Five Towns Theatre

253-01 Rockaway Boulevard,
Rosedale, NY 11422

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caltiki54
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

Chris

Coate
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
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
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 local.live.com 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
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
RobertR on August 31, 2006 at 2:36 am

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

Vito
Vito on August 31, 2006 at 2:01 am

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.

RobertR
RobertR on August 30, 2006 at 4:05 pm

1972 still first run showing “Last Picture Show"
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 9, 2006 at 9:31 am

The photo links from my last post are no longer working. Here’s a new link where the pics are now located.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 25, 2006 at 6:22 am

Here are a few current shots of the former TSS Shopping Center where the Five Towns Theater was located. I can’t exactly recall which current storefront marks the location of the former theater, though I think it was where the Danice discount clothing store is depicted in the last photo. One thing hasn’t changed about this location… the preponderance of sea gulls in the lot!

Shopping Center and Gulls
This might be the old pylon sign for the theater
Theater was somewhere among these stores
Maybe here?

I remember the theater from 1979 through ‘81 or so. The price for tickets was 79 cents then went up a penny per year. I think the pricing policy here and elsewhere along the Century chain began in 1976 in coincidence with the bi-centennial. All the films here were either in re-release or on third run at least 6 months out from their initial release. In '79 I saw a re-release of Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” during which the audience laughed so long and hard we missed much of the dialogue. I remember my Mom and some of the neighborhood kids going to see Speilberg’s “1941” here sometime in 1980, I passed since I saw the movie a couple of times during its run at the Lynbrook Theater. I can also remember seeing (again with my Mom) the Neil Diamond remake of “The Jazz Singer” for 81 cents. This was definitely a favorite theater of my Mom’s as it allowed her to take a whole brood of kids along with her at very favorable prices!

JakeGittes
JakeGittes on July 4, 2005 at 7:43 am

Interior of this theatre was identical to two other Century houses, the Park East in Garden City and the Richmond on Richmond Ave in Staten Island. All were boxlike auditoriums w/o a balcony -built around the same time- mid to late sixties. The Five Towns suffered from its close proximity to the Century Green Acres house and identical booking policy. The shopping center it was part of rarely attracted destination/ chain stores. None of the three theatres mentioned made it into the mid-80’s. The closest theatre to the Five Towns was the RKO Lawrence Twin.

RobertR
RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 6:42 am

adding the link would help :)
View link

RobertR
RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 6:41 am

Remember this film “Over the Edge” Warner had no faith in it and it played on HBO, got great reviews and then they released it to theatres. Tender Mercies had the same release pattern. Of course in 1982 cable was not in every home like now.

CathyN
CathyN on June 28, 2005 at 1:36 pm

I think this is Lawrence, not Woodmere. And it was also near Falcaro’s bowling alley, now gone as well. And the Sherwood Diner!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 26, 2004 at 9:50 am

“Like some of the other Century bargain houses, the price was always the last two digits of the year.”

I assume that it closed some time before 2000?