Belair Twin Theatre

209 W. Merrick Road,
Valley Stream, NY 11580

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Belair Twin Theatre

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The Belair Theatre was opened as a 600-seat single screen on June 26, 1963. It was later twinned. In the early-1980’s it was showing second run films for $2.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

There is a current photo for the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale, Long Island, that is very reminiscent of what the Belair Twin looked like, with it’s L-shaped shopping center location. The only thing I seem to remember is that the Belair was tucked a bit further into its corner than the CM is. Imagine the CM entrance moved a bit to the right in the photo and I think you have a very good approximation of what the Belair was like.

Ed Miller
Ed Miller on January 4, 2013 at 1:06 am

The photos displayed here should really be removed, because they have nothing to do with the Belair. The theater was in the mall that was previously on this property, but it was totally demolished and rebuilt. The centerpiece of the old mall was Hills supermarket, with the Belair adjacent. It was built in the very early ‘60s, and was not initially a twin. As a matter of fact, the last time I was in it, in the late '70s, it had yet to be twinned. There was nothing distinguished about the Belair, inside or out. It was just a plain auditorium, no more and no less.

fred1
fred1 on January 4, 2013 at 5:52 am

This theater opened by B.S. Moss

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hey Ed… You’re probably right about the two photos (which I took and posted), but at least they indicate where the theater once stood. The street view for this theater is entirely off the mark, pointing the view arbitrarily in some residential block behind Valley Stream State Park! And you are dead on about the Belair being utterly undistinguished! Nothing remarkable about the place at all, at least form a physical standpoint. Believe the last movie I saw here may have been “Doctor Detroit,” in 1983 or so.

youtwofan
youtwofan on March 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

I just came across this site while doing research to try to find the date I saw The Dave Clark Five at The BelAir. Yes you read that correctly. They did not perform, they were there to promote their movie, but my friend and I were at the front of the line and got great seats. I may not remember what I had for breakfast these days but that is a day I will never forget.

formerprojectionist
formerprojectionist on March 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Hey, thanks for confirming this. My friend was quite confident he saw them there, but most of the reactions on this board were that my friend was wrong. Anyhow, you put this to rest, thank you!

Jbloomrosen
Jbloomrosen on March 22, 2016 at 5:53 am

Okay. The facts. My grandparents owned the luncheonette next door to the Belair Movie Theater when they both opened, I believe in 1963 or so. I was only four, but spent many a day there. My grandparents were friends with the owner of the theater and my brother and I would get in for free.

I recall two major events there. One was the premiere of The Batman Movie, where Adam West and Burt Ward both appeared live, to introduce the film. I was obsessed with them at this point, and recall this clearly. The second event that I recall, first hand, and which changed my life, was The Dave Clark Five appearing at The Belair to accompany the opening of their film, “Catch Us If You Can,” also in 1965.

Contrary to what was written previously, the band DID perform. Or, let’s say, they tried to perform. Their equipment was set up on stage and the band came out and played one song, possibly, “Glad All Over,” (I was only five, sorry I don’t remember!). The stage was being guarded by an entire phalanx of policemen, standing in front of the stage, holding hands creating a human barricade. By the second song, the screaming teenaged girls stormed the stage, and the band was whisked off… immediately.

Order was restored, and the movie was shown. Afterwards, I recall a girl, mascara running down her face as she cried and bawled, “I touched him… I’ll never wash my hand again… I touched him…” in my grandparents' luncheonette. My little Jewish grandmother was trying to calm her down, to no avail. It was at that moment I knew I’d end up working in Show Biz, in one way or another. I also ended up shooting many rock bands that I grew up listening to. Never the Dave Clark Five, though 😢 If inclined, you can see some of my work at: www.jbloomrosen.com

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on October 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

The Belair originally opened as a single screen cinema with 600 seats on June 26th, 1963. Located in the Belair Shopping Center, it was built for B.S. Moss Enterprises at a cost of $250,000, according to a report in Newsday. Films were first-run for the area, starting with “Divorce Italian Style.”

robboehm
robboehm on October 26, 2016 at 11:19 am

Would be nice if someone could find and post a photo of the theater.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on October 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

The Belair was designed by Louis Liberman, with John J. McNamara as consulting architect, according to a news item in the 7/01/63 issue of Boxoffice Magazine.

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