Pequa Theatre

4450 Sunrise Highway,
Massapequa, NY 11758

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

robboehm
robboehm on July 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

A lot of the modernity described was also incorporated in Prudential’s Mid Island Theatre in Bethpage albeit with a more box like facade.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

Described in this 1961 trade article: Boxoffice

Ted_Costopoulos69
Ted_Costopoulos69 on August 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Why is it that we can`t have this type of work now ????

donidarko
donidarko on July 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Worked at the Pequa for manager Lisa Shubin briefly in 1981. Raiders of the Lost ark played most of that year. Oh my god, I remember someone changed the marquee to get back at the previous manager….Something like…“Denise sells used popcorn buckets.” What a riot. A really cool theater. Saw “Midway” an “Rollercoaster” there in Sensurround., and had a private showing of “The Car.” when no one else showed up one saturday afternoon.

Mrmarkus
Mrmarkus on June 19, 2011 at 1:12 am

I worked the Pequa a few times.It was fun to work there,the spiral stairs led to the booth,and another door led to several seats to the right of the booth for employees to watch.It was fun to open/close the curtains,it was the only theatre I got to do that in. It ran both 35 and 70mm movies.Steve Napoli was there for a while,when it closed he went to Sunrise Mall.The last movie I ran there was Rambo III.I knew two managers, Barbara,and Jackie,both good people.

robboehm
robboehm on May 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Many of the components of design of the Pequa were also at the Mid-Island:the exposed ceiling joists, the railed loge section, two story lobby. I seem to remember reading that the number of people at the final showing was something like 180.

lpage
lpage on May 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Anyone remember when the Pequa showed “A Hard Day’s Night”? There was a huge crowd waiting. My dad had dropped my sisters and I off to go see it. Then they announced the theater was filled. Some people went nuts and there was a mini riot. Some glass was broken. Luckily my dad had waited around. We came back for the 6 or 6:30 show and there was hardly anyone there.

tgreils
tgreils on March 25, 2009 at 11:19 am

I was mgr there ‘81…showed horrible films…leftovers from the Sunrise Mall… I left and Harrison Ford saved the day with Raiders of the Lost Ark…showing that the theatre could do the business..nice place to work

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Correction on the opening date: The Boxoffice item says it was opened on Christmas Night, not Christmas Eve, so that’s an opening date of December 25, 1960.

The photos in Boxoffice show that the auditorium was too small to have held 850 seats. The 600 seats cited in the article is probably the correct number. It was only a two-aisle theater (if you don’t count the dead-end center aisle which served only the loge smoking section), and it had only a few more than 20 rows.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Additional info: The January 16, 1961, issue of Boxoffice has a brief item saying that the Pequa Theatre was opened to the public for the first time on Christmas Eve, so that gives an opening date of December 24, 1960.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

This house was open before 1964, and had a smaller seating capacity than is currently listed. The Pequa Theatre had recently opened when it was featured in an article in the May 8, 1961, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The architect was Maurice D. Sornik, and the seating capacity was 600. The Prudential Theatres house featured a glass-walled facade, a two story lobby and lounge, a stainless steel and plastic marquee, and terrazzo flooring in the entry and parts of the lobby.

The auditorium featured aluminum panels on the side walls, a wall-to-wall screen, and exposed ceiling joists to which tubular downlights were attached. The color scheme was red, green, and gold. There was a railed-in loge-smoking area at the rear of the center section of seats, accessed by a truncated center aisle.

One of the photos shows a spiral staircase rising from a planter in the indoor ticket foyer. Though this feature isn’t mentioned in the text, I’d presume that it led to the projection booth.

robboehm
robboehm on March 1, 2009 at 10:16 am

When the theatre opened they listed it as being “fascinating”. I guess they were referring to the design. You never really expected the auditorium to be where it was when you entered.

DixonSteele
DixonSteele on September 6, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Saw many movies here at the Pequa growing up. It was next to an sorta-upscale restaurant THE SEA CREST.

I think the last film I saw here was Hitchcock’s last, FAMILY PLOT in 1976.

As a lad I saw FINIAN’S RAINBOW here is ‘68. Used the water fountain and somehow got burned from it. The manager gave me some free passes. Sweet!

jpark377
jpark377 on March 31, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Saps-
I haven’t seen Steve in years. Yeah, he is a great guy. I think his dad used to work the booth down at the Mall. I also liked Barbara: I’m sure running this theater was a picnic for her, compared to the rougher crowd she was used to over in Brentwood. I think Clayton M. worked the booth here also, at times, though his regular shift was at the Mall. Everyone that I ever met from 640 were quality people.
JP

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 31, 2006 at 6:56 pm

Anybody remember Steve Napoli, the projectionist there? He is a great guy.

Goldthorpe
Goldthorpe on December 31, 2006 at 3:56 pm

…also, I’m a little fuzzy on this memory but I could have sworn as a kid that the Pequa ran a James Bond marathon for like 8 hrs once and I was there…at least for some of the films that day. I remember seeing “Billy Jack” at the Bar Harbour theater.

Goldthorpe
Goldthorpe on December 31, 2006 at 3:52 pm

I can pretty much concur that “Rainman” was the last movie shown there. I worked there one night but quit because my back couldn’t take standing all those hours. I used to clean the parking lot and cut the lawn there previous to that. The theater is now an Infiniti dealership. One fact not many people know about the theater is that 10 years before filmong began in Texas for “Born on The Fourth of July”, several scenes were shot outside the Pequa theater. The original roll went to Al Pacino, I beleive. I had or still have black & white newspaper photos from the local paper showing Pacino in a wheelchair outside the theater. I’ll try to search for them at my parents house this week.

DonRosen
DonRosen on July 12, 2006 at 2:00 am

The Bar Harbour Theatre opened as a stand alone A.I.T. house in the Bar Harbour Shopping Center in the early 60s. It was the area’s first art house. I remember “The Mark” played there for 3 months! Unheard of back in 1963, when movies changed once or twice a week.

You’re right, the Pequa was great…and those 6 cent prizel sticks!

GTI2297
GTI2297 on July 12, 2006 at 12:19 am

When did the Bar Harbour theater come on line? I remember riding our bikes to either the Pequa or Bar Harbour every Saturday for such classic matinees as,…“The Creature from the Black Lagoon,….‘Godzilla’, all the horror classics. Agreed though,..nothing compared to The Pequa! The glass,..spiral staircase, rockers,Classic! Too bad "Walmart Cinemination” killed it and the DriveIns! I’ve since moved to Florida and the only Drive In is 50 miles away,…really miss those DriveIns! Be back in 5 years again, for good!

longislandbear
longislandbear on June 9, 2006 at 11:10 pm

Just to correct every one (grin)…..Pequa theater became and still is an Infiniti Dealership. I saw Rain Man on the last night of operation unbeknownst to me at the time. The next day the marquee read “CLOSED”. I dont recall the MASH reference on the marquee. I distinctly remember observing that the theater that night was quite messy (popcorn and garbage all over the place). The theater had always been well kept up until that point. I realized why the next day!! I will never forget when I was a kid my friends father rented out Pequa theater for his birthday and we saw the Poseidon Adventure. I will never forget that feeling as a kid having the theater all to ourselves…there had to be less than 20 of us. I also saw Battlestar Galactica there in SENSAROUND!!! They marketed the TV pilot as a feature film.

DonRosen
DonRosen on October 13, 2005 at 2:06 am

From what I have read, RobertR has supplied a valuable wealth of information to this site. Keep it coming.

I’ll be in Massapequa in a week. I’ll stop by the Pequa, uh excuse me, the Lexus dealership and take a walk around inside. Just for the memories.

Coate
Coate on October 12, 2005 at 6:39 pm

No, it seems to cause people to come to the realization that you are not a reliable source of information.

RobertR
RobertR on October 12, 2005 at 2:59 am

Could my post about Star Wars be removed? It seems to cause people to make snide and rude comments on the site.

RobertR
RobertR on July 13, 2005 at 1:58 am

The only one left is the Mid Island

DonRosen
DonRosen on July 13, 2005 at 1:33 am

Geez…are ANY of those theatres in that “Sound of Music” ad still around?

The Pequa ran “The Sound of Music” for the entire summer after it ended it’s run at the Rivoli (1967?).