Brandon Cinemas 2

70-20 Austin Street,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Brandon Cinemas 2

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Located in the Forest Hills section of Queens. Developer Heskel Elias, in tandem with United Artists Theatres, gave the former Continental I / II a $1 million refurbishment in 1999.

The theater reopened with stadium seating, a new look, and a new name — the United Artists Brandon Cinema Center. The theater is named for Elias' son, Brandon.

Recent comments (view all 47 comments)

Bway
Bway on October 11, 2010 at 8:57 am

I didn’t see many movies in the Forest Hills Theater. It never seemed to be playing “the movie” I wanted to see. The Continental or the Midway usually had the movies I wanted to see.
The Midway was also well maintained in the 80’s and early 90’s, even before the Midway’s transformation. I remember the two story balcony, with it’s ornate iron railing up to the balcony. They used to have an area upstairs in the lobby with video games you could play while waiting for the movie to start. Great times.

I haven’t been to the Cinemart often either, as it also never seemed to have the movies I wantec to see. Also, I liked the subway better than the bus to get places, and it was much easier to get to the Austin St area by subway.
The Ceinemart seems to be one of those old workhorse theaters that you always expect will be there….like the Ridgewood. But then the Ridgewood was taken away very suddenly.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 22, 2012 at 4:41 am

This nice image of the original Continental Theatre, circa 1981, was posted by Tinseltoes to the Continental 3 page. If the link no longer works, hopefully, that would be only because he moved it into this theater’s photo collection.

In the image, you can see the old ramp to the right of the entrance that led to a small parking lot behind the building, just up against the LIRR embankment. That area seems to have been improved with a new commercial structure, since the last time I visited this cinema many years back.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Ed — link no work.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 24, 2012 at 4:20 am

Tinseltoes, please re-post your image of the Continental from 1981, with “Fort Apache The Bronx” on the marquee. It would be the only photo on CT showing the original neon signage that has since been replaced.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 24, 2012 at 4:35 am

You know, re-reading your last comment, Tinseltoes, it occurs to me that you suggest that the Brandon Cinemas 2 is not located where the original Continental Theatre was. I don’t think that’s the case. Unless there was an even earlier Continental, the former Walter Reade house that is depicted in your 1981 image was indeed re-branded the UA Brandon in the 1990’s.

Perhaps confusion arises with respect to the much newer Continental 3, which was opened in nearby retail space on the opposite side of Austin Street in the 1980’s, after the first Continental was twinned.

robboehm
robboehm on September 25, 2012 at 7:38 am

Remember being able to see a bit of the marquee from the LIRR train each day (also could see the back of and a bit of the marquee of the then Austin from the same vantage point.

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on October 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Went to 1:40 PM showing of “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike” here today, $10 for matinee!!! $10 for matinee, is that price for all showings and they have no discounted times. If it is that’s quite extreme.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on March 31, 2013 at 7:20 pm

The screens are small and no 3D. They close off the balcony.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

The April, 1963, issue of International Projectionist ran a brief article about Walter Reade-Sterling’s new Continental Theatre in Forest Hills, which had opened on March 21 with director Joseph Strick’s film adaptation of Jean Genet’s play The Balcony. The 600-seat Continental Theatre was designed by architect John J. McNamara, and featured rooftop parking and a permanent art gallery that was to be devoted to exhibiting the works of artists from Queens.

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