Bow-Tie Manhasset Cinemas

430 Plandome Road,
Manhasset, NY 11030

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Bow-Tie Manhasset Cinemas

Originally opened in 1927, the old Manhasset Theater continues to operate as one of the few remaining main street movie houses in Nassau County. Although the old auditorium has been carved up into three small screens, the Art Deco style facade and curved marquee remain beautifully intact.

Operated in recent years by Clearview Cinemas, in June 2013, Bow-Tie Cinemas took over most Clearview locations, including this one.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

Vodhin on October 19, 2008 at 6:59 am

Ed Solero – thank you for the link in your reply 6 posts up. I was very happe to see that the water fountain is still there, and still has the built in light working (I remember convincing the UA electrician to replace the old ceramic fixtures back in the late 80’s so we could get it lit again).

I also must say that the new paint job is a big improvement over the dreary grays that UA first started back in 1986 and Clearview decided to continue with a fresh coat of the dreary gray when they took over 10 years ago.

It also looks like the lilly popcorn truck has hopped the curb a few more times, too: many a Thursday afternoon I’d arrived to open the Manhasset Theatre and had to hunt up and down the sidewalk for the missing letters that would pop off when ever that truck het the marquee… Once I found one in the tree on the corner…

Now, you did get a good shot of the old ceiling (in the balcony theatre) and did you notice the rectangleular board in the center of the big circle? That’s covering the original winch opening for the chandelier that once was there (and it is also covering a couple of air conditioning vents that were on either side of the winch opening. Last I was up in the attic, the winch pulleys were still in place. I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but I think the winch to lower the chandelier was backstage somewhere, maybe in the blower room (up and behind theatre 1). I can only remember that there were 2 pulleys I’d found: one in the center of the ceiling, and the other one was near one of the edges of the ceiling (the walls and ceiling are- believe it or not -one single piece of iron wire-lath, cement and plaster suspended from the roof trusses. Think giant jello mold). The second pulley was in line with the one in the center, and all I can remember was thinking “what a strange place to run the winching rope”. Part of me wants to remember it near the projection booth, but another part says it was near one of the “dead” drops near the old precemium (the dead space between the curving, inner walls and the cinderblock outside walls: when seen from the attic, you can look all the way down to the ground below- if you’re careful…)

Anyway, that’s this year’s post :D

(For anyone looking for the links in my post on Feb 14, 2007, they are now defunct- and there’s no edit function available – but the images are still obtainable:

View link
View link
View link
View link
View link )

PhilMiller on July 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I worked at the Manhasset in 1949 and 1950. It was then part of the Skouras chain on Long Island, which included the Beacon in Port Washington and the Playhouse and Squire in Great Neck. However, unlike those theaters the Manhasset was unique for it was a single feature theater, and to my knowledge the only one on the North Shore. Monday through Friday the theater ran one show at 1:00PM,
then closed down, and at 7:00PM reopened and ran two more. Saturday and Sunday it ran continuously from 1:00PM to closing, but during the fall, winter and spring Saturday usually started with a children’s matinee.

serial chapter

PhilMiller on July 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm

This matinee included a newsreel, cartoon, chapter of a serial, and then a feature suitable for young people. When that ended the regular show started.

PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

The Manhasset was also used for private screenings of films by entertainment executives who lived in the vicinity. These were usually shown after the last show in the evening. It was also occasionally used for public events and fund raising. I recall one particular fund raiser for the planned North Shore Hospital that featured stars of opera, and stage. Somehow or other they did manage to get a piano in there. The star of the evening was Licia
Albanese. The manager had every one dressed to the nines-everyone with white gloves. It was a success.

PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Re: the box office (Vohdin and Solero). This did indeed stand outside the entrance doors where the “M” is in the terrazo now. It was 7 or 8 ft. tall and the facade was wood, probably mahogany.
It was 3' wide, 4' deep, had glass windows on the front and sides (the side windows were partially curtained) and a door on the back.
The booth was heated and contained the ticket and change dispensing equipment, a phone, a buzzer to the manager’s office, an overhead light, and a high backed stool for the cashier. It was indeed a tight fit. You had to pull out the stool, load the ticket magazines, then in went the cashier followed by the stool.

PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Then you went through the first set of doors and as described in previous posts moved toward the lobby doors where you ticket was taken. The lobby was totally art deco in design, furniture, carpeting, lighting. As you came in straight ahead was a faux fire place with a large mirror over it and upholstered arm chairs on either side. As previously noted the lobby dog legged to the right and the lay out is the same. Amazingly the water fountain is still there. In 1949, just to the left of the fountain, was a candy machine, the only refreshment stand in the theater, dispensing five items. This was to change in the next year 1950.

PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm

In 1950 the chain installed a candy “cabinet”, with wings that folded in when shut, a large red Coca Cola cooler that held bottles of Coca Cola, and a counter to warm and serve popcorn. These were all positioned in front of the fireplace, and while the equipment may have changed I think the refreshment area is still in the same place. The candy machine was a thing of the past. The large oval recess in the lobby ceiling originally contained a large oval frosted glass art deco chandelier which cast most of the light up, and less down. There were also lamps around the lobby as well.

PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I seem to recall another set of doors leading from the lobby to the back of the theater. To my knowledge these were never closed. On your right was the back wall of the theater, straight ahead on the right the stairs to the loge (balcony) and on your right the left, center and right aisles to the orchestra seats. The manager’s office was tucked under the balcony stairs and was tiny. The balcony was the only place in the theater where you could smoke, so there was an extra charge to sit up there. No child was permitted in the balcony without and adult.

celboy on August 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

They are closed for renovations. Are they getting upgraded to digital?

miclup on August 30, 2011 at 5:01 am

PhilMiller is absolutely correct, at the Manhasset Cinema, the auditorium opened up to a lovely corridor and then to doors that led out to the lobby and Plandome Road. This was a magnificent single screen theater until about 1977 when it was cut up into 3 screens. The programming remains amazing but the wonderful theater is sorely missed. I saw so many films here that I still remember the phone number which remains unchanged.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater