Comments from micohen

Showing 26 - 42 of 42 comments

micohen commented about Westbury Drive-In on Dec 8, 2004 at 8:19 pm

RCDTJ: Thanks for the info on the drive-in business. You seem to know alot about the Westbury – can you fill me in on the bleachers in the center next to the refreshment stand. Am I misremembering this? I can’t imagine there were any walk-ins to the theater. Did some people just get tired of sitting in their cars and want to watch the movie from outdoor seats? The very few times I was at Westbury there was absolutuly no one on the bleachers, so maybe they never got any real use – an idea whose time never came.

micohen commented about Salisbury Theatre on Dec 1, 2004 at 2:19 pm

Actually, its location may have worked against it – with the high pass-by traffic on Old Country Rd it may have been worth much more as high volume retail than as a theater.

micohen commented about Salisbury Theatre on Dec 1, 2004 at 1:55 pm

I never saw a film here, but drove by it on Old Country Rd a million times. I have no memory of this as a legitimate movie theater – seems like it was always an adult theater. Very unusual, because it was a non-descript brick building in a strip mall in a nice neighborhood. Nothing at all sleazy about it. The only way you could tell it was an adult theater was that 1) no one ever seemed to be entering or leaving and 2) you had never heard of the film titles on the marquee. Even the titles weren’t particularly salacious – “Feels Like Silk” sounds typical.

micohen commented about Balboa Village Theatre on Dec 1, 2004 at 6:33 am

I saw a midnight showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” here back in 1991. It was weird in that the regulars didn’t dress up as characters from the film but in costumes that had more of a retro-Edwardian look to them. Guess that was the style at the time. This theater was notorious for getting one film and letting it play for weeks on end – “Hear My Song” was there FOREVER. Closed in 1992 after years of low attendance. Glad to hear it is coming back.

micohen commented about Century's Morton Village Theatre on Nov 30, 2004 at 5:24 pm

Drove by last week – it is now a Blockbuster Video outlet.

micohen commented about Westbury Drive-In on Nov 24, 2004 at 7:07 am

It’s sad that the Westbury had to close, but now that I think about it, the drive-in movie theater did not have a particularly good business model. Consider the following, and correct me where I’m wrong:
1) Since movies can only be shown after dark, there are no matinees or early evening shows to add to the revenue stream.
2) Refereshment sales are a major part of any theaters business, yet drive-ins probably did very little sales as people tended to stay in their cars and take in their own food and drinks.
3) Drive-ins are very land hungry, probably requiring at least double the acreage of a comparable indoor theater, including the parking. At the same time, they probably couldn’t charge much more per person then the indoor theaters and were subject to a significant amount of “sneaking in."
4) They were essentially off-limits to teenagers younger than the driving age, a prime theater market.
5) The Westbury was open 365 days a year,with no refunds for weather, but attendance couldn’t have been very high from November to March. Yet the cost of the land (property taxes, etc) stayed the same year-round.
Can anyone with real-world experience managing a drive-in comment on this?

micohen commented about Angelika New York on Nov 22, 2004 at 2:59 pm

I never minded the subway rumbling – it’s the theaters that are the killer. Imagine a movie theater without a single decent seat. It’s hard to do until you’ve been to the Angelika. Long, narrow, flat theaters with small screens and bad sound. This place did good business in the 90s when it was the only real arthouse in the city but the opening of the far, far superior Sunshine Theater has definitely hurt and the soon-to-open IFC Film Center should also draw away business.

micohen commented about Meadowbrook Theatre on Nov 22, 2004 at 2:48 pm

After the Uniondale Mini Cinema closed, this was definitely the coolest theater in Nassau County. Granted, that’s not much of an achievement. Saw several midnight showings of “Pink Floyd’s The Wall” here in 1983-1984. There was always some rock movie playing at midnight. The place seemed pretty rundown from the start – I wonder exactly when it closed?

micohen commented about Westbury Drive-In on Nov 22, 2004 at 2:31 pm

The Westbury Drive-In opened with a single screen in 1953, but expanded to 3 screens around 1976. I only know this because my elementary school was directly across the street in Jericho and we had a birds-eye view of everything (kind of an odd view to have from your grade school classes, now that I think about it). People used to park in our school lot and try to watch films for free (I’m not sure if they could get the sound over their car radio). I never actually went there very much for some reason – it must have had too close an association with school for me. I do remember that there was a funky fifties-style snack bar in the center, and bleacher seats for people who walked in (or who didn’t want to sit in their cars) to watch the movies. Did anyone actually do this? The property is now a BJ Wholesalers in addition to the 12-screen indoor theater.

micohen on Nov 19, 2004 at 6:32 am

My bad – I added this theater without realizing the previous theater had been posted as the Fox Twin (I never knew it under that name). Therefore most of the information in the description should really go with the Fox theater, and someone more familiar with the new theater should write its desciption. Can the web administrator take care of this?

micohen commented about Quad Cinema on Nov 18, 2004 at 11:13 am

This is named the Quad Theater because, as hard is this is to believe today, when it first opened in 1972 it was, literally, THE quad theater – the first ever four-screen theater in NYC (if not the country). The lobby underwent major renovations about 3 years ago, but the theaters themselves remain among the smallest in the city. Remains an essential showplace for independant/foreign films.

micohen commented about Nickelodeon Cinemas on Nov 18, 2004 at 6:36 am

I’m sad to read of the demise of the Nickelodion – this was THE great art-house in Boston in the mid 80s. Saw “Blue Velvet” and many others here during long Boston winters.
I heard it had become a mainstream theater in the 90s. It probably was doomed once it had to compete against the megaplexes.

micohen commented about Allston Cinemas on Nov 18, 2004 at 6:26 am

I lived near this theater in the late 80s – it could never draw an audience despite being near BU and thousands of students and 20-somethings. This led to all kinds of conspiracy theories – that the theater was being run as a tax write-off or as a place for the theater chain to bury films it was forced to show. Competition from the nearby (and far, far superior) Nickelodian and Coolidge Corner Cinemas didn’t help either.

micohen commented about Century's Morton Village Theatre on Nov 16, 2004 at 2:28 pm

Okay – I’ll buy 1985 as the closing date – guess I wrote this one off a little early.
Two questions, if you or anyone else knows:
What year did this become a second-run, bargain theater?
What was the name of the twin theater located across Old Country Road and to the east, near Manetto Hill Rd – it’s the only one of the four Plainview theaters not yet listed here.

micohen commented about Century's Morton Village Theatre on Nov 14, 2004 at 8:45 am

This became a bargain theater in the mid ‘70s – for a while the admission price was the year in cents – i.e., in 1977 you paid $0.77 and so on – probably went up to an even buck before closing around 1983. I agree that this place was as “no frills” as they came. Still, sadly, one of four(!) Plainview theaters to close within a few years of each other in the early '80s. Ironically, I believe the building now houses a video store.

micohen commented about Wellmont Theatre on Nov 12, 2004 at 2:30 pm

I attended this theater often when I lived in the Montclair area in the mid-90s. Somehow it could never seem to attract a crowd of more than 10 people for any show, even on weekends. Hard to say why, but the moving the marquee from Bloomfield Avenue to the minor side street probably didn’t help. I think the parking situation wasn’t so great either. The theater management seemed to like, even cultivate, its low-key status. And it’s still around – go figure!

micohen commented about Uniondale Mini Cinema on Nov 8, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Alas, the UMC had closed (I believe) by the time I got my drivers license in 1983, so I never got the chance to really appreciate it, but I do have fond memories of seeing “Rocky Horror” and “A Clockwork Orange” there in 1980. “Orange,” in fact, was preceeded by “Thank You, Mask Man,” an underground cartoon based on a Lenny Bruce routine! In retrospect, it’s hard to believe a place as cool as the UMC actually existed in Nassau County – I guesss the 70s were a different time. I agree that today’s arthouses, even the ones on the Village, just don’t compare.