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You’re right about the lot seeming so small now. I’ve commented on that to my wife, many times. The same thing with the movies there.
I left in 1966 and just prior to that there was a movie showing there with Natalie Wood and Robert Redford called “This Property is Condemned.” When the name of the movie was put on the marquee. the phone would not stop ringing with people calling asking if the theater was still open! Goes to show you what people thought of the place.
Yes, I was looking for info on the fire at the Rialto which led me to Cinema Treasures. I worked at the Rialto Theater for 2 ½ years in high school. Fire played a large part in the changing face of the village. I remember the LAce Mill fire in 1971. They should have let it go then. And there was a big fire on West Main Street at the restuarant supply store in the winter of 1965-66. I remember that the firemen had to deal with frozen equipment (on the trucks-not their own). I was walking hoem from my girlfriend’s house and stopped to watch.
There was a BIG fire in those other buildings around 1957-58. It destroyed what was then Havil’s Jewelers (the store on the street level southeast corner), and of course the stores and offices above it. I was going to the dentist on the second floor across the street ans could see the bulldozer knocking down what was left (they had put a fence up shortly after the fire for safety). The fire was a big thing at that time. A lot of the firemen had new watches shortly after that fire, for some reason.
There were 3 floors to those buildings. After the fire, they were knocked down to two floors and the radio station moved to N. Patchogue. The Bridal Suite Shop now stands at #22, where the Star Theater was. According to an older former resident of the village, the Star Theater was quite THE place. Sort of where the hoi-polloi went to be seen.
The village parking lot used to be a group of stores, one of which housed the DMV for awhile. SO, the theater must have been on the north side of the street, where the first PAtchogue Fire Dept building was located. It could not have been further west, because Lake Avenue only went about one block further, ending where the Sam Gordon & Sons Produce building is/was.
The Sixth District Court definitely occupies some of the space formerly occupied by the Granada.
There was a fire in those buildings in the very early ‘60s; Radio station WPAC had offices there. The upper floors, as I recall, were demolished. I know that in the early '60s there were stores there, The Picket Restaurant was there as early as 1962-63
PAul, I went to school with you. I worked at the Rialto from JUne 1964 to November 1966. I remember when Bette Davis & Olivia DeHavilland came when “HUSH, HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE” WAS PLAYING. What a crowd there was that day! It was god place for a high school kid to work, but it was not in the best condition. The water fountain always leaked and in the summer the place smelled like a wet dog. But, oh, the memories!