Brookhaven Theater

Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776

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This single-screen theater in Port Jefferson Station, Long Island, opened in 1949 or 1950. It had a small smoking loge but most seating was on the main floor.

Theater design was similar to other post-war Prudential Theaters operating at that time, including the Sayville, Lindenhurst, etc., with ample parking lot. Bright interior, early installation (June 1953) of a gigantic wide screen, characterized it.

In final years, it was a dollar theater, and benefitted from growth of nearby SUNY campus at Stony Brook.

Contributed by Paul Noble

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

ptjeffgm
ptjeffgm on November 24, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I was born (1951) & raised and still live in Port Jefferson Station.I remember this theatre well and remember it’s interior, very grand. Bill Ecca was the usher. He died some years ago. The earliest movies I saw were ‘Thirteen Ghost’(with 3D glasses), ‘Psycho’,‘The Birds’ & ‘Peppermint Twist. Saw the Beatles movies there. (we were able to dance in the isles).My girlfriend and I would sit upstairs. We would have the 'Battle of the Bands’ on Saturdays on the stage. I miss this theatre.(wish i have a pic. of it)

robboehm
robboehm on February 19, 2009 at 4:15 am

To my recollection this house was identical to that of the Sayville. As with all of the theatres operated by Prudential there was a small smoking loge for which you paid a premium.

robboehm
robboehm on May 4, 2009 at 1:15 pm

During my summers in Rocky Point in the 1950’s one would go to Port Jeff for a movie. When the Brookhave opened you didn’t have to go as far. Always a packed house in the summer with the AC and vacationers. I remember one night seeing an Esther Williams movie. The next day at the beach people were trying to do an “adagio Lift”, an aquatic movement executed from a floating position with one leg elevated. Thru hand and arm motion you ‘gracefully’ submerge". Yeah, right!

Years later when I attended Queens College in Flushing, Miss William came to the new pool and did a special with the swim team. They, too, could not execute the “lift”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm

The Brookhaven Theatre was designed by architects John and Drew Eberson. Photos of it accompanied an article by John Eberson in the April 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice. Prudential’s new Art Moderne house seated 872, with 668 in the orchestra nad 204 in the balcony.

robboehm
robboehm on September 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Am I not correct in my presumption that the Sayville Theatre was virtually identical to the Brookhaven?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I’ve never seen either theater firsthand, so I couldn’t say anything about the interiors, but, judging from the photos, the exteriors (Brookhaven and Sayville) are quite similar.

GR8ACTR
GR8ACTR on November 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Does anyone remember the , kid-hating , brother/sister team that managed the theater ? I remember that they wouldn’t allow me and my cousin in to see COLD TURKEY , a harmless Dick Van Dyke GP rated comedy , because we weren’t accomapnied by an adult ! They must’ve really hated those Saturday afternoon kiddie matinees !!

ctigerk
ctigerk on December 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

The theater was owned/managed by the Spector family, I think. I remember the lady at the ticket booth Ottilie Voboril (she always wore a name tag). You couldn’t put anything over on any of them.

robboehm
robboehm on December 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

The only lady I remember in the ticket booth was when the theater first opened. My parents and I were summering in Rocky Point and went to see an Esther Williams movie. The cashier had been a decided blonde at some point and was letting it grow out. It looked like she was wearing a skull cap. An image which has stuck with me all these MANY years.

ctigerk
ctigerk on December 13, 2013 at 2:19 am

I am remembering 1958-1961 range and always Saturday afternoon. It is strange the things that stick with us!

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