Bellerose Theater

245-14 Jericho Turnpike,
Floral Park, NY 11001

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Bellerose Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Bellerose Theater opened in 1926 and is located on Jericho Turnpike at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Rocky Hill Road (today renamed Braddock Avenue). It stands just east of the Cross Island, about a mile away from the Floral Theatre.

Originally seating 1,180, it was last operated by the Century Theaters chain and closed in the mid-1980’s with 880 seats. The building was gutted internally and became a carpet store. Today it is in use as a martial arts store and for storage.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 169 comments)

robboehm
robboehm on April 26, 2015 at 1:59 am

You have to look in the photos section.

forty9nash
forty9nash on April 26, 2015 at 4:25 am

Can someone post the link to the photo’s please? I don’t know where to go to view them. Thanks

robboehm
robboehm on April 26, 2015 at 8:12 am

There is no real link. Just below the name of the theater there are several option; photos is one of them.

DonutKnook
DonutKnook on December 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

Does anyone remember back in the early 1970’s when the belrose theater was alive and well. There was a clothing store named MOSHKINS, spelling? Also a shop called the DONUT KNOOK just to the right of the theater on the corner. Now it looks like the karate shop consumed that breakfast lunch shop and made it one. My Dad and Mom use to own the shop and get a lot of the matinee movie business. Was a great part of my life . If anyone has any pics of that era which shows the store, please post if you can. Thank You

robboehm
robboehm on December 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

I have been trying to get pictures of the Bellerose with the original boxy marquee. The Bellerose was alive and well when I moved east in 1967. At that time the store on the corner of Jericho and 246th Street, in the theater building, was a florist. The store to the west was the American Beauty Shop. Moskins was the double store further west, then the tailor, butcher and barber shops.

DonutKnook
DonutKnook on December 15, 2015 at 1:38 am

Yes, it was a florist that went out of business which then my Mother & Father re-opened as a lunch shop. She had a smaller store just off 246th going east about a block then took over the Belrose theater location. Believe it or not the colors were like Dunkin" Donuts . Guess whats there now across the street on the corner, Dunkin" Donuts. At least at last look. Towards the end they turned the Belrose into a $1 theater to try and survive. Thanks for responding! If i find pics i will post, Looks like if i find what i am looking for there is a good chance the original Marquee will be in the pic.

robboehm
robboehm on December 15, 2015 at 2:34 am

Re being a discount house. After being a discount house the Bellerose was closed and the Floral became the discount house. Then the Bellerose was reopened. Don’t really know what the story was with the Floral. If nothing else the Bellerose was better situated with proximity to the Cross Island Parkway and the Q1 and Q36 bus routes. Parking was a problem however. Was just back in Bellerose in September, 244th between Ontario and Superior, and it looked liked the city. Not one open parking space to be seen. When I was a kid not everybody had cars and those that did, with one exception (and that was, I suspect, that they were show off their Chrysler) kept them garaged.

When I lived there the median island hadn’t been installed separating Jamaica Avenue and Jericho Turnpike. When it was they narrowed the sidewalks resulting in the marquee taking some bad hits.

Doubt if you’ll find pictures of the old marquee. If my memory is correct it was installed around 1950. Remember them modifying the steel and chipping some of the facade on the building.

An aside. Were you around when the, then, Franklin National Bank had the drive in window off 247/Colonial with a turntable? I believe the turntable may still be there.

DonutKnook
DonutKnook on December 15, 2015 at 4:40 am

Sorry, A little before my time. Also you might be right about the pics, nothing so far. I just now found out that area is considered Floral Park. My father and I seen the movie Jaws at the Floral Park theater which had a balcony and the oldest theater with a balcony i had been to was the DuPont Theater in Wilmington Delaware. The DuPont’s had their own Box and no movie started until they arrived and Sat down. The day I attended neither was in play. Funny thing we moved out west years later and I took a job as an Usher for A M C, Right up my alley back then.

robboehm
robboehm on December 15, 2015 at 11:41 am

There had been some talk about adding a balcony to the Bellerose. The ceiling was certainly sufficiently high and there was a grand staircase which went up to the lounge. I believe when the theater was originally built the restrooms were in the basement and the upper lounge only done in later years. The theater was shuttered for a time in the 1940s and was renovated when it reopened. That may have been, if it was done later, when the upstairs lounge was created. However I don’t think the new marquee occurred until later.

As far as Bellerose vs. Floral Park is concerned, not too many years ago it was decided that the Nassau County portion of Bellerose not be serviced by the Bellerose Post Office (which is a hell of a lot closer than the Floral Park one to which it was assigned). It was already confusing enough with the Jamaica Avenue/Jericho Turnpike split but they compounded it by making Bellerose Nassau, Floral Park.

In retrospect I wonder why they put a new, modern marquee on the Bellerose. The ones on the Floral, Queens and Community (all Century operated) basically kept their old marquees but just modified them. The Bellerose most resembled the community but all the lights were incandescent. Same color scheme as the Queens, yellow running lights, green background, Bellerose letters in white.

robboehm
robboehm on January 11, 2016 at 9:44 am

Uploaded a 1969 photo of the theatre still in operation. This was taken after a median was installed and the sidewalks were reduced in width. Notice that the front of the marquee has been severely damaged. Aluminum was placed over a portion of the bottom. The section which read “A Century Theatre” has been totally trashed. Additional ornamentation which was originally above that is missing.

So, now we need to see a picture of the marquee in its entirety and a picture of the original which was boxy and had white incandescent letters spelling “Bellerose” and yellow running lights.

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