Calderone Theater

145 N. Franklin Street,
Hempstead, NY 11550

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Calderone Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Named after its owner, the Calderone Theater was the last to be constructed by this family chain on Long Island, around 1948-49.

Over the years it operated dually as a movie house and concert venue. Throughout the 1970’s and into the early-1980’s, the Calderone Theater played to packed houses, booking the likes of The Dead, Aerosmith, etc. As the neighborhood fell under bad times, so did the Calderone Theater.

The theater went through a series of uses and operators over the last 20 years, ultimately getting split up into a 7 screen multiplex. It has most recently been taken over by a local church that is in the process of restoring the auditorium for their congregation.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 46 comments)

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 30, 2011 at 8:09 am

If the floors were carpeted, that might have been the reason, rather than cheap construction of the building. It could have been the carpeting or padding underneath it.

robboehm
robboehm on August 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm

It was cheap carpet too.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

in 1979 I appeared in a live stage show here. It was sort of odd being on the stage after having seen movies here

lmf1957
lmf1957 on January 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

used to go there in the 50s, brings back memories.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

When the Skouras Calderone had its grand opening on the night of June 21, 1949, Newsday described it as “America’s largest postwar theater,” with a construction cost of about $1,350,000. Proceeds from that night’s gala were contributed to the Hempstead Community Chest. 20th Century-Fox, which had a corporate connection to Skouras Theatres, provided a sneak preview of its Technicolor musical, “You’re My Everything,” which was due to open later that summer in NYC at the Roxy Theatre. The Calderone opened to the public the next day, with a double feature of MGM’s “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a Technicolor musical with Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra, and Screen Guild’s B&W “I Shot Jesse James.”

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

Before wide-screen, movies tended to appear lost in the vastness of the new Calderone Theatre: boxofficemagazine

robboehm
robboehm on June 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm

From the photo above it would seem that the screen must have been very small in the beginning. Since the proscenium was very small what did they do to accommodate CinemaScope and the like?

RobertR
RobertR on June 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

@robboehn One of the pictures shows the front all draped for the wide Cinemascope screen

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 3, 2012 at 9:04 am

Described in this 1949 trade article: boxofficemagazine

robboehm
robboehm on August 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

During the period when it was split up into 7 auditoriums it was known as the Village Cinemas.

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