Farmingdale Theater

360 N. Main Street,
Farmingdale, NY 11735

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Showing 1 - 25 of 43 comments

LauraLynn on October 1, 2015 at 10:09 am

During the opening of Star Wars, I was hired to paint scenes from the movie in the lobby. I had some great pictures that were lost, wondering if anyone else ever took any photos? Laura

NYer on July 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

A couple of ads from 1974 & 1977 added to photo section.

Jim_C on May 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

robboehm: Yes, it was the one on Main St that was run by Prudential, and not the one in the shopping center. I know nothing about either of the Moriches theatres.

Back in the 1970’s when I first started working, “the union” would send you out to fill in at different theaters on the regular operator’s night off or when they were on vacation, so that you would get experience on all different types of equipment and the different theaters. I worked at almost all the theaters on that Prudential pamphlet at one time or another. (I just found a bunch of pictures of the old East Islip theater from when I worked there which I’ll be posting on that theater’s page soon)

At the time I worked at the Farmindale, I was with Local 640 IATSE&MPMOOE (“The International Alliance of Television & Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Machine Operators of America”) [ ! ] With a name like that, my union card was so big I had to fold it to get it to fit in my wallet!

Back then, you couldn’t work in a projection room unless you were in the union. It was hard to get into, but it paid very well. In fact, it was not unusual for the projectionist to be the highest paid person in the theater- – in many cases making even more than the manager. There are still a number of jobs I do that require me to have a union affiliation. (and it still pays well!)

robboehm on May 16, 2015 at 6:48 am

Jim_C – re your Prudential Guide photo. When you say Kings Park I presume you mean the Park on Main Street rather than the Kings Park in the shopping center. If so, the Park site is in need of additional information if you have any.

I seem to recall Prudential having a theater in Moriches in addition to the Center Moriches. Am I correct? Do you have anything to substantiate that?

Jim_C on May 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

rrocket17: “Ask and you shall receive” – I just came across several more old negatives. I’ve scanned them and added them to the photo collection- JimC-

rrocke17 on May 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

Jim C. haha worked there 79-80 best job I ever had. Working for Yvonne etc. Worked with Phil, John, Debbie, Patty …what a party…any other pics??

pete c.

robboehm on May 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm

View of the theater, in the day, uploaded from the Newsday Long Island Places We Loved site.

Orlando on May 8, 2015 at 11:04 am

To Jim Cassedy, I enjoyed the photos tremendously, thank you for posting. My e-mail is . Drop me an e-mail, I go to San Francisco very often and maybe we can hook up and share a few memories. I remember the split breaks on Sat., and Sun.? too when we’d go back to your apt for the rest of the afternoon.

Jim_C on May 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Hello All!– I recently discovered a stash of negatives of pictures taken when I worked at the old Farmindale theater in the late 1970’s & early 80’s. I’ve scanned them & added them to the ‘photos’ page. Enjoy!

Even though I now work at a number of famous film festivals and have a really great projection ‘gig’ where I now live in San Francisco, I still have fond memories of the old Farmindale Theater and all the people I worked with, and still consider it “the best job I ever had”

Orlando on April 18, 2015 at 8:00 am

To the last contributor, He also worked the York and said that was the best. One day does not determine an evaluation. I will no longer answer your comments since you think you are a know it all. Remember what happened to Harris when he got persnickety. Cinema Treasures rubbed him out. You probably never went to the Morton Village at all.

robboehm on April 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Orlando, I find it interesting that you mentioned a transfer to the Morton Village. On that site CT contributor longislandmovies said he managed the theater for one night and it was the worst in the Century chain in every aspect.

Orlando on April 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

To robboehm,

I'm not sorry about the comments I made, but they were true. Maybe I should have used the word MOST. The theatre during my two tenures there had many problems like vandalism, unruly teens who banged on the outside of exit doors and flung lit cigarettes on the audience members in the orchestra. It was so bad that we needed 2 guards and a police dog on Fridays and Saturdays. And not all members of churches and people who have college degrees are known to be angels and scholars. If you were a manager there you would know this but you were a patron and I was the manager who witnessed it.  
Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

The address of the law firm that now occupies the former Farmingdale Theatre is 360 N. Main Street. 354 was the address of the earlier Strand Theatre next door.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Here is the brief notice of the opening of the Farmingdale Theatre that appeared in The Nassau Daily Review-Star of Friday, January 30, 1942:

“Theatre Opens Tonight

“The official opening of the new Farmingdale theatre, tonight at 8 o'clock, will feature the attendance of village and town officials who have accepted invitations to be present at the first performance. The theatre, of which Sidney Jacobsen will be managing director, has a seating capacity of 800. It adjoins the Farmingdale Strand, motion picture theatre owned and operated for many years by Mr. Jacobsen. The new theatre is one of the Prudential chain. Only one feature film has been planned for the opening night, in addition to the dedication program.”

NYer on April 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

79 cent policy ad in photos.

robboehm on April 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

Orlando, I take exception to your deprecating remarks about the patrons. As a resident of Farmingdale I often attended performances there as did members of my church, most of whom had college degrees.

Orlando on April 16, 2015 at 9:22 am

To George Strum, Lenny Lopes and Orlando Lopes are one in the same. Lenny was nickname. Think of the parties that I didn’t know about at the time, but the staff were great, Patty A., James C. projectionist, and many others. It was so long ago, I worked here for UA in 1977 with a 77 cents policy. I returned in 1981 when ALMI was formed to take over 5 UA theatres. The price was 80 cents for the decade. I had them raise the price to $1. shortly after. The patrons of this theatre were strictly low class due to the price. When Almi took over Century, I asked to go to the Century’s Morton Village. The theatre closed in 1984. The other 4 theatres Almi took from UA were the Amityville, Bayshore (Main St.), Plaza and the Brookhaven (the best grosser of the group). By the way when I went to Plainview reguarding my switch to Morton Village, the manager, Ed, came up with the jingle “We’re in the Almi now, etc. etc.. I worked for Century before the Almi takeover at the Whitman, York and Shore Theatres. All gone but not forgotten.

robboehm on March 28, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Photo added of the theater in the day. Toward the end of its days a crude sign was placed atop the marquee indicating films which were playing.

robboehm on March 28, 2015 at 7:43 pm

According to the Historical Society, the Farmingdale was built next door to a building which had housed an earlier theater, the Strand. It opened in 1942 a few weeks after Pearl Harbor. After a fire in 1950 it reopened and lasted until 1984.

GeorgeStrum on August 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Orlando was Lenny any relation to you?

atmos on September 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm

John and Drew Eberson had a project listed as Theatre Building for Farmingdale Theatre Inc with a date of 1941.

Bway on April 27, 2009 at 7:58 am

This is a pretty large building, I hadn’t realized this was a theater. When did it close?

View link

robboehm on February 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm

The main floor now houses a law office among other things. I’ve been told that the balcony is still intact including the seats. This was another theatre that didn’t have a signboard marquee – the alan and lindenhurst are two others which come to mind.

JimC on December 16, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I remember both Mrs Burns, Mr Lopes & Mrs Vitale, who was one of my favorites. There was also a ditzy woman manager named Yvonne there for awhile who I could go on about for several paragraphs. She was married to one of the UA “big-wigs”. And to Jason W: Yes, I knew stuff went on there after hours. I could tell that light switches etc were not the way I left them the night before when I’d come in somtimes. I wasn’t trying to trip anyone up. I just had a “system” in the way I did things and I could tell when things were not the way I had left hem. But you guys never caused me any problems so I never said anything or complained. The staff at the theater I’m at now unplugs cables or TOTALLY screws up my sound & light settings sometimes and that kinda pisses me off now that I’m getting old & cranky! hahahaha

longislandmovies on December 16, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Mrs Burns has passes away and Mr Lopes is now the head of NY theater
Historical society.