Belle Harbor Twin

150 Beach 116th Street,
Rockaway Park, NY 11694

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Showing 1 - 25 of 50 comments

robboehm on February 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

In the pre air conditioning days the Park screened films in it’s roof garden per references in the Rockaway Beach Wave.

RobertEndres on October 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

There’s a comment by rjcambell in 2006 that clarifies this discussion. The second screen was a roof top theatre. When I first came to New York I went to a lot of the $1.00 sub-run houses and ths was one. A friend of mine who was head of service for RKO theatres and then an independent contractor told me that this house “bicycled” the print when the roof top theatre was open, pulling the reels from the lower booth to the upper booth with a rope. He also mentioned a time when the two operators didn’t get along and one of them deliberately waited until the last minute to lower or raise the reels to the other booth. I came here in 1974, so never got to attend a screening in the upper theatre, but thought it looked pretty neat with the big windows that caught the air off the ocean for cooling. While someone on this site does mention an outside staircase, I would think the inner staircase at one point did lead to the roof theatre.

thedawnedition on October 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

Does anyone know who owns this gem? I love the history, and would love to invest in restoring something for the community here.

FormerNYCJim on March 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

As a kid, I spent my summers in Rockaway, with my family renting a series of bungalows on 107th St, until everything up to 108th Street was torn down for Robert Moses' urban renewal/destruction. I remember going to see The Wizard of Oz at the Park Theater with my grandmother…..but remember climbing up a series of steps outside to an upper theater, that was rarely used, and the seats weren’t cushioned.this was in 1955. Anyone else have a recollection of this? Could this have been just a staircase to the little used balcony?

jordanlage on July 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Clearly no movement to do anything with this property in the past 3 three years or more. A very old hand-painted sign on the facade reads “Hall for hire” and lists a phone number.

robboehm on January 24, 2010 at 7:56 pm

There is also an image of this theatre on the So. Ozone Park, Park theatre site dated 12/14/2007 and an image of the Belle Harbor Theatre, which is obviously the Park at a later date, incorrectly linked at the New Theatre site. Anybody here with the expertise to replicate these images on this site?

jflundy on May 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Here is the link to the photo promised above:
View link

jflundy on May 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Here is a large photo, viewing Beach 116th Street, taken from the air above the surf, over the boardwalk and up to the Boulevard. The Park Theater is on the right of B.116th St., fourth building up the block. The roof and swiveling windows are clearing shown.

The date is 4 July 1946. Curley’s Hotel, Restaurant and Bar is shown fronting the Boardwalk on the Left. The third building up the street on the left side, with the flat roof, is the new Grand Union Store which introduced the automatic can dispensing shelving system to the Rockaways.

Bway on May 21, 2009 at 10:55 am

Wow! When I was a teenager in the mid 80’s, we often would stop for lunch at that pizza place….I had NO idea that used to be a theater when we ate there! It finally clicked when Lost Memory posted that link….

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

In 1986 the building looked like this.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Here is the Park Theater in 1966. It is the same theater as the Belle Harbor. This theater should be listed as the Belle Harbor since that was it’s later name. And screens should be two.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 11, 2009 at 11:30 am

Compare that photo to this photo that Bway previously posted. They look like the same building to me.

kencmcintyre on April 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

This photo shows a Rockaway Park theater that has not yet been listed, as far as I know.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 19, 2007 at 1:54 pm

No, the Park Theatre in South Ozone Park is not the same theatre as the original Crossbay, which has been converted to retail.

JMcCarthy on December 19, 2007 at 10:14 am

Hey Warren — is/was the Park Theatre in South Ozone the one I knew as the UA Crossbay? It was where Rockaway Boulevard crossed Liberty Avenue (at Crossbay Boulevard).

Which, BTW, is no longer a movie house. It closed a year or two ago.
Its sister theater, UA Crossbay II, is still open, several blocks away.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 19, 2007 at 6:51 am

This photo shows the Park Theatre when it first opened:
The photo was previously displayed incorrectly at the listing for the Park Theatre in South Ozone Park. A recent photo of the Park Theatre building can be seen in the new feature about Rockaway Park at

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 27, 2007 at 7:15 am

Here’s an ad from January, 1936 for the RKO Park Theatre. I don’t know how long the RKO affiliation lasted. The Film Daily Year Book of 1942 does not include the Park among RKO theatres in the New York area. Only the RKO Strand and RKO Columbia are listed for the Rockaways:

JMcCarthy on November 8, 2006 at 9:26 am

Hi guys,
the photo on Forgotten-ny is NOT the movie theater. The building in that shot is on the west side of 116th and down the block, on the “bay side” of Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The aerial shot from Bway is indeed, the theater. I think in the ‘70s it was called the Belle Harbor Theater. The last movie I remember seeing in there was “The Island at the Top of the Word.” It was a double-feature with a Disney release that ,for the life of me, I just can’t remember. One of the Herbie movies, maybe? I remember that the balcony was condemned and you weren’t supposed to go up there.
BTW, I was born and raised in Rockaway. I miss Playland and the old movie theaters. (There hasn’t been a movie theater in Rockaway since Surfside Cinema closed down, in the early '90s. It opened as a Jerry Lewis Theater around 1970? And when they started showing Rated R movies, lost their franchise.) Oh, and the zip code for the address? 11694

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 27, 2006 at 6:11 am

Charles Sandblom was architect of the Park, which is believed to be his first project in the borough of Queens.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 13, 2006 at 5:51 am

From a newspaper called “The Wave” dated March 4, 1954:

“Three movie theaters advertised in the paper that week. The Gem Theater in Far Rockaway was showing "Hondo,” with John Wayne and “Forbidden,” with Tony Curtis and Joanne Dru. The New Theater on Beach 80 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard (called “The Itch” by those who attended the theater on a regular basis) was showing “The Man Between,” with James Mason and Claire Bloom. Coming attractions included “Tarzan and the Leopard Woman.” The Park Theater on Beach 116 Street was showing “The Eddie Cantor Story” and “Highway Dragnet” with Richard Conte".

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 21, 2006 at 8:41 am

Very nice Bway, thanks. That solves the mystery of the Park theater. If the other building on the Forgotten.ny site was a theater, unless someone from the area can identify it, we would need someone to look in their FDYbooks to find a name for it. What does 239-241 look like from Live Local view?

Bway on September 21, 2006 at 7:53 am

Thank you for identifying the Park! The image is the Park Theater.
But then we have another mystery….
This photo from forgotten.ny, is NOT the same building. it’s narrower, only has two stores, and the stores here are the 239 and 241 Beach 116th St address….
View link

rjcampbell on September 21, 2006 at 7:43 am

Thank You!!! that is the Park. My Uncle’s house was the one across the street on 115th. Do remember we are dealing with a facade. There was the main lobby with two wings on both sides. Maybe the picture is one of the wings. Still doesn’t explain the address numbers. Notice on the right of the park in the photo the back of the Park Inn Hotel.

Bway on September 21, 2006 at 7:33 am

Lost, yes, I mean this building from
I cropped it and uploaded so those that are having problems can see it. It’s obviously not the same building as the forgotten.ny. photo’s building:

Click here for photo

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 21, 2006 at 7:18 am

Are we talking about the large building with the white roof in the Live Local aerial view? If so, that building is not in the middle of the block. That building is located near the end of the block. Change the original view by clicking on South and you can see its location towards the end of the street where the turn around for the street is located.