Main Street Cinemas

72-66 Main Street,
Flushing, NY 11367

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

fred1 on October 18, 2012 at 12:30 am

They recently upgrade to digital . Their concessions is cheaper than the major chains. .Besuure to get there early .

paktype on October 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Fred1: I saw a lot of movies here when I was a kid in the 1970’s. They used to run old Disney films here in the summer. I saw “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” here as well as “Follow Me, Boys!”, “Gus”, “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and so on. I think I also saw “The Blues Brothers” here about five times in 1980. Haven’t been there in at least 20 years now but whenever I’m on Main Street, it seems very busy.

fred1 on October 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Paktype: You betcha, I only go there in the afternoon ,never in the evening.

paktype on June 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I grew up in the neighborhood where this theater is and remember when it used to be a single-screen theater with a balcony. I can’t believe its been sixplexed without having been expanded. The balcony theaters must be tiny.

McGinty on February 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Thank you, NativeForestHiller, for the Daily News article, more information and your efforts with the Preservation Council.

Overall, I’m happy with the renovated Cinemart, and also have positive memories of going there when I was younger. When I was little,I remember my friends & I taking a bus down Metropolitan Ave. from Middle Village to Forest Hills around 1979 to see Breaking Away, when the Cinemart was a twin. I would imagine we stopped into Eddie’s as well. I also remember going there in the early 90s to see a midnight show of the bizarre Mike & Spike animation festival, which included some pornographic cartoons. Even when the Cinemart was a second-run house, I remember it being infinitely cleaner than the Arion or any of the other older neighborhood independents. I went to the Arion often, I believe I have a post regarding the Arion on its page.

To answer your question, I don’t go out to the cinema very much anymore, being that I have a high-definition TV hooked up with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound & a Netflix subscription. But I’ve been to the Kew Gardens a few times, and I did enjoy seeing No Country For Old Men recently at the Cinemart. I haven’t been to Main St Cinemas at all.

I took a better photo of the Main St Cinemas…if you go to the Photobucket album, you’ll see some recent shots of the Fair as well.

<img src=“” alt=“Main St Cinemas marquee”>

NativeForestHiller on February 21, 2008 at 3:18 am

You’re welcome! Several generations of my family came from Forest Hills. What were some of your favorite theaters in Middle Village? As a Forest Hills resident, do you go to the Main St Cinemas? I do occasionally, and wish it would be restored properly, as well as maintained. The occasional graffiti on the aluminum-siding facade is an eyesore!

The following is a Daily News article on the Cinemart from March 2006: View link I have been corresponding with the owner in regard to possible restoration plans for the interior (as a start), but nothing materialized due to the owner’s lack of time. In spring 2006, he added Bay Ridge’s Alpine Theater to his holdings, to prevent it from becoming a chain store. I am proud that the Cinemart has been in existence since the 1920s, since neighborhood theaters rank high amongst the “ultimate public institutions.”

I also take pride that the owner is passionate about keeping neighborhood theaters open, but some theatergoers (including myself) weren’t so enthusiastic that the facade’s bricks, brick patterns, and terra cotta which adorned the central window, were concealed with stucco in 2002-2003. That was prior to my involvement in preservation. If I knew, I would have tried to convince the owner to apply for funding to restore the facade in an historically appropriate context. I am still hoping he will have some time to work with me, and remove the generic ceiling panels that conceal the ornate coffered ceiling in the inner lobby, and repaint the coffered ceiling in the outer lobby in its original colors. Grants may be available through one of the NY Landmarks Conservancy’s funding programs, National Register of Historic Places if the State Historic Preservation Office deems the property eligible for placement, or through my own fundraiser. I understand his time constraints though.

Whenever I think of the Cinemart, the long summer walks to the theater with my mother, or both my parents, and a friend, come to mind. After the screening, we would treat ourselves to homemade ice cream in Eddie’s Sweet Shop around the corner, and its distinctive early 20th century ambiance would add to the spirit of an afternoon/evening well-spent!

McGinty on February 20, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for sharing your information and insight. I find these theaters vital and fascinating as well, particularly the Fair & the Ridgewood. I was wondering what your views on the Cinemart on Metropolitan Ave. are.
I’ve only lived in Forest Hills for 2 years now, but I grew up in Middle Village and lived there for many years.

NativeForestHiller on February 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Since 2006, I am founder & Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which advocates for potential Individual Landmarks & Historic Districts in Rego Park and Forest Hills. Forest Hills only has 2 official landmarks since the Landmark Preservation Commission’s founding, and Rego Park has none. Both areas do have potential in terms of landmarking, fundraisers for restoration & adaptive reuse, etc. We occasionally expand our advocacy work beyond our immediate area. Our group operates on a voluntary basis & pure passion… no membership fees at this time.

I am primarily interested in greater architectural examples which could become endangered in years to come: Midway Theater, Forest Hills Theater (even though it’s a Duane Reade/Staples since ‘99 with a restored facade), Drake Theater in Rego Park (now a catering hall, but may be sold to developers), the distinctive Art Moderne facade of the '39 Trylon Theater (mosaic & terrazzo floor is sadly concealed since 2005, but can’t be let out of our scope), the Fair Theatre in Jackson Heights, Ridgewood Theater (the oldest extant theater in operation in Queens), the great Terra Cotta facade of the former Bellerose Theater (now a Karate studio minus its marquee), as well as some others.

How long have you lived in Forest Hills?

McGinty on February 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm

What theaters are you most concerned about now, specifically?

NativeForestHiller on February 20, 2008 at 6:11 am

Thank you very much for the update and the photo. I don’t think it’s necessary to file a complaint at this time. It sure is great having independent neighborhood theaters around! At some point, they really should remove all of the aluminum siding that’s obscuring the Art Moderne facade, but there are other theaters that could use our efforts as preservationists first.

NativeForestHiller on February 13, 2008 at 6:51 am

This makes it a whole lot more convincing to see! It needs to be repaired ASAP, and those who see it first-hand need to call 311, on behalf of everyone’s safety. This is a crucial issue.

rcdt55b on February 13, 2008 at 4:42 am

You really don’t want to see them

NativeForestHiller on February 13, 2008 at 3:57 am

Can you please post some photos of its current condition?

McGinty on February 12, 2008 at 9:55 pm

I live in Forest Hills, and pass by the Main St Cinemas pretty frequently. Is it just me, or does the marquee look like it’s about to collapse?

NativeForestHiller on September 26, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Main St Cinemas was built by Architect Joseph Unger, who also built the Trylon Theater. It was more simplistic than the Trylon. I have a feeling that the original facade is concealed somewhat.

Mitch45 on September 26, 2007 at 10:45 am

That theater is very profitable now. A lot of families live in Kew Gardens Hills and there are no video stores in the area anymore. Whenever I’m in KGH, the theater is usually pretty busy. I haven’t seen a movie there (or anywhere else for that matter, since I have three little kids) for many years.

rcdt55b on December 2, 2006 at 12:18 am

Theaters 1,3 and 5 have Dolby Digital. Theaters 2 and 4 have DTS. Theater 6 has the dreaded Sony SDDS. None of them have EX unless they were installed in the last 2 years.

ridethectrain on December 1, 2006 at 10:38 pm

Does anyone know what digital sound systems they have. Which has Dolby EX and which has dts. They claim their all digital

rcdt55b on November 30, 2006 at 9:56 am

Ed, you’re correct about the theater entrances on the first floor. Also correct about back 2/3 and front 2/3. Lost Memory, balcony theaters do have 72 seats each.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 29, 2006 at 4:17 pm

I imagine the C/O numbers the theaters differently than they are numbered on site. Perhaps because the balcony theaters were kept in the same configuration as when when it was a quad, the C/O considered the new theaters to be those carved from the older ones on the 1st floor, hence 5 and 6 on the ground floor.

Anyway, thanks for the clarificationm, RCDTJ. So, “back third” means the rear of the auditorium closest to the lobby and “front 2/3” means closest to the screen? Either way, I presume you have 2 theaters with entrances right off the lobby and then a foyer leading to the other 2 theaters on the ground floor. Sounds sort of like how they carved up the Cinemart (though, there was no balcony at the Cinemart).

The notification system for comments seems to be out of whack, lately. I recently noticed that I wasn’t getting any notifications for comments being made in theaters I haven’t made comments in for a while. But now this morning, I had no notifications at all, yet find new comments here on this page as well as on the RKO Keith’s page where I commented only yesterday (and clicked the notification box).

rcdt55b on November 29, 2006 at 1:37 am

Hey guys,
I actually did the 6 plex split in the 90’s. Here how it went…..upstairs the old balcony is theaters 5 and 6. Downstairs theaters 3 and 4 are the back third of the theater when it was twinned. Now the front 2/3 of the downstairs was turned 90 degrees and is now theaters 1 and 2. Got that? Lol…..

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Thanks, Lost. So it’s technically theater’s 3 and 4 up in the old loge area – which I presume based on the identical capacity of those theaters at 72 persons each. The site is acting up again, as evidenced by your C/O comment being attributed to Warren on an entirely different theater page, not to mention Warren’s triple listing above in this page. Anyhow… If the other 4 auditoriums are located on the ground floor, then the disparity in their seating capacities would indicate something other than an even dividing up of the old auditorium space. Anyone familiar with the layout?

Warren… I was at this theater as a single many years ago. I was also at the Utopia Theater a few times during the early ‘80’s. One of these theaters definitely had a proper balcony, because I remember sitting up there to watch the Mel Brooks version of “To Be or Not to Be” in 1983 or thereabouts. I used to get the two theaters confused in my memory, but I’m pretty sure I raised the question on the Utopia page and learned that it was THAT theater that did not have a proper balcony and that the Main Street did.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 28, 2006 at 2:28 pm

The only C/O information on NYC’s Building Department site is the one issued in 1985 for the twinning of the Main Street Theater. Apparently, the theater was divided down the middle with each theater retaining it’s own balcony seating. Each theater is listed as having a capacity of 216 people on the ground floor and 72 in the balcony, for a total of 288 seats each. I imagine that the current theaters 5 and 6 are merely those balcony sections sealed off from the 1st floor, with the twin orchestra theaters each split in half to make current theaters 1, 2, 3 and 4. Unless, did they gut the 1st level and completely re-configure the space for the four current auditoriums there?

rcdt55b on August 27, 2006 at 4:57 pm

5 and 6 are upstairs

ridethectrain on August 27, 2006 at 4:41 pm