Bellaire Theatre

207-01 Jamaica Avenue,
Queens Village, NY 11428

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Bellaire Theater handbill

One of eastern Jamaica Avenue’s long-forgotten movie theatres, the Bellaire Theatre was named for its neighborhood, which is between Hollis and Queens Village. Never more than a subsequent-run house, it opened in August 1926 and closed in the late-1950’s. The building still stands having been converted into a bowling alley and then became a charter school which had closed by October 2018.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

robboehm on February 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

I remember someone telling me that there was a water issue with the space. So I was surprised when it became a bowling alley.

Re the comment above, the entrance was at the far west side of the building on Jamaica Avenue. I was never inside so have no idea of the layout. When it became a bowling alley the lanes were at the front of the building parallel to Jamaica Avenue. You could see them from the street or, in my case, from the Long Island Rail Road.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

The July 9, 1926, issue of The Film Daily said that Sam Baker expected to open his new Bellaire Theatre the first week of August.

robboehm on May 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

Joe, shame Film Daily didn’t have a photo since no images of the Bellaire in the day seem to be available.

Fixer3 on June 11, 2016 at 7:56 am

The photo is wrong. The building is not where the movie was. The building is on the northeast corner of the first block east of Francis Lewis Boulevard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Fixer3 must be right, which means we have the wrong address for this theater. The building at 207-13, housing the Labadee Manoir restaurant and bar catering business, is not configured like a theater. At the back, seen from 208th Street, it has a low ceiling on the ground floor and apartments above, and that looks original to the building, not a retrofit of an old theater. The building is a bit too small for an 825 seat theater, in any case.

The current Merrick Charter School has to be where the Bellaire was. The school uses a 207th Street address, and its main entrance is there, but a secondary entrance on Jamaica Avenue has the address 207-01 over the door.

A real estate web site says the building was built in 1961, but the structure looks older than that to me, so I would guess that’s the year when it was gutted and rebuilt into a bowling alley.

Also, I don’t think Google Maps will find the correct location while we use the name Bellaire in the address. It fetches Bellaire Place, at some distance south of the theater’s location. The real estate web site says the area is now called Queens Village, and at Google Maps, using the address 207-01 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428 does put the pin icon at exactly the right spot.

Texas2step on June 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

I uploaded a photo of the restaurant with the 207-13 Jamaica Avenue address. Maybe it will help solve the mystery.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

The mystery is solved. Fixer3 lived in the neighborhood when the Bellaire was in operation, and attended the theater, and says that it was in the building “…on the northeast corner of the first block east of Francis Lewis Boulevard” (which would make it the northeast corner of 207th Street.) That building, now housing the Merrick Charter School, is next door to the building Labadee Manoir is in. The Google street view is now set to the correct location.

robboehm on October 14, 2018 at 4:14 pm

The Charter school has closed and the building is now for sale.

robboehm on April 15, 2019 at 8:28 am

Texas2step uploaded the ad you posted on the Century’s Floral site which indicated that the Bellaire, together with the Floral, Bellerose, Hollis and Park (Rockaway Park) were part of the Playco circuit in 1933. Never heard of them. Where did you find that?

robboehm on April 15, 2019 at 8:40 am

As with the Bellerose, the Bellaire is no longer in the town of the name it bears due to a postal reconfiguration. In this case Queens Village.

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