Island Theatre

203-11 Hollis Avenue,
Hollis, NY 11412

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This was a late run Prudential house that usually played the same feature as the Park Theatre. Closed in the late-1950’s or early-1960’s.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

JKane
JKane on November 3, 2006 at 9:49 pm

I believe the Island stayed open into the early ‘60s. My friends and I would go there after our truly local theater the Bellaire closed in 1959. Seem to recall catching Gorgo, The Amazing Transparent Man, Caltiki the Immortal Monster and possibly Platinum High School, among others, at the Island. It did depart not too long after. If memory serves, it was a fairly bare-bones nabe, not as large or grandiose as the Bellaire even; not sure if it had a true concession stand or just vending machines (ice cream, candy, soda). Still, a fun, funky, budget-friendly place to catch a genre double feature.

JKane
JKane on January 25, 2007 at 8:41 pm

Thanks, Warren, for the 1932 Press clip. I didn’t attend the Island till the mid-50s or so but it still looked very much like those photos as I recall it. A fun, funky “nabe.” And better a church than a parking lot.

JBaisley
JBaisley on March 17, 2008 at 6:34 pm

The church where the island theater used to be is putting together a journal to commemorate their 50th aniiversary. If anyone has any pictures, information of the actual theater please let me know. Thanks.

JBaisley
JBaisley on March 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm

I can’t thank you enough. This will really help!

MarkieS
MarkieS on June 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm

My mom, now 81, always tells me about movies like “Intermezzo” that she saw at this theater as a child, which even then, not long after it opened, people referred to as “the itch”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2009 at 1:09 am

I can only find a couple of mentions of the Island in Boxoffice Magazine. One from September 18, 1954, says that it was being taken over by Laurelton Amusement Co., an affiliate of Interboro Theatres run by David Katz, former managing director of the Roxy Theatre. Katz planned a renovation of the house and the installation of a CinemaScope screen.

The Island was being run by Interboro Theatres itself when the January 12, 1952, issue of Boxoffice reported the success of a promotion by the circuit in which a cinematographer took films of kids at local schools, and the films were then run at the circuit’s various houses during Christmas vacation. “Look kiddies. See yourself in the movies and see your friends” read one ad reproduced in Boxoffice.

Such a thing seems almost quaint in this day when kids routinely put video of themselves on the Internet, but I’d bet that any theater that tried such a promotion now would provoke all manner of hysteria from parents and from various official and unofficial, self-appointed Guardians Of The Children.

lynnjav
lynnjav on July 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I lived ½ block away on 203rd Street from 1943 to 1970. This was definitely our neighborhood theater. I saw “The Attack of the Crab Monsters” and one called (I think) “The Americano” and I fell madly in love with Glenn Ford. (JKane – my last name at the time was Kane.) It became the AME church while we still lived there. We kids fondly called it “the Itch”.

dashley
dashley on December 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I lived on 203rd St. between 109th and 104th avenues from 1938 (birth) to 1958.I remember the"Itch" fondly. Saturday matinees with a serial (like Batman)and the matron, dressed in white, who patrolled the isles, flashlight in hand keeping us kids quiet, not an easy job.I saw my first movie ever there!The original box office was inside in the lobby and then was moved outside at the entrance.A commentator also mentioned the Bellaire. I believe that later became a bowling alley.

robboehm
robboehm on January 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Yes, the Bellaire did become a bowling alley, split level. This struck me as odd because I seem to recall them having flooding issues.

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