Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

76 Main Street,
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

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Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in June 1932 as the Westhampton Theatre with 600 seats. This beautifully renovated movie theatre has been transformed into a much needed state-of-the-art performing arts center for eastern Long Island. This theatre offers a complete film program for art and first release films as well as live performances year-round.

Contributed by Carol Garone

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

efriedmann on May 3, 2007 at 7:58 am

I am honored to be the first one to offer comment on the one theater I can honestly call my favorite movie theater of all time.

The only history I can offer is that this theater opened sometime in the 1930’s, was owned by United Artists and closed just after Labor Day weekend in 1996. The last movie it showed was THE FAN. A woman affectionately known as “Movie Mary” worked there most of her adult life until the last movie performance. It remained closed for about a year until reopening as a Performing Arts Center. Today, it still shows foreign and independent films, but only in between live

One need only watch the movies THE MAJESTIC or SUMMER OF ‘42 to get an idea of what it was like to grow up every summer in a seaside community like Westhampton Beach with this local theater in town. During my time, it played some of the best (ROCKY, STAR WARS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, TERMINATOR 2) and some of the worst (HALLOWEEN III, BATMAN FOREVER) movies ever. I particularly remember enjoying films with a beach or seaside theme to it at that theater, like ORCA: THE KILLER WHALE and JAWS 2. Movies like this seemed only fitting in a beach town.

The theater was (and still is, I guess) old fashioned and classic in every way; from its protruding marquee, it’s art-deco lobby, concession counter and its balcony. When it shut down in 1996, a big part of my childhood and history went along with it.

efriedmann on June 4, 2007 at 7:29 am

I saw Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA there in 1997, shortly after re-opening. I haven’t been to a movie there since.

atmos on December 30, 2008 at 5:27 am

This theatre opened in June 1932 and the architect was John Eberson.

robboehm on February 24, 2009 at 7:22 pm

The conversion to the PAC resulted in the loss of several dozen seats to accommodate the techie stuff needed for live performances.
The sound system for films is spectacular. This is such a jewel box of a space I’m glad is was rescued. Actually, the PAC has added to the right side of the original structure to provide a bar/reception area on the main level and offices on the balcony level.

sartana on December 30, 2011 at 7:00 am

The owners of this theatre made a huge mistake of replacing the stage speakers that where put in here by John Allen of HIGH PERFORMANCE STEREO. The only remaining components from the original and much superior system are the surround speakers and BGW amps.

cblog on November 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I hosted a teenage movie party; spaghetti at moniebogue when the youngs ran it, and shenandoah on the screen.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

What was the original name and any subsequent names of this theater?

robboehm on November 7, 2012 at 5:17 am

Originated as Westhampton. Original marquee still used. WHBPAC created after UA dropped it from the roster. Purchased for a relatively small sum, under $250,000, I believe. A lot of $$ into the restoration and expansion of the facility. A jewel.

robboehm on March 16, 2015 at 7:18 am

Added photo of crowd in front of theater for the St. Patrick’s day parade as published in 3/15/2014 Newsday.

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