Center Cinema

504B Main Street,
Center Moriches, NY 11934

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Center Cinema

Opened in February 24, 1972 as the Jerry Lewis Cinema. The opening movie was Clark Gable in “Gone with the Wind” It was the 100th theatre to open in the Jerry Lewis Cinemas chain. It was renamed Centre Cinema in November 1973. This dollar house lasted until sometime in the mid-1980’s.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

AWF on October 13, 2006 at 7:30 am

The Center Theatre was located in the King Kullen shopping center on Montauk highway (or Main St.) in Center Moriches. I believe a bank now occupies the space it was in.

I think it started out as a first run theater (I saw “Godfather II” there in ‘74) but later became a discount house. They also hosted occasional rock concerts throughout the years, mostly local bands. Nearby Shirley Twin would sometimes do this also.

robboehm on February 20, 2009 at 9:39 pm

The old, wooden Center Moriches theatre on Railroad av just north of Montauk Highway is now a dry cleaners. One can actually see the openings from the projection booth inside.

Now somebody please confirm that Prudential also had a theatre in Moriches. I seem to remember this in their old guide. I wish I’s retained it. I tried at the Moriches Library but not the Center Moriches one.

AWF on February 21, 2009 at 11:03 am

Wow, thanks for that memory – I’d forgotten about the one on Railroad Ave. ! I think it’s just a bit before my time but I do remember passing by it when I was really young. Perhaps the theater I mention above was run by Prudential?

robboehm on February 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

Most of the Suffolk County houses, with the exception of the Century monopoly in Huntington, were Prudential. One exception immediately comes to mind was the Larkfield in East Northport. Most had small smoking loges and were single feature before the norm. They had unusual schedules, I thought. Matinees Sat & Sun (and in summer RAINY DAYS), evenings at 7 and 9.

robboehm on April 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

The shopping center in which the Center Theatre was located opened in 1962. Presumably the theatre did also.

robboehm on June 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Firstly, the name should be corrected to Center Cinema since that’s how it spent most of it’s short life.

Contrary to my 4/22/09 posting, the theatre was not part of the original Moriches Shopping Town altho' there had been much discussion about it. Rather, on February 9, 1972 the former Hale’s was retrofitted to provide the sloping floor. Presumably the roof line was also lowered to conform to the JL look. Seating capacity was 350. Adults $1.50; children 50 cents. Altho as a JL it wouldn’t show “X” rated films ads strangely indicated “This is an adult theatre”.

As with many mom and pop JL’s it didn’t last long. After being shuttered for some time it reopened at the Center Cinema on November 28, 1973.

robboehm on June 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm

just realized I never identified JL as Jerry Lewis in my first reference altho most people would know that. Heading should, therefore, be changed to Center Cinema previously known as the Jerry Lewis Theatre.

icom on November 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

remember seeing the klansman in this theater starring o j simpson and richard burton in 1974 this theater was located on the east end of the center in the woolworth shopping center and also had a liggett (spell) drug store in there. on montauk highway across the street from a school and funeral home. I belive a suffolk county police officer was also badly wounded in his face from a shotgun blast years later in that same shopping center.

mpaske on April 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

I was about 14 when they ran the Beatles “Let It Be” on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon matinee. I seem to remember there may have been only one other person there watching with me. I was an aspiring musician and huge Beatle fan and was happy that my mom let me go alone. It was a rainy afternoon and while I was waiting for my mother to pick me up after the movie the manager was kind enough to keep me company. I must have told him that I was a big Beatle fan and he opened up the showcase that had four lobby cards for the movie and gave them to me. That was the very first addition to my vast Beatles collection of memorabilia that I will never part with (and they’re worth quite a bit now!). A very fond memory…

robboehm on April 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Any rememberances about the interior of the theatre Eastport HomeBoy?

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