Glen Oaks Theater

255-01 Union Turnpike,
Glen Oaks, NY 11004

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Glen Oaks Rite Aid

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The small Glen Oaks Theater stood on Union Turnpike in eastern Queens. It was a long one-level theater that anchored an outdoor shopping center. At some time during Century’s wholesale closing of its theaters, this one was shuttered, and it rose from the ashes as a drug store.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 94 comments)

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 3:26 am


“Hollis Theater in Hollis, NY on CT. For whatever reason the picture used above is the back of the theater. As I said it was an add on to the shopping center.”

It sure appeared to me that you were inferring that the “Hollis Theatre” was in a shopping center. If not, why are you even mentioning the Hollis Theatre here?

Are you in Queens? Do we know each other?

btw- Your statement “My comment had to do with a lousy projectionist at that site, which was on Jamaica Avenue.” is a little strange also. What year are you referring to? The Hollis Theatre, which was a cute little neighborhood theatre, ran porno for a number of years until its closing and the “customers” weren’t very particular about the projection. -LOL

robboehm on March 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I made my comment on the projectionist at the Hollis Theater (on the Glen Oaks site) because there was a discussion about projectionists. I actually lived in Bellerose (Nassau) so also did neighboring theaters. Projectionist at the Bellerose was an artist. The film I was attempting to see at Hollis was Tunnel of Love with Doris Day and Richard Widmark.

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

“The film I was attempting to see at Hollis was Tunnel of Love with Doris Day and Richard Widmark.”

You took a L-O-N-G time to complain about it. That must have played there around 1960. I worked at the Bellerose Theatre a couple of times when I worked out of Local 640. The Bellerose was right on the NYC/Nassau border. Way back it was originally a Local 306 house. It’s interesting to note that Century Theatres owned every theatre from the Community (really owned by the brother in law, SPRINGER, of Schwartz) Eastward. When they closed a theatre that they owned the property on (which was virtually everything), they had a clause in any sale that the building could NEVER BE USED for a movie theatre again.

robboehm on March 5, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I’ve heard about that clause. Yet, if what you say is true, when the Community was closed and twinned I don’t remember it still being Century.

But the reality is the way the motion picture business went of all the Century owned or leased theaters the only ones still operating are the Meadows, Roosevelt Field, Franklin, Fantasy and Lynbrook. I’m not including the Shore because that’s a rebuild. As far as commenting, I never complained to Prudential and mentioned it on CT when I first learned about it in 2009.

Love to know the whole Century history, all the theaters that passed through their management and what ever happened to those comedy and tragedy masks that were part of the decor in the Glen Oaks and a couple of others theaters. I think they were also in the Argo.

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm

As I said, the Community Theatre property was owned by “Springer”, so they were able to get around it. Century never owned the Meadows (I think it was owned by NY Life, or whoever owns or owned all those garden apartments). The same is true for Roosevelt Field. I used to know more about these things, but I have a REAL memory problem that’s been getting worse.

btw-Century did own the ARGO (one of their prettier theatres. Even BEFORE theatres really went bad, the ARGO was forced to operate as a NON-THEATRE. I think it was “John’s Bargain Stores” right after it closed….very sad. I go to Home Depot there all the time and I’m forced to look at what it’s become. It just came to me that I think the Lynbrook Theatre was actually owned by Skouras….and I guess it became owned by UA Theatres when the Naify Brothers merged with them.

You might want to read this

robboehm on March 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm

You’re right, Meadows was NY Life. Lynbrook was one of the Calderone theaters that was leased out. Century had the Valley Stream and the Lynbrook. All the rest were Skouras, subsequently UA. I always figured Century didn’t own the Argo. When the whole building went up there was an announcement that the Elmont Theater would be coming. When Century did a project they always had “a new link in the chain of Century Theaters” signage. And it did operate after Century let it drop. I believe the ad said “Goodman’s” or something similar.

I’ll check out the wikipedia site after I finish this.

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I know that the reason “Century’s Floral” wound up as a catering joint was because of Century’s codicil regarding future building use. I’m not certain, but I think someone that bought a former Century theatre with the restriction was able to break it in court. In the case of Century’s Queens Theatre, I believe it was auctioned (purchased by the Diaz brothers, who operated around 5 theatres. Their main office was located in the old “Loew’s Plaza Theatre” in Corona, the “Colony Theatre” on 82nd St. in Jackson Heights, the “Jackson Theatre Triplex, also on 82nd St. in Jackson Heights and one or two more I just don’t recall now.

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm

The Diaz brothers also owned and operated the “Ridgewood Theatre” I don’t know how I could forget that theatre. A group is NOW trying to get Landmark Status for this theatre because it’s architect was Thomas Lamb (he designed some of the most spectacular theatres in the U.S.

You might find these interesting:


robboehm on March 6, 2014 at 3:24 am

The Queens went porno after it was closed by Century. The Plaza in Corona also continured for a time as Spanish language.

techman707 on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Right, all under the ownership of the Diaz brothers.

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