Loews Cineplex Cinema 5

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

ridethectrain on November 1, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Please update and correct, the Cinema City 5 opened on December 17, 1982. In the grand opening ad, it said it had 70MM projection. The theatre only had one screen with Dolby, which was theatre 5. This theatre open 6 months before MovieWorld open. I just posted the grand opening ad.

Johnfromthe80s on May 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

I remember this theater very well, saw a lot of good films here, saw Return of the Jedi here, also Transformers the Movie, Star Trek 2, and Dances with Wolves. I remember back before the theater on the other side was renovated, this one as actually the better of the two, good times. Now two hotels are open at the site.

jamesbond on July 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I used to go to this theater when I was a child. They showed a lot of animated features, including many Disney classics.

Of course, what made the place so memorable was the painting outside and I still remember all the celebrities. Naively, I thought it would stay there forever, so I never took any photos. If anyone has color photos of it, that would be great.

VideoGirl84 on July 30, 2015 at 8:37 am

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.

Ed Baxter
Ed Baxter on March 28, 2013 at 2:12 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.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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

robboehm on March 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 14, 2013 at 5:44 am

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.

fred1 on October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Some Google street views were taken 3-4 years ago

paktype on October 17, 2012 at 2:52 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 on July 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm

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

TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 8:19 am

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

asfokas on October 10, 2007 at 2:58 pm

This was a pretty bad theater but it does hold a bit of sentimental value for me. It is where I saw Return of the Jedi for the first time. If I’m not mistaken that would mean it opened before 1984 because Jedi was released in May 1983.

Moiselover on July 27, 2007 at 1:26 pm

I remember going here as a child a couple of times and only because my parents were extremely young and would like to go to later showings and this always had a late viewing. As a child I loved the mural on the top of the building and would look for it when ever we were on the high way. I went to Francis Lewis High School just across the street and some times if it was open late afternoon would catch a show. Then go to Pizza Express next to it. Sadly in the mid to late 90’s when I was in school this place was a DUMP! It was not a surprise to me that this was knocked down and I did feel sad the first time I saw it was missing but that’s because everytime I turn around something from my past is being demolished. The last movie I saw there was The Sixth Sense with my mom. One thing I do remember is how Easy it was when I was a kid to sneak into the theatres my dad would take my brother and I and we would se like 3 or 4 movies for the day on our original tickets and no one ever said anything.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 10, 2007 at 6:23 pm

This and Movieworld in Douglaston were by far the worst theaters I ever had the displeasure of attending. The old Bayside Theater on Bell Boulevard ran a distant third, when it was a horrendously maintained multiplex in the ‘80’s. Somehowe, Movieworld still survives to this day.

Bway on March 8, 2007 at 4:23 am

The Movieland Cinemas in Mastic is just as bad:

It’s almost a joke. It was built out of an A&P supermarket, and still has the pointy peak fascade, standard to all old A&P supermarket buildings. It’s almost humerous.
As I said, the auditoriums are pure utilitarian, ans small, and the walls are painted cement blocks. I can’t speak for the Cineplex, but it sounds like it was just as much a joke.

Bway on March 8, 2007 at 3:31 am

This must have had similar auditoriums as the Movieland Cinemas in Mastic, which also took a shopping center, and converted it into theaters. The theaters are pure utilitarian, with concrete block walls, etc. Strange, the usual progression is a theater being turned into retail…here we had retail converted into a theater.

Bway on March 8, 2007 at 3:29 am

Have they built anything new on the site of the old theater here yet?

tonypapas on February 1, 2007 at 4:20 pm

I worked at Cinema 5.

I started back in the mid 90’s at Meadows as an usher and eventually moved up to Assistant Manager. When I started working at Meadows, Joe McManus was the head manager. He was eventually replaced by Anthony Sauter.

Eventually I was transfered over to Cinema City 5, a/k/a Cinema 5, a/k/a C5, and worked as an assistant manager under Daniel Tully. After about a year, he left and was replaced by Indra Gierdharie. Around 1999, Indra got promoted to a position in the 42nd street theatre, and I was then moved up to Head Manager (“Managing Director”) of C5. I held that position for about 2 years until I left to focus on Law School. I was replaced by Darwin as Managing Director of C5 I believe.

Projectionists I remember from Meadows were Sal, Fred and Bill.

The Projectionist at C5 were Alan Berkowitz, Simon, and (Sydnie I think that’s it).

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 13, 2006 at 8:02 am

Here’s an ad that appeared in Newsday in 1986 for the Cinema City 5. There is a depiction of the theater’s facade, including the mural that appeared across the top of the building’s facade. Because it is a faded B&W newspaper ad, you can’t really make out much detail, but at least it gives an indication of what this dump looked like. Some of the cinematic figures illustrated in the mural included Karloff as the Frankenstein monster, Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin, John Wayne, W.C. Fields… I can’t remember if there was a Marilyn Monroe caricature or Jean Harlow (or both)… I think there was also a Gable face, Valentino and maybe a Bogart? And, am I nuts or was there a Godzilla image as well?!?

The depiction is somewhat misleading… While this was the main facade that faced Horace Harding and the L.I.E., the double doors shown under each of the individual marquee panels were actually exit doors for each auditorium. The box office and lobby entrance was actually around the corner to the left (and out of view here). Each of the five auditoriums advertised their fare on one of those separate panels above the exit doors.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 2, 2006 at 11:26 am

This theatre survived after the Fresh Meadows re-opened only because of product splitting. Cinema 5 and Loews Bay Terrace Twin played all WB, MGM and Disney product while the Meadows played Touchstone and eveything else. It was an eyesore.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 2, 2006 at 11:11 am

Well… that link was wrong! The impressive theater you see there is the former RKO Madison in Ridgewood. Here’s the proper link:

Cinema City 5 satellite view

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 2, 2006 at 11:06 am

I was tooling around with the Windows Local Live satellite mapping site and found that the image for the old Cinema City 5 lot still shows the building to be in existence. The image is copyrighted 2005 and the al fresco mural that adorned the upper facade facing the LIE has already been painted over. However, cars are still seen in the shopping center’s parking lot, so at least one or two of the businesses there might still have been opened, even if the theater was not. Here’s the link to the image:

View link

The theater occupied the large trapezoidal structure at the left end of the shopping center. The view that opens up faces north and once can see the five small rectangular “marquees” that ran along the overhang that wraps around the entire shopping center. The mural was on the facade directly above this awning. This is actually the side of the theater where exit doors from the auditoriums were located. The entrance is around the corner to the left. You can rotate the view to look eastward (by using the directional tool in the palette to the left of the image) to view the side with the theater entrance.

The lobby was in the center of the building and was sunken by a few steps from street level. There was a large circular candy counter and the auditoriums were on the perimeter of the lobby at street level (so you had to climb a ramp or a few steps back up out of the sunken lobby to enter each room). I believe there were 3 or 4 auditoriums on the right side (with the screen walls facing the southern exposure seen in the above photo) with the remainin screen(s) toward the rear. I hated when this was the only local theater where a given movie was playing and after a while I just chose to travel to other parts of the borough (or into Nassau County) to catch a flick rather than suffer the low-rent quality of the presentations here.

This site is currently a huge hole in the ground and is completely fenced in. Again, I say “good riddance!”

gerryrules73 on November 2, 2005 at 3:23 pm

Agreed on all of the comments you stated. Probably with plans of the expansion of Douglaston Plaza. Movieworld may be next.