19 Central Avenue,
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This strikingly modern theatre was designed by John and Drew Eberson for the Fabian circuit and first opened in September 10, 1941, with a seating capacity for 2,400. Since the top Hollywood movies were already divided up between the city’s Capitol Theatre and Montauk Theatre, the Central Theatre’s main attraction was stage shows, with B-movies shown just as fillers. It was the height of the Big Band era, so the Central Theatre booked all the top entertainers of the time, starting with its opening bill of Charlie Spivak’s Orchestra and The Three Stooges.
The Central Theatre will always been remembered for bandleader Glenn Miller’s last American engagement before he left to entertain the troops in Europe and ended up being killed in a plane crash over the English Channel.
After WWII ended, the Central Theatre continued stage shows until it could no longer compete with the variety programs that people could watch free on newfangled television. The Central Theatre switched to movies exclusively. It was closed on September 25, 1979 with Ron O'Neal in “The Hitter” & Ling Chia in “Queen Boxer” (aka Chou).
Demolition proved to be diffucult due to the sturdiness of the building and it commenced in October 1979 and was completed in May 1980. It was replaced by a McDonald’s.
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