ACT Theatre

145 Main Street,
Hempstead, NY 11550

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Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

The “Dr.” Warner mentioned in the grand opening story was almost certainly Harry M. Warner, one of the namesakes of the Warner Bros. empire. I suspect that Warner invested with Salvatore Calderone as a step towards a WB circuit on Long Island, but that never happened. In the wake of the Depression, the Calderone theatres landed with the Skouras chain, which was affiliated with 20th Century-Fox.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Renovated auditorium pictured in lower right corner of this 1963 trade layout: Boxoffice

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Joe, it would probably take a visit to a Nassau County library and a perusal of local papers from that period to see if any advertisements for the Rivoli are to be found.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Although the text of the pages about this theater in the Hofstra collection (the last two links in Ed Solero’s previous comment) gives the opening date of the house as April 3, 1926, a notice that plans were being drawn for the project was published in the April 28, 1921, issue of Engineering News-Record:

“N. Y., Hempstead—Theater and Stores— Rivoli Theater Corp., c/o Reilley & Hall, archts. and engrs., 405 Lexington Ave.. New York City, having sketches made for 2 story, 80 x 200 ft., brick and stone, concrete foundation, here. About $250,000.”
As both sources name Reilly & Hall as the architects, one of two things must be true; either it took the Rivoli Theater Corporation five years to get this house built, or Hofstra got the year it opened wrong. Items in other trade journals from 1921 indicate that contracts for the Rivoli were let in July, and that construction was set to begin in August, but I can’t find anything later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 18, 2011 at 3:47 am

The architectural rendering Ed Solero linked in the previous comment to shows that the Rivoli was designed by the firm Reilly & Hall.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 1, 2011 at 12:40 am

According to the info provided for this image from the Hofstra collection, Frank Calderone addresses the audience at the former Rivoli at the occasion of his donating the theatre to Adelphi University on May 10, 1978.

Click “Next” at the upper right side of the page header and you will be able to view several other images associated with the Rivoli, including a closer view of the alternate W. Columbia St entrance for the theatre (also dated May 10, 1978) as well as an image of the theatre’s ground-breaking and an artist’s architectural rendering of the theatre’s exterior.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 1, 2011 at 12:16 am

Oh and Robert… Could the film you described in the introductory comments above be “Kronos?” I seem to recall that sci-fi flick has some rather cheaply rendered alien machines that sort of “marched” around on four legs that looked like firing pistons! Can’t remember much else about the movie except for that!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

Here’s a 1971 photo that reveals the theatre was known for a time as Calderone 2, no doubt due to its proximity to the Calderone Theatre, just one block away on N. Franklin Avenue, at the end of W. Columbia Street – which is shown here being re-christened in honor of the Calderones. And here is another shot showing the full Main Street facade as well as the alternate marquee and entrance around the corner on W. Columbia. It was actually this entrance which was used, as the big Main St marquee announces (“Entranc Around Corner”). You can also see the fly tower rising over the top of the facade to the left.

These pics come from Hofstra University’s excellent Calderone Theatre Collection. If you click on the photos, you may zoom in on the image. You may also click on the thumbnail to move the “red box” around to change the area of detail you are viewing in the bigger image.

By the way, the building that replaced this theatre is called Rivoli House. Oh, and there is no evidence of W. Columbia Street still being known as “Calderone Way!”

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on March 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Presumably named after the Rivoli Theatre on Broadway in midtown Manhattan, which opened in 1917 and had become one of the most prestigious cinemas in the USA.

robboehm
robboehm on March 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Exterior view of the auditorium.

View link

robboehm
robboehm on March 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Let’s try that again – 1986 photo of the Rivoli as the Adelphi Calderone

View link

Rory
Rory on September 6, 2007 at 6:42 am

I lived in Hempstead when I was a kid and I remember seeing a kid’s mantinee at the Rivoli of “Mad Monster Pary?” in either late 1967 or 1968. I also remember back in the late sixties this kid telling me about how he had seen “Planet of the Apes” with “this movie about cavemen being chased by dinosaurs.” I had no idea what he was talking about, but years later I looked up ads from the period in Newsday on microfilm at the Levittown library and discovered that what he had seen was a double feature of “Planet of the Apes” and “One Million Years B.C.” that had played at the Rivoli the last week of June 1968. I also remember that my father took me in 1969 to the Rivoli to see a double feature of “The Sand Pebbles” and “Che!” I never recalled much of “Che!” but “The Sand Pebbles” became one of my favorite movies. I can’t recall the Rivoli in any vivid detail but I’ll never forget the movies I saw there.

sasheegm
sasheegm on September 5, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Warren: Nothing came through except Photobucket saying that the page was not found———Joe From Florida

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 4, 2006 at 1:49 pm

Here’s an ad for Calderone’s Theatres from December, 1927. The Rivoli supported its movies with vaudeville every day, with a full program change twice a week:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/caldfive.jpg

longislandwally75
longislandwally75 on June 9, 2006 at 1:05 am

I TRAINED AT THE CALDERONE FOR UA 1969 AND FOUND MYSELF HELPING OUT
AT THE RIVOLI HEMPSTEAD FROM TOME TO TIME..
IT HAD A FLYING SCREEN AND A NICE STAGE..WE HAD LIVE SOUL SHOWS
THERE SUNDAY NIGHTS..
WALLY 1975

hjb318
hjb318 on February 3, 2006 at 7:01 pm

I remember the Rivoli very well as I grew up nearby. Mostly I remember my dad us off in thr late forties & early fifties… $.50 for 2 movies, new reel, shorts etc. Had many dates up in the balcony. Calderone opened around 1949-1950. Rivole, as the Hemp, were old vaudaville threatres

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 28, 2005 at 10:16 pm

The Mysterians was originally supposed to be released theatrically by RKO——-Toho had leased them the rights to show the film in the USA……….But at that time, in 1958, RKO had lost most of its booking houses, so RKO turned over the theatrical rights to MGM with Toho’s approval, and the results were terrific………However RKO retained the rights to the TV distribution which is about all it had left———-MGM re-dubbed the film, and re-colorized the negatives with their Metro Color process which turned pink within a year………So for many years, all you could see on TV were B&W prints……..When RKO-TV finally released a color version of the film, it was washed out ,looking with very warbely sound track…………………Toho released it on Pal video first in Japan then on Laser disc in the 90s…….Finally about 3 years ago they released it on dvd in Japan, and reached an agreement last year with Media-Blasters to release it here———-A new English Dubbed track was used on the dvd….and of course you have the option to see it in original Japanese with English subtitles……….As far as I know, all of the original MGM 70mm prints are gone with the wind——turned to dust———-I only knew one collector who had a 16mm MGM print…..and that was back in the 1960s…….but even the Original Toho negative was damaged some=———-if you take a close look at the first combat scene between the Jet Planes and the Dome’s laser beam, you will see heavy lines for about 5 to 10 seconds———That was a flaw in the original negative, that was never fixed………Good talking with you Richard——-By the way; for about 5 years, when i lived in Levittown, in the early 70s, I would take out my 16mm projector and show the entire neighborhood The Mysterians on the back of my house which was white————My Daughters were small then and they grew up watching The Mysterians on the 4th of July for about 5 years with about 50 kids———My poor wife had to clean up the mess the morning after——but what fun we had, as I made my own fireworks showing The Mysterians on the back of my house….Joe

RichardC
RichardC on May 28, 2005 at 9:56 pm

Yup. Mineola Theatre was on Mineola Blvd @ First Street.
About a one-block walk from the LIRR station.
They tried doing live theater there in the 60’s but eventually reverted back to movies for its remaining years.
It was destroyed to make room for a non-descript office “box” bldg.
What a waste!
Got any trivia re “The Mysterians” ?

sasheegm
sasheegm on May 28, 2005 at 9:45 pm

Glad I could bring back some memories for you RichardC………I remember the Mineola Theater as well…….I believe it was a block from the old LIRR station………..Joe From Florida

RichardC
RichardC on May 28, 2005 at 9:04 pm

LOL. I saw “The Mysterians” at Calderone’s Mineola Theatre!
Just purchased the DVD from “Deep Discount DVD”.
Great progressive Sci Fi flick from the studio that did the original “Godzilla”.
Thx for the memories!

sasheegm
sasheegm on April 22, 2005 at 10:09 am

The first date I ever had with my future wife was at the Rivoli……It was in 1959 and the film was “The Mysterians…..The Toho production that received a lavish build-up by MGM for its theatrical release here in the USA……We went there many times after that as my wife came from Uiondale, L.I.——-BTW, when I started collecting films in the late 60s, one of the first titles I got for my Collection was "The Mysterians AKA: Chikyu Boeigun-1957-Japan…….any one who would like info on this film( as its very interesting indeed. drop me an e-mail)——Joe From Florida—-sasheegm—–

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 3, 2004 at 4:38 pm

The Rivoli was situated at 145 Main Street and had 1,855 seats, according to the 1954 Film Daily Year Book. The theatre first opened on April 3, 1926, and was built by Salvatore Calderone with profits that he made from his Hempstead Theatre, which opened in April, 1922. At the same time as the Rialto, Calderone also built the Valley Stream Theatre in Valley Stream, which opened three weeks after the Rivoli, according to Miriam Tulin’s “The Calderone Theatres on Long Island,” published by the Long Island Studies Instiute of Hofstra University.