ran a double feature of Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Yes “Vinny Barbarino” fans … two for the price of one … ouch. Still it was a nice local movie house.

MrK
MrK commented about UA North Babylon Twin on Feb 9, 2005 at 2:46 pm

In the late ‘70’s and early '80’s UA had to sell-off several theaters due to a monopoly lawsuit. The North Babylon was purchsed by an independent theater owner. The first film under new management was The Black Stallion, the theater was then twinned. The same owner owned the Deer Park Theater (see my post under Deer Park Theater). The North Babylon Theater was located in the Sunset City Shopping Palza on Deer Park Ave (exit 39 North on the Southern State). Bruinswick Lanes was next-door. I learned to master Defender there. There was a Robbins Dept Store, Breyers Ice Cream Shoppe, Woolworth’s and Sunset Bank in the shopping center as well. After being twinned the theaters seemed a bit narrow, but like the Deer Park, it was a great local movie house. Believe it or not, we did our best numbers with the Disney films. It was strange, but “family films” did better at North Babylon than Deer Park. Deer Park did great with Animal House, Ghostbuster, all the various Friday the 13th’s, Rocky’s etc. Once at the North Babylon we had Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. The line went throughout the shopping center. We had to run the film in both theaters and were sold out for days. A grandmother took a swing at me when I informed her the next three showings were all sold out … WOW. It was sad to see both theaters close. I actually got a job at Pier One when it opened in 1985. Hey, is the Pancake Cottage still open across the street? I ate there and Calucci’s Pizza many a night. Oh those Glory Days!