Wantagh Theatre

3305 Jerusalem Avenue,
Wantagh, NY 11793

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments

rivest266 on October 20, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Closed by Cineplex Odeon in September 1989 per NY Daily News listings.

RedMapleDrive on February 26, 2015 at 8:32 am

Anybody remember seeing Twisted Sister playing there in perhaps 1975 or 1976?

robboehm on January 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

The latter two were mirror twins, separated and created some months apart. Last time I looked at that site there were no images.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 10, 2011 at 4:04 am

According to the biographical listing of Queens architect Leon A. Miller in the 1962 AIA Directory, he designed the Wantagh Theatre in 1960. He also designed the Glen Cove Theatre and Town Theatre in Glen Cove, NY.

robboehm on June 12, 2011 at 10:15 am

Contrary to the heading this only came under the Century banner at the end of it’s, and Century’s life. It was originally part of a chain with a smaller pressence, I’ll say Mann. Much later it became RKO when that circuit was trying to get back into the Long Island market. I remember a Newsday article saying RKO was coming to Long Island and showing the exterior of the Wantagh. The Century association came about as a result of a series of mergers which produced RKO Century Warner. It would appear that the current office building, which has an address of 3305 Jerusalem Avenue, was created from the original theatre through additions and modifications.

Lebo on February 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Hey Scottm – I totally remember you. I just created a face book group called ‘I Remember the Wantagh Movie Theater’. Everyone should feel free to join.

DSECTION on April 2, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I worked there in the summer of 1975. Jaws opened that summer and the theatre sold out every night for weeks. We would go outside sweep up each night after the last show went in and choose who would run across the stret to the deli for beer for the group. It was a fun summer.

Rory on September 4, 2007 at 12:18 pm

The Wantagh Theatre was where I first saw my favorite film, “Planet of the Apes,” on April 7, 1968. I was only 8 years old but I vividly remember it, standing in line and looking at the poster with my parents and wondering if the movie would be any good. Well, it floored my little 8-year-old mind. It was THE movie of my youth, and because of that I will always remember the Wantagh Theatre. I later saw “Escape from the Planet of the Apes” there in 1971 after I had moved away from Long Island in 1970. I’m sad to find out the theatre was torn down years ago.

RobertR on October 3, 2006 at 6:31 am

I’m sure the roof didn’t leak then
View link

flickhead on September 30, 2006 at 9:58 am

Yikes!! I think I saw them there…out promoting “Rat City in Blue”!

jagfug on September 30, 2006 at 7:41 am

Anyone remember The Good Rats playing there?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 27, 2006 at 10:11 am

Speedrack… get down to the Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan sometime over the weekend or next week and go relive those memories. “Jaws” is playing there as part of a “Classics” film festival.

speedrack on September 27, 2006 at 6:39 am

I was at the very first showing of Jaw’s at the Wantagh Theater in the summer of ‘75. It played the whole summer and lines to get in went down Jerusalem Ave.! I still think about that movie 31 years later whenever I go to the beach!

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on September 26, 2006 at 5:57 am

Al there must have been a penalty clause if they closed …only reason i can think of ……..

ScottMullen on September 26, 2006 at 4:53 am

I ran the place in the winter of 1987-1988, and I don’t remember the heat being a problem at all, or people bringing in blankets. So this must have only been a problem the last year or so.

Though if it closed on Thanksgiving of 1989, before the busy season, that’s probably why.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 26, 2006 at 12:19 am

I remember people bringing in their own blankets in the winter due to the holes on the roof making it impossible to keep the place warm. Near the end, how Cineplex Odeon could keep it open under those conditions is unexplicable.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on September 25, 2006 at 7:34 pm

That is pretty much what it look like when it closed …..the restaurant was a drycleaner…i think

jagfug on September 25, 2006 at 5:45 pm

View link has a picture of The Wantagh Movie Theater as we called it. I was born in 61, and lived in the “T” section across from Cherrywood Shopping Center which was adjacent to it. I remember seeing Beneath The Planet of the Apes" in fact all but the First. My Mother thought I was too young. Sure whipping me with a belt bare assed was ok, but Planet of The Apes was going to screw me up…lol. I also remember seing Live And Let Die There, and Woody Allens Sleeper. The Wantagh Cinema down towards Park Ave, used to show cool Midnight Shows on Fri and Sat nites like Yessongs and Gimme Shelter. Back in the 70’s/

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on August 7, 2006 at 3:53 pm

the 1 day i worked this theater 12 people all day…….

Grungy on August 7, 2006 at 3:46 pm

I rode my bike past this theater every day on my way to school, from the D-section to St. Frances.
There was a tiny cut through the curb into the theater’s parking lot from the one-house appendix of a street that hangs off the south side of Duckpond Dr. South. We’d ride through that cut in the curb. I remember seeing “Planet of the Apes” and “Sands of the Kalahari” there. Those are the only two that stand out, but I know I saw more there. I vaguely recall some kind of live entertainment down front at one show, but I can’t remember what it was or what the movie was. I also remember the other theater, near the paint store on Wantagh Avenue, closer to the LIRR. The last thing I saw there was “Up the Sandbox”, with Barbara Streisand, in ‘73.

RobertR on May 27, 2006 at 6:52 pm

A National General house in 1972
View link

RobertR on May 24, 2006 at 2:38 pm

Annette made an appearance here in 1963
View link

ScottMullen on December 18, 2005 at 4:34 pm

This was the first theater I was ever full manager of; had to be 1987-1988, for about a year. It was a discount house, and we ran “Three Men and a Baby” for a few weeks. We had “Flowers in the Attic” for Christmas, and inexplicably a lot of families came to see it.

Biggest problem was that the exit doors went right out into the parking lot, so it was easy for customers to sneak in people and beer, particularly since all the staff was usually helping out on the candy stand before the movie. The theater was a lot of fun though.

RobertR on December 14, 2004 at 8:19 am


When the Variety Theatre was still running porn the restrooms were on either side of the screen. I’m sure they changed this when it went legit.

chconnol on November 4, 2004 at 12:35 pm

This theater was strange because it was kind of off the beaten path. But even in the early 80’s it played big first run films. “E.T.” played there during it’s initial run and this is how I found it. All the other theaters playing it (like those two awesome double theaters in Hicksville) were sold out. We then found this Wantagh Theater. Back in 1982, it was still in decent shape and the price was very reasonable. Too bad it fell into decline.