Hewlett Theatre

1350 Peninsula Boulevard,
Hewlett, NY 11557

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Hewlett Theatre Today

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This strip mall theatre never quite found it’s niche. It was originally opened as a first run house and a few years later was sublet to the same owner who had the Polk Theatre in Queens. He originally planned to run XXX, but the upscale neighborhood would never allow it. He played second run films until his lease expired.

RKO Century then re-opened it as a discount house. It then spent the last two years of its life day and dating with the strongest first run feature from the RKO Century Green Acres.

Contributed by Robert R

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on January 31, 2007 at 2:44 pm

this theater closed later than 82……..my best guess is 84

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 25, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Does anyone know which space in the Peninsula Mall was occupied by this theater? The mall is largely a single level strip, however, there is a two story unit that seems like the likely location of the former theater. The unit is occupied by Matty’s Toy Stop and is adjacent to the Blockbuster outlet in the mall. If I’m correct about this, that would make the address 1350 Peninsula Blvd, Hewlett, NY 11557.

According to their website, they’ve been open since 1988 – which would fit the timeline established above. I’d never been to this theater – I used to haunt the theaters in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Rockville Center and Lawrence in the ‘80’s, and for discount late-run we used to go to the Five Towns Theater in Woodmere. I do recall the Hewlett being listed in the discount run advertisements, however. Anyone have an approximate size here? Was there a balcony?

Here’s a local.live.com view where one can make out Matty’s Toy Stop as the narrow two story space with the three blue awnings on the 2nd floor. The blue awning of the adjacent Blockbuster can be seen to the left of the site. Can anyone confirm if this is the former Hewlett Theater?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Here are a few shots I took yesterday:

Matty’s Toy Shop
Long shot
Mall signage

So, can anyone confirm that this was the theater building?

In any event, movie listings show this was on Century’s late-run discount circuit by 1980 (probably a few years earlier than that) and continues to pop up in movie listings I have in 1982, 1985 and as late as October of 1986. So the theater lasted at least that long.

formerprojectionist
formerprojectionist on December 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Matty’s Toy Shop was the theater. Look to the top, you can see the door that lead to the roof from the projectionists booth. I had begun my earliest projectionist training at this theater, and I lived right down Penninsula Blvd by the Woodmere Middle School. The theater closed in 89/90 if I remember right. It certainly wasn’t any earlier. The guy who owned the Polk was Walter Gusson (sp). He kept trying to turn it into an adult theater but the authorities kept closing it every time he did. I saw a matinee of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea there in the early seventies. I also believe (or have memories of) Destroy All Monsters there as well. It had no balcony, it was a simple strip mall theater.

robboehm
robboehm on June 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm

All the comments above lead to the conclusion that the address of the theatre was 1350 Peninsula Blvd. The heading should be amended accordingly.

robboehm
robboehm on July 8, 2011 at 7:27 am

I have a 1981 ad for the myriad of RKO Century Warner theatres which existed at that time. All the theatres but the Hewlett just show the name. The Hewlett, however, is listed as “Hewlett Theater”. How grand. At that time the price policy for the discount theatres, which included the Bellerose, Brookhaven and Farmingdale was $1.00 Mon-Thurs. $1.50 Fri-Sun. The Hewlett reference, however, was also unique $1.00 Mon-Wed, Thurs..

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Once again, the address for this theater should be updated to 1350 Peninsula Boulevard, Hewlett, NY 11557 to correct both the map locator and the street view. Currently, both are smack in the middle of a residential development in Hewlett Harbor, a good distance away to the east from the theater location.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Remove the word “Harbor” from the address. Should be just plain “Hewlett.” Hopefully, that will reset the map and re-position the street view?

robboehm
robboehm on July 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm

It has been my experience that, rarely, is information on the site heading updated from comments. After your posting, to reinforce the correction I contacted CT with the correct information. When I looked at it earlier I sent them a note that it still wasn’t quite right. I know they pay attention when you contact them because they’ve done a number of updates and corrections for me on individual theatres and other things. The one thing which I’m still waiting for is for them to update the prompt when you enter “Long Beach” to also show Long Beach, NY.

Richard
Richard on May 7, 2013 at 5:59 am

My mom recalls that she saw “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Fantasia” there in 1985.

It since became a Blockbuster Video store, but it has since closed. It’s now the site of an Ace Hardware store.

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