Five Towns Theatre

253-01 Rockaway Boulevard,
Rosedale, NY 11422

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Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm

OOPS, I meant to say the theater is a National Wholesale Liquidators store on my last post, not “Warehouse”.

Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

I don’t remember hearing any outside noise inside the theater. This might be why the theater was set so far back from the main doors, down a super long hallway. T.J Max is located in part of the area where the mini mall once was. A National Warehouse Liquidators store is now in the exact location of the former theater, or at least as of December 2017.

robboehm on October 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

Couldn’t be any worse than the Queens and Community Theaters which backed to the LIRR tracks, particularly in the days of steam engines.

davidcoppock on October 28, 2018 at 8:30 am

I wonder if it was noisy inside the theatre, with the nearby John F. Kennedy International airport?

davidcoppock on October 28, 2018 at 8:27 am

The site is now T.J. Maxx.

Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 4:30 am

Hi Ed, and anyone else here curious as I about the stores at this theaters location. The above Youtube video is a commercial for the Fleaport Flea Market. This is the store that came in after Mays went out of Business. The video states 1981, but I’m almost certain that this is from 1983. You can see the Five Towns Plaza sign a few seconds into the video on the left. Is it still possible that TSS was at this location early on before Mays came there, that could still be. Mays was there from at least 1970 though as far as I can remember. The Theater & May’s once glass enclosed garden center are now both an “NWL”, The Household Warehouse store. Below is part of a post I found on another site, that talks about the mini mall that was at this location. The only mistake in this post is that the movie theater was not in the “mall” area of the shopping center, which was to the right of Mays. The Theater was to the left of Mays it’s own building next to the garden center. Playworld Toy Store was all the way to the left where Lowes is now. I believe the Lowes building was rebuilt since that time. Here is part of a post that I found elsewhere:

“Moving up the road a bit we have the Five Towns Plaza. It is now a motley assortment of stores(K Mart, Dress Barn, etc), but back in the day, hahaha. Pergament(now Conway). Mays(which became the Fleaport flea market which itself closed later). OTB(which became Nathan’s, now it’s something else). Pathmark(which is now an Applebee’s, of all things). But the stores that were in the little interior mall that has since been demolished…such as classics like the 4 Joker’s video arcade…Jahn’s Ice cream(they had the best shakes)…there was a duplex movie theater in there…also a Halloween supplies store…and a Radio Shack…but the best one of all was(drum roll please) Mr. Music, the baddest music shop around(until I found Slipped Disc in the 1990’s)– the walls were covered with wicked blacklight posters, it smelled like incense, and it seemed like every time I went in there they were rocking "We Are Family” by Sister Sledge."

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 24, 2018 at 3:57 am

Man… Just when i thought we had it! I remember always referring to this theater as being in the TSS shopping center, and took Chris Platt’s post as a little vindication for that memory. I wish someone here could unequivocally confirm or deny that for once and all!

Decoman36 on October 24, 2018 at 1:24 am

I Have to laugh! It’s amazing that none of the members on here including myself can remember what stores were at this theater’s location and when. ChrisPlatt, Mays was at this Theater’s location for sure and TSS was at the location where Costco is now in Lawrence @ 605 Rockaway Turnpike. TSS was at the Costco location the whole time Mays was in business. Mays Closed around 1983. It’s very possible that TSS moved to the May’s location when Mays closed in 1983, but I really doubt that they then moved back to the Costco location after that. I just can’t place TSS at the Mays location at all. This theater closed around 1982. If TSS really was at this location they were for sure not there while the theater was still open. Can anybody here finally please clear this confusion up for good?

ChrisPlatt on August 13, 2018 at 1:29 am

This cinema was located in Rosedale, thus the name. Meadowmere Park on the opposite side of Rockaway Blvd. is in Nassau County.

TSS was located in that mall when Mays went bust. My friend’s brother worked in the camera department there. Later they moved down the road to a large standalone building, where Costco is now located.

caltiki54 on May 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I remember the “FIVE TOWNS” Theatre entrance was at the back of a wide corridor, attached to the left of MAYS DEPARTMENT STORE. You walked in, & there were side entrance doors to MAYS on the right. You walked straight down & there was a nursery to purchase Plants & gardening items. The Theatre doors/box office was all the way back. My Parents started taking me there around 1968. I saw a re-release of the “1966 BATMAN” Feature Film, at a Saturday Morning Matinee. Also saw a re-release of “FANTASIA”, & 1st release showings of, “THE LOVE BUG”-1968, “THE BOATNIKS”-1970, & “THE ARISTOCATS”-1970…For a few years, Early-70s, there was a huge PLAYWORLD TOYS DEPARTMENT STORE, at the far left of the complex. MAYS had a good Toy Department, with all the G.I JOES, but the nearby KORVETTES & Times Square Stores/TSS, had all the Best Toys & Gumball Machines!…

Decoman36 on October 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

Thanks for the info. 1982 sounds about right. I’m pretty sure Mays closed in 1983. One thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that the movie theater was not part of the mall. I’m pretty sure that the only way to enter the theater was from the front on the outside. It did have a long lobby with mall like benches. I remember that you could see into the lobby from the garden greenhouse nextdoor. The entrance to the mall that was at this location was inside Mays and to the right of the store. I know it’s off topic, but does anybody remember this mini mall? There is no info anywhere online about it.

formerprojectionist on October 5, 2013 at 5:24 am

I’m pretty sure that it closed in Fall of 1982, I’d need to confirm this but my memory seems to recall this date…

Decoman36 on October 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

In The aerial shot that Ed Posted in 2007 the movie theater is the building with the black top to the right of Lowes. The small building to the right of The Theater was once a greenhouse which was part of J.W. Mays Department Store. Mays is now a K-Mart. TSS was never at this location, there were down the road and across the street. There was once an indoor mall to the right of Mays. I remember there was a really nice restaurant in there, which then became a liquor store. There was also a really cool “Old School” record shop in there. Many of the stores at that time could only be entered from inside the mall itself. As to the theater, I’m pretty sure it closed right before Mays did sometime in the early 80’s. Does anyone know for sure what year the theater closed?

ChrisPlatt on July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm

To this day there’s still terrible flooding on the road that runs past (Rockaway Blvd.), so it must be in Rosedale… ;)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I think the confusion is that there is a small and somewhat ramshackle residential area directly across Rockaway Turnpike that runs several square blocks. I’ve heard it called “Meadowmere Park” and I believe a portion of it is included within a weird little hook in the Queens County borderline that is serviced by the Rosedale Post Office. The Five Towns Shopping Center is actually in the village of North Woodmere, which I do not believe is incorporated. Even still, the center is in a sort of isolated no-man’s land, since the rest of North Woodmere is on the other side of the Golf Course that sits across some backwater behind the shopping center. Definitely an odd little corner of Nassau County.

ChrisPlatt on July 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Many stores have come and gone in that location. TSS was indeed there, before moving further east on Rockaway Blvd., where Costco is now. IIRC before that it was Mays department store. As a small child I remember shopping at a supermarket there, before it was Pathmark. Hills, maybe?

robboehm on July 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I concur with Ed on this. But, there may have been a post office change which resulted in this “correction”. Due to a postal reallignment the Bellerose which was in Bellerose since it was built in 1927 is now in Floral Park.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 1, 2011 at 8:23 am

I recall this shopping center being anchored by a TSS when I used to go to the Five Towns. Also seem to remember a Garden World type of nursery over in the far right part of the mall. And to answer formerprojectionist’s post from December 12, 2009, the theater had a direct entrance from the outside. In fact, all the stores in this strip had individual entrances… there was no indoor mall aspect to this shopping center at all.

The Five Towns was a single screener. The RKO Twin was down the road heading east on Rockaway Turnpike and on the right side where Peninsula Blvd intersects.

Anyway, I also see that the address has been updated to identify the town as Rosedale, but I wonder if that’s correct. This was always listed as being in Woodmere in the newspaper ads and under Nassau County in the ads and movie clock listings. Rosedale is in Queens.

ChrisPlatt on October 10, 2010 at 8:29 am

The Five Towns was located in the Pathmark/Pergament (now K-Mart) shopping center on Rockaway Boulevard near Brookville Blvd (aka Snake Road).
Some of you may be confusing it with The Lawrence, which was located less than a mile east in a small triangular shopping plaza (~3 stores) on Rockaway Turnpike just east of TSS (now Costco) and west of Falcaro’s. IIRC it was a twin, and is now a kosher market.
In high school in the 1970’s I lived in Rosedale and frequented both.


Coate on December 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm
*I worked as relief projectionist when "Fiddler on the Roof" played as a hard ticket roadshow engagement day and date with the Syosset. I can't recall the date, I remember "Fiddler" opened at the Rivoli in November 1971, however I think it opened on Long Island later in 1972, perhaps someone remembers the date. *

The Five Towns roadshow run of “Fiddler On The Roof” began on June 21, 1972, the same date on which UA also opened it in Paramus, Upper Montclair and Woodbury. The original NYC run, at the Rivoli, opened seven months earlier. This, to my knowledge, was the only time a film had five simultaneous NYC area runs of the same film as a hard ticket roadshow attraction.

*Five Towns, although we received a mag/optical print, played it in 35mm optical mono.*

Why? Was Five Towns not equipped for magnetic playback?

formerprojectionist on December 12, 2009 at 8:38 am

I remember seeing The Sword and the Sorcerer there in 1982. They had a trailer for Cannibals in the Streets, and I was dying to go and see that. My memory is that the Cannibals film was set to play, was listed and all but the theater had already closed. I also saw Clash of the Titans there. I believe you had to enter the mall in order to enter the theater.

larry6803 on March 18, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Century (today its part of AMC.Ruined this house by turning it into a discount house.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 25, 2007 at 8:59 pm

I’ve been using a lot to try and identify and pinpoint locations for some of the theaters I used to frequent as a youth. The Five Towns Theater is particularly difficult to pin down because it was buried so inconspicuously within the shopping mall that even from this aerial shot you can’t make out a possible outline for the auditorium.

The one possibility is the sort of square slightly raised structure that sits towards the back behind the Modell’s (which is immediately to the left of the large Big K store that used to be the TSS – and Mays prior to that – anchor). Still, that structure seems pretty far back from the entrance… I don’t recall the lobby/foyer being so deep and long to get to the auditorium way back there.

Anyone have a clearer memory than I do?

Vito on August 31, 2006 at 3:32 am

Robert, To my knowledge it was the first and only roadshow to play there, I don’t remember how long it played, I worked the house for about 4 weeks and then left. I hope you can find the ad.
Syosset played the movie in 35mm 4 track mag sound, but Five Towns, although we received a mag/optical print, played it in 35mm optical mono. The Rivoli played it in 70mm (blowup) with six track sound.

RobertR on August 31, 2006 at 2:36 am

I have to search for that ad, first I ever heard Five Towns played a roadshow. Was it a long run?