Century's Baldwin Theatre

71 Merrick Road,
Baldwin, NY 11510

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One of the older theatres in the Century Theaters chain. The Baldwin Theatre opened in March 1933. It had a nice balcony and remained single screen until it closed in the early-1980’s. The former theater is now an office building.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

tommycannoli
tommycannoli on December 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Hey guys. you sure started the memories flowing after I read the above entries. We had lived on harrison ave, right around the corner from the old movie house. I can still remember the line when the Godfather was playing there. I read one of the entries above about Howies. I used to work for about an hour or two during the summers at Howies. I would pick up his breakfast from across the street, I CAN STILL SMELL THE AROMA. Howie was a special guy who really seemed to care about us kids. Someone mentioned the Venice In, some of the greatest pizza. I fondly remember going there with my brother and Dad on Sunday nights. He would have a beer while waiting for the pizza. He would say he couldn’t wait for us to get older and have a beer with him there. When the pizza was ready we would head home (2 minutes) and watch The Lawrence Welk Show. (guess I’m dating myself). I never got that beer with my Dad, He died a couple of years later, but I still have those memories. We attended Prospect Elementary School. What a school! Could not think of a better place to have started. If anyone has any pics of the old school, I would love to see them. I guess it was torn down in the 80’s. Baldwin was one heck of a place to grow up.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2010 at 4:20 am

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Friday, March 17, 1933, said that the new Baldwin Theatre would open that night. The opening feature was to be “Flesh” with Wallace Beery. The Baldwin Theatre was the 24th house in the Century Theatres chain, which had been founded more than twenty years earlier by A. H. Schwartz.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on June 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I was born and raised in Valley Stream, and I was only in the Baldwin twice, but I’m as sad as any of you Baldwiners to see that the theater is gone, like so many of the theaters that we grew up with. The first time I drove out to the Baldwin was in 1972, to see the very obscure movie, “Rivals”. I’ve always been a Joan Hackett fan, and it was the only theater where the movie was playing. The following year I drove to the Baldwin again, to see “Night Watch,” which was ending its theatrical run (had the theater become a dollar venue?). That night was a very memorable experience, because near the end of the movie, which is a thriller, a woman sitting way down front let out a blood curdling scream, which turned my blood to ice and my 22 year old heart to stone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Back on September 26, 2007, lostmemory said: “Was there another Baldwin Theater? A Midmer-Losh theater organ was installed in a Baldwin Theater in Baldwin, N.Y. in 1925.”

Chuck: Is it possible that the address you provided for this theater in the first comment was actually the address for the earlier Baldwin Theatre? It’s clear from more recent comments that the 1933 Baldwin Theatre is now the Baldwin Medical Plaza, and the Internet brings up addresses of of 865-869 Merrick Road for that building.

I’m thinking that either your source for the address was a pre-1933 publication, and actually belonged to the earlier Baldwin Theatre, or Baldwin has renumbered the lots on Merrick Road sometime since 1933. In either case, the current correct address of the former Baldwin Theatre is that of the Medical Plaza.

robboehm
robboehm on June 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm

There was an earlier Baldwin Theatre on Grand Avenue. I established it on CT earlier this year based upon newspaper accounts. I have yet to establish a specific address. If I have an opportunity to access some really old phone books I may be able to do so. However, I’ve found that for listings prior to 1930 there are often only street names and no specific address. Life was simpler then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

If the earlier Baldwin Theatre was on Grand, then the most likely explanation for the current address of this theater not being the 71 Merrick Road that Chuck found would be a renumbering sometime after 1933. The newspaper article quoted earlier said that the area around Merrick and Grand was the original center of the village’s business district. If growth later led to several small settlements expanding into one another, then a renumbering of the lots would be fairly likely to have happened.

robboehm
robboehm on June 28, 2011 at 3:02 am

Hey, a lot of stranger things have happened. The Bellerose Theatre is now in Floral Park, after having been in Bellerose for over 70 years. Seems they changed the Post office for the Nassau County portion of the village to Floral Park. The Queens County portion is still Bellerose. Go figure.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on July 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

Lol, Bellerose-Floral Park had always been “iffy,” like Alsace-Lorraine. I grew up in Valley Streamn and as I remember, Floral Park spilled over the Queens-Nassau line.

rivoli157
rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Saw “Victor/Victoria” here in the early 80s-way after its initial release and engagements. I believe that by this time The Baldwin had become a dollar theatre

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on August 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Yes by cracky I remember seeing Way of All Flesh and Susan and God back in the fall of 1940 but haven’t been thar since.

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