AMC Fresh Meadows 7

190-02 Horace Harding Boulevard,
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365

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Showing 1 - 25 of 157 comments

Johnfromthe80s on May 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

This place has been around for ages, other than Movieworld its probably the only theater in the area that is still there. I remember it used to a two screen theater. Saw Raiders of the Lost Ark here and Young Sherlock Holmes, then later on it became a multiplex, then went another renovation in the 2000s, and a few years ago went yet another renovation.

DARCYDT on March 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Screen 4 is being converted to Imax

jeffpiatt on November 24, 2017 at 6:01 am

RobertR That’s the new standard marquee for all AMC locations after there upgraded. the yellow circle patterned metal plates is what there putting up to cover up the old “flex” sign spaces on the older locations generally to mount the new AMC signage all locations are getting under the new Branding push AMC is doing. having the showing films up on the entrance has been downplayed by internet listings most of my local theaters removed the Auditorium numbers and have the sign give the theater site to get showtimes. the theater was also renamed again to AMC Fresh Meadows 7 as the AMC Loews nameing is being phased out.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Regular shows starting before noon are $8.99, but there aren’t too many that start before noon…

DARCYDT on April 4, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Now $16.49 in the afternoons and $17.99 at night. With 3D figure $20.49 in afternoon and $21.99 at night, ridiculous.

Jerrr26 on November 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

My family moved from Manhattan to Fresh Meadows in 1950 so this became our local theater. My first date with a girl was to the Meadows and I saw my first 3-D film thereā€¦ Bwana Devil! Seeing my first 3-D there was very important in my life as 3-D has been my career for the past 40 years now. (I directed three 3-D music videos for the Rolling Stones and now teach Stereoscopic 3-D to grad students.)

I only remember the Meadows as one large theater, the concept of breaking up a theater did not exist then.

The quality of 3-D projection in the 50’s was awful. The poster before me, theatrefan, spoke up for the beauty of actual film over digital. This may be true for normal 2-D movies but, for 3-D, digital is so very superior that is might be highly irresponsible to show 3-D from film today.

There was a Horn & Hardart cafeteria diagonally facing the theater’s entrance and that was part of the experience. Also a large Bloomingdales was right nearby. I wonder what those are now? Maybe a trip is in order. I learned to ride a bike in a Fresh Meadows parking lot, and, a few years later, to drive a car in that same lot!

By the way, I discovered this site just last week and I posted some other memories under Carnegie Hall Cinema.

theatrefan on July 19, 2015 at 11:58 am

That’s a great story Fred, Thank You. Reel Film (pardon the pun) almost has an organic quality to it that just can’t be easily replicated with a bunch of bits & bytes from a DCP version, in the same way vinyl records had a warmth and texture to them that no CD ever matched. I also to make it a point to check the program of any repertory film house program to make sure it;s being shown in 35mm or 70mm format, when this type of film presentation is done well, nothing else can even come close.

Fredhadley on July 19, 2015 at 6:11 am

Meadows 2

I first saw the “Mighty Meadows” in 1965 at a special Sneak Preview of “A Thousand Clowns.” I was 17 and worked at Century’s Prospect in Flushing. Whenever the Meadows had a big event, they would borrow ushers from the Prospect to augment their staff. This was in the days of single-screens, so two thousand + patrons would come pouring out at once.

The Prospect manager was Walter Leyendecker, who had replaced Mr. Mc Eachern or “Mac,” formerly of the Meadows. The first thing I noticed, was that the auditorium exit signs, instead of glowing red, glowed a sexy violet.

When I became 21, I became a projectionist with NYC Local 306 IATSE. Because of low seniority, I took a job at RKO Alden on Jamaica Avenue in the mid ‘70s. It was in decline in a dangerous neighborhood. In 1978, the Alden was converted from one screen to a quad. My pay went from $13 to $22 per hour as I had to run all 4 screens.

In 1983 after the Alden Quad closed because of poor business, I became eligible for “circuit seniority” and claimed the Meadows and got it over other older projectionists because I had lost my job through no fault of my own. The manager was Ed Bernhardt who was allowed to keep a small dog, named Charlie in the manager’s office. Charlie never barked and knew never to venture out into the lobby.

The Meadows was a twin by that point with the huge original auditorium divided longitudinally by a wall and serviced from the original booth in the upper rear of the building. This booth was amazing! Very large with picture windows that had louvers beneath to get fresh air. The view was of the LIE, just yards away. There was a dumbwaiter at the north end for hoisting the heavy film shipping cases.

The old “preview magazines” that enabled double-system “work prints” to be screened for audience testing had been removed and were stored near the dumbwaiter. The equipment was 4 35 MM Simplex X-L with Ashcraft carbon arc lamphouses that had been retrofitted for Xenon bulbs. The soundheads were RCA. We spliced three 18-minute reels together and ran 6,000 foot hour-long reels with one changeover in the middle of the movie.

In the 90’s the Meadows was acquired by Cineplex Odeon and its CEO, Garth Drabinsky (he put real butter back on the popcorn) decided to make a sevenplex. Platters were brought in (see photos), and two new booths that ran the long way (east-west) were built. Six 35 MM and one 35/70 MM Simplexes were put in. Three cinemas (1,2&3) had small screens in the basement mounted along the long south wall.

Three medium screens were in Cinemas 5,6&7 on the upper level and Cinema 4, the “presentation” house with 35/70 was in the basement with a large screen near where the original 1949 screen was along the east wall.

In 2003 the union started allowing the managers to run the projectors on Mon, Tue & Weds, so I left the Meadows and “bid” for Regal’s Sheepshead Bay 14-plex, still 100% union. I retired in 2008. My final shift was the first day of a new cutback. The projectionist would go home after starting the last shows and the manager would shut down. I clocked out at 10:30 PM for the last time. I had just turned 60 and was eligible for early retirement, so I went to Boca Raton, FL.

Two years later, the Sheepshead Bay went digital and the projectionists were replaced by manager/projectionists. Now there are but a handful of theatres, mostly repertory, still union. Sad.


moviebuff82 on April 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm

CenturyBill on November 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

I remember Charlton Heston and going to that movie with my father. JHS 74 had our graduation there when they were showing Ryans Daughter. Thinking back I didn’t know that my first job would be there and be such a part of my life!

NYer on November 2, 2014 at 10:13 am

Charlton Heston & Co-Star Tina Chen made a live personal appearance on opening night of “The Hawaiians”, a sequel to “Hawaii” on July 17, 1970. Opening night add in Photo section.

DARCYDT on October 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

According to Fandango there are senior rates still and lower rates for kids. Kids rate at night is $13.29.

DARCYDT on October 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Back on June 3rd I made comments about the price rises and how frequent they were. Today I went to “Fury” here and before 11:55 AM the prices are $8.99. Not even a rounded up dollar. The evening showings are now $15.99, $19.99 with 3D. The theater is crowded too at these prices as opposed to say the one in Glen Cove, recently renovated and only $6 till 5 PM. That theater hardly as anyone there, biggest recent crowd I saw was 11 for the Equalizer opening week. Flushing Main Street charges $5 for the first show and it never really has many people. The girl taking the tickets told the couple in front of me that there was no more senior discount either.

CenturyBill on August 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

My first job was as an usher here in May 1972. We wore tuxedos and Mr. Bernard Decatsky was the manager. John Vess a was Chief of Staff with his brother Mike, Larry Ackerman and Ed Monahagn. Ed Bernhardt was managing the Prospect in Flushing and Mr Jackson was the DM. I became Mr. D’S Asst Mgr and we moved to the Prospect when it became a duplex. Eventually left and went to the Navy. Great times at this theater and at the Horn & Harare which became a Bagel Nosh. Sorry to hear that it’s down on it’s luck.

DARCYDT on June 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I seem to write this every few months now. A year ao I was shocked at prices here and I posted in January that the prices had gone up again. Here we are 5 months later and now the pre 11:50 am showings have risen to $8, the matinees till 3:50 have gone up another dollar to $13.25 and after 4 or so it’s now $15, $19 for 3D. Is this the priciest theater in New York City for regular showings at night?

Jeffrey1955 on March 11, 2014 at 6:50 am

CinemaDude, THANK YOU for that wonderful post!

RobertR on March 11, 2014 at 6:40 am

The new marquee is DISGUSTING. If you don’t know its a movie theatre driving by on the LIE you wont now.

robboehm on March 1, 2014 at 8:27 am

If you ever get to eastern Long Island try to attend a performance or a film at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (Westhampton Theater). It’s not huge but it’s intact and a jewel box. Sag Harbor has a nice interior too (see photos on CT).

Frank Angel
Frank Angel on March 1, 2014 at 3:14 am

No idea why they ditched the expansive, lighted marquee, but all that is left of what is seen in the picture above is what looks like a crude painted board with the big letters AMC covering the original marquee. No film titles are displayed. The original FRESH MEADOWS neon sign on the top of the brick north facing wall is only partially lit with the letters ADO dark. It truly has gone down hill while the prices, as noted here, have soared.

This Century Fresh Meadows and the Skouras Bayside Theatre were my two theatre haunts as a kid growing up in Bayside. The Bayside was a second run house while Century’s Fresh Meadows was first run and they made no bones about claiming it was a Century “Flagship Theatre.” And indeed it was.

Like Michael K, my mom took me to see THE HOUES OF WAX in 3D with stereo sound; my first 3d experience. If movies were magic and indeed for me they were, then 3D was magic on steroids. I was mesmerized by the feeling of depth of 3D just as much as I had been listening to my first stereophonic recording (an experimental simulcast on WQXR on their AM (right ear) and FM (left ear) stations. For me 3D was as enthralling for my sight as stereo sound was for sound; I have been a fan of 3D ever since THE HOUSE OF WAX — having the new 3D BluRay THOW release now available to play at home, well, it’s just come full circle.

Back then I couldn’t for the life of understand what I considered totally insane complaints about “the glasses” (they still seem insane — people wear sunglasses all the time with nary a complaint); as far as I was concerned, these people were just wusses — my complaining parents included. As I kid I knew I would wear a space helmet if it would give me the incredible experience of 3D space. I forced my poor mom to sit thru THOW twice and then I went back Saturday and Sunday to see it over and over. I remember saying to my mom, “Now all movies will be like this…in 3D?” She said she didn’t know and seemed to care less, while I, on the other hand sought out everything I could find about 3D and how it worked, all due to that experience in the Century Fresh Meadows Theatre, Queens NY circa 1953.

Anyway, the Meadows was my home away from home and when it closed for more than a week to install CinemaScope, I would go down to the theatre every afternoon after school to see if I could sneak in. The workers would leave the side doors open, and I got my first look at what this “Miracle You See Without Glasses” was all about. This was Fox’s obvious ploy to make people think it was, in fact 3D.

The workers were constructing the screen frame; usually I’d get shooed away, but not before I got a glimpse of the new CinemaScope installation. When they finally opened with THE ROBE, this time my Dad took me and yes, when it hit the screen, that beautiful new cream colored satin curtain opened wider and wider and the sound fill the theatre all around me. It was impressive, but it WASN’T 3D. I kept pull at my dad’s jacket, “Daddy, this isn’t 3D.” Finally he told me to shut up and watch the move. I wan’t a happy pup. Then again, I was impressed with CinemaScope, just cheated by the marketing nonsense. And I LOVED that new curtain.

Later in life, when I designed the cinema installation at a performing arts center in Brooklyn, I insisted that we have a white cream satin curtain with the same blue and red lighting that the Meadows used along the top and bottom of the curtain to catch the light and mix into various hues of blue and purple and red. A tribute I suppose to my youth and those wonderful formative years and hours spent in the great single screens of a time gone by, what I call the Golden Age of the Movie Palace.

When the Fresh Meadows as butchered into a 7 screen plex, I went there one time only; the rooms were small, dank, holes-in-the-walls, characterless, lifeless and hurtfully depressing — movie theatres by assembly line. That was the first and last time went. Now I just pass it on the LIE and I give it a nod, remembering what it used to be and my connection to it.

When you think of what the movie experience was like going to those great ladies — the Fresh Meadows, the RKO Keiths, the Paramount on Main Street, the Loews Valencia in Jamaica and on and on…even the lowly Bayside Theatre which, even when it had gotten a bit worn around the edges, it had it’s own unique style; it had class. They each even had their own unique scent — you knew you were in a theatre the minute you walked in the lobby. When you think about those days, it is easy to understand how much has really been lost….quite literally, an era Gone With The Wind.

DARCYDT on January 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

Went to see “Legend of Hercules” here this morning. I was sitting on the left side in the back row, 4 seats in the row. 3 of those new cushion seats had their seat numbers broken off already.

markp on January 14, 2014 at 5:37 am

DARCYDT, I worked for an independent operator in Nj for years. All the while he complained how the union projectionist contract kept forcing him to raise his prices. Well guess what, after he got rid of the union, prices still went up. Just the nature of the beast.

robboehm on January 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Michael – most upscale store was Bloomingdale’s. My favorite was Womrath’s Book Store. Would often stop by on my way home from classes at Queens College.

DARCYDT on January 12, 2014 at 7:17 am

Just checking Fandango and apparently the theater has raised its prices since the last time I was here in mid December. The pre 12 PM showings have had their price increased 50 cents to $7.50. The matinee showings starting say from 11:55 AM to 3:55 PM have gone from an already outrageous $10.25 to $12.25 (2 dollars!). Evening performances went up $1.75 to $14 now. Are you kidding me? 3D add $4 and night shows are $18!!!! This is in Queens, not Manhattan.

michaelkaplan on January 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm

My Dad took me to see the 1953 Queens premiere of House of Wax, in 3D and WarnerPhonic (stereo) sound. There was a long line to get tickets and the theater was packed. As an 11 year old seeing a 3D movie for the first time, I was enchanted. The Century Meadows was the newest and most modern theater in Queens, located in a shopping center that included a Horn and Hardart restaurant and other upscaled shops.

DARCYDT on April 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I went a week and a half ago to “Oblivion” in the afternoon and paid $9. Today I went in the early afternoon to see “Pain & Gain” and the price had risen to $10.25 for a matinee. Nightime is now $12 plus the pre 11:55 am showings are now $7. The stubs card when you made $100 in rewards would give you $10. It wouldn’t even cover a matinee price now. $16 at night and $14.50 in the afternoon for a 3D showing too.