Manhasset Cinemas

430 Plandome Road,
Manhasset, NY 11030

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miclup
miclup on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 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.

celboy
celboy on August 24, 2010 at 5:40 am

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

PhilMiller
PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 5:30 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.

PhilMiller
PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 5:19 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
PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

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
PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 8:38 am

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
PhilMiller on July 7, 2009 at 8:25 am

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
PhilMiller on July 6, 2009 at 6:30 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
PhilMiller on July 6, 2009 at 12:47 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

Vodhin
Vodhin on October 19, 2008 at 1:59 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 )

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on July 6, 2008 at 12:20 am

According to both the listings in the News and Post this picture currently has the following films, Get Smart, Kit Kittredge:All American Girl, Love Guru, Kung Fu Panda and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. First don’t they always play more arty fare and second even with Love Guru listed at 1 show a day this works out to four screens when they have 3. I could see one paper printing the wrong listings but both. Has this theater gone commercial?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 31, 2007 at 12:51 pm

A newspaper ad from November 10th, 1938, describes the Manhasset Theatre as “North Shore’s Smart & Intimate Cinema.” The current attraction was the Astaire-Rogers musical, “Carefree,” supported by a Technicolor short, “Fashion Forecast,” a Disney cartoon, and newsreel.

wally 75
wally 75 on September 24, 2007 at 12:02 am

even in the 70’s when ua was…ua eastern theatres..m s skorus..
was still on the face plate of marque..

it had to do with history of the skorus family and salah hassanein going back to the rivoli nyc…

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 23, 2007 at 12:19 pm

It was originally called the Manhasset, and says so in the introduction.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 23, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I think an AKA is in order here for “Manhasset Theatre,” since surely this was not called “Cinemas” when it was a single screen.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 23, 2007 at 12:19 am

Forgot to mention that I had my camera on me and snapped some more shots of the Manhasset:

Start here with this exterior shot and click “next” until you hit the evening shots I took last November. There are about 19 shots.

Just to note a couple of things… In the first couple of shots, you’ll notice that the “Clearview Cinemas” signage that was at the apex of the marquee canopy has gone missing and the old “United Artists” logo that had been under it can be made out. Also, I grabbed some shots of the theatre’s old cieling. Looks like the basic streamline deco design is intact, but it has been completely painted in a flat coat of coal-black paint – completely obscuring any design from the naked eye.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 23, 2007 at 12:12 am

Well, I attended the 11am showing today of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” at the Manhasset with my two kids. To my delight, the movie played in the former balcony theater and not one of the downstairs theaters as was the case when saps saw “Singing in the Rain” with his daughter. To my great disappointment, however, when we got upstairs to our seats, we found a blue DVD player standby image being projected on the screen – and I knew we were in for what amounts to giant-projection-TV. I wanted to leave right then and there and ask for a refund of my tickets and the unopened water and candy bars we just purchased, but the kids implored me to stay – my daughter in particular keen to see the image of the movie (whatever the source) projected on a theatre-sized screen. I caved-in and we remained for the show – even though I had sworn to myself that I would not pay for a DVD presentation.

I should probably back up to the night before the showing when I called the theatre to confirm the showing. Someone advised me that Clearview had elimated the Saturday and Sunday screenings from the Hollywood Classics schedule and that there would be no further showing of this title. I was miffed and asked if the presentation had been film or video projection – and was told that it had been FILM! This made me even angrier, so I went to Clearview’s site and submitted a complaint. Our old buddy (from the Ziegfeld page) Craig O'Connor responded (as did another Clearview rep) to let me know that there must have been a misunderstanding and that the show was to go on precisely as scheduled (and still advertised on the Clearview site, by the way).

I am greatful for the efforts Craig and the rest of the Clearview staff made in getting back to me at a pretty late hour on Friday to clear this whole thing up, but I was only in for further disappointment at the prospect of what was basically a glorified DVD viewing. After all, I already own the damned DVD of “IAMMMMW!” I took some solace when I won the pre-screening raffle for a free Clearview movie pass (a definite rigged affair as I had purchased three of the five tickets sold for this morning’s screening)!

In any event, the charms of the movie and shared experience with my kids worked their magic and we find ourselves immersed in the film. Well, at least the kids were. The too-dark and grainy (and somewhat distorted) image from the DVD projector and the non-surround sound would frequently jolt me from my complete enjoyment of the movie – but I put those feelings aside for the sake of the kids and we had ourselves a good time despite it all.

And as always, Clearview staff is very freindly and the theatre immaculate. I was chatting with one of the workers there and he indicated that 95% of the classics are DVD presentations. I guess I might have known that. Sure makes availability of titles a whole lot wider. The staffer also told me that at the beginning of the series they were getting films – but due to the length of some of the older classics they had been screening, there’d be 12 or more reels to be assembled for the platter (opposed to the usual 8 reels for the average modern movie they play at the Manhasset). So the switch to DVD was also a function of too much damn work to assemble and breakdown reels for a print that would only be screened a few times before being shipped back.

Anyway, with all due respect to Craig and the folks at Clearview and the Manhasset – I won’t be going back for any other DVD presentations. I’ll take my classics strictly on film from here on out. At least until classic series begin to utilize true digital cinema projection – which will probably have to wait until data storage and download fees come down significantly.

Oh… and if you’re out there, Vodhin, I can’t say that I saw your ghost (which I had totally forgotten about until I came back to this page to post these comments) but there were a number of times today that I found myself looking back over my shoulder because I swore there was someone standing or moving around in the back row (which there wasn’t).

wally 75
wally 75 on September 8, 2007 at 4:47 pm

when we had mary poppins and let the good times roll…reg. patrons

were surprised to hear the great stereo sound it had..

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 31, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Thanks, saps. I was hoping for the nice intact balcony! How is the size of that auditorium – and more importantly, the screen size? I’m happy they had a proper plate to preserve the film’s correct aspect ratio. Did they mask the screen on the left and right?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 31, 2007 at 9:46 am

The screening of “Singin'in the Rain” at the Manhasset was on film, in a ground floor theatre, the last one on the left.

One thing I should note, as I recall the film was shown in the proper aspect ratio, Academy standard (nearly square), meaning that we saw the whole image as filmed, and the feet weren’t cut off. Unfortunately, when I saw “Singin'” again last weekend at Clearview’s Middlebrook Galleria (in Ocean Township, NJ) it was presented in today’s rectangular shape, and the feet were cut off in virtually every dance number, which was a damned shame.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 31, 2007 at 12:47 am

I see that Clearview runs a Hollywood Classics series out of one of the Manhasset auditoriums (I presume this is how you came to watch “Singing in the Rain” here with your daughter, saps). I’ve heard that many of the films at the Chelsea series are actually digital DVD projections… Does the series at the Manhasset run actual 35mm prints or is this also run via a video projection system? I’m curious because the clearview website lists “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” starting September 19th here and if I can anticipate a decent 35 mm print, I’d love to make it down. I’ll pass on a DVD projection, however.

Also… what auditorium is the classic series held in? Hopefully, the balcony theater?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 21, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Hey saps… Those Verizon commercials were filmed a few years back – I remember them being on TV at least 4 or 5 years ago. They’ve only just come back into circulation again recently. Not sure how long Clearview has run the Manhasset – still, pretty ironic that the marquee figures so prominently in a competitor’s advertisement!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 23, 2007 at 5:44 pm

I was here not too long ago for a screening of “Singin' in the Rain” with my 2-½ year old daughter. We’d seen the DVD many times, but we were both mesmerized by the beautiful Technicolor print and full sound up there on the big screen. She didn’t budge an inch for the entire running time, except once to climb on my lap to get more comfy.

Before the show, they had a drawing for a free pass and let her pick the winning number out of a bag — and she picked my ticket! (The fix was in?…nah!)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on July 23, 2007 at 5:18 pm

scary indeed. also, verizon ads dont play at clearview, but at other chains.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 23, 2007 at 10:14 am

This theater’s marquee and outside vestibule are featured in the new Verizon cable TV commercials, which is somewhat ironic since the Manhasset is owned by Clearview, which is owned by Cablevision, which is Verizon’s main competitor.

How did something like that slip by, or is Verizon zinging it to Cablevision? Either way, it made me chuckle.