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I was in the former Rialto this past Saturday night and for a service on Sunday morning. The enterior is in great shape. I’d say 85% intact. Stage curtains (waterfall type) are gone as is boxoffice. Otherwise stage procenium is now visible as are walls covered over by the removed drapery. The building is meticulous kept by the Eglise De Dieu staff members. The Century “spatter” carpeting does not exist anywhere in the building and the restrooms upgraded.
The marquee went up last week and is wonderful and the front has been cleared and is visible for the time since it was gated and boarded up. The boxoffice is now visible and was being worked on yesterday. The lobbies are in the final stages of completion. I will keep you posted.
The South Bay was digital about a year and a half now and the option to close and rebuild was decided within the past three months. They’d be closed now had they waited to install digital. They switched over theatre by theatre while film was disappearing and not all at one time. To NYer, Bow Tie is not to be blamed for the closure since they had the theatre for a little over a year. Clearview (Cablevision) is mostly to blame for the closing of the Babylon.
Clearview kept it as part of their “Free” Tuesdays if you had the “Cablevision” package that offered it free. It was sold out on free nights but empty on all the other days. Babylon was the theatre located on the far east of the island and everyone east of the Babylon swarmed it. When the theatres were sold to Clearview and then to Bow Tie it was a “package deal”. It was Clearview who decimated whatever audiences the Babylon had. As far as the South Bay goes, it is all digital and got the best product because it always out grossed the Babylon even in its' deplorable condition. Yes, the parking helps but its' not the South Bay’s parking lot. A deal was made back in 1967 with the shopping centers' owners. By the way, South Bay’s fortunes have been sinking due to its' uncleanliness and is due to be closed soon and be replaced with a brand new building housing 7 cinemas on the same sight. Nothing has been announced, but I have reliable connections. The demolition and rebuilding of the new structure will take at least one year. So therefore, Bow Tie was premature in closing the Babylon because there will be a void in movie going in this area. Lastly, Price matters, South Bay had a strong $4. and then $5 Bargain Matinee which was very successful. Babylon followed suit but only with a “first show matinee” and $6.00 all seats policy on Tuesday, these promos failed. Bargain Tuesdays didn’t attract the patrons. The Babylon Village said the theatre failed because of poor “Bow Tie” management. I disagree. Incorporated Villages of Long Island are the reason that some businesses fail with their “rules of signage and everything else” Enough said.
The Babylon Cinemas CLOSED last night, Sunday, Sept. 7th
2014. The last picture shows were “Guardians Of The Galaxy”, “If I Stay”, “Sin City 2” and “Dragon 2”. However, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” with stage cast “Sold Out” and started at 12:45 AM Sunday morning. The manager told the audience about the closing and the patrons went silent. Then the theatre got a round of cheers and applause for the 92 years of service to the area. It was very touching. I worked there a while in 1988 for UA management. Farewell to another Main Street symbol of entertainment. Capitol/Babylon Theatre 1922-2014.
On movies.com, there are no show times for the Babylon Cinemas, with Sunday 9/7, as the last day listed. I knew it was slated to close and I wonder what will happen to the building. It would have been 90 years old next year.
By the way, the Live and Film “Rocky Horror Picture Show” will play Saturday 9-6-14 at 11:30 for $8.00. DON’T MISS IT!!! Come SUNDAY!!!
I saw “Hair” at Babylon during this engagement. It was still a single screen with a big screen!
This cannot be a June 1925 photo, the theatre opened as the Capitol at that time. There was already a Babylon on Deer Park Avenue. The Main Street theatre acquired the Babylon name after the Deer Park Ave. Babylon closed somewhere in 1930 or so.. If you look at the decorative cameo “a Capitol building” henceforth the name Capitol Theatre. This façade burned to the ground and was replaced with its' current façade & neon VERTICAL sign. The red walls around the building survived the fire. “Beyond The Border” was the feature which would date the picture to the year this photo was taken.
The Linden closed in 1961 with the Disney film, “The Parent Trap”.
I don’t believe this is Loew’s Delancey, there are too many stores to the right of the marquee. The Delancey stood at a corner and maybe 2 maybe 3 stores where to the right of the marquee. The marquee itself is not the original which stayed up until the end. The façade totally brick does not exist above the storefronts or the marquee. This must have been the New Delancey which operated elsewhere in Manhattan.
This is a stand-in theatre used in “American Hot Wax” that is in California. “Great Movie” The Brooklyn Paramount never looked like this! However this theatre has beautiful neon signage. Now the question is, “What’s the name of this theatre?”.
The Whitman Theatre was completely demolished for whatever restaurants that are on the site now. The listing should have been changed (about 9 years ago) from “Closed” to “Demolished”. The pylon remains and is about 51 years old. Keep it quiet or else mall property owners might take it down. It’s a rare marker that should
remain in it’s out of the way location. The pylon is famous for its “BOMB IRAN” message on Route 110 when someone re-arranged the pylon letters one night. Newsday carried the photo to the chagrin of Century Circuit executives.
The Last Picture Show at the Loew’s Triboro was “The Lords Of Flatbush” which opened on June 6, 1974 and played two weeks. I don’t have the Post listings for June 20, but by June 27 the Triboro was not listed in the Post Neighborhood Guide. It could have closed on the Sunday of the 3rd weekend (June 24th). They probably had some graduations there in late June. I might be off by 2 days depending if the movie opened on Wed. or Fri. The two features prior to “Lords” were “The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad” followed by “The Last Detail”. The theatre was on the Columbia track at this time.
This theatre closed in 1972 and was a foreign film house that usually played with the Astor Theatre on Flatbush Avenue. It did not play “XXX” films but the usual current “X” films that today would pass for PG-13, LOL, OK maybe “R”. Films like “Performance”, “The Devils” and the like were rated “X” more for morals than nudity. Others like “Inga”, “Coming Apart”, the Russ Meyer films, “Carmen Baby”, “I, A Woman” were big hits and 80%
of theatres played them though it didn’t make the theatres playing them “XXX” theatres. A “XXX” theatre only showed those type of movies like the Brooklyn Cinart and a few others in the early 1970’s. The porno craze started with “Deep Throat” and “The Devil In Miss Jones” in 1973 by which time the Elm was closed.
This theatres' name in the heading should be changed to Twin Theatres North & South. The “Fox Plaza” never preceded or was the name of this Twin Theatre. It was never called Fox Plaza North or Fox Plaza South. Note the Cleopatra ad above and you’ll see. It WAS never a Fox Eastern Theatre when it opened, that was only after it was sold to Fox-Eastern. When Mann took over all Fox Eastern Theatres in 1973, they were still known as Mann’s Twin North and Mann’s Twin South. Thanks CT if you correct the error.
I worked here when Golden took over from United Artists in 1975. They re-opened with the watered down versions of “Devil And Miss Jones” and “Deep Throat” that were not the “XXX” versions. The Dahill Area Association picketed from day one and was Daily News fodder for the next week. People who came by-passed the pickets and were mad on the way out because of the edited versions of both pictures. One afternoon at the change of shifts during the tail end of the first week, the manager Mr. Henry S. was on the way out at six o'clock and I was covering the evening, the theatre was raided and the films seized to the cries of victory from the protesters. At that time, I called Mr. Henry, who was leaving in the lobby and told him to come back. He said his famous line “Blessed Savior Dear!” and came in to be arrested along with the projectionist who made a bee-line to the front doors. Once in the projection booth the “Raiders” seized the films and smelled the distinct pungent aroma of marijuana. The next day we were back in business. Within a week, the Goldens' stopped showing the “X” movies and opened with “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers” with a $1.00 Price Policy At All Times. This was never an “XXX” policy theatre at any time. The owners wanted to make money with “XXX” rated films so they could twin the theatre.
As far as the theatre goes it had a large raised stadium
style seating and orchestra. UA left the theatre a mess and the mice had a field day as the theatre was dirty and had sticky floors. After Mr. Henry retired, I became the manager at 19 years old. The theatre at $1. turned in some remarkable figures for the time. I remember that “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” and “The Terminal Man” grossed $8,500.00 in one week and was held over. The theatre had many partners under the Golden regime.
Lastly, the theatres' best attraction was it’s marquee with it’s flashing yellow 10 watt bulbs blinking the name “BEVERLY” on all three sides. The flashing yellow lights had a number of speeds as slow, medium and a fast
one. The staff who made up the staff were very nice to me. All in all, it was a some what fair experience though not one of my favorite theatre jobs.
The Babylon Theatre (Bow-Tie) is in negotiations to be sold for a Performing Arts Center. I hope the new occupants see that some of the elaborate work is hidden under the drop ceilings in the lobby. Clearview Cinemas destroyed any chances of long term survival of this and many others of the UA theatres it acquired with their free Tuesday nights (if you had Cablevision). These theatres were all losing money before Clearview came along with their fireplaces and free phone service. Bow-Tie Cinemas took over these and now is seeing no more business than Clearview, even less. Now on Tuesday Bargain Day at $6.00, the theatre had 10 people total for the 3 screens, all first run product. This is pathetic. Everything Bow-Tie acquired will drain them of their current money making theatres they had prior to taking over. On bright moment is the “Live On Stage And Screen "Rocky Horror Picture Show” has sold out almost 5 times. So…Performing Arts is the way to go with some “Classic Movie Shows” added in for fun. And it will be one big screen again.
P.S. Cleopatra was the inaugural attraction at the Twin North and South Theatres. Mr. Miller told me when I met him two or three years ago. By the way, Leon said “Torn Curtain” opened the South Bay Theatre. His other theatres were the Wantagh and Town theatres on Long Island.
This theatre was built by architect Leon Miller in 1963-4 and operated by him for several years before he sold or leased it to Fox-Eastern Theatres along with some other “Town And Country” theatres he designed and built. The only one he kept to this day is the South Bay Theatre in West Babylon.
This theatre was operated by UA in partnership with G.G. theatres. I saw the plans and designs that were in the Port Washington (Beacon) Theatre when I managed the place in 1989-1992. It was not uncommon for UA to have their fingers in everything. UA was also partners with Century on the Morton Village, Whitman and York in Huntington as we made duplicate box office reports for them.
Drove by last Thursday, and the theatre is now gone and the area has been seeded and the grass is growing. I saw “Twister” here. It was a fast demolition. Theatre properties are being destroyed tenfold here and NYC. This year alone, the Lindenhurst, South Shore Mall on L.I. and the beautiful Savoy in Brooklyn (without saving
it’s landmark façade) and the DeMille (nee Columbia, Mayfair) in Manhattan. NYC should be ashamed of itself for not protecting its' theatre treasures. It’s to late,
there’s nothing left. For the very few that do remain in other uses such as churches and etc., Time Is Running Out!
The theatre ticket on this site is actually for the Century’s Mayfair Theatre in Brooklyn. I love the ticket photos just added recently.
This building is still standing, “Condemned” notices posted Nov, 2013. Building is completely fenced with the west wall facing mall with L O E W ‘ S block neon name in their original position since they were put up in 1967, (Painted Over). Over 6 years ago, mall management said it would be demolished. That’s some “Coming Soon”.
I think this drive-in should be listed as “Closed” and are they retaining the vintage Drive-In marquee in the Walmart site plans?, Does anyone know if this marquee has been demolished? I would like to know.
This nifty program is from the Cinema Village, see address. I was a big fan of Cinema Village and have quite a few of the programs which were well-designed and eye catching.