Century's Alan Theatre

1614 Hillside Avenue,
New Hyde Park, NY 11040

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Century's Alan Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Alan Theatre was operating prior to 1950. It was mostly named for the chain owner’s first name. It had a small balcony and showed showcase-level films.

Like most Century Theaters houses, it closed in the late-1970’s or early-1980’s and was converted to retail use.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

Ligg on December 4, 2006 at 3:32 pm

Hmm, as much as I do enjoy the once in a while guilty pleasure of Bollywood, that 750 films are made a year in Bollywood, far more than Hollywood produces in years, and the growing South Asian population in and around New Hyde Park, I wonder if the community could support a multiplex of just Bollywood films.

In a single theater like Bombay, or double theater that was in the “old downtown”, such as the neighborhood theater in Fresh Meadows turned porn house when the Multiplex opened there in the 70’s- 90’s to reopen as, “The Bombay” theater a successful Bollywood theater in the late 90’s in Fresh Meadows, 5 or 6 screens of Bollywood all the time might be too much to be financial viable. In addition not all the films are good enough to watch in Mumbai let alone export them.

Look at Italian cinema, and the French, which was popular with Americans at one time, the industry there is on “life support” There are many Italian and French films made each year, think about how many actually make it to the United States?

The same with Bollywood film. When “Bride and Prejudice” came out, Hollywood was buzzing that this film would be huge hit and bring Bollywood into mainstream America and the beautiful woman whose names escapes me was being marketed as the next exotic foreign beauty, the next “Sophia Loren.” I remember even Nightline, which at the time was still, “a gold standard and sophisticated” did a whole show on Bollywood and this beauty. She also made the rounds of all the entertainment shows. Then, nothing, the box office failed, and that was the end of Bollywood. In the US industry, if you flop your first film in a new “genre” you are dead since this film was financed by the Hollywood studios.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, a local theater with one or two screens, with low rent, would be served by the Indian comunity. One would not get rich, but could stay in business. A full on multiplex would be huge gamble and probably unsuccessful, since by not showing at least mainstream art films, you are leaving out a huge majority of your clientele, American teenagers. Also since teenagers are the biggest spenders at the cinema, if Bollywood is not hip or becomes hip for a year and then disappears, without diversification I cannot see an entire multiplex of Bollywood all the time.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 5, 2006 at 3:58 am

Hey Ligg… Not sure if I read your 2nd paragraph above correctly, but just wanted to clarify that the neighborhood theater in Fresh Meadows you’re talking about was never a twin. The Mayfair Theater was always a single screen, to the best of my knowledge, right through its dying days as a porn house and re-birth as the Bombay. I lived near the theater for many years and posted some photos that I took last year (plus an exterior shot from the early ‘90’s) on its CT page.

Another note, the Mayfair had gone porn long before any multiplexes had opened in the area. I think it just eventually succombed to competition from television and the larger Century’s Meadows Theater on Horace Harding Expressway (which opened in the 1940’s). The Meadows didn’t go twin until the Mayfair was already running XXX. It was gutted and turned 7 screen multiplex around 1989 – probably due to competition from the Cinema City 5 screen theater that had opened a few years earlier from converted retail space on the other side of the LIE.

Zach2973 on April 12, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Hey Ligg – why are you allowing the funny named guy Surendra Gupta to advertise his business on this site – it seems that he should consider some ad-space ? The 1614 Hillside was a great place – but its a dump now !

Ligg on April 13, 2007 at 9:32 am

I am not responsible for the post on here. That guy came and advertised without my knowledge. I have to much going with my own life to complain to the webmaster here. If you feel his post is inappropriate, then you need to go to Cinema Treasures and tell them to delete it.

robboehm on February 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm

It always seemed to me that the Alan and Franklin had the same design albeit different facades. The Alan had no flashy marquee. The first time I went there I missed it. In later years they added a big signboard attached to the front of the theatre.

Anybody remember when they went single feature for a bit?

RandyHintz on March 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

I worked in the Alan in the early 80’s, lots of great memories there. I remember when Valley Girls and Popeye played there. The manager at the time was Fred. He had that small office on the left side as you entered the theater. Sad to hear that there are no remnants of the theater left.

RobertR on April 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

A pic of this as a theatre has not turned up yet?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Both the street view and the map for this theater are way off. The theater was (and building still is) just east of New Hyde Park Rd on Hillside Avenue. The zip code should be corrected to 11040 (not 11004) and the street view re-set so it may be corrected.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Agree with TInseltoes. And the street view and map location are still way off, despite the corrected zip code. The photo I uploaded clearly shows the address of the theater was/is 1614 Hillside Avenue. Not sure what else is needed to get the map corrected. In the meanwhile, please re-set the street view so it might be updated for a proper view.

jwood on December 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

Growing up in North New Hyde Park in the fifties and sixties, I went to the Alan Theater many times. Generally we took our bikes to their Saturday matinees. Cowboy movies, comedies, science fiction. I definitely remember seeing “This Island Earth” there. Losing community theaters such as this one has made our society all the poorer for it.

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