Freeport Theatre

25 E. Sunrise Highway,
Freeport, NY 11520

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Showing 1 - 25 of 33 comments

robboehm
robboehm on July 2, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Katie, how did Nana happen to get this?

KatieDobbins
KatieDobbins on July 2, 2017 at 11:36 am

My Nana has an old hanging lamp that she says she got from the Freeport Movie Theater when it was being torn down. I am wondering if there is anyone who can verify if this lamp is in fact from this theater. I have a photo that I posted. Thank you for your help.

robboehm
robboehm on April 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm

To offset the photo of the Freeport being demolished I’ve uploaded one during the construction phase.

robboehm
robboehm on March 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

Added a photo of the Freeport being demolished.

robboehm
robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Added photo of theater just after it closed.

robboehm
robboehm on November 15, 2013 at 6:50 am

It’s a shame you can’t really see the marquee on the announcement photo. It’s also interesting to see the original street names. One always thinks of Sunrise Highway. So many of the streets in Queens went numeric but theatres built on them retain the old names, e.g. Willard and Polk.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on August 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

The Freeport Theatre closed on September 15, 1972. Its last presentation was a double bill:

THE PUBLIC EYE/ MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

rivoli157
rivoli157 on July 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

Some bookings of the 1960s and 1970s:

8/63-BYE, BYE BIRDIE
8/65-WHATS NEW PUSSYCAT?
8/69-MONTEREY POP
4/70-THE REIVERS
4/70-FUNNY GIRL
4/71-TORA! TORA! TORA!
4/71-CELEBRATION AT BIG SUR

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm

June 1971 saw a booking of “Escape From the Planet of the Apes”.

Then in October 1971 20th hauled out “MAS*H” again as the lower half on a double bill with “The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker”

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

Some early 70s bookings, though the choices were large mainstream films, some it appears were move overs from Merrick. But the theatre was still solid, as the Village of Freeports problems had not fully come to light just yet.

Nov 1970- “2001: A Space Odyssey” Jan 1971-“MAS*H” Feb 1971-“Joe” April 1971-“Tora! Tora! Tora!”

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

A December 1969 booking, Russ Meyers “Vixen” rated X

robboehm
robboehm on November 19, 2011 at 6:10 am

The Fantasy and the Freeport always had the premiere bookings. The Grove and Queens were right up there, too.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 19, 2011 at 3:31 am

I see in the Village Voice, dated Oct, 1, 1970 “Hello, Dolly!” was playing at the Freeport. So at that point it was still getting good bookings

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

In the early 70s I worked as an usher at the other theatre in Freeport,The Grove. As thst and The Freeport were owned by Century,on occasion I would sub at this theatre.It was huge,and quite popular,especially on the weekends. But as the problems in Freeport grew the attendance here and at the Grove dwindled.

After it closed as a theatre , but before being torn down, it was operated as a disco/nightclub for the 25 and over crowd. Then I believe it was an automotive shop for a bit. After that- dark,then torn down.

When I was little I would go here on Sat matinees, saw The Three Stooges, Robinson Caruso on Mars, Cold Turkey, The Russians are Coming, and many others.

I do remember there was an orchestra, loge and balcony, with a smoking section in one of the upper levels. The same was true at the Grove

robboehm
robboehm on April 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Century redid the marquee of the Bellerose in the late 40s; the Park in the 60s when they also upgraded the interior. The facades of the Baldwin and Fantasy became white in the late 60s and the marquees simplified. They added sinage to the Alan which only, originally, had the name on a semi-circular marquee and put the signage for the Floral on the corner of the building when the widening of Jericho Turnpike necessitated the removal of the marquee. They also took the vertical away at the same time.

jflundy
jflundy on August 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm

The photo from 1973 is very different from what I can recall of the look of the Freeport in 1946. That whole massive white box like facade is closer to the look I remember from around 1956, but the marquee is different. Century Circuit did a makeover of many of its theaters in the late 1940’s focusing on the facade, marquee and entry lobby.
The Rialto, Patio and Albermarle in Brooklyn come to mind. They did another up dating on some theaters in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on August 3, 2009 at 4:15 am

Lost Memory: Yes, that’s the Freeport Theater. The photo captures it the way I remember it perfectly (and not in a good way). The area was sad and this obviously once grand theater sat looking forlorn out there on Sunrise Highway.

robboehm
robboehm on March 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I plan on adding the Plaza. I have some material but am holding off since once something is up I don’t think “we” have the ability to change it.

As far as the town is concerned, it is much improved. There is a lot of revitalization of Merrick Road and Main Street and, of course, there’s the whole restaurant row down by the docks.

CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on January 3, 2008 at 4:45 am

A couple of things:

  1. People mention a small theater in Freeport located near the train station called The Plaza. I have no recollection of it but I saw a photo on a Long Island website and would like to know if anyone can add it to this site. I’d like to learn more about it.

  2. Can anyone give their opinions about what they feel “happened” to Freeport? My parents said it was an amazing place in the 50s and 60s and from the looks of the neighborhoods and the size of the homes (some are worthy of a Hampton’s house) it must’ve been quite an elite, upscale area once. How could such an area get so low? The Sunrise Highway corridor you drive through now is horrible. Anyone have any comments?

freeporter
freeporter on December 9, 2007 at 12:06 pm

The Freeport Theater was not near THe Grove – The Grove was down on Merrick Road near what was then called Grove Street. In 1943 I saw “For Me and My Gal” (Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, George Murphy) at The Freeport. When “Gone With the Wind” came to Freeport, it was shown at THe Freeport. It was much like The Grove structurally. THe “third” motion picture place was hardly a theater — The very old, very small Plaza was located right next to the rail road tracks next to the corner of Sunrise Highway and then-Grove Street. I saw all the Andy Hardy films at the Plaza and one early “Road” picture (Bob Hope, B CRosby). As far back as I can recall Freeport (Long Island, NY), starting in 1935- – these were the only movie houses.

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 15, 2007 at 9:13 am

I really appreciate all of the hard work all of you put into this website——Being housebound, it’s a treat for me to see the old theaters again and to read your articles——-I wish sombody could come up with a photo or more info on the Old Rogers theater on Broadway under the Jamaica Elevated near the Flushing Ave entrance in Brooklyn, NY——-If you read some of the posts, you can see how many of us kids from the 40s and 50s loved that old place——-Joe From Florida

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 15, 2007 at 5:48 am

Very nice articles on the Freeport Warren———During the 1960s, my Wife and I went to both the Grove and Freeport theaters and they both were large spacious movie houses with Balconies——but for Splendor & Modernistic style, at that time, the Calderone in Hempstead & the Syosett on Jericho Tpke, surpassed them both——-That’s my recollection of days gone by——but the smaller ones like the Wantagh, Meadowbrook & little old Nassau, all had a certain comfy feeling about them——smaller, but comfortable———Joe From Florida

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 15, 2007 at 5:48 am

Very nice articles on the Freeport Warren———During the 1960s, my Wife and I went to both the Grove and Freeport theaters and they both were large spacious movie houses with Balconies——but for Splendor & Modernistic style, at that time, the Calderone in Hempstead & the Syosett on Jericho Tpke, surpassed them both——-That’s my recollection of days gone by——but the smaller ones like the Wantagh, Meadowbrook & little old Nassau, all had a certain comfy feeling about them——smaller, but comfortable———Joe From Florida

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on May 6, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Mario Bello ran this theater for Cenury for some years

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 6, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Love to see those old photos Lost Memory——-I only wish there were more of them around………I lived in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn until 1959——-then Roosevelt, LI until 1961 when I was married——a short time in Hempstead, then from 1963 to 1976 in Levittown, LI and I have lived in Florida since then———Joe From Florida