Bow-Tie Squire Cinemas

115 Middle Neck Road,
Great Neck, NY 11021

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bmccinemash on November 26, 2015 at 8:35 pm

The strange thing about the Squire was that U.A. Eastern Theatres offices were on top of the Theatre when I worked for U.A. in the 70’s as a Manager at the U.A. Quartet so I spent a lot of time in the Squire, where at the time Mr. Al Lowey was the Manager of both the Squire and the Playhouse and Hope Masades was his Asst., So when Clearview took it over in 1996 it was like a old homecoming for me. I left Clearview in 2001 a year after Clearview was brought by Cablevision and they changed our operating procedures so I left to buy theatres in Florida and form my ow3n company with 2 partners

bmccinemash on November 26, 2015 at 8:19 pm

The history of the Squire is a little off, U.A. did not close the theatre because of bankruptcy, they sold the building to a gentleman by the name of Warren Whurtzberger who then renovated the theatre to 7 screens and because of his money problems he sold the 7 plex to Clearview Cinemas in 1996. I know this because I was the Division Manager for Clearview Cinemas for Long Island at the time of the sale and was responsible for bringing the Squire into the fold as well as the Franklin also owned by Whurtzberger, who had overextended himself with loans from Boston Concession in order to by and renovate the Squire

robboehm on May 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

Photo with original marquee uploaded.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

In 1941, the Esquire Theatre company, operators of the Squire Theatre, were involved in an arbitration case with five major film companies and the operators of the rival Playhouse Theatre. Esquire had filed a claim that the 30-day clearance given the Playhouse was unfair. As part of their case they compared the condition of their newer theater with that of the old Playhouse which had grown a bit shabby. An article about the case in the July 19, 1941, issue of Showmen’s Trade Review included this description of the Squire:

“…approach to the theatre is made through a store on Middle Neck Road, 20 feet wide and 80 feet long, which has been subdivided into a series of vestibules and lobbies, and this terminates in an auditorium approximately 70 feet in width by 135 feet in length. The auditorium is divided into two parts, the lower level and the stadium level, the lower level containing approximately 660 seats, and the stadium containing 330 seats.

“After leaving the entrance lobbies, one approaches a large promenade which terminates in a lounge approximately 16 by 30 feet in size, off of which are anterooms, and the toilet facilities for ladies and gentlemen.

“Part of the original lot, which was 90 feet in width, has been devoted, to exit facilities and boiler room and heating and cooling apparatus. The stadium is completely fireproof in construction, as is the projection booth and the adjacent spaces in the projection booth.

“In addition to the adequate lighting facilities throughout the auditorium Acousticon units for hard of hearing have been installed on 20 chairs.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Here is a link to the Anne Meara piece cited in my previous comment.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

A reminiscence by Anne Meara, who grew up in Great Neck in the 1930s, includes a paragraph in which she mentions going to the Squire Theatre with her mother:

“She loved movies and would take me with her whenever she could. I was thrilled. We would walk down Middleneck Road to the Squire theatre. The Squire Theatre was the Enchanted Wood of Great Neck circa 1935.”
If the Squire was open around 1935, it was probably the proposed house that was announced in the April 11, 1935, issue of The Film Daily:
“DeLuxer for Great Neck

“A 700-seat deluxe house, with adjoining parking space for 250 cars, is to be built in Great Neck, L. I., on a site owned by Pomander Square, Inc. House has been leased to a client of D. Seymour Wolfson, attorney, who is withholding the lessee’s name for the present.”

I’m not familiar with Great Neck, so I don’t know where the parking lot would have been, assuming it was built.

wally 75
wally 75 on June 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm

It’s has 3 theatres now….and you’re right about the ease to get there….

robboehm on June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Islip probably has more potential for sub division. Also it’s at a better location, near where Rt 111 intersects with Main St/Montauk Highway. And, it’s in town and parking isn’t too bad.

wally 75
wally 75 on June 20, 2011 at 6:19 am

Lindenhurst is for rent boats are gone…still in great shape,,,Islip has for rent signs…Here’s two for you Clearview..

robboehm on June 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I think they should resurrect the Islip. True it doesn’t have air conditioning but it’s a nice downtown. But, the previous owners couldn’t make it work. The multiplex in Patchogue didn’t work. Definitely seems like a void but, maybe for a reason. There are a lot of pockets with no coverage, even in Nassau.

Mrmarkus on June 19, 2011 at 12:52 am

Ed, Clearview Cinemas hosts kids' birthday parties,and the name on the marquee is part of the package.The name “Rock” went up for actor/wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,whose birthday was on that weekend.

markp,the union wasn’t canned,not totally,they got reduced hours due to “corporate greed” and letting managers do projection work with no additional pay. I know this because I work there,AND a union guy still.

wally-rumor has it Clearview is looking to expand in Suffolk,its all down to three things:location,location,location. Between Babylon and Sayvile,there is nothing. But Clearview could buy Sayville if the price is right…then heading east,there’s nothing until Mastic.The old UA Patchogue would have been somewhat ideal,but that place has seen better days.Not to mention,someone had better plans…

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Took some photos of the former Playhouse also, Wally, and posted them on that page.

wally 75
wally 75 on April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Thanks Ed:

To bad The Playhouse marquee wasn’t still there….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Was in the neighborhood yesterday and snapped a few shots of the Squire with my cell phone:

Middle Neck Road

Happy Birthday…


Just curious if having birthday wishes on the marquee is a frequent custom at the Squire. I posted a pair of shots taken at night back on November 24, 2006, and I am just noticing now that the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” appear on the northern face of the marquee. In the pics I took yesterday, the southern face of the marquee announces “HAPPY BDAY ANGELA AND ROCK.”

In any event, the sidewalks of Middle Neck Road were as busy as ever and I did spot a number of folks heading into the theatre while I was loitering around.

jpark377 on January 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Wally- Islip isn’t long for this world. There simply isn’t any money to be made there. Believe me, JL would have never walked away from that theater is he could have made some money with it. Between the energy costs, town resistance to any true upgrade/expansion, existing leaking roof, etc., let’s turn the page and move on.

wally 75
wally 75 on August 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm

clearview has only one theatre in suffolk BABYLON..


maybe someone who reads this knows someone who knows someone at

clearview….just a thought…
ps HOPE is a live and well…

robboehm on March 13, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Just recently looking at Long Island Memories I came upon a nice photo of the Squire which was on a b & w post card dated 1951.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on December 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm

If you see Sarah Hughes walking around, give her… ummmm… 20 kisses from me.

I thankoff youuu

jpark377 on May 28, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Once again, an incorrect opening description of the theater. It was taken over in the mid-1990’s by an individual, from United Artists who was having a fire-sale at the time, before their bankrupcy. WW did a fantastic job renovating the building, after many years of disrepair. Clearview Cinemas took it over soon afterwards.

efriedmann on May 21, 2008 at 7:21 am

Movie534, so I suppose having a serious talk with the current theater manager won’t do any good?

When I got home last night, I was so angry, that I told my wife when we go to see the new INDIANA JONES movie, we’re driving to Port Washington, where I have (so far) had more calming experiences.

markp on May 21, 2008 at 6:51 am

Sorry to hear of your lousy expeirience Love Movies. But I can say I’m not surprised. I mean I worked for Clearview for almost 8 years before they canned the union, and you must remember, this chain is run by Jimmy Dolan and his band of pencil pushers. They only worry about making things look good for the stockholders. I remember all the rules and procedures they had back in the day, and not a one was followed. Plus, the guy who is now the district manager for your area is the biggest fool of all. He’s only there to help get rid of the union projectionists and make sure the concession prices keep going up to make the profit margins, and himself, look good.

efriedmann on May 21, 2008 at 6:26 am

I hate to have to say this about my own town theater, but it has really gone to the dogs, in my opinion. I went there last night to see IRON MAN; specifically waiting nearly two weeks after it opened and going on a weeknight. In short, the place was an absolute zoo, resembling that of a typical urban multiplex. Children and teenagers everywhere, running around the theater, talking loudly while the movies are in progress, and unable to break away from their pathetic cell phones.

If the management of this theater cannot enforce any guidelines for proper behavior in this theater, then they are going to lose my business and anyone else that I can convice not to patron this place. And if it means the closing of my town theater, then so be it!

efriedmann on May 22, 2007 at 7:53 am

I grew up in Great Neck from 1979 to 1993 and I live there again now on South Middle Neck Road. I still go to the Squire once in a while (my last movie there was LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA), but it’s definately not what it once was. Too many chopped-up theaters.

I seem to recall that the last movie that played there when it was a single screen was THE VERDICT in 1982.

I, too, remember when RETURN OF THE JEDI opened there in 1983. Saw it two days after it opened and the theater was packed to the rim. I can still remember screaming, cheering kids during the battle of Endor.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 24, 2006 at 5:43 pm

Sorry… here’s the correct link for that first shot:
Squire shot 1

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 24, 2006 at 5:34 pm

Here are a pair of shots I snagged tonight of the Squire’s illuminated marquee.

[url=}Squire shot 1[/url]
Squire shot 2

While I was there, I forgot to look and see if any recognizable traces remain of the Playhouse that was across the street. Perhaps that’s best left to a daytime excursion.