South Bay Cinemas

495 Montauk Highway,
West Babylon, NY 11704

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Showing 1 - 25 of 93 comments

robboehm on November 22, 2020 at 8:44 pm

Dumpster and backhoe gone. Windows still broken. Such progress.

rivest266 on October 22, 2020 at 12:41 am

The South Bay theatre opened on June 28th, 1967 with “El Dorado”. Grand opening ad posted.

robboehm on September 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

David, the only thing the South Bay has in it’s favor is parking. And that usage is questionable since they only, legitimately, have a small area around the building. The area used to have the Lindenhurst, Babylon, North Babylon theaters but somehow in it’s dilapidated condition the South Bay soldiered on. The pandemic will be the end of many theaters because of fear and social distancing. So many theaters have just about destroyed their viability when they severely reduced the seating capacity with the installation of recliners. So in an auditorium under 100 seats, which seems to be the case, more often than not, social distancing and reduced capacity percentages spells doom.

David_Schneider on September 28, 2020 at 6:26 pm

robboehm, yeah I’m not saying the South Bay was impressive, just it was the first cinema I was ever at. : ) When I was last there in the summer of 2000 with my late mother to see “Bring It On”, it did seem somewhat rundown. …. Wow, I just realized my mother, the person I went there with the final time, was the person I was there with the first time. (All my visits in between were without her.) As we approached the entrance I may have said something like “You brought me here in 1974”…..

I just found out by perusing Cinema Treasures listings that the Islip Theater, which had closed after I last visited it in 2000 to see “The Perfect Storm” or “X-Men”, has since reopened as the Islip Cinemas, so one of the cinemas I recall attending is still a movie theater. Other than that I get the impression there are currently no operating movie theaters that close to the Babylon/West Islip/Bay Shore area, while in my time there were several choices.

robboehm on September 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

David, you’ll have to wait a couple of months for my next comment but, the way things have not been going, will probably be more of same.

I was only in the theater once with friends to see Sister Act. I remember not being impressed with the theater which was probably a triplex by that time.

David_Schneider on September 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm

robboehm — I’d like to use this, my 300th comment on Cinema Treasures, to thank you for keeping track of the first movie theater I ever attended back in 1974, the South Bay Cinemas. (See my comment posted on January 17th, 2016.)

Interesting that although all of the cinemas I recall visiting on Long Island from then through 2000 are gone, the one that still might reopen and carry on as a movie theater is the first one I ever went to.

robboehm on August 21, 2020 at 3:28 am

Still broken windows and ragged curtains. BobCat doesn’t seem to have moved. The only change I see is the addition of a Portapotty.

robboehm on May 7, 2020 at 9:07 pm

Same broken windows and faded ragged curtains. Only difference from my March visit was the presence of a small BobCat inside the fencing near the old box office. They’re still in a demolition phase? I thought when they patched up the cracks in the facade, painted it, reinstalled the South Bay signage, upgraded the pylon to include a web site and phone number and installed five new ceiling units (the initial reno called for two additional auditoriums to the three in place)that the “end” was near. The reality may be that the lack of progress to date and whatever comes of the entertainment industry after Corona may mean the end, period.

robboehm on March 25, 2020 at 2:35 am

Had it not been for a single worker that I observed entering the building with a small wheelbarrow I would say that nothing has been done since I went by in January. Same cracked windows. Same faded ragged curtains. What he was doing is anyone’s guess.

ridethectrain on January 14, 2020 at 5:42 pm

It must be opening soon, the theatre been on the fandango app for a few weeks now

robboehm on January 14, 2020 at 3:32 pm

Still no apparent change.

robboehm on December 8, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Absolutely no change in the box office area. Other glassed areas still sport the same faded, ripped curtains and cracks.

robboehm on November 24, 2019 at 8:48 pm

Went by the theater today. They have upgraded the pylon (see photos) to a sign which indicates the phone number and web domain, neither of which are currently functioning. Box office area has seen some activity as have a couple of other areas. Maybe sometime in 2020?

markp on September 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

As a long time projectionist from a family of same, my father use to say that movies are a habit. This theatre has been closed for so long now that Im sure people no longer even think of it. They should just give it up already.

Roe5685 on September 18, 2019 at 3:27 am

The comments of robboehm are excellent but: I subscribe to Property Shark and can see the tax maps. South Bay Cinemas is 15,000 sq.ft. on 29,000 sq.ft. of land owned by the Miller Family. There is 10 car parks behind and room for 15 car parks in front but robboehm pictures / google maps show they have not yet been built. The theater has 400 seats WITHOUT liquor store per the building department ( they will answer your queries! ) so parking is inadequate. The adjacent shopping center often filled ( see google maps) is 13.5 acres owned by Basser-Kaufman who do NOT know the Miller Family. A senior security guard of the 13.5 acre complex told me that any theater patrons cars on their land would be towed to make Star Bucks and their other tenants happy. Building department has no application to demolish and rebuild the liquor store site. They say the current building permit covers the existing site only. I think for free or close to fee that robboehm can obtain a FOIL of the building permit for the 400 seat theater or simply chat with the West Babylon Township about this project. Their web site welcomes inquires.

Perhaps the Miller family has run out of money? Perhaps the Miller family is trying to obtain an easement from the Basser-Kaufman family? I fully agree with robboehm that to open this theater with only 25 car parks is not a good idea.

robboehm on September 6, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Actually you have to go to South Bay Cinemas on Facebook. The site specifically says that there will be 5 auditoriums initially and subsequently more. If you look at the artists rendering it shows and expanded facade on Montauk Highway which would presume the current liquor store. However, as renovations progress it is obvious that the actual appearance will not equal the conception. As far as the parking is concerned this is a leased property in the shopping center so ownership should not be a problem. I would imagine sharing the lot would not be a problem since the key time for the theater would be in the evening which would not be prime time for the businesses at that part of the shopping center. At the rate they’re going it may be 2020 before the place finally does reopen. I think it’s a waste of time and money – people have done without so long.

Roe5685 on September 6, 2019 at 9:46 am

Thanks but….. I cannot find any website. Please give me address. Last I looked liquor store still there. When they going to demo? The adjacent car park is often full and has different owner and guards to order tow away so I think parking there to see a movie not a good idea?

robboehm on August 31, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Roe5685- They have the whole shopping center parking lot at their disposal, not just the areas adjacent to the theater. And, if you look at their website for the artist’s rendering of the new facility you will note that it includes the space occupied by the liquor store.

Roe5685 on August 31, 2019 at 2:59 am

I see they have 10 car parks behind? Are there any in front? If they ever open where will people park? Has anyone looked in from the side street behind the liquor store?

robboehm on August 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm

South Bay name has been “reapplied” to the Montauk Highway side of the building (perfectly aligned). The small dumpster has been removed. Nothing else has appeared to have changed since early July.

robboehm on July 8, 2019 at 12:40 am

The small, empty dumpster is still in front of the building. The facade facing Montauk Highway and the parking lot has a coat of white paint over the grey primer. The name South Bay has been reintroduced above where the entrance had been, and I presume, will be upon completion of the renovation. See photo uploaded. But they did a lousy job of spacing the letters.

robboehm on June 17, 2019 at 12:43 am

There is a small, empty, dumpster in the front of the building. Other than that there are no visible changes in status.

robboehm on May 24, 2019 at 11:01 pm

I’m in the area at least once a month. Let’s see what June holds.

markp on May 24, 2019 at 7:04 pm

Oh I agree 100%. Im just saying that it seems the owners are working on a shoestring budget. It may take them 5 more years to complete.

robboehm on May 24, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Well, they’ve gone to considerable expense to upgrade the theater by obviously upgrading the air conditioning for the five auditoriums and gutting the existing ones. At least they repaired all the exterior problems and gave the building a sealing protective coat to prevent further deterioration.

The Babylon Triplex ceased to exist and it served the same area. The only advantage at this site is a parking lot rather than catch as catch can street parking in Babylon Village. When something is gone this long I would think people have found alternatives (although there really is no theater to serve this large South Shore area of Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, Babylon and Bay Shore}.