Old Town Theatre

Main Street,
Smithtown Branch, NY 11787

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Assembly Hall, Town Theatre

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Old Town Theatre

The Old Town Theatre was housed in the former Assembly Hall, which was erected in 1850 in a section of Smithtown known as The Branch. It initially showed silent films and was converted to talkies in the late-1920’s. It was a last run house.

When the new Smithtown Theatre was opened by Prudential in 1933 it sputtered on a year or so before closing.

It had continued life with live theatre in the summer seasons through the 1950’s.

After it was demolished the land was just used for landscaping enhancements of the area.

Contributed by rvb

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 30, 2010 at 5:06 am

Need an address, more info and photos are always welcome.

robboehm on December 30, 2010 at 10:01 am

An address is going to be tough since there is currently no building on the site. The empty plot is behind the diner which is located across from the Smithtown Library at the intersection of Routes 25 and 111. Any advertising I’ve seen, and programs from the summer theatre, don’t show an address. I’ve checked with the library and the historical society. Probably the only way for an address is in an old phone book. I believe they have some at Hofstra.

CSWalczak on December 31, 2010 at 4:54 pm

According to this page, with a picture, the theater was created out of a former general store (scroll down to the picture labeled “Main Street and Hauppauge Road, Smithtown, Long Island”), and was demolished in 1965. There are also some old posters for the theater toward the bottom of the page.

robboehm on December 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

But you didn’t provide a link.

robboehm on January 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I tracked down the reference posted by CWalcak to the Smithtown, Long Island web site. However, I don’t believe the information is totally correct. I remember the Old Town and it was small. The building pictured on the website is a large retail space. There is also a reference to it as being small in the first anniverary commemorative for the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts which was produced with input from the Town Historian and the Public Library. A demolition date of 1965 is plausible, however. Need to check with the Smithtown News to see if they have any sort of index. If not have to hit the microfiche. Possibly Town Hall has something in it’s building records.

robboehm on March 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

While looking for something in the Smithtown Messenger from 1922 (the first date on microfilm) there are frequently ads for Assembly Hall which was the name in use for many years, referring to “high class photo plays”. Films were only shown on Mondays and Fridays. There were folding chairs. The Hall was used for other activities including dance classes. Over the years the management of the theater changed. In 1925 the management was assumed by the person running the Northport Theater, the original Northport Theater, not the one built in the 1930’s. The latter is not on CT. I’ll have to do some research. In 1925 seating was 300.

robboehm on December 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

That should be it. I, personally, remember the signage being Old Town when my parents used to drive through Smithtown. Even then I was theater conscious. When I found CT in 2009 I started adding theaters I remembered. Fortunately I had been at an early on performance at what is now the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts and they had a brochure with some information about the Old Town. I then contacted the author and got more information. I’d really love to track down copies of the Yearbook and the other motion picture source to fill in some blanks on Long Island theaters and also to confirm a recollection I have of a distinct theater in Moriches (in addition to the one in Center Moriches). Used to be a set in the Patchogue Library but they were destroyed in a flood of the basement. Unfortunately I never saved Prudential flyers, only Century, as personal confirmation.

robboehm on April 6, 2015 at 7:48 am

Photos uploaded as referred to by CSWalczak above.

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