Criterion Twin Theatre

447-465 Atlantic Avenue,
East Rockaway, NY 11518

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: K-B Theatres, Liggett-Florin Booking Service

Previous Names: Atlantic Theatre, Criterion Theatre

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Criterion Twin Theatre

Originally a single screen cinema with 981 seats, it is listed in 1930 as the Atlantic Theatre, opening in the late-1920’s. Operating as the Criterion Theatre since at least 1941. By 1957 it was operated by Liggett-Florin Booking Service.

On December 25, 1979 it was taken over by K-B Theatres and was twinned. Operating as a first run movie theatre, it was closed in February 1984.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 5, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Here are a few shots I took today:

Building profile and former entrance
Auditorium side wall
Lobby wall

I found this ad from the 12/12/1980 Daily News for a late run double feature booked into the Criterion 2. The ad refers to the theater as “K.B.’s Criterion.” K.B. Theaters also owned The Movies in Bellmore, the Roslyn and the Westbury (as well as others, I’m sure).

This NY Post ad from 3/10/1982 shows a late booking here for “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

My collection of local newspapers doesn’t pick back up until September & October of 1985, by which time the Criterion disappears from all listings.

CConnolly1 on May 18, 2009 at 4:36 am

can you guys confirm that the entrance and foyer/lobby space for the theater was on the corner of Atlantic and Maxwell where the video store was?

Please excuse the looooooooooooooong time replying to your question. The best I can remember, the answer is yes. The entrance was on the corner of Atlantic and Maxwell. Fairly typical layout: long lobby and then the theater (and then theaters) came up on the left.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm

The building profile posted by Ed Solero on Sept. 5, 2007 should be the image used on this page, since it accurately reflects the actual entrance of the theater.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Hey Saps… I’ll have to upload that photo here for it to show up as the intro photo. They can’t snag photos on other websites like photobucket to use for the I.D. photo. I’ll get around to it one of these days!

candleman on May 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I lived at 27 Sachem Street, East Rockaway, from 1928 (when my Dad built the house) to 1954. My sister and I used to walk from home to the Criterion frequently. We called it the “Crite.” I was in school with Larry Saphier, whose father operated the Criterion. I think that admission was 11 cents – 10 cents plus 1 cent tax, same as the Arcade Theater (the “Itch”) in Lynbrook. The Lynbrook Theater at Five Corners was more expensive, because it ran “first run” movies, like the Fantasy in Rockville Centre, where my wife served as usher for a time. The Criterion was as it has been described in other entries here. The entire building was a rectangle. The theater lobby was at the north end. The theater hall ran north-south parallel to Atlantic Avenue, along the rear of the building. The Atlantic Avenue frontage was built as a series of stores. The theater was maintained nicely. Parking was available on vacant lots to the rear of the building. I remember singing on stage there with a juvenile choral group run by Lillian Quinlan. Saturday matinees consisted of a feature film and then a lesser film, such as “scary” movies with evil doers played by Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, and other “bad guys.” The Criterion was part of my life, growing up in East Rockaway, which was a nice town then, and it still is; although we get back there infrequently now.

Texas2step on April 28, 2018 at 4:27 pm

This one closed in February of 1984.

robboehm on April 28, 2018 at 6:19 pm

Texas glad you found a photo. I’ve been trying for some time.

rivest266 on June 2, 2021 at 11:25 am

This was reopened by KB Theatres as Criterion Twin on December 29th, 1979. Grand opening ad posted.

ridethectrain on June 6, 2021 at 4:40 pm

Please update, theatre open on December 25, 1979 @rivest266 not December 26, grand opening ad in photos

robboehm on January 25, 2023 at 7:16 pm

Uploaded a photo of the Atlantic shortly after it was built by Maxwell Waldowsky.

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