Bombay Theatre

68-25 Fresh Meadow Lane,
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

silverlover2468
silverlover2468 on April 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

This was a great porno movie house in the 1980s. I met many Hot Older daddies there. I would love to here from any other older men who went there.

EvilPrince
EvilPrince on February 10, 2011 at 4:55 am

Sorry, tangentially off-topic, but someone asked:

“Quantum Leap” – the restaurant or the health food store are no longer there. They changed hands a few times and was mozying a long until the early 2000s when it changed hands after already being in dire straits. It was all downhill from there. In the restaurant’s place is a Colombian restauranmt named “Tienda Vieja” which is owned by a hard-working couple; they make VERY good food, reasonably-priced.
The health food store lay dormant for a short while until a Kosher spupermarkey moved in (2009?), named “Victoria Supermarket”. You don’t have to be Harry Helmsley to know that a supermarket on Fresh Meadow Lane – an industrial street with no parking – is a bad choice for a supermarket. They closed up shop a couple of business days ago and moved on.

jflundy
jflundy on July 24, 2009 at 8:19 am

The following is a link to an article in the Queens Chronicle , and is courtesy of Warren. He comments on the imagein the article: ‘A 1942 photo shows a double feature of “I Wake Up Screaming” & “Swamp Water” on the marquee’.

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zeus1569
zeus1569 on August 24, 2007 at 12:22 pm

We saw the “devil and Miss joes here.and ny friend said to his wife he knew what happended to the fruit!!!!!!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 5, 2006 at 5:56 am

I don’t have a paper handy to check, but it’s possible the theater isn’t listed at all. When I was at the Mayfair in October of 2005 to take those interior photos, I did not take note of an odor such as that which “taurus” on Yahoo so eloquently described. However, the floors were a bit tacky.

In any event, the name on the marquee is “Bombay” just as the name on the old Earle marquee in Jackson Heights is now “Eagle.” The Eagle Theater page on CT accurately reflects its current name with “Earle” as a previous name, and so should the Mayfair’s page be amended to “Bombay Theater.”

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 5, 2006 at 4:02 am

It occurs to me that the current moniker of “Bombay” has not been added to this theater’s listing. In fact, shouldn’t “Bombay Theater” be the main listing as this is how the theater currently operates? That would relegate “Mayfair Theater” to a previous name.

RobertR
RobertR on October 4, 2006 at 7:15 am

1975 day and dating with Lincoln Art
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 24, 2006 at 3:27 pm

Here’s a 1993 shot of the Mayfair when it was still the Mayfair and when it was showing XXX porn:

XXX New Show Every Weds & Sun

The old neon border on the marquee was already masked by aluminum flashing by this time, but the original facade above the marquee still evidenced original (albeit worn) ornamentation, which has been completely eradicated with the theater’s sprucing up as the Bombay:

2005 view as Bombay

movieman69
movieman69 on May 18, 2006 at 2:07 pm

The only time I came view of this theater In it’s operation as it’s “The Mayfair” days Is when a friend of mine had to give another friend a lift to It.. to see some porno’s lol..
I’ve been there recently a few times to do some laundry across the street at the 24hr laundromat.
BTW people where are you finding those fun newspaper ad’s??

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 12, 2006 at 7:32 am

I reorganized my photobucket account and created this Mayfair/Bombay album for all the images I previously posted back in September and October. I also stole a few vintage images Warren had posted and stored them here as well. The old links no longer work.

It also occured to me… shouldn’t this listing be changed to “Bombay Theater” with “Mayfair Theater” as an AKA (or vice versa)?

EcRocker
EcRocker on February 6, 2006 at 5:58 pm

I used to date a girl back in 1973 and we went to see Fidler on the Roof when it played at the Mayfair. Was it $1 back then I am not sure.

Since I am in here does the Quantum Leap restaruant still exsist? They had some really good food. It was located accross the street from the Mayfair what would be the North west corner of Fresh Meadow Lane

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2005 at 9:27 am

Not at all, Warren. Looks great. I only wish I had produced better raw material for you to work with. I’m waiting for prices to come down on the new SLR Digital Cameras out there. Perhaps after the holidays I’ll get my hands on one. The cameras I’ve seen advertised come with 18-55mm zoom lenses, which means you can widen out to a near fish-eye perspective and take in those large auditoriums from almost any vantage point. That will do nothing but encourage me to get inside some theaters and start snapping photos.

RobertR
RobertR on October 25, 2005 at 4:02 am

I would tend to guess that video projector is left over from the porn days. Most Bollywood films are 35mm and scope. It’s go great to see a neighborhood theatre like this again. They should experiment with playing second run American films in-between the Bollywood stuff.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 25, 2005 at 3:57 am

Forgot to add this additional exterior photo from the small employee parking lot in the rear:

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 25, 2005 at 3:55 am

I snapped these night shots of the illuminated Bombay marquee a couple of weeks back:

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I was also able to take my camera inside for a few shots. The theater manager was very nice and accommodating, though he really didn’t know any history about the place. He wasn’t even aware it had been a porn house for so long. He has been there for 5 years and he confirmed that the theater operates on a pretty irregular schedule. They had a few local teens working in the theater to sell admissions and concessions and when I arrived (just before 8pm) there were maybe 3 or 4 people sitting in the auditorium awaiting the screening. The interior is kept clean, but there are definite signs of wear and tear particularly in the auditorium. The ticket booth is set up on the left wall of the outer foyer, which you can make out in the 2nd photo above through the doors. From the foyer, you walk through a 2nd set of doors into the small lobby (about the same size as the foyer), which has a fairly large glass display case set into the left wall, a small snack bar at the rear and rest rooms on the right. You enter the auditorium on the left through glass doors next to the display case. Once inside you can proceed to orchestra seating (center aisle set up) or make a u-turn up the stairs for the loge.

I took two pictures of the foyer below, but they really didn’t come out very well. This was my first time taking interior photos of a theater and I think that I rushed myself, feeling a little sheepish and self-conscious about what I was doing. I didn’t get any shots of the lobby at all! I was able to grab a few shots of the auditorium – but the flash from the digital camera was not enough to light the entire space (and there was insufficient ambient light to get a satisfactory exposure without the flash). I lightened up the image as best I could. I really need to start using my SLR for interior shots – I can take a longer exposure and take advantage of the wider angled 28mm lens – but it’s not digital and I’ll have to scan. Anyway… here’s what I got:

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If you look closely at that shot of the screen (the 3rd photo) you’ll see a video projector hanging from the ceiling. Looks to be mounted pretty close to render a quality image on the screen. I forgot to ask the manager if this was how they presented their movies or if the projection room was still in operation. I know I sort of muffed my opportunity here, but I figured I’d share the results with everyone all the same. Hopefully, I’ll get it better the next time around.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 9, 2005 at 9:09 am

Thanks Warren. Nice contrast to the current marquee shot. You can see that it is pretty much the original except for the replacement of “Mayfair” with “Bombay” and some metal flashing and shielding around the edges and the bottom of the marquee to mask the lightbulb sockets that helped illuminate the sign at night. All these modifications were made when the theater went Bollywood… was that back in the very early ‘90’s? Can’t say exactly when the outside ticket booth was put to rest. I don’t ever recall it being there in the '70’s and '80’s, but my memory could be faulty.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 10:55 am

I attended 7th through 9th grades at George J. Ryan Junior High School (I.S. 216) just a few blocks north of the Mayfair from 1976-1979. I used to commute by bus from Laurelton and would often get off a stop early to grab a snack at the candy store that was on the corner and across the street from the theater at the time (the candy store is now a Health Food Restaurant). In my adulthood, I lived for over 10 years in the neighboring Electchester development and passed by the theater frequently. I used to love the way the original marquee looked when illuminated at night – indeed, one of my regrets is never having photographed either the Mayfair’s or it’s cousin the Utopia’s beautiful neon signage while they were still in operation.

Unfortunately, the Utopia is long gone… but to make some amends to myself, I did snap the following exterior daytime shots of the current Bombay Theater just a couple of weekends back:

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JakeGittes
JakeGittes on July 13, 2005 at 5:06 pm

This was the neighborhood theatre for Harvey and Bob Weinstein of Miramax fame. They both consider the Mayfair their film school. When they attended this was a theatre that specialized in foreign filn. In the late 1970’s it turned to porn for survival. I was friendly with a projecdtionist who worked this theatre and kept him company many nights when he ran XXX product. Theatre could be found only with a Sherpa guide. Think it went XXX bevause if you didn;t live within a four or five block radius, you wouldn’t find it. Similar in design to other Queens theates Utopia, Drake, and Austin ( now Kew Gardens).

RobertR
RobertR on July 13, 2005 at 4:44 pm

In 1974 the Mayfair played Gerard Damianos “Memories Within Miss Aggie”.
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periwinkle
periwinkle on March 5, 2005 at 2:31 pm

i miss when it ran porn!

Debsinnyc
Debsinnyc on January 3, 2005 at 11:53 am

My dad owned the kosher deli directly across the street from the Mayfair during the 1960s and early 70s. I believe I was only in the theater once or twice as I was too young ot attend the “foregn films”. Before going into the X ratead arena, the theater was a $1.00 theater for a short time.

Debra

R143
R143 on November 15, 2004 at 10:34 am

Thank you Warren. I guess that’s better than no movies being played in it.

R143
R143 on October 21, 2004 at 8:35 am

What kind of film does this theater show now?

RobertR
RobertR on September 30, 2004 at 2:05 pm

Is this theatre still open?