Century's Floral Theatre

250 Jericho Turnpike,
Floral Park, NY 11001

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Showing 1 - 25 of 78 comments

robboehm
robboehm on April 25, 2015 at 6:58 pm

You have to look in the photos section.

BoxOfficeGirl
BoxOfficeGirl on April 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Where is the new picture? I don’t see it.

robboehm
robboehm on April 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Uploaded photo of a later marquee in the 1950s. Note the vertical is gone. Was there until shortly before.

robboehm
robboehm on March 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Photo of the Floral as it originally was. Despite a vertical reading “Floral” the front of the marquee said Floral Park. I believe a modification, still with signage, was made, but that’s a memory thing. At the time Jericho Turnpike was widened the overhang was too great and the marquee was removed and a slab installed. I believe that was when the vertical also came down. Large signage on the building was then installed. See photo section.

robboehm
robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Additional photo added.

robboehm
robboehm on February 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm

In a real estate piece in the April 24, 1927 Brooklyn Eagle there was a discussion about the development of Floral Park. It was anticipated that 300 new homes would be built within the year. It was also noted that the Floral, which actually read Floral Park on the front of the marquee, had just opened the prior Monday, April 18th, and had been built at a cost of $100,000.

robboehm
robboehm on April 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

In a series of New York Places which are no more (or something like that) which someone had linked to Facebook there is a picture of the Floral, without the vertical but still with a marquee. Way back when I said the vertical was removed when the marquee had to be modified for the widening of Jericho Turnpike. Also, the marquee in that picture was a modern box, not the incandescent image which I’ve usually seen. Don’t know when the transition was made but even that went when Jericho was widened and the marquee was reduced to a slab with the signboards elevated to the northern and western walls of the theater.

Jeff M.
Jeff M. on February 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

A clarification of sorts. In my recent post to comments posted by Ed Solero regarding the Floral’s pipe organ I stated in that it was installed in 1928. This is from the book entitled The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.2 authored by the late Dave Junchen and published by Showcase Publications in 1989. This volume covers pipe organ manufacturers whose names began with the letter “L” through “W”. Dates were taken from his first hand research with United States Pipe Organ Company archives. It is possible that the organ was installed after the theatre opening. David published volume 1 and had material for his third and final volume which was to have been exclusively on Wurlitzer. Unfortunately he died before it could be published and it was finally published in 2005 by the American Theatre Organ Society. Theatre organist Jeff Weiler spent quite a few years putting David’s material back together and expanded on it as well. It is a great tribute to David’s memory. The ATOS should still have copies available of this issue and the other volumes can be found either through EBay or ABE Books.

Jeff M.
Jeff M. on February 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hello all. I have just posted 5 pictures of the Floral Theatre taken sometime in either the late 70’s or early 80’s. I had asked permission from the manager to photograph the auditorium and was refused. So all of what you will see were taken during an intermission and in a hurry. Without the use of a tripod and timed exposure a full house picture was out of the question. I am of the opinion that the colors shown in my pictures are from a repaint done in later years and do not represent what the house originally looked like when first opened. My previous post described the pipe organ it once possessed. I do not know when it was removed or where it went. My guess is that it coincided with the installation of air conditioning. I remember seeing these large round fixtures protruding from the auditorium ceiling which undoubtedly had something to do with the AC.
Possibly the AC unit was installed in the old organ chamber. Back in the early seventies I lived in the Garden City Park & Floral Park area and saw many a film in the Floral Theatre. Going to that theatre was a first class experience. I’m happy that the new owners had the foresight to preserve as much of the architectural details that they did which helps keep the memory of the Floral Theatre alive.

Jeff M.
Jeff M. on February 25, 2012 at 4:39 am

To Ed Solero on your comments from April 24, 2011. The Floral Theatre possessed a United States pipe organ consisting of 3 manuals and 8 ranks of pipes. It was Opus number 152 and was installed in 1928. All the pipework was installed in the stage right chambers. Of all the local houses in this chain the Floral has the largest theatre organ. The Bellerose has a 2 manual 7 rank instrument by the same builder. The United States pipe organ factory was located in Crum Lynne, PA. At one time I knew who the architect of the Floral was but over the years I’ve forgotten who that was. I did notice, while doing research on the Floral, that it had the look of a much earlier style house. In my opinion it had an auditorium similar to vaudeville houses built in the late teens / early twenties. The very shallow lobby with half walls separating the rear of the auditorium along with the lack of free hanging chandeliers and very subdued base relief plaster decorations gave it that older look in my opinion. Most movie houses built in 1927 were far more ornate. My guess is that by utilizing existing plans they were able to cut costs. Once again this is all my opinion based on what I have seen and learned over the years.

Leighgate
Leighgate on February 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I saw my very first movie at the Floral when my Mother took me and my sister to see “The Sound of Music.” It really was beautiful inside…my favorite of all of the local theaters. Nassau Drugs (now a computer/fax store) was a pharmacy directly across the street from the Floral (you can see it on street view). At Christmastime, the owners would give free tickets, to kids, for the Floral Theatre. I remember my first Christmas movie was “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” The Stacks were the owners of the pharmacy

Vito
Vito on June 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

I suppose I should also clarify that the tape was placed on the bottom masking and not the screen. It served as a guide for the masking people to set the proper stops and for the tech to establish dead center on the sheeet.

Vito
Vito on June 27, 2011 at 1:39 am

The tape I refered to was removed once final installation was completed and used only to mark center and ratio settings, sorry if I confused you on that. I do not recall screen size Floral/Bellrose

robboehm
robboehm on June 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Interesting. I may be imagining it but I thought I could sometimes see tape thinking there was a repair. Do you know if the Bellerose had a larger screen than the Floral? I seem to remember the proscenium of the Floral being narrower.

Vito
Vito on June 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Yes robboehm, there is a formula for determining proper lens size We have a slide rule type tool that gives proper lens size determined by distance of lens from screen and screen size. Putting the screen size and projection throw into the tool will give the proper lens size to use for 1:85 and scope. Done properly you avoid cropping and “creative aperture plate cutting” to fit screen. Once the screen and proper lens is installed an SMPTE loop run thru the projector will give proper aperture cutting instructions for all formats,this should never be done with just a white light projecd onto the screen. First step is to deterine the exact center of the screen which can be marked with some sort of tape that can be seen from the booth then the projector can be centurned properly,once that is done th loop can be run and apertures cut. In days when we had movable masking a set of tape marks was put on he screen to mark proper width of flat/scope image to enable techs to properly set open close settings of the masking motor.

robboehm
robboehm on June 23, 2011 at 2:41 am

Never experienced the national anthem. Did do God Save the Queen in Toronto and London, England, not Ontario.

Vito, as a person of knowledge, can you tell me something about screen sizes. I always thought that the wide proscenium at the Bellerose might have given it an advantage since every bit of the opening was filled with the Cinemascope screen. Were they standard or was there some sort of formula involving distance from the projection booth? I’m sure some of the theatres couldn’t have had too wide a screen because of structural limitations.

Although our dialogue is taking place on the Floral my home port was the Bellerose which was a block and a half away. Oddly enough if I were venturing out of town it was usually to Queens Village rather than Floral Park. When I got wheels it was everywhere since I wanted to experience as many theatres as possible.

Vito
Vito on June 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Sounds like my kinda projectionist robboehn Unlike the Floral and Bellrose most of the Century houses did have curtain controls in the booth and we would always perform what was called a Delux. After the trailers, shorts, what have you, we would close the curtain and reopen them for the feature. We never showed the masking moving in a change from flat to Scope which was done while the masking was covered by the moving curtain. Some of the theates did not permit “cutting rcords” which meant when it was time to start the show you were not permitted to cut the record or fade it out the music it had to finish before starting the show. That was not the case everywhere but most Century theatres. Do you also remember we ran the Star-Spangeled Banner before the first show on all holidays?

In those days when you worked for Century you put on a show.

robboehm
robboehm on June 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

All the references to the curtain are interesting when, as a usual patron of the Bellerose, the projectionist did some amazing things to create a theatrical experience – on a 20th Century Fox picture he would only have the sound on for the drum intro and only open the curtains for the swell of the music, particularly effective since the speakers were behind the curtain. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. No picture, but you could hear the Nautilus, then project the image on the curtain, like water. The guy was a phenom!

BoxOfficeGirl
BoxOfficeGirl on June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I just updated the photo of the theatre. Hope you all like it. Is there a way to add more pictures?

donidarko
donidarko on June 21, 2011 at 6:23 am

Floral Park’s most memorable Universal Pictures releases during the 70s…Airport 1975, The Other Side of the Mountain, The Sentinel, Airport ‘77, Jaws, Rollercoaster, Earthquake, Jaws 2, The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings, American Graffiti, The Car, Family Plot, The Greek Tycoon, The Hindenburg, Midway, The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2, Two-Minute Warning, Slap Shot, W.C. Fields and Me, Gray Lady Down.

Vito
Vito on April 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

Yup it was the only movie theatre I can recall on LI that had no curtain controls in the booth. Eventually I believe the lights were controled from the booth however the curtain was never motorised to my knowledge.

Vito
Vito on April 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

When I worked the Floral in the mid 60s managers and front ot the house staff were used to work the curtain and operate the lights from backstage. There were no lighting or curtain conrtols in the booth. A buzzer system was used to signal turning up the house lights snd pull the curtain. A signal was rec’d in the booth earlier to alert us that someone was in fact backstage awaiting our signal.

robboehm
robboehm on April 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

It’s interesting to note that the front of the marquee says Floral Park when the name of the theatre was the Floral. This was not the marquee that I remember so it had been changed or modified at some point in time. The vertical also doesn’t look the same as I remembered it. Theatres often changed marquees but, generally, only eliminated verticals so I may be wrong. Needless to say I came up with an exception recalling the new vertical installed at the Triboro, which I actually witnessed.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 25, 2011 at 4:15 am

Also came across this brief article from examiner.com, noting the vestiges of Floral Park’s cinematic heritage that remain in the Floral Terrace catering hall (as well as a Firestone Tire Shop that was once the Lily Theatre)on Jericho Turnpike. The article also notes that theater seats from the famous and long lost Roxy Theatre in Manhattan are now located in a former meeting hall at the old Masonic Temple, built in 1929 at 29 Tulip Avenue!

This photo of the Floral is included in the article, along with a vintage image of the Lily. The movie playing listed on the Floral’s marquee must have been in re-release, as it was first released in 1920.