104 Middle Neck Road,
Great Neck, NY 11021

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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.

robboehm on August 22, 2014 at 6:55 am

Next hearing is September 8th.

robboehm on August 20, 2014 at 7:28 am

Nothing further on the demolition. The Village Trustees have requested a detailed timetable re the demolition because of the impact it will have on the village’s main drag.

wally 75
wally 75 on July 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

If you go to google earth it will show the theatre…the apts were always there..when you go to a street view the entrance and marque was below the first apt. The lobby was under the apt.’s..the theatre it self is still as it was stores replace lobby…I ran The Playhouse for a few years under UA…the only other thing changed, was an alley that was on Middleneck Rd that theatre patrons could exit now it’s a store..

robboehm on July 18, 2014 at 7:35 am

Now, more than ever it’s time to try to get inside and take pictures. It was announced that The Village of Great Neck Estates Board will hold a public hearing on August 6 (2014)on a plan to raze the theatre to make way for a new apartment building with retail space and parking. The latter is something which is sorely needed.

There are attempts to have the building given Landmark status. At the minimum the Historical Society wants the facade preserved.

Anybody see the facade? Doesn’t look like anything, much less a theatre.

robboehm on October 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Go for it. You might try going via the historical society. One of the women I spoke to a number of years ago had a contact.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 11, 2013 at 9:33 am

This raises a question as to what remains, if anything, of the theater’s interior? The lower level is clearly a parking lot, with driveway located at what used to be the foyer wall at the back of the house. But, is there anything left above the garage and at the front of the house? Perhaps the proscenium? Ceiling and balcony? Wonder if they’d allow whatever remains to be photographed for posterity.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

The condominium project at the Great Neck Playhouse has not been completed, and I’m not sure it’s even underway yet. When it does get underway, the theater will probably be demolished rather than converted for a new use.

This article from April 25, 2013, said that the developer wanted to demolish the theater and build a new building that would replicate the facade, rather than preserving the street-front walls per the original plans for the project.

An entry from September 9 on the Great Neck Historical Society’s Facebook page says:

“It seems quite clear that demolition of the Playhouse is a certainty. The architect presented their plans, and folks were only permitted to ask questions, not state their positions. No answers were permitted to the questions, but all questions were to be answered in writing at a future date.”
The Facebook page has no more recent posts on the subject of the Playhouse. If we have a demolition watch list, this theater should be placed on it.

Kamm on March 19, 2013 at 12:02 am

I used to go to moves at the Playhouse theater when I was a kid, and it is a memorable part of my childhood. It seems like it should be a crime that it was gutted to make condos. It’s sort of like someone using a Van Gogh for firewood. I’m all for personal property rights, but I wish Playhouse had had some sort of landmark/historical structure protection.

wally 75
wally 75 on July 21, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Nice job…except for gate and flower urn, that what it looked like through the 70’s…I had new carpet put down from the box office area to all three floors and made over all the walls giving it the 1923 vibe..

wally 75
wally 75 on June 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

ok… the marquee was like Manhasset with neon Playhouse on top each side but larger…

robboehm on June 11, 2012 at 6:14 am

Pretty dramatic photo in Black and White. Whets the appetite.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 11, 2012 at 6:09 am

Wally75, if you ever find any of your old pics of the Playhouse, please be sure to post them here (or send them my way and I’ll gladly do it for you)!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 11, 2012 at 6:06 am

Robboehm, here’s a link to a B&W shot of the screen and front of the house from the balcony during the Playhouse’s waning days as a movie house. This link had been erroneously posted on the 8th Street Playhouse page, and I’m surprised it was never re-posted here… until now, that is.

The image is from photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, who took a series of images at several different cinemas, where he locked down a large-format camera at some central point opposite the screen and then opened the shutter for the duration of the movie. The results were quite lovely. I’m sure if you google the photographer’s name, you’ll find a number of these stills floating around the web.

robboehm on June 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Ed it’s nice that you’ve posted current photos but, reviewing the comments, there is not one photo, or link, to see what the theatre looked like in the day. What kind of marquee was there? The interior was supposed to have been nice…….

nhpbob on November 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm

I worked there in its final year, I believe (I recall us showing “Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip” and “Four Friends” and “Personal Best”) and even helped with its conversion to a legit live theater again. Helped scrape off old paint on the railings, and loved helping it come alive again. I got to walk on the stage, and up above were old scenic flats!!! Could they have been holdovers from the 1920s when the Marx Bros, some who lived in town, staged “The Cocoanuts”??

wally 75
wally 75 on August 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm

This may be a repeat of something I said but, the area left of the condo sign and to the right of vogue store was an alley that was the area where all the eastside of the Playhouse fire escapes and the apt. fire escapes would come together to take them to the street…under the stairs was a dumpster for apt. and Playhouse..the area was all open then…and store with the black sign 2nd from the left was the Playhouse entrance……more later..

wally 75
wally 75 on August 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm

The apts. you see on Middle Neck road are the same ones that have been there since 1923…they just fluffed them up and called them condos…Ed that picture you took looking south…has always looked that way…the shorter of the three was back stage entrance that would take you to the dressing rooms and under the stage…more soon

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 30, 2011 at 10:44 am

Still puzzles me how the auditorium space could have been converted to residential. There are no windows at all that have been punched through any of the auditorium walls, as you can see from the photos I posted. Not to mention that the upper floor or two doesn’t even connect to the original apartment building that fronts Middle Neck Road. Still wondering exactly what was converted to what, aside from the garage that obviously exists on the ground floor where the foyer and rear orchestra were situated.

robboehm on August 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

According to someone from the Great Neck Historical Society the old dressing rooms and cages (!) existed in the basement after the conversion to residential. Never established whether they are still there.