Brandon Cinemas 2

70-20 Austin Street,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Showing 1 - 25 of 47 comments

DylanAsh on April 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I’m sad about this closure.

robboehm on April 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Must have been fairly sudden. Showtimes are listed in the Sunday, April 20th Newsday.

johndereszewski on April 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I went by the place today and can confirm that the Brandon is no more. I think the last movie I saw there was “42”. Since everyone in the area just “knew” that the place was about to close, this was hardly a surprise. Still, it is most unfortunate that only one theater – the Midway – remains in the Continental/Austin area. A real bummer.

DARCYDT on April 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Saw only 2 pictures here “The Ghost Writer” and “Atlas Shrugged Part 2” Actually saw part 1 of Atlas at Cinemart. Sad to see it go but it seemed that since it only being a 2 screener it got the films I guess that weren’t projected to do good at the Midway.

ridethectrain on April 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

the movie theatre is closed as of April 21 2014

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.

ridethectrain on March 31, 2013 at 7:20 pm

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Ed — link no work.

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.

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.

johndereszewski on October 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Bway, my experience was very much like yours. I first got to know the community in which I now call home when, in the mid-1970’s, I frequently took the G train from my native Greenpoint to catch a first run film in Forest Hills. At the time, the Meserole was on its last legs and would soon close its doors and the Chopin, when it was open, was not really an option – though I did visit it occasionally. Forest Hills, on the other hand, hosted four theaters, and many more screens, in the immediate Continental Ave./Queens Blvd. vicinity. Just about all of the non-art house cinematic fare that was playing in Manhattan could be seen here, for a slightly lower price. And Austin St. was a really great place to visit. Given these options, Forest Hills clearly trumped Manhattan. As the 70’s turned into the 80’s, my cinematic preferences, for some reason, shifted west to Manhattan and I lost contact with this neighborhood.

While I did catch a few films at the Branden – then the Continental – and did see Full Metal Jacket at the long lost Continental 3, now a health club, it was the Forest Hills Theater that I enjoyed the most. It was, thus, very disappointing when, after a many years absence, I visited the neighborhood in 2001, in the course of buying my coop apartment, and learned that the Forest Hills was now a drug store. However, all is not lost and the Brandon and the Midway continue to serve this terrific neighborhood – and there is always the trusty old Cinemart on Metropolitan Ave! So the bottle is still at least half full, for now.

Bway on October 5, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Heh….funny, because I lived in Ridgewood at the time….and as a teenager, as soon as we were able to take the subway “on our own”, we soon stopped going to the Ridgewood Theater, and took the subway to the Forest Hills Theaters like the Continental, the Midway, and the Elmwood in Elmhurst….yet the Ridgewood was “just down the street”…. But as a teenager, “getting there” was half the fun, and much more fun that simply walking to the Ridgewood. And unfortunately, the Continental and the Midway were WAY better maintained than the Ridgewood…even back then already.
Although today….I only wish I could walk into the Ridgewood with a movie flickering inside…. sigh….

johndereszewski on October 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Bway, good to hear from you. You are absolutely correct about all of your memories of the Brandon and the Continental. This only indicates how long it was since I saw a movie at this theater, eventhough I live right next to the place! Anyhow, I am sure we should all be glad that the place remains very well maintained. Talk soon.

Bway on October 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Wasn’t it already “twinned” when it was the Continental? I used to go to this movie theater a lot in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and it was always extremely well maintained even when it was the Continental. But I thought it had two theaters and was twined then already. There as a “Contental III” across the street, but that one I was never in.

johndereszewski on October 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Although I have made Forest Hills my home for over nine years, I just visited the Brandon for the first time since it was twinned earlier today to see The Town. (I highly recommend this film.) The movie house is very well maintained and the twinning was nicely done. I think I will be visiting this place again very soon.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on May 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm

As a Walter Reade single screen theater, the Continental showed a lot of indie/arty fare. I was only there once, to see the French “La Cage Aux Folles,” with subtitles. All I remember about the interior is that it had an air of subdued “class”. There was, if I remember correctly, an outdoor parking lot that ran up the embankment of the LIRR tracks and partially behind the theater, but don’t quote me.
Ed Miller

NativeForestHiller on January 13, 2010 at 2:00 am

Hi! Thank you for posting the advertisement I came across!

This is my Continental Theatre, UA Brandon Cinemas, 70-20 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY flickr photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which I founded and chair:

View link

You can click the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and view them in a low, medium, high resolution, or original (maximum) resolution, as well as download them for future reference.

If anyone can contribute any vintage photos or ads to this photoset, I will be happy to give you credit. All images help preserve the spirit of “NY’s 1st split level theater,” and may contribute to other great preservation projects. The marquee, original terrazzo floor out front, and the reverse channel neon sign reading “Continental,” are some of the features that should be retained and appreciated. Let’s be proactive!

Bway on May 26, 2009 at 7:49 am

Thanks Jeff!! I had so many happy memories from the Continental when I was a teenager….

jeffg718 on May 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm

A reminder of the Brandon’s past is the “Continental” sign which remains on the roof of the theatre:

View link