Hempstead Theatre

310 Fulton Street,
Hempstead, NY 11550

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Hempstead Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

With Eugene DeRosa as architect, the Hempstead Theatre was the first “deluxe” theatre to be built in the rapidly growing Nassau County city of Hempstead, Long Island. Salvatore Calderone already ran the Strand Theatre, which he bought from its original owners, but it was too small and antiquated for his planned policy of first-run movies and vaudeville.

The Hempstead Theatre opened on April 29, 1922, and was an instant success. The profits enabled Calderone to start a circuit of theatres that expanded beyond Hempstead to Westbury, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Mineola, and Glen Cove. After Calderone’s death, his family turned the management of the Hempstead Theatre and most of the other theatres over to the Skouras Theaters Cop. circuit.

The Hempstead Theatre was eventually sold and converted into the local branch of the N.Y. State Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV moved out in the late-1990’s and a church took over the building.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 53 comments)

robboehm
robboehm on March 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Warren could you also access the photo from the Long Island Memories site that has the sign stating on this site will be constructed the Hemptead Theatre. I came upon it just a few moments ago.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 14, 2009 at 7:13 am

Sorry, but based on your description, I couldn’t find that photo. Can you provice more specific details?

robboehm
robboehm on March 14, 2009 at 8:21 am

When I did an advanced search on Hemstead Theatre there were only seven hits. Number 5 shows the theatre with the policemen already available, the preceeding one is entitled Fulton Avenue. The text mentions the sign on the building. This maybe too tricky to enlarge enough to actually see the sign and not worth the effort.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 14, 2009 at 8:40 am

You’re probably right. I don’t think that a sign on the wall is going tell us much, if anything, that we don’t know already.

robboehm
robboehm on March 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

True, but it adds to the picture of in the day.

robboehm
robboehm on March 14, 2009 at 10:07 am

True, but it adds to the picture of in the day.

robboehm
robboehm on January 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm

It would be interesting to know if any of the interior decor of the theatre remains now that it’s become a church. DMV left the ceiling in tact, I know.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm

The following interior images are found on the excellent Long Island Librarry Resources Council’s Long Island Memories website – under the extensive Calderone Theatre collection of Hofstra University’s Library:

Slightly larger version of pic previously posted by Warren

View of proscenium and house from rear of loge

View of house from stage

Alt view of house from stage

Click on the images to zoom in and click on thumbnail image to move “red box” and change area of detail viewed in the larger image.

robboehm
robboehm on May 1, 2011 at 3:44 am

Ed, notice the seating pattern with the raised, stadium portion? Per our discussion of the Westbury.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I did indeed notice that, rvb.

Here’s an image of the block where the Hempstead Theatre would eventually rise. In fact, according to the notes under this photo, there is a sign on the 2nd building from the left that announces the theatre to be built on that site. Unfortunately, you can’t zoom in on this image to see it for yourself.

Here’s another pic showing the theatre’s entrance and part of the canopy as it appeared in 1931/32. The data provided by the Hempstead Library on this photo dates it circa 1932. The title featured on the marquee opened in the USA on August 22, 1931, according to IMDB.COM.

These images were posted here earlier, but the links are no longer working.

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