Casino Theatre

113-18 Liberty Avenue,
Richmond Hill, NY 11419

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

For some reason, the street view is off by a block to the east. The theatre was located near the next corner to the right, adjacent to the Radio Shack.

muffler
muffler on June 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm

On Feb 7th-13th 1932.. the New civic Theater at 114 Liberty Avenue played the following double feature each day in order with the last one 2 nights: Age of Love/Gay Buckaroo, An American Tragedy/The Lone Trail, Personal Maid/White Devil, Monkey Business/Enemies of the Law, Frankenstein/Men in Her Life. I have the original poster.

Deansboy811
Deansboy811 on July 10, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I used to work at the Casino theater in the 70’s, and even though it wasn’t the grandest of theaters it was still quite quaint and had a great neighborhood vibe. As for being sold-out only once" that is far from true. We were sold out on many occassions, I particularly rememember when “Staurday Night Fever” played and we were sold out for 2 weeks straight! It was a fun job for a youth growing up in the 70’s as so many of us kids from the neighborhood worked there. The front foyer had great acoustics and we would sing all the songs from SNF as well as Grease and it sounded so cool. (the manager wasn'y to happy though..LOL) Great memories!!

LuisV
LuisV on April 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Thanks Bway for the link. I haven’t been to the old casino site since my family left the neighborhood way back in 1986. The auditorium looks bigger than I remember it. But I always have to remember that the Ziegfled has only 1,100 seats and it is now the largest single screen still showing movies. That makes it only slightly larger than the Casino. As a matter of fact, if you remove the seats in the rear of The Ziegfeld (the raised section) then the Casino and Ziegfeld are about the same.

Be that as it may, my recollections of the Casino are that it was non descript. The ultimate also ran theater; the theater you went to because it was playing the movie you wanted to see and it was close and no other reason. Oddly though, I still miss it!

Bway
Bway on April 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Here’s a street view of the old Casino Theater. Does anyone know if any of the interior features still exist?

View link

PKoch
PKoch on December 13, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for your post about the Casino, J.D., and welcome to Cinema Treasures.

The only film I ever saw at the Casino was “Serpico” in early April 1974.

jedweber
jedweber on December 13, 2007 at 4:51 pm

The Casino was one of my neighborhood theaters growing up in the 70s.
(Actually my neighborhood was Howard Beach, which never had any theaters, so Ozone Park and Richmond Hill were the closest.)
My aunt worked there as a matron. This was actually embarrassing for me, since my friends enjoyed pelting matrons with popcorn and Jujubes at other theaters, and I’d have to warn or beg them not to do it here.
I know I saw many kiddie matinees here, although I can’t for the life of me recall what any of the movies were. Later I saw “Tommy” here (on a double bill with “Aloha, Bobby and Rose,” I think), and sat through it twice, even though the sound was awful. (The passing “A” trains didn’t help.)It was not a very appealing theater, a step below the Crossbay, and only a choice when we couldn’t get someone to drive us to Forest Hills or Valley Stream, L.I.

PKoch
PKoch on June 18, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Thanks, LuisV.

LuisV
LuisV on June 12, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Regarding the posting of 8/17/04 above….the Casino was NEVER a pornographic theater. I grew up in the neighborhood and know this for a fact. The closest porno theater was the Austin on Lefferts Blvd in the leafy neighborhood of Kew Gardens. It has since been mulitiplexed (I am told in a loving way) into The Kew Gardens Cinemas specializing in art house films.

PKoch
PKoch on May 31, 2007 at 9:21 am

Martin’s was right near where I lived in Ridgewood for many years, until it was replaced by a Rainbow Shop. I remember the slogan “It ain’t just paint”, Warren.

Neither my mom nor I would classify either Martin’s or Rainbow as one of “those little shit shops”, although even they would be preferable to the burnouts, shooting galleries and homeless and junkie squatting places that many in Ridgewood, including my family and I, feared after the post July 13 1977 blackout looting and arson in Bushwick.

PKoch
PKoch on May 30, 2007 at 11:34 am

Thanks for the details, Lost Memory.

My mom used to refer to the “deep discount retailers” and 99 cent stores springing up within Ridgewood three to four decades ago as “those little shit shops”.

PKoch
PKoch on May 30, 2007 at 9:26 am

So the then-BMT el over Liberty Avenue had been completed, and was running, when the theater opened in November 1922. The “strategic” location between the Greenwood Avenue (now 111th Street)and Lefferts Boulevard stations of the el is apparent, as well as the two busy streets themselves.

PKoch
PKoch on May 30, 2007 at 8:59 am

Thanks for all the details, Warren.

BrooklynJim, I saw “Death Wish” in a Manhattan theater near 59th and 3rd (Baronet ? Coronet ? Also saw “Chinatown” there) with my dad in June or July of 1974, and, during and after the rape scene, my dad and I looked at each other, and agreed that it was a good thing my mom had not come with us, and seen this film.

PKoch
PKoch on June 13, 2006 at 2:24 pm

That’s a great line from “Serpico” !

Life and art imitate each other all-too-often.

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 2:20 pm

Probably the most famous quote in “Serpico:

“Who can trust a cop that doesn’t take money?”

OTOH, the “Death Wish” rape scene was extremely brutal and graphic, and I’m glad many of my female relatives and friends decided to pass on this movie. I was with a gal I liked and cringed in my seat. That scene, though, certainly gave the character and plot its impetus.

Regarding police/politico corruption: Does life imitate art, or vice versa? (Subtle emphasis placed on the word “vice.”)

PKoch
PKoch on June 13, 2006 at 2:09 pm

I, too, saw “Serpico” at the Casino, early April 1974. Two months later I saw “Death Wish” with my dad at a midtown theater (59th and Lex, Baronet or Coronet, perhaps, or maybe that’s where we saw “Chinatown”)and thoroughly enjoyed cheering on the Bronson character, though we both agreed, after seeing the rape scene, that it was a good thing my mom had not come with us.

Many of the films I saw in 1974 seemed to have something to do with law enforcement, or the corruption thereof :

“Serpico”, “Death Wish”, “Chinatown”, “The Sting”, “Walking Tall”, “The Conversation”, “The Front Page” (remake).

BrooklynJim
BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 2:00 pm

I’d seen “Serpico” at the Casino, a theater I didn’t frequent often simply because it was off my beaten path in those days. (Years later I’ve still enjoyed Al Pachino’s performance. FYI, Director Sidney Lumet filmed the storyboards from end to beginning, from Frank’s hippie “‘clothes” days, to the less-bearded cop timeframe, to the Academy rookie.)

A year later, my date and I viewed the first Bronson “Death Wish.” As a neighborhood at that time, East New York and surrounding areas, with their local gendarmes in blue, were experiencing an out-of-control crime rate, seemingly higher than many other areas of Brooklyn or Queens. So I was more than amused to have so many old duffers out on leave from “the home” in attendance that night as well. After seeing their jaws squared and with eyes boring burning intensity upon leaving the Casino, I remarked to my date that I would actually feel sorry for any stupid would-be mugger who attempted to rip ‘em off that evening. The word “vigilante” could now be associated with a flavorful connotation of geriatric power.

RobertR
RobertR on June 4, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Another run of 2001
View link

RobertR
RobertR on May 31, 2006 at 5:58 pm

UA had a home office above the Squire until they moved it to East Meadow.

PKoch
PKoch on May 31, 2006 at 12:32 pm

OK, Lost Memory, I’ll wait for an expert to wade in with a few pithy phrases.

PKoch
PKoch on May 31, 2006 at 11:19 am

Lost Memory, how does the Marr & Colton theater organ compare with a Wurlitzer ?

fred1
fred1 on May 31, 2006 at 11:11 am

the address of 115 Middleneck Road in great neck ny is the home of the squire theater a former UA house

PKoch
PKoch on November 28, 2005 at 12:22 pm

LuisV, welcome to Cinema Treasures ! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it immensely !

I know what you mean about the wide release of “The Godfather”. For me it was August 1972 at the RKO Madison Theater in Ridgewood, theater # 4621 on this site. There was a lot of hoopla. The cement parts of the RKO Madison’s facade were painted dark blue, which caused my dad to remark it made the Madison look like “a black theater in Harlem.” There were signs for ticket holders' and ticket buyers' lines, but I don’t recall any big crowds, probably because I
went with family in the early afternoon on a weekday.

I can understand why Loew’s Valencia and Radio City are your favorite theaters. May you enjoy your trip to Loew’s Jersey !
It’s interesting that “The Godfather” was the only time you saw the Casino sold out and filled to capacity.

LuisV
LuisV on November 28, 2005 at 12:08 pm

I’m new to this web site and have enjoyed it immensely! I wish I had the appreciation for old theaters then than I have now. The Casino was only a few blocks from my home when i was growing up in South Ozone Park (right next to Richmond Hill). My memories of the Casino as architecture are miinimal, which is to say that it (along with the Lefferts nearby) were drab, uninteresting. I don’t recall any distinguishing features. While I saw many movies there, I only really remember one and that was “The Godfather”. I’ll never forget it for 2 reasons: One, I saw it opening night of wide release (a Friday) and the line was around the corner and way down the block. It was the only time I EVER saw the Casino sold out and filled to capacity! The second reason is that the admission was $5.00 which was outrageous at the time, especially for a dumpy theater like this one. By far, my favorite theater was Loew’s Valencia in Jamaica! It is the most beautiful movie palace (along with Radio City) that I actually saw movies in. I really miss seeing movies in these palaces. I’m looking forward to going to Loews Jersey soon!

PKoch
PKoch on November 28, 2005 at 8:36 am

Thanks, JakeGittes. I saw “Chinatown” in Manhattan at either the Baronet or Coronet near 59th and 3rd in June 1974, but saw “The Conversation” at the Haven in Woodhaven, late August 1974. Many of the films I saw in 1974 had something to do with the law, or the corruption thereof, starting with “Serpico” at the Casino in Richmond Hill, the above two films, “Death Wish”, “The Sting”, “Walking Tall”, and the remake of “The Front Page”.