Babylon Cinemas

34 W. Main Street,
Babylon, NY 11702

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Babylon Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on W. Main Street, just west of Deer Park Avenue. The Capitol Theatre was built by the Riley Brothers in 1922 as a sister theatre to their Capitol Theatre in Riverhead, NY. Designed by architect John H. Phillips in a Colonial Revival style. Seating was provided for 1,050 in orchestra and balcony levels. The property entered into bankruptcy and closed on December 20, 1924. The theatre reopened under new ownership with the name Babylon Theatre in February 1925.

In later years it was operated by Prudential Theatres(1929). After a fire on April 3, 1955 was remodelled to the plans of architect Maurice D. Sornik. Later operated by United Artists, then by Clearview, as of June 2013 it has been operated by Bow-Tie Cinemas.

The Babylon Cinemas was closed on September 7, 2014.

Contributed by Robertr

Recent comments (view all 144 comments)

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 1, 2017 at 6:56 am

You’re welcome! Article published in September, 1955 suggests that the new cinema opened in that year, and not in 1956 as stated in the listing’s introduction.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 3, 2017 at 8:26 am

Was this cinema actually built on the site of the burned-out theatre, or was it already under construction on an adjacent parcel of land? I’m puzzled that it was fully completed within five months of the fire. Surely it would have taken longer. Firstly, wasn’t an investigation required before insurance could be paid? Also, an architect had to be commissioned and plans approved before building began. Just asking. Perhaps I’m being overly suspicious.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on August 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

The 1932 Film Daily Year Book lists two cinemas for Babylon, the Babylon Theatre with 1,050 seats, and the Capitol Theatre with 800 seats. The mystery deepens. This CT listing claims that the Babylon was a re-naming of the Capitol, which may not be true…Also, reportage of the 1955 fire mentions a previous fire at the Babylon Theatre in January, 1944, which resulted in an extensive re-modelling. Harry Berkmier, manager of the Babylon Theatre in 1944, had been promoted to Prudential district manager by the time of the 1955 fire.

wally 75
wally 75 on August 3, 2017 at 6:48 pm

It was easy to put Babylon back together again it was built in the shell of the same exact spot…I don’t know if you can still see it… if you go to the south east corner of DPA and Main look up you can see where two kinds of brick along crack..the only major work was the roof where steel fell. there was no “adjacent land”..That parking lot next store was an apartments and stores that were there before the theatre.

wally 75
wally 75 on August 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

PS: IF YOU GO TO PHOTO PAGE 4 YOU CAN SEE THE BUILDING TO THE RIGHT.. NOT SURE WHEN IT BECAME A PARKING LOT..I KNOW THE IT WAS STILL THERE IN THE 70’S.

robboehm
robboehm on August 5, 2017 at 11:40 am

Anytime you have to rely on the news media you have “alternate truths”. I actually have seen the article describing the construction of the Capitol in 1925 referred to in the opening. Ken Roe’s photo of the Babylon is 1925.

The truth, however, is that this theater, along with 2/3rds of the others no longer exist. And, quite frankly, I wonder as time goes on how many of the millenials and beyond will even care.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 5, 2017 at 11:46 am

For that matter, I wonder how many of the Greatest Generation, or the Baby Boomers, or the Gen-Xers, etc., even care right now…

paul baar
paul baar on August 9, 2017 at 5:10 am

Texas2step down load photo is a Classic,10 out of 10 !

robboehm
robboehm on August 23, 2017 at 11:48 am

Pod storage container in the parking lot. No other visuals.

robboehm
robboehm on September 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm

No change in the visuals.

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