Boulton Center for the Performing Arts

37 W. Main Street,
Bay Shore, NY 11706

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Boulton Center for the Performing Arts

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Regent Theatre was opened prior to 1914. It was first modernized in 1934 by John Eberson when the seating capacity was given as 678. In the 1940’s it was operated by the Prudential Theatres chain.

The theatre has now been renovated again, and has 290 stadium seats. Certainly not originally as spectacular as the Bay Shore Theatre (Ward & Glynne’s) vaudeville house. The Bay Shore Theatre was closed already in the 1980’s. The Regent Theatre puttered on into the 1990’s as a porn house.

The new Boulton Center marquee is quite attractive.

Contributed by Bway Chris

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Oh yes, David. The bane of every photographer interested in documenting street-level architecture! I have hundreds of photos ruined by those lines. Same can sometimes be said of trees in full bloom, when you’re out there between April and October! Thankfully, Manhattan is at least one area where above ground lines are virtually non-existant.

robboehm on September 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

But some times the results are interesting. Look at the picture of the Oasis. I thought the current use was as a church because of the way the poles are situated.

jukingeo on December 1, 2012 at 3:03 am

Echoing Robboehm, I clearly remember the Regent being Hollyrock in the early 90’s. At the time I was a DJ / Sound system installer and I did clubs in that area. While I never did any work, nor DJ'ed at Hollyrock, I was inside there twice. The place was done up very nicely in an art deco style. They nicely restored the outside and marquee and even had the name “Hollyrock” on the vertical. Inside, the orchestra section had all the seats removed and in the day time they operated the place as a luncheonette complete with 50’s style car’s as seats that faced the movie screen that played old movies, trailers and cartoons. At night they removed the “car” seats and that area became the dance floor. They had railings around the dance floor area with tall tables and stools to sit at. The balcony was semi converted and still had some theatre seats in place towards the front. The extreme front/center of the balcony is where the DJ booth was. The back of the balcony is where the bar was along with a few more tables to sit at. Food was prepared downstairs behind where the ticket booths were. All in all, they didn’t do a bad job at making something of the place, considering the porn hole it was prior. However, the business was poorly run and was pretty expensive compared to other clubs in the area. The owners made people wait outside to make the line long so the place looked packed…even though it was nearly empty inside. This tactic pissed many people off. Overall, Hollyrock didn’t last very long. I think it was only open for about 4 years and then shut down. A couple of friends and myself tried to get a hold of the place in receivership, but as it turned out, the owners owed so much money on the place that everything inside was liquidated and sold off. So in the end, the building was once again an empty shell. I don’t know what it looks like now as the Boulton Center For The Performing Arts, but I must say the whole repurposing the theatre as a nightclub was interesting in the least and I really did think Hollyrock was going to be around for a long time. I was sadly mistaken…but I think it could have worked with the right management.

I took a look at some pictures of the Bay Shore Theatre (a couple blocks down from Boulton) and THAT place really looked nice. It SHOULD have been restored as a performing arts venue.

robboehm on December 1, 2012 at 3:46 am

How many performing arts venues can LI sustain? You have the Patchogue, Westhampton Beach, Engelmann(at Northport), CM (at Oakdale), Smithtown, Paramount (at Huntington)soon to be Westbury and Suffolk (Riverhead), all former theatres PLUS Bay Street in Sag Harbor and a myriad of others.

jukingeo on December 2, 2012 at 5:04 am

I don’t know. I know there are quite a few small theatre outfits on the island as well such as the Arena Players, The Airport Theatres. I do gather that they must be hurting now big time with the recession. Gateway, one of the more well known theatre groups seems to still be doing OK. I have seen a few of their shows at the Patchogue. That is a nice place BTW. Too bad that more theatres like that didn’t survive on LI. After I saw pictures of the Bayshore theatre, that would have been a nice candidate for restoration. But in the case of the Regent, the place was a hole so I did welcome the idea that Hollyrock presented. It certainly did breathe some life into the place. It was a good idea while it lasted. It was just poorly managed. It’s a shame as the place nicely lit up main street too as it had quite a bit of neon on the facade.

robboehm on May 19, 2014 at 4:12 am

Doing research on something else I came upon an article indicating that, in 1917, the Regent was in receivership but would be reopening under the management of Nathan Goldstein who operated the Unique and Star in Patchogue. It was subsequently operated by W.D Eccleston until it was acquired by Mike Glynne in 1926. At some point in time it became a Prudential theater.

Notice the parallels of movie exhibitors and banks? Always changing ownership and, sometimes, names.

robboehm on March 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Added 1914 image of Main Street showing the vertical of the New Regent.

robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Added a 1930s image of Main Street. Note the original Regent vertical is still in place but a marquee has been added.

robboehm on April 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

Additional Boulton photo uploaded.

robboehm on April 9, 2015 at 2:27 am

Night view of marquee uploaded.

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