113-18 Liberty Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Associated Prudential Theaters Inc., Meyer & Schneider, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.
Previous Names: Our Civic Theatre, New Civic Theatre
This neighborhood house in the South Richmond Hill district was located a few blocks from the larger United Artists Lefferts Theatre. It opened in 1922 as Our Civic Theatre, operated by the Meyer & Schneider circuit. By 1940 it had been renamed Casino Theatre and was operated by Prudential Circuit. It closed as the Casino Theatre in 1979. It mostly played sub-runs and double features.
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Recent comments (view all 39 comments)
The Casino was one of my neighborhood theaters growing up in the 70s.
(Actually my neighborhood was Howard Beach, which never had any theaters, so Ozone Park and Richmond Hill were the closest.)
My aunt worked there as a matron. This was actually embarrassing for me, since my friends enjoyed pelting matrons with popcorn and Jujubes at other theaters, and I’d have to warn or beg them not to do it here.
I know I saw many kiddie matinees here, although I can’t for the life of me recall what any of the movies were. Later I saw “Tommy” here (on a double bill with “Aloha, Bobby and Rose,” I think), and sat through it twice, even though the sound was awful. (The passing “A” trains didn’t help.)It was not a very appealing theater, a step below the Crossbay, and only a choice when we couldn’t get someone to drive us to Forest Hills or Valley Stream, L.I.
Thanks for your post about the Casino, J.D., and welcome to Cinema Treasures.
The only film I ever saw at the Casino was “Serpico” in early April 1974.
Here’s a street view of the old Casino Theater. Does anyone know if any of the interior features still exist?
Thanks Bway for the link. I haven’t been to the old casino site since my family left the neighborhood way back in 1986. The auditorium looks bigger than I remember it. But I always have to remember that the Ziegfled has only 1,100 seats and it is now the largest single screen still showing movies. That makes it only slightly larger than the Casino. As a matter of fact, if you remove the seats in the rear of The Ziegfeld (the raised section) then the Casino and Ziegfeld are about the same.
Be that as it may, my recollections of the Casino are that it was non descript. The ultimate also ran theater; the theater you went to because it was playing the movie you wanted to see and it was close and no other reason. Oddly though, I still miss it!
I used to work at the Casino theater in the 70’s, and even though it wasn’t the grandest of theaters it was still quite quaint and had a great neighborhood vibe. As for being sold-out only once" that is far from true. We were sold out on many occassions, I particularly rememember when “Staurday Night Fever” played and we were sold out for 2 weeks straight! It was a fun job for a youth growing up in the 70’s as so many of us kids from the neighborhood worked there. The front foyer had great acoustics and we would sing all the songs from SNF as well as Grease and it sounded so cool. (the manager wasn'y to happy though..LOL) Great memories!!
On Feb 7th-13th 1932.. the New civic Theater at 114 Liberty Avenue played the following double feature each day in order with the last one 2 nights: Age of Love/Gay Buckaroo, An American Tragedy/The Lone Trail, Personal Maid/White Devil, Monkey Business/Enemies of the Law, Frankenstein/Men in Her Life. I have the original poster.
I vividly remember the Casino Movie Theatre. As a child, my father brought me and my brother Sal there to see the Elvis movie, “Love Me Tender.” We also saw Psycho, Homicidal, House on Haunted Hill, and 13 Ghosts, where they gave out 3-D glasses. Then, we saw A Hard Day’s Night and Help there, among many other movies through the years. It cost $1.00 and you saw 2 movies. Great movie theatre with great memories!
I used to take the A train here to see the double bill of horror movies. When cable TV started coming into the area of Queens this theatre had a conniption and started showing serials from the 30’s and 40’s along with the features to attract customers on a weekly basis. They also had drawings for plates (yes, plates!) to attract business. Later I seem to recall they were showing many more R rated movies. A google street search shows the building is just about unrecognizable.
Went their in 1979 when I was young and saw Jaws their and the air conditioner was broken, very hot hot