Glen Oaks Theater

255-01 Union Turnpike,
Glen Oaks, NY 11004

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robboehm on May 18, 2016 at 5:27 pm

The Glen Oaks was an add-on to the existing shopping center, not part of the original; part of Century’s recognition of the potential of the vast area north of Jericho Turnpike. They also envisioned a stand alone theater on the north side of Hillside Avenue, west of the intersection with Braddock Avenue. I remember the large sign which announced this was the site of the newest link to the chain of Century Theaters. Never happened.

techman707 on August 9, 2014 at 4:37 am

I remember when the Teamsters tried to organize all the Century managers. The managers originally wanted to join Local 306 (projectionists), but the NLRB said that would be a conflict.

I only worked at the Glen Oaks about a dozen times since it wasn’t my “permanent” theatre. I believe around 1967-68 that was the last time I worked at the Glen Oaks. I recall it was on New Year’s eve 1968. I ran “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love”. Mr. D was the manager working that day.

My permanent job was in Manhattan at Walter Reade’s DeMille Theatre. It burned down on 1973 and I waited for it to be reopened. When it re-opened under “New Management” I decided to leave. I decided to go to the Prospect. Because I’m losing my memory, I can’t remember whether Ed Burns was the manager before or after Mr. D. Unlike some other projectionists, I got along with and liked BOTH Ed and Bernie. Any projectionists that didn’t get along with them probably had trouble going their job, since that was the only reason that would caused any problems with either one of them, since normally they were real nice guys.

CenturyBill on August 9, 2014 at 12:47 am

It was under 800, I don’t remember exactly. Only things I have are some movie stills from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and my original nameplate. I do remember when it became an evening house the Teamsters were trying to unionize the managers and Mr. Tawfik was on strike. When I came to open the theatre someone had sliced the bottom of the screen and cut open the syrup containers. I used duct tape on the back of the screen. Fortunately it was an Xrated movie and no one was looking at feet!

techman707 on August 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

“robboehm CenturyBill, an after thought. what was the seating capacity at the Glen Oaks?”

I’m not sure of the exact number of seats, but, I know it was OVER 600 seats (most small neighborhood theatres had 600 seats or less)because of the pay scale in the union contract. When the Glen Oaks opened they were still using the number of seats as a factor in determining the pay rate. Compared to other neighborhood theatres, like the Utopia Theatre, the Glen Oaks wasn’t as “small” as the “overview” above would have you believe. It was over 600 seats, but less than 800.

robboehm on August 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

CenturyBill, an after thought. what was the seating capacity at the Glen Oaks?

robboehm on August 8, 2014 at 9:20 am

CenturyBill do you have any Century memorabilia? I remember they used to print a movie guide. Wonder what ever happened to the comedy and tragedy masks at the Glen Oaks.

CenturyBill on August 7, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I started at the Meadows as an usher for Mr. Decatsky in 1972. Went to the Glen Oaks for Mr. Twin and to the Prospect as Mr. D’s assistant manager. They made me a relief Asst so I wound up in Bynum and Nassau during the week and back at the Prospect in Flushing. I learned a lot from Mr. D. and eventually went into the Navy.

techman707 on March 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Right, all under the ownership of the Diaz brothers.

robboehm on March 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm

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 5, 2014 at 6:09 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:


techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 6:01 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.

robboehm on March 5, 2014 at 4:00 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 3:24 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 1:32 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 1:12 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 10:02 am

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 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm


“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 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Tevhmsn I have no idea what you’re talking about. I never said or inferred the Hollis was in a shopping center. My comment had to do with a lousy projectionist at that site, which was on Jamaica Avenue.

techman707 on March 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I guess we probably never met, because I retired in 1998 from the Alpine Sevenplex in Brooklyn, which also happened to be the last theatre installation I did for Golden Theatre Management in 1986.

But you should know that there was NOTHING projectionists could have done to prevent the changeover to digital. It was pure dollars and sense and we weren’t even the big dollars. Look at poor Eastman Kodak, if THEY couldn’t do anything, then you know that IT HAD TO HAPPEN. Years ago I got into a BIG fight over platters that I was installing in a theatre. I was accused of “selling out the union”. I told these idiots that even if you KILL ME, there will just be someone else installing them tomorrow. YOU JUST CAN’T STOP PROGRESS. Anyone who thinks they can needs to see a shrink.-LOL

markp on March 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

techman707, No, my father and I were members of Local 379, Perth Amboy NJ, which merged in 82 with Local 534, which merged with Local 21 about 3 years ago. Dad passed away 20 years ago. He was IA for 55 years. I was a member of 306 in 2004, working in White Plains NY before my back gave out and it became too expensive to travel 160 miles round trip 4 days a week.

techman707 on March 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I don’t have a clue what theatre you’re referring to when you say “Hollis Theater” The ONLY Hollis Theatre I know of was located on Hillside Avenue (or maybe Jamaica Avenue)in the 180’s. I have NO KNOWLEDGE of any theatre located in a shopping center called “The Hollis Theater”.

btw-Movie theatres use (or should use) the spelling “THEATRE”….as opposed to “THEATER” spelling, used for legit theaters.

robboehm on March 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

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.

techman707 on March 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm


What (or where)is the “Hollis site” you’re referring to?

P.S. If my memory serves me (which hasn’t been too good lately), the Glen Oaks Theatre opened in 1961 or 1962. It was right around the end of the year, which is why I’m not sure.

techman707 on March 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm


You’re 100% right. I was a film collector and NOW, with Blu-ray and 3D, I’m a disc collector. -LOL But in all seriousness, I have a $10k JVC projector and the Blu-ray discs on my 12ft wide scope screen look BETTER than any of my 16mm or 35mm film ever looked….and the sound is as good as ANY of the Broadway roadshow houses I ever worked in. I recently bought a 3D Blu-ray of Gravity. Can you imagine, buying a movie BEFORE the Academy Awards? ….and it won, go figure.

robboehm on March 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

See my comments on the Hollis site about the totally incompetent projectionist: didn’t make one transition and was swearing so loud you could hear him in the theater. The usher said, “I don’t understand it; he’s union”. Yes, I said usher.