Rae Twin Cinema

5500 Sunrise Highway,
Massapequa, NY 11758

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Rae Twin Cinema

The Jerry Lewis Cinema sat in the back of a very large parking lot on what I believe was the site of the Massapequa Drive-In. It was a twin. It was opened December 22, 1972. It wasn’t extraordinary in anyway. I saw a lot of the re-released Disney movies during the 1970’s here such as “Song of the South” (back then they did release that one though now I think it’s banned in this country.)

One of the few things I do remember about the place was seeing a Disney movie there in 1974 (forget which one…) and noticing that there was no curtain. In between movies, you just saw the white screen. I really hated that. A couple next to me actually were discussing this fact. The woman was saying how (like me) she hated the way it looked and the man was saying that it was no big deal. Little could I realize that this was to be the wave of the future. At least they weren’t flashing those annoying advertisements like they do now.

Just thought I’d add this because it comes up a few times when people are discussing LI movie houses. This was not a cinema treasure.

Contributed by C. Connolly

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

longislandbear on June 9, 2006 at 10:54 pm

To answer your question from a year ago Robert R, the Jerry Lewis Twin in Massapequa became a Rae Twin Cinema before it finally closed. The last movie to play there was Love at First Bite. I remeber that distinctly because after the theater closed the movie title was on the marquee for a while as the property sat vacant. The building is now a Harrows. I saw GREASE there with my sister when I was 13. Wow that took me back! Wat a great time to be a kid!

Goldthorpe on December 31, 2006 at 4:04 pm

The current Harrow’s there is going out of business. Another store in that huge lot back then was a store called “White”. I don’t even think it was White’s, the sign outside said White. I remmber it was connected inside to a supermarket, Waldbaum’s perhaps.

Marcel on May 22, 2007 at 6:49 pm

goldthorpe- your talking about White Department Stores-didn’t last long. Opened around 1970 and went under in 1974. They were affiliated with Waldbaums.

Marcel on May 22, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Were they affiliated with Waldbaums? I have a White department Store Circular- they are on the back page. There was one at the Monticello N.Y. shopping center which housed a Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema.

mglaser on September 29, 2007 at 5:03 pm

I would lovwe to see the whites circular mike glaser 1-631-236-7121

fibber2 on June 1, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I don’t think there was any connection between White and Waldbaum’s. My dad knew something about one of the founders, but I vaguely remember the details. The store in Massapequa was one of two that started in the 50’s, and they expanded in the late ‘60 thru the early 70’s around the NY area. The original store that fronted Sunrise Highway was torn down around 1972, and the new store built way off the road on the site of the Massapequa Drive-in. White originally ran the food market, but later contracted it out to Waldbaums.

My college girl (still my wife) is from Monticello, and I remember the White store all the way out at the edge of town. I think there is a Sears Surplus store there now?

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on October 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

According to January 1, 1973 issue of Boxoffice, this was the 201st Jerry Lewis Cinema and it opened 12/22/1972

Mrmarkus on June 19, 2011 at 1:44 am

White’s merged with Modell’s,the signs read WHITE/modell ,then when White’s closed,it was all Modell’s,until they downsized the stores and sold only the core product,sporting goods. By the way,the Google map pinpoint is too much to the west,along with the picture.

paul baar
paul baar on June 1, 2017 at 6:34 am

I saw “The Longest Yard”, Burt Reynolds was on a roll then,featuring ex-Tarzan Mike Henry who would later appear in Burt’s other movie"Smoky and the Bandit".Poor Jerry Lewis and his cinema chain,he at one time been an usher in a theater Suzanne Pleshette’s father managed.Jerry got her a part in her first movie"The Gheisha Boy".

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