Salisbury Theatre

610 Old Country Road,
Westbury, NY 11590

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Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

robboehm on June 3, 2018 at 9:52 am

Still functioning as an adult theater in 1983 according to movie times in the Newsday Classic edition of May 1983.

paul baar
paul baar on June 10, 2017 at 8:09 am

I saw The Night Porter with Dirk Bogart there,but never went back again.

BobMch on October 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm

TT – thanks for the fantastic opening day poster. The poster says “near the Salisbury Golf Course” not “Named after …” I know the village of Salisbury (town of Westbury) is the actual locale. I want to find the 1967 Persona ad. I tried Newsday online but got no response. All in all you could be right that there taking on naming THEATER > GOLF COURSE > PARK

BobMch on October 31, 2012 at 2:37 am

I think “The Salisbury” is named after Westbury’s little village of Salisbury that was long ago part of a vast area known as Salisbury Plain. Also Charles Lindeberg on his solo flight to Paris choose to travel over a road where the theater was to be built which was (and is) Old Country Rd. He would probably be at a hundred feet soon to turn left towards Long Island Sound.

I was an usher in the Spring of 1967 when it was an “Arts Cinema”. Fairly classy – I wore my own black shoes/slacks white shirt and the theatre loaned me a nice fitting black jacket with bow tie. I was told to stand straight and never ever lean against the wall. Saturday matinees for the kids. It kind of felt like 1947 not 67. A Chech movie “Loves of a Blond” (I own in VHS), “Georgie Girl” (which I later named my cat) and Persona. Bergman directing Ullmann and Andersson was one of those experience that I can relive whenever I want – like the lunar landing or 9/11. Just last week a very young persona of ulimate beauty introduced the New England premier of the doc. “Liv and Ingmar” – following the showing the forever young Liv gave such a generous Q&A that even a bumbleing guy like me got in a one-on-one afterwards. Liv also announced that she would be directing her own translation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1875 play “A. Dolly’s House” on Broadway. RLMcG

robboehm on December 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Fritz was mild compare to what followed.

RSB on December 26, 2011 at 3:08 am

I only went there once…OMG, I was so naive…I took a date there to see the animated “Fritz The Cat”…I had NO idea!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Great ads guys,don’t see them like that anymore and never will.

dorsing on February 25, 2009 at 11:17 am

I worked there spring and summer 1970. Artsy then, for sure. The movie Z, directed by Constantin Costa-Gravas, with Yves Montand and Irene Papas, played for months. Ben Hur for a couple weeks. Yes, then Sicilian Clan in the summer before I left for college.
I remember 600 seats, (no multiplex around here then!) because we kept some tabs on busy nights to warn people they’d be in the first two rows, or we were close to sold out.
Reeses Peanut Butter cups sometimes sold out, too!
General trivia: minimum wage went up from $1.50 to $1.85! But they didn’t have to give our 16 year old co worker the raise.
At that point there was a management or ownership(?) tie in with the recently opened Jerry Lewis Twin Cinemas on Hempstead Tnpk. We were the expensive theatre-they were 99cents admission! (Friend rvb -previous post-says that one is listed on this site by last name used- FLICK.)
Regarding his comment-I’ve often said I wish I had a photo of the place. It was my first job. Anyone have one?
Is Michael my manager still out there?!

robboehm on February 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I only went there once. I was impressed by the way they emblazoned the name of the theatre across the facade in muted blue.

formerprojectionist on December 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm

The Salisbury Theater was forced to censor the adult films they showed. A fellow projectionist who I used to picket the UA theaters with in the early nineties worked that theater and confirmed for me that they had to cut the hardcore out or color in the more salacious scenes with a black magic marker. And I did witness this because it was the closest adult theater to me and I saw Female Athletes there and it was cut and colored in! Talk about killing a mood! Westbury had strict rules, Pink Flamingos was banned from being shown theatrically there. Later, they went to video projection and started showing hardcore. They went out of business shortly there after.

cinepaul on October 1, 2007 at 8:27 pm

In the 70’s, it seems to me that this place alternated between porno,and being part of a small LI “art-house” group of 3 or 4 theaters which would show foreign films(in Nassau County – with the Malverne, and the Cinema Manhasset?). I remember seeing “The Sicilian Clan” (a good French heist movie, with Alain Delon and Jean Gabin) here in July 1970 (I was desperate to see it, and my mother told my dad to take me – the day before we were driving to Florida).
Also, in the summer of ‘73, I drove over with a group of friends to see Truffaut’s “Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me”. I think I also saw the Zeffirelli “Romeo and Juliet” here in '68 or '69 (even though there was nudity in it, it was Shakespeare! so what could your parents do?).

The sleazy reputation of the theater lent a certain “frisson” to seeing legit movies there.

Bloop on July 18, 2007 at 11:36 am

Nobody has pictures of this place?

stevenl on June 30, 2007 at 1:59 am

it would be like the movie Clerks but in a porno movie insted

Bloop on June 28, 2007 at 3:20 pm

LOL! Great story! I think there should be a movie made about the whole “adult cinema” world…a retro-1970’s thing. would be HILARIOUS.

mkelo on September 22, 2006 at 1:24 pm

I actually worked at the Salisbury Theater in the mid-70s when I was 17. I looked older than my years so I guess the owner (a cold-blooded blonde woman who dressed like a porn star) thought I’d pass for 18 if asked. She relegated me to ripping tickets at the front door – – and I can’t tell you how many of my teachers – and even my girlfriend’s uncle – would skulk into the joint! How weird that was! One day, the cleaning crew quit and the manager asked if I’d do the job until they could find a replacement. Biggest regret of my life. The things I found cleaning that dump would make Larry Flynt blush! Oh, the good ol' days. ;)

stevenl on April 20, 2006 at 12:54 am

saw Live and Let Die in 1973. they showed midnight movies for a while than went back to porno.a hooker propisitioned me in the parkinglot once.i live around the corner from the place which is why i was there.its better now that its a CVS.i always wished they were a regular movie theater.there is a good place to park with your girlfriend behind the theater to this very day.

RobertR on August 7, 2005 at 6:06 pm

PaulLD1 talked about the cheapie K. Gordon Murray matinees playing here, so here is an ad from 1963 showing one.
View link

RobertR on July 23, 2005 at 9:36 pm

In it’s arthouse days this ad mentions the Salisbury is in it’s 15th week of “Tom Jones"
View link

RobertR on July 10, 2005 at 1:15 pm

Also played family matinees
View link

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 4:03 pm

I have been looking into the bookings for the Salisbury and at one time it was very art house oriented. Here it is playing “Woodstock” after it won the Oscar for best documentry.
View link

scottfavareille on December 1, 2004 at 6:10 pm

I am curious—Being that this theater was in a shopping center, was it more prone to police raids (a common problem for porn theaters in the 1970’s) than a porn theater located in a less desirable area?

Besides the flat rate rentals for X films, admission prices were usually higher than running first or second-run mainstream films. In the early 1970’s, a porn theater could charge $5 a head versus $2.50 for a first-run or $1(or less) for subrun mainstream fare.

chconnol on December 1, 2004 at 5:46 pm

RobertR: AH! Since I know nothing about movie rentals at theaters so the economics never occurred to me.

micohen: you’re kind of right about the location. It was a busy street and the marquee was not very prominent. I guess it was/is a combination of factors that killed it and a lot of other theaters on LI.

micohen on December 1, 2004 at 5:19 pm

Actually, its location may have worked against it – with the high pass-by traffic on Old Country Rd it may have been worth much more as high volume retail than as a theater.

RobertR on December 1, 2004 at 5:19 pm

Salisbury though is very close to Centurys Roosevelt Field. The thing is in the years before VCR’s neighborhood X theatres were grossing $10,000 to $20,000 a week. Many of the X titles were flat rate rental and if they were a percentage, it was alot less then the minimum 30-40% you paid on second run. I know a few people who became millionaires from running porn.

chconnol on December 1, 2004 at 5:05 pm

Just one more thing about this theater that is an elaboration on what I wrote in the post above. It’s strange to me that this theater could not hold up as a legitimate theater showing regular films. It was on a VERY busy street (Old Country Road) in a nice neighborhood and had little competition. The closest theater to it was the Westbury which was about (I’m estimating here…) a mile or so away. The parking lot was big. Why didn’t it get doubled or multiplexed or something. Strange. That’s the thing that gets me about why some theaters closed and others manage to stay open. Why, for instance, did my favorite theater of my childhood, the admiteddly low key but charming Century’s Baldwin close in 1985 and it’s hellspawned cousins, the Grand Avenue Cinema and the Oceanside remain open and are STILL open?