Cove Theater

90 School Street,
Glen Cove, NY 11542

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Original Marquee

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I last went to the Cove in the early-1970’s. I don’t remember much about it except that it was a good sized theater possibly decorated in the French style. It was probably from the 1920’s and harbored a Midmer-Losh organ. It was transformed into a dinner theater, but Glen Cove, NY is off the beaten path on the North Shore of Long Island and the draw was not all that good. It closed and was demolished.

I remember that the stage house with the stage exposed to the elements was the last to go and stood sadly in downtown Glen Cove for some time before being pulverized. It was replaced by some sort of condos or assisted living complex now.

Does anybody else remember this gem?

Contributed by robbie

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2007 at 2:45 pm

According to this 1959 suit, the owner of the Glen and the Cove sued the owner of the Glen Cove alleging that the new theater would cause confusion amongst the theater going populace. Plaintiff lost:
http://tinyurl.com/y6p5b4

bilcgo
bilcgo on November 26, 2008 at 10:08 pm

I grew up in Glen Cove and remember the Cove quite clearly — When I started going to movies there, they featured “continuous showings” of the features — as soon as the movie ended, it started again (I remember sitting through “The Ten Commandments” twice. There was a section for kids (under the watchful eye of the matron!) near the middle on the left, Biblical-themed murals on the walls, etc.

I remember the opening of the Glen Cove and of the Town, too — nice theaters. GC was quite the mecca for North Shore moviegoers in those days (late 50’s through the 60’s), except for the art house Cinema in the Americana shopping center on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. For what it’s worth, my first kiss was in the Town Theater — I remember the girl, but not the movie.

I also recall the opening of the Northstage Dinner Theater, with a production of Anything Goes. Fun, but I preferred it as a movie palace.

ccal
ccal on March 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

YOUR COMMENTS

I managed the Cove Theater in Glen Cove for about a month in 1967. The reason for the special care of this building was the fact the Dr. and Mary Calderone lived not all too far from this theater and visited often. Dr. Calderone owned this building. AIT took over the operation of this and all the Calderone theaters in the early 1970. The Cove was performing poorly at best and was the first theater that AIT closed. I think this happened in 1972 or 73. It sat empty for a long period and I lost track of what happened after all the Calderone theaters were closed by AIT in 1974. The Cove was quite a beautiful theater in its day.
posted by js662 on Feb 13, 2004 am29 3:29am
If I recall correctly, the Cove was transformed into a “dinner theatre” after it stopped showing movies. Amusingly, “in the old days,” Glen Cove also had a movie theatre called the Glen. It had only 590 seats, while the Cove had 1,658, according to the 1932 Film Daily Year Book.
posted by Warren G. Harris on Feb 14, 2004 pm29 1:32pm
i am sorry to say, the cove changed into a CVS. the Glen,(which i believe was the one next to Exxon is now strip stores, various stores such as bagel, radio shack etc.
i was sorry to see them go also. I am a Glen Cove resident born and raised, 36 yrs.
posted by mg on Feb 29, 2004 am29 8:05am
The Cove Theatre was located at 90 School Street. The Glen Theatre was at 49 Glen Street, between School St. and the LIRR station. I believe that another movie theatre was built on Glen Street in the 1950s or 60s, but on the opposite side of the LIRR station going towards the south shore.
posted by Warren G. Harris on Feb 29, 2004 am29 8:20am
Does anyone have any photos of either the Glen or the Cove? I remember the Glen growing up during the 80s. I don’t remember it ever being open then, but I could be wrong.
posted by Mike G on Apr 24, 2004 pm30 12:16pm
I do remember the Cove Theater; a Greek family ran it in the early 1970’s before it was turned into a dinner theater.
FYI Glen Cove in the early 1960’s had FOUR theaters.
The Cove – was a large, old-fashioned 1920’s theater palace with a balcony and fly space above the stage, for vaudeville or theater. And yes, film pioneer Marcus Loew had an estate in Glen Cove.
The Glen – was a small movie theater on Glen Street in the heart of the city. Burned down in the late 1960’s, replaced by a roadway leading to one of the city’s parking garages. The building next door to it has a Tudor facade; it’s still standing as architect’s offices.
The Glen Cove – modern cinema built in the ‘50’s, turned into a CVS drug store in the early '80’s. Further down Glen Street than the 1920’s ear Glen, its parking lot backed into that of St. Patrick’s RC Church. The theater had a small balcony.
The Town – modern cinema almost next door to the Glen Cove (in between was a Wetson’s burger stand, then a McDonald’s). Torn down in the late '70’s for shops. This theater did not have a balcony.
FYI my family preferred drive-in’s – the Westbury and the 110 in Huntington off the LIE.
posted by dw438 on Apr 22, 2006 pm30 2:43pm
The Cove Theater became the Northstage Dinner Theater from about 1977 'ish, to mid 80’s.

As a dinner theater the orchestra section had all the seats removed with tables installed for food service. A kitchen was added on the east side, with a bar in the lobby. The balcony stayed as theater seating. This was a truly beautiful theater, with Roman columns in a semi-circular room, framing painted fabric murals on the walls representing the 4 seasons.

My wife (GC born and raised) was a cashier here when it was a movie theater in ‘73 thru '75, she then went on to get a degree in technical theater, becoming a follow spot operator, then head prop mistress when it was a dinner theater. She remembers her father (also GC born and raised) talking about seeing vaudeville shows here.

I was the head stage electrician in 1978, then again in 1980 to 1981 and met my wife here. We ran some fun show – My Fair Lady, Shenandoah, Pippin, Camelot, with some memorable ones, such as Grease, whose cast and set came right off of Broadway the day it closed in NYC, including the Greased Lightning golf cart….ummm Car, as well as a set whose rear walls were covered in bubblegum after a 7 year Broadway run.

After an attempt by the us stagehands to unionize (I’ve nothing nice to say about the management or pay scale), the theater management switched the programming to R&R concerts – Gary US Bonds, Elvis Costello, Greg Allman, Ramomes, etc…

Eventually that too failed and the theater was closed, to be torn down with senior housing taking it’s place.
posted by lightingguy on May 19, 2007 pm31 8:06pm
Nice, dw438. Thanks for posting that. I grew up in GC and could never keep all those theater names straight. The Glen Cove and the Town were the two that I knew best and spent many hours in as a kid. I loved those theaters. The building that the Glen Cove was in is still standing. Like you already said it was turned into a CVS, but I’m pretty sure CVS has now moved out and is in the space next door (where the original GC Radio Shack used to be). I remember the day the Town was demolished and became a big pile of rubble. I should have taken some pictures because one of the original projectors was lying on top of the pile. It was a sad and eerie sight.
posted by potato222 on Nov 9, 2008 am30 10:05am
Can’t all these postings be moved to the listing for the Cove Theatre, where they rightfully belong?
posted by Warren G. Harris on Nov 9, 2008 am30 10:13am
Hi. I don’t remember what year, but I was watching The Love Bug in the Cove Theatre when part of the ceiling caved in. But kids have their priorities, and I guess management does, too. After a brief halt, the movie was put back on and we watched til the end. This was not too long before the theatre was closed, before it was turned into the Northstage Dinner Theatre. I wnet there a lot as a kid.
I also remember the theatres next door to Wetson’s. St. Pat’s took us there on field trips. Once to see Charleton Heston in ‘The Ten Commandments’, and another time to see ‘I Remember Mama’. The buildings had theatre faces on them, happy and sad.
posted by Cecile on Mar 3, 2009 pm31 2:45pm

thestoren
thestoren on August 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Back in the 1950s and early 1960s there were no cineplexes. Today we have multiple screens, movies stay for weeks or even months before transitioning on to DVD. You have a choice of cineplexes. Back then a movie would come into a single screen house, stay a week, then move on to another one in the next town. On Long Island’s north shore, movies always played the Cove before they played in Great Neck at either the Squire or the Playhouse. After a week or so they’d move on to another town. If you missed a movie in your own town you had to chase it around the island to see it.

EricSh
EricSh on December 23, 2009 at 9:14 am

I worked on the stage crew (a “grip”) at Nothstage on and off between 1976-1978. Shows I remember working included West Side Story, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof. I know there were others.

The last time I was there was seeing the Go-Gos in concert. Though I was no longer working there, I had connections and was basically allowed to sneak in. Even got to meet the band briefly after the show.

The place holds a special place in my heart; many friendships were started & nourished there. I was devastated when it was torn down.

cheebalicious
cheebalicious on August 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

Any idea what projectors might have been here in the early days?

Just to make things clear: this is the theater which stood on School St, not any of the three which stood on Glen St at various times. (BTW, our Stop & Shop has historical photos hung in the produce dept, and one of then shows the sign of the Cove’s sister theater, the Glen!)

If anyone could repost the auditorium photo, it would make some Girl Scouts very happy. :) Sadly I did not save it while the link worked.

EricSh
EricSh on August 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I can’t comment on the projectors, but I got the link posted above to work by getting rid of the “i8” bit: View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 1, 2011 at 12:18 am

The excellent Long Island Library Resources Council’s Long Island Memories website includes a number of images concerning the Cove, digitized from the extensive Calderone Theatres collection of Hofstra University’s Library.

A view of the house from the stage

Entrance c. 1970

View from balcony left – I had these seats for a 1982 concert

Alt view of house from stage

Grand Opening – marquee dated Aug 12, 1927

Alt. view from balcony

So opening date verified August 12, 1927.

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

Jeff M.
Jeff M. on February 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

Back in 1969 I worked part time as an usher at the Cove Theatre. The manager and I had our differences but she became my best friend when the Carroll Baker film Paranoia was to be shown. It had, at the time, an “X” rating (which by today’s standards would have been “R”) and I was the only part time usher old enough to work with an “X” rated film in the house. It was a double feature along with The Oblong Box starring Vincent Price. Needless to say the first ever “X” rated film shown in Glen Cove was well patronized. I became friends with the gentleman who worked the projection room and he used to play my LP’s of Everett Nourse at the SF Fox Wurlitzer during intermissions. The stage was filled with junk which included the old Midmer-Losh organ console minus its pedalboard. It had 3 manuals of which the lower one was of 88 keys. The pipe chambers were behind the stage left wall and had been pretty much trashed. It was Opus 5315 and consisted of 3 manuals & 10 ranks. It was installed in 1927. I remember seeing a central vacuuming system that still worked! I also remember taking black and white pictures of the auditorium which are very much like the ones already posted. I enjoyed working at the Cove back then.

Criswell_Weatherman
Criswell_Weatherman on July 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I remember that I attended some great shows at NorthStage Dinner Theater. I guess I’m too young to remember it as the Cove. I saw Kreskin, and got called onstage with him twice! I also saw Uncle Floyd Vivino’s live show. In addition there were a number of plays I saw there, such as Damn Yankees and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, which is extremely different from the movie. I am certain I saw another play there, but can’t remember what play it was.

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