Babylon Cinemas

34 West 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 J.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). It was remodelled in 1956 to the plans of 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 65 comments)

robboehm
robboehm on November 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

For sale or lease sign on the marquee with a 212 area code.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on January 29, 2015 at 9:37 am

I remember back in 1959 my mother took my sister and I to see a movie there. In the lobby was a very distinguished white haired gentleman doing a live radio broadcast. When he left the microphone he came over to my mother and started to talk to her. He seemed very flirtatious and my mother look kind of flustered. I later learned he was Ray Heatherton a.k.a The Merry Mailman from tv. He did look familiar to me as a child I watched his program.

robboehm
robboehm on August 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Nothing currently on the marquee.

Tom Palminteri
Tom Palminteri on August 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Does that mean someone bought it?

wally 75
wally 75 on July 13, 2016 at 2:19 pm

BABYLON BOUGHT BY MARK AND DYLAN PERLMAN…SEE NEWSDAY JULY 11TH PAGE 11.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 13, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Headline: Old Babylon Village theater inspires dreams for father, son

Link

The father and son in contract to buy the closed Babylon Village cinema say they will reopen next spring with a slate of professional shows cast with Broadway players, along with concerts and other acts.

Seaford residents Mark and Dylan Perlman expect to close this summer on the former Bow Tie Cinemas’ building on Main Street, paying $1 million to the chain that owns the moviehouse and renaming it the Argyle Theater at Babylon Village. The Argyle would be Long Island’s second year-round professional theater, joining the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport.

The Perlmans said in an interview last week that they will invest about $1.5 million to build a stage, sound and lighting systems and drastically reconfigure the building’s interior. Contractors will tear down walls that now divide the space into three movie theaters.

About 100 seats will be removed, leaving 450. Part of the snack bar will be repurposed as a bar. Outside, the vertical sign over the marquee, spelling out “Babylon” in fluorescent blue letters but dark for years, will be fixed and relit.

Stagecraft classes for children and young people will be offered. They may even show a movie or two, continuing a business that sustained the house from 1922 to 2014, when it closed.

But the focus will be live performances of the caliber found 40 miles to the west in Manhattan, they said. “This will be the closest thing to Broadway on Long Island,” said Dylan Perlman, 22, a Hofstra University graduate who started acting professionally as a child and has appeared in independent movies and TV’s “The Good Wife.”

He and his father, 62, a psychologist with a practice in Wantagh, plan six main-stage shows a season with Actors Equity casts.

The two began talks last week with the union. A contract would mean high-level players from Broadway stages, but also higher production costs.

The Argyle schedule will include classics in the vein of “West Side Story” and “The Music Man,” but not “Hamilton.” While many of the current hits tour nationally, licensing rules forbid productions close to New York City, Mark Perlman said.

Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino this year called the deal “a home run for the village” that could anchor an already strong downtown business district with about two dozen bars and restaurants.

The Perlmans are making their move at a boom time for Broadway, which had $1.4 billion in ticket sales and drew an audience of 13.4 million this season, according to The Broadway League, the industry’s national trade association.

Long Islanders bought just fewer than 1 million tickets last season for Broadway shows according to the league, suggesting strong regional demand across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Babylon’s Main Street will never be confused with the Great White Way, but the Perlmans are betting that can work in their favor. Argyle tickets will cost from $25 to $75, lower than the $103 average for Broadway.

Many of the village’s bars and restaurants are open late for a post-show supper or drink, minus the Manhattan crowds. Most municipal parking is free, and the Long Island Rail Road station is a quick walk from the theater.

Industry veterans say that the Perlmans, who are newcomers to the business, are entering a difficult but potentially rich market.

“We have an incredibly supportive audience who seem to support the work we do, but we are still in the middle of a recession, and theater is not the easiest business,” said Richard Dolce, producing artistic director of the Engeman Theater, now in its 10th year. “We survive on ticket sales. We have to pick the right shows and produce them as well as we possibly can and hold our breath.”

Alan Inkles, director of the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University, said that after 34 years in the business, he is working harder than ever to make season subscription sales, competing less with other theaters than a sea change in entertainment consumption, with much of the potential audience staying home and “binge-watching Netflix, watching the new season of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ”

The Perlmans admit that lenders initially responded to their plans with what Mark Perlman called a “healthy skepticism.” That changed, he said, “when they met with us, looked at our histories and we explained our vision, the people we’re putting together.”

They are convinced that they are selling something streaming entertainment can never offer: “People still yearn for social interaction, for face-to-face contact, to go out for the night,” Dylan said.

Tom Palminteri
Tom Palminteri on July 14, 2016 at 11:52 am

That is great news!!! Thank God this is happening god knows we didn’t need another bank! Haha… Thank you posting this!

wally 75
wally 75 on July 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I post this story on face book with a link to this page..waybackwally/walters

theatrefan
theatrefan on December 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

From Boxoffice Magazine April 1985

United Artists Communications opened the renovated and newly subdivided Babylon Triplex Theatre in New York recently.

Originally the Babylon Theatre, a 25-year-old landmark on Main Street, the new house opened with “Dune” and “Starman.”

UA reopened their Rivoli theatre in Manhattan just two months earlier.

robboehm
robboehm on December 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

theatrefan- since the Babylon opened in 1922 as the Capitol and became the Babylon in 1925 the Boxoffice Magazine was wrong in calling it a 25 year old landmark in 1985. Don’t know where they got that information.

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