South Bay Cinemas
495 Montauk Highway,
495 Montauk Highway,West Babylon, NY 11704
3 people favorited this theater
Architects: Leon A. Miller
Previous Names: South Bay Trio
News About This Theater
- Apr 5, 2006 — Long Island Theater To Bring Back 70mm
The South Bay is a free standing building within the shopping center it is located in. It was opened by Imperial Theatres on June 28, 1967 with John Wayne in “El Dorado”. On May 21, 1975 it became the South Bay Trio. On November 30, 1990 it became a quad. It expanded to 5-screens on November 15, 1991. It was closed in November 2016 for renovation. A reopening is planned for June 16, 2023.
Contributed by Bway Chris
Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.
Recent comments (view all 152 comments)
Did this venue ever screen anything in 70mm other than that one-week run of “Lawrence of Arabia” back in 2006?
Anyone have external screen shots ideally showing the parking available for this theater?
There is a tremendous amount of parking behind the theatre before you get to the stores which are part of the shopping center. Also a lot adjacent to the side by the box office. Someone previously indicated parking would be restricted. I don’t see how that would be possible.
THE ADJACENT HUGE SHOPPING CENTER OWNS ALL THAT PARKING, MAINTAINS IT AND PLOWS OFF THE SNOW AND HAS SECURITY GUARDS. WITHOUT A WRITTEN AGREEMENT MOVIE PATRONS CANNOT PARK THERE AND WILL BE TOWED AWAY. ONE WOULD ASSUME THE MOVIE THEATER OWNER IS ATTEMPING TO REACH AGREEMENT.
SOUTH BAY ONLY OWNS A SMALL AMOUNT OF CAR PARKING IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING AND SEVERAL CAR PARKS BEHIND IT.
The theatre has been there for decades. So that should not be an insurmountable problem.
THEY LOST THE RIGHT TO USE THE LAND OF THE ADJUACENT SHOPPING CENTER. THEY MUST LEASE SOME LAND FROM THE CENTER FOR MOVIE PARKING.
By Denise M. Bonilla
The sticky floors are now smooth, the seats cushy and the screens no longer dimpled with rips, but enough hasn’t changed that longtime patrons of South Bay Cinemas in West Babylon may feel nostalgic when they step inside next month.
Closed since 2016, the movie house has undergone a $1.3 million renovation under new ownership, and news of its impending opening has people not only recalling the good old days, but hoping to make new memories.
“I’m very excited, and we’ll be there,” said Babylon Village resident Gary Weiner, who plans to check out the theater with his daughter, Aurora, 14. “If they bring it back to a quality level, that’s going to be our go-to theater.” Weiner, 56, remembers the place as “certainly rundown, but a fun, cheap way to go the movies” and “a great way to kill a lazy summer afternoon with my daughter.”
New owner Jay Levinson, who also owns the independent Bellmore Playhouse, said the theater “was a real rat’s nest” when he took over but he loved the experience 30 years ago when he frequently saw movies there.
“I always had my eyes set on that theater because there’s not too much competition in the area,” said Levinson, 69, of East Meadow, noting the closest options are in Deer Park and Farmingdale.
He said it took two years to come to a lease agreement with the landlord and the renovations were delayed for years because of the pandemic and supply chain problems.
There are five new screens in the theater, which has 550 seats. The floors have been replaced and there are luxury recliner seats where patrons can “push a button, lean back, fall asleep and miss the whole movie,” Levinson said.
The facility meets accessibility standards under the American with Disabilities Act, and new bathrooms and draperies have been added as part of the renovation, along with other design touches from an interior decorator Levinson hired for the project.
Perhaps the biggest change that may will greet moviegoers is a full-service bar and lounge — Levinson said his liquor license application is pending. The lobby also will feature the usual food and snacks for sale and video gaming stations.
“In movie theaters today, you make your money in concessions and you actually lose money with the box office,” Levinson said.
He is promising lower prices than chains like AMC and Regal, with prices topping out at $10 for adults and seniors at $7.50 — along with planned bargain days such as Terrific Tuesdays where $6 will get anyone a seat. The theater also will host birthday parties and other events, Levinson said.
A film buff with a theater screen in his home, Levinson has operated theaters in Huntington, Queens and Westchester and calls the South Bay renovation his “last hurrah” in the business.
“A lot of theaters are having a tough time right now,” he said. “But you have to be reasonable and you have to be consistent and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Fans of the theater have expressed their excitement about the reopening on social media — both for entertainment and employment opportunities.
A recent job fair Levinson held attracted 130 applicants for 20 jobs. He hopes to open by June 16.
South Bay Cinemas by the numbers
First opened in 1967 Reopening expected by June 16 Features 550 seats Has 1 large, 2 medium and 2 small movie screens
This sounds really great but there is only parking for about 30 cars. With 550 seats I would guess you need 100 car parks. If you park on the car parks of the adjacent shopping center with huge costs for taxes, security, snow removal you will be towed UNLESS the new theater has entered into a car park agreement! Has it done that? Or do you go to the new theater by Uber?
There is no signage anywhere that limits parking for movie theatre patrons to any portion of the parking lot. I can’t imagine they will start towing cars without any warnings that some parking is off limits. As it was before, it looks like shared parking between the theatre, the supermarket, Starbucks and the other tenants.
I was looking for a site ParkingLotTreasures but couldn’t find one.
(Parking will not be an issue.)