Bellmore The Movies

222 Petit Avenue,
Bellmore, NY 11710

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Bellmore The Movies

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1922, this may be the oldest operating theater on Long Island. It was one of the first theaters in the area and was originally a silent movie house. Almost it’s whole life it was as a second run and double feature house.

For many years it was operated by KB Theatres, a local chain. When they got rid of it, it spent two years showing offbeat foreign and independent films. The owners tried to run festivals that included 3-D and revivals. They then sold the theater to the current owners who have restored the theater and play first run engagements.

This is one of only a few Long Island single screen movie houses.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 48 comments)

robboehm on May 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

According to the current signboard affixed to the front of the theatre the name should be Bellmore Movies. On the destroyed marquee it read The Movies. However, the original, antique marquee read Bellmore. When the old marquee was in place the facade of the building was so rustic that I felt that they should have had a hitching post rather than parking spaces, seriously.

robboehm on June 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I was just browsing the American Images site and, incorrectly, in Merrick, they have a photo of the theatre with a traditional marquee proclaiming “The Movies”. Still haven’t come upon one of the old “Bellmore” marquee before they modernized the building’s facade.

CSWalczak on February 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm

According to its current signage, the theater is called the Bellmore Movies & The Showplace. This article, which discusses the theater’s programming, also includes seven photos and a video: View link.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Great pictures all,guys.

robboehm on June 24, 2011 at 5:47 am

Contrary to the heading, not the last single screen theatre. There is the Sag Harbor, Montauk and, across the city line the North Shore Towers. Seasonally they also show movies on Ocean Beach, Fire Island, at the Community center.

Chicken334 on August 30, 2011 at 3:35 am

This was also affectionately called The Itch because of the occasional rodent that would skitter across your feet.

robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 11:58 am

Uploaded to of the exterior pictures referred to by Chris above. This article and others I’ve seen indicates the theater actually goes back to 1917.

In an article in the NY Times for January 25, 2004 the owners, Henry and Anne Stampfel were interviewed. They’ve owned the theater since 1986 but only performed major renovations in 2002 because of the rebirth of the Playhouse just down the street as a multiplex.

When they ripped up the wood floors to put in slanted concrete they also ripped out a wall and found a stage. In addition to new seats, sound, etc. they built a new stage for use in live productions.

robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Uploaded photo of an earlier marquee. Still and older one out there.

NickyG on December 19, 2016 at 10:14 am

my wife grew up in Wantagh and used to speak fondly of “the itch” we saw Traffic there, then had some cocktails across the street at Applebee’s

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