Arion Theatre

73-26 Metropolitan Avenue,
Middle Village, NY 11379

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Arion Theatre

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Located in the Middle Village area, this theatre was the first in Queens to be wired for sound and played “The Jazz Singer”. It spent a lifetime playing double features for low prices, along with kiddie matinees, midnight shows and revivals.

It closed in the mid-1980’s amid plans to turn it into a triplex, which never happened. It became a RiteAid drugstore, which was closed in March 2009.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 109 comments)

VacantLots
VacantLots on June 4, 2011 at 3:10 am

I remember the Arion with great affection, and I’m glad to see so many have equally-fond memories. I remember being a kid and seeing movies like “Tales From The Crypt”, “Night of the Living Dead” (orig. B&W – 1968 ?), “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, “Oliver”, heck, even “The Sound of Music”.

I remember being told by my parents to buy candy outside because it was a better value, but Milk Duds and other stuff just wasn’t the same unless you got it in those large “movie house boxes.” I remember going up to the counter and being served by a woman with short blond hair. She was also the ticket seller before the movie started. Everybody that I talk to about the Arion remembers her but can never tell me her name or if she even lived in Middle Village. She’s sort of a part of history without a name. Can anyone help me out with this?

Talking about the candy counter, the popcorn in those huge tubs was also something that a lot of us looked forward to on a Saturday afternoon.

Another part of the Arion that I remember was the upper level. I’m a little fuzzy on this one so jump right in and set me straight. You walked past the candy counter (screen and seating on your right) and went toward a staircase and then walked left and up the stairs. Upstairs was the projection room and the bathrooms. Am I on-track here or am I in another theater? If anyone can fill in details, that would be great.

I’ve rambled on long enough, but I have one last thing to add: I remember being told that there was an apartment above the theater. I was told it was accessed by opening the door that was used to access the back of the movie-poster displays (the door fronted the street (Metro.)). Any truth to this, or was this just another way of pulling the wool over the eyes of a naive kid? LOL

tommacny
tommacny on August 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Just found this site—great—the name of the lady who sold tickets and candy was “Rita Zakar” and she lived around the corner on 75th st on the hill. There was no upper level in the Arion. Do you remember the male matron inside who had a speech impediment who always told you to “PUDDA FOOT DOWN”

Spencer Wulwick
Spencer Wulwick on May 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

Wow! I hope some of you are still around because I just found this site and am absolutely ecstatic about the comments from Middle Villagers.

I have a website called mymvlc.com that is all about Middle Village with many stories, tons of pictures and updated on a daily basis.

I would love to have more information about the owner of United Cigar Stores, etc. etc.

Please go to the website and send me an email so we can communicate with one another.

I’m especially anxious to hear from revchuck because I lived 2 blocks away from that luncheonette and need more information about it. Likewise, for poe197, berternie, vacantlots and tomnacy (my mother was a friend of Rita Zakar and Rita has attended one (at least) of our annual Middle Village Reunions in Florida.

You can also reach me at (which stands for My Middle Village Love Connection

Spencer Wulwick
Spencer Wulwick on May 18, 2013 at 7:09 am

Can you use html code in comments? I’m trying it here.

www.mymvlc.com

mymvlc.com

Spencer Wulwick
Spencer Wulwick on August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

revchuck – or any other members of the Hillowitz Family – I would appreciate your getting in touch with me to exchange information about Middle Village.

Thanks

Spencer Wulwick
Spencer Wulwick on August 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Actually, I would like very much to hear from anyone who has info about Middle Village — or who would like access to info about Middle Village – including old stuff, current reunions etc. or call (954) 9002994

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 10, 2013 at 11:37 am

This listing is for the Arion on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village. There is historical evidence for another Arion Theatre on Grand Street in Maspeth which has never been listed at Cinema Treasures. You may have confused the two.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Maspeth had some early cinemas that are still unaccounted for. It’s possible that one of them was called Arion at some time or another, and had other names as well. The onetime Columbia, perhaps, which was on one of the four corners of the intersection of Grand and Woodhull Place (now 69th Lane).

VacantLots
VacantLots on September 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

To tommacny,

Sir, you’re the best! I’ve waited for years to both find a place/person where I can ask the question and then also get an answer. Thanks to you, yet another lost puzzle piece of my life has been found. :–)

Thanks for the info on the upper level. I’m not surprised that I got it wrong. Memories start to fade and/or blur together. I know now that I was confusing the Arion with the movie house on Queens Blvd. where they used to show the movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” at midnight. Am I remembering that correctly or was that still another theater? The layout I’m thinking of had bathrooms and the projection booth on the upper level.

As far as the gent with the speech impediment goes, I remember a fella taking tickets and giving the patron back a stub while Ms. Zakar sold the tickets in the booth. I don’t know if that was the same man.

BTW, I’m sorry it took me this long to get back to this site.

Thanks again for the info.

Best regards,
Tim

robboehm
robboehm on March 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm

1928 ads describe the Arion as “The Home of Talkies” although, perhaps not the first to be wired for sound as indicated in the overview (see later comments).

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