104 Middle Neck Road,
Great Neck, NY 11021

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VintageBry on March 18, 2018 at 12:51 pm

So sad as I grew up in that theater and the Squire across the street. What a blown opportunity to reinvigorate the strip in Great Neck. Really tragic to see this happening but it was inevitable as the place turned into a political football and constantly fumbled.

robboehm on February 28, 2018 at 7:37 pm

There will be a public hearing on March 12, 2018 re amendment of the zoning to accommodate residential and retail on the site. The Board of Trustees indicates there is no environmental impact. So much of the Great Neck Estates meeting agendas are not readily available on line. Presume nothing has yet been decided on demo. Approval of the zoning change would seem to be the first step.

robboehm on February 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Tabled again until March 13th.

robboehm on February 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Demolition is on the agenda for the February 13, 2017 meeting (like that will ever happen).

robboehm on September 19, 2016 at 7:18 am

In August the matter was deferred until September 7th. On that date it was deferred until October 10th. The building will fall down from neglect before they vote to demolish it.

robboehm on July 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

At the July 11th meeting the subject of the Playhouse demo was deferred to the August 8 meeting when it will probably be deferred to the September meeting when it will be deferred to….You get the picture.

robboehm on June 20, 2016 at 8:04 am

The fate of the theater continues to be tabled at each meeting. The building will fall down of it’s own volition at the rate things are going.

robboehm on March 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Matt do you have any interior photos? I understand there were a number of dressing rooms, too.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on March 17, 2016 at 1:29 pm

It doesn’t really matter. There’s nothing left inside the auditorium.

robboehm on March 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm

At the March 14th meeting the matter of demolition was tabled another month. So what else is new.

robboehm on February 16, 2016 at 11:38 am

According to the agenda for tonight’s Great Neck Plaza trustees meeting the matter of the Playhouse demolition is to be tabled until the March 14th meeting. On and on. Delays without resolution. If this continues like the plans for the Lynbrook it will be 2030 or so before anything happens.

dallasmovietheaters on November 3, 2015 at 4:00 am

The $450,000 Great Neck Playhouse was launched by Irving Lesser in 1925 with organist Billy Lent at the Wurlitzer. In just its first year, the playhouse tried out 29 different out of town runs. Ring Lardner and Charlie Chaplin had inaugural season tickets. For the tryout world premier of “The Play’s The Thing” by Franz Molnar on October 21, 1926. guests at the Playhouse included George Cohan, Eddie Cantor, the Marx Brothers, and Irving Berlin. Other supporters included W.C. Fields and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

In 1927, Katherine Hepburn would be fired from her first live stage leading role while at the Playhouse, an event she long recounted. Other stars on the stage in its formative days were James Cagney, Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Clark Gable, Ruth Gordon, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Leslie Howard and Barbara Stanwyck. Though films were mixed into the Great neck Playhouse menu, United Artists took on the theatre in the 1930s to change the business model to film-centric purposes.

robboehm on September 15, 2015 at 6:49 am

Since the Board wouldn’t give approval to the demo unless there was a detailed plan addressing the affect on traffic during the process the owners hired a traffic engineer. That report is nearing completion. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

robboehm on June 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm

The oft postponed hearing is now postponed indefinitely. Now, there is also the additional wait for the Nassau County Department of Public Works to weigh in on a proposal to cut off access to Middle Neck Road from Maple Avenue during the demo. Middle Neck Road is a county road.

If this goes on much longer the building will just fall down of its own accord.

robboehm on April 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

There is still talk about preserving it. Just what is left to preserve after all this time? Anybody been in there lately?

robboehm on April 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Decision put off until May 11th.

robboehm on April 6, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Came upon a note I had scribbled when doing some online research. In 1940 there was a major and costly renovation in which the theater was to have been remodeled and redecorated, new seats, screen and marquee and the lobby was to have been enlarged.

robboehm on March 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

Newspaper articles always refer to it as First Playhouse so it sometimes passes under the radar. Now that we have a meeting date we know when to check back. No big deal to resubscribe.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 25, 2015 at 10:37 am

Thanks keep us posted….PS my psge jumped and this I may have UN subscribed hope I didn’t. thanks

robboehm on March 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

The fate of the Playhouse is still up in the air. Discussion on demolition was removed from the agenda of the March Village Board meeting. It MAY be placed on the agenda for April 13th.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 4, 2014 at 2:25 pm

The September 8 meeting robboehem referred to laid an egg according to this item from Newsday of September 10. Mayor David A. Fox said that there were still too many questions about the developer’s plans that had not been answered, and the hearing was postponed indefinitely. I can’t find anything more recent about the project on the Internet, so maybe the fate of the Playhouse is still undecided.