Loews Cineplex Cinema 5

183-15 Horace Harding Boulevard,
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365

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Cinema 5 - Front Entrance (2000)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally built in 1984 by an independent who also owned the Arion, Surfside Twin and other local houses, he converted a former Bohack supermarket into Cinema City 5. The theatre located on the service road of the Long Island Expressway featured a huge mural on its front of Hollywood legends like Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin and Judy Garland. Instead of one marquee there were five small ones each containing the title of the film in that auditorium.

The theatres themselves were not first rate, being long and narrow but the place was an immediate hit. When Cineplex aquired the Century Meadows and announced plans to gut and multiplex it, the owner panicked and put it up for sale. Cineplex not wanting competition bought it. They now had 13 screens in Fresh Meadows between the two.

A few years later they re-modeled Cinema City and renamed it Cinema 5. The whole place was spruced up and given the Cineplex flair with pink neon and marble floors. The mural though had seen better days and instead of replacing it with a big sign or something flashy they painted it black.

The theater closed in 2004 and was demolished in spring of 2005.

Contributed by Robert R

Recent comments (view all 39 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

No wonder there are no pictures if it was so bad.

fred1
fred1 on July 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm

There homes taking up the property. You ’ll never know there was a theater once there.

paktype
paktype on October 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

fred1: I just did a Google Street View at that address and it seems like it is still an walled-off empty lot. My wife and I saw a movie there in the late ‘90s. It was a real dump and poorly lit outside. Scary place to go at night.

fred1
fred1 on October 18, 2012 at 12:35 am

Some Google street views were taken 3-4 years ago

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

While the construction fencing is still there along Horace Harding, one can clearly see that a series of attached townhomes have been built on the site. The homes face the side and back streets of the parcel, making backyards out of the former parking lot. The structures look pretty well complete. I imagine that with the weather warming up around here, they will probably finish off the details and landscaping in the coming weeks and months.

robboehm
robboehm on March 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Island in Mastic is another. Seaford was a Department Store.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I know of many many many supermarkets that became a theatre. Was probably more common before stadium seating though.

Ed Baxter
Ed Baxter on March 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I worked at this dump of a place for about a year starting in 1988 thru 1989. While I was there we got the worst of the worst as far as movies were concerned. I remember the movie Beaches played almost the whole time I worked there. I did have a great time while I worked there.

VideoGirl84
VideoGirl84 on July 30, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I worked here from 2002 until 2004, when it closed down. Yep, I saw this theater’s last days!

I got hired when I was only 17 years old, so even though this theater was a dump, I had a great time working here. Unlimited free movies, sneaking your friends in, free popcorn, etc. However, it was pretty clear that Loews didn’t care about the theater and let it go to shit. The outside of building, specifically the part that faced the street/highway, was painted a dark brown and had no signs/ marquees that signified that there was an operating theater inside. I was the box office clerk, and I remember that a large part of my job was dealing with angry customers and giving refunds because our projector equipment was so old that movies regularly broke down or went black during screenings. I’m shocked we even got the little business we had. Even the management was shit; the theater director, Darwin, was such a creep. He would routinely hit on all the teenage girls there, and I was his main target. Still, I have very fond memories of working there and I admit I was a bit sad when it was torn down. I truly think that theater could have been saved if Loews had thrown a little more care & money into it.

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