Franklin Square Cinemas

989 Hempstead Turnpike,
Franklin Square, NY 11010

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

ridethectrain on July 9, 2021 at 8:08 pm

Please update, ite became a twin on December 19, 1980 when Southland Theatres took it over from Century Theatres, a quad on May 10, 1985 and April 14, 1995 became six screens.

robboehm on August 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm

The pandemic is going to play havoc on the number of theaters that will emerge.

ridethectrain on August 13, 2020 at 3:02 pm

please update closed,127092

baysider73 on December 3, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Looks like the new owners are JJ (Bellmore Playhouse, Elwood).

robboehm on November 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm

The Town of Hempstead granted Landmark status to the theater on October 2, 2019 which assures that it will not be demolished. It is one of the few Art Deco structures left in the town. Although those elements are probably no longer internally visible after it was chopped up into six auditoriums, the facade, despite the marquee change, is representative.

Marteljr on November 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Went to the theatre on Sunday morning 11/24. We were going to an early Frozen II screening. When we went in they were replacing signs and a little hectic. They had cancelled all morning shows and the (very nice) staff said the theater had been purchased by a local family run business and will be up and running again later in the day. I haven’t heard anything since, but hopefully this is good news and this company will keep it running past the next three years when their lease is up. It’s a nice little theatre. It’s old, but so homey and enjoyable instead of these megaplexes.

ridethectrain on November 4, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Please update, it became a twin in 1980, a quad in 1985 and in 1995 a sixplex. Warren Whurtzberger made it a sixplex in 1995, not Clearview Cinemas. Clearview CInemas bought the Franklin Square and Squire in 1997 after they bought GG Theatres.

When Clearview took control of Franklin Square, it was already 6 screens.

markp on November 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I was the screen cleaner for clearview for a few years from about 1997 till 2004. I must have cleaned many of the screens in your theatres.

bmccinemash on November 26, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Once again some miss information The Franklin and Squire were both owned by Warren Whurtzberger who did the conversions using money he borrowed from Boston Concession as he was in financial trouble in 1996, he sold both to Clearview Cinemas. Bud Mayo and Paul Kay were 2 independent theatre owners though Bud had also been a Vice President for IBM for a long time in 1993 they started with 2 theatres in N.J. and in 1995 they brought 3 theatres in Long Island from Carmi Djiji called GG cinemas at the time , the Port Washington, Herricks and Grand Avenue, who I worked for and then we started buying independent theatre’s in New York and New Jersey as ell as buying smaller venues from major chains. There were no Loew’s people in Clearview at that timein 1998 we took over theatre’s from Cineplex which included Soundview Cinemas The Chelsea and a few more at that time we got a division manager from Cineplex It wasn’t until Bud sold to Cablevison and then left the company that we had people from Loews brought in to run the company in 2001. I was the Division Manager for Long Island and was part of building up the company from 1995 to 2001 when I left to form my own company in Florida with 2 partners. I started in the theatre business in 1970 as a concession attendant and by 1973 I was the asst. Manager of the U.A. Quartet in Flushing, then in 1975 I was the Manager in 1979 I went to work as an Asst. Manager at National Amusements Sunrise Cinemas for it’s opening raising to House Manager then I was put in charge of the construction site for National Amusements Commack Multiplex and then opened it as the Managing Director before being transferred to Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas. In 1991 I went to work for GG theatres as the Manager of Port Washington and District manage4r for the other 2 GG theatres and when Clearview took over in 1995 I continued as their District Manager for L.I. and as previous mentioned, I was very much involved in their growth into a 68 theatre chain. I would go to each theatre that was taken over and help to bring it online as a Clearview Cinema and for a while I was also in Charge of Concessions and Special Events for the company

robboehm on March 26, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Upload a photo of the current façade. Would be nice to see one with the original marquee.

robboehm on March 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Movie going was different in the 50’s. There was only one screen and most people only went to their local theatre. Mine was the Bellerose. I could count on the fingers of one hand the movies that I saw in the adjacent villages, Queens Village and Floral Park.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Willstan, that’s pretty cool that you can remember seeing that movie so long ago. I saw a movie there a couple of years ago, but I have no idea what it was!

willstan on March 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

No. I do NOT have anything with which to co-oborate. I attended the screening then. I deeply regret that I did not meet the requirement of proof.

willstan on March 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

In 1954, Franklin, then a Century property on a particular day ran “Casanova’s Big Night” with Bob Hope, Joan Fontaine, Basil Rathbone and Hugh Marlowe.

robboehm on June 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Yeh, Google finally got the front of the building.

robboehm on June 19, 2011 at 4:21 am

Would like to see some of those photos on CT since most of us are not privvy to union material

Mrmarkus on June 19, 2011 at 12:23 am

@ Ligg,yes they used to run shows even if it was empty in case someone really came in late.I know it didn’t make sense,adding more wear and tear on the equipment and using electricity.They did abandon that practice in lieu of a 10-minute rule,which a show didn’t start if no one showed up.After 10 mminutes,the show was cancelled,in order to avoid a late start of the next show.And strangely enough,there were some people who showed up 12,15,even 20 minutes late!Only to find out about the cancelled show,so they came for the next one or just came back another time. The independents got more first run movies in part because of Sumner Redstone’s lawsuit against the studios for more control over the first run picks,as explained in his book.Nevertheless,independents used the same booking agent,Lesser.By twinning,triplexing and quadding,you add more choices without bbeing stuck to a single film.That’s what happened to just about all the single screen theatres,before multiplexes grew to what they are now.You can count the number of single screens on LI on one hand! And of course,the drive-in became extinct! Yes,the stage/platform upstairs was structurally sound,it passed the Town of Hempstead Building Code.Touching the screens is a big no-no-oil from hands has an effect on picture quality,and the screens get chemically cleaned every 6 months. Also,Local 640 IATSE has some old pictures showing the curved marquee before it became rectangular.

Mrmarkus on June 19, 2011 at 12:02 am

I believe I can help out with the history to an extent,since I have worked there on and off since 1985.A tip of the hat to MrMarketing,for giving me recognition… First,yes the same owner as the North Babylon Twin,and several other theatres was a partner with a few independent owners who formed Southland,which was a private small chain,unlike UA,Loews,National Amusements.He was not a part of GG (I saw the newspaper clipping,notice the GG ads from top to bottom do not match the printed style of the ones to the right.Levittown was owned by Jay Levinson,one partner). They used a man who does bookings for independent owners,Lesser.Prior to his ownership,it was a Century Theatre (I have proof,a couple of bulletins from the company).He closed North Babylon,after he split from the other two partners,brought the equipment to Franklin Square (hereafter noted as “FS”)closed the theatre for a month to convert to a quad.The upstairs theatres 5&6,had 65 and 70 seats,respectively.That summer had some great movies,Back To The Future among them,which,in fact ran there the longest (7 months and 3 weeks)since it was still pulling in money.He owned a theatre in PA and three in FL at that point. He co-owned the Hicksville Twin for a while. The movies “Krush Groove” and “Nightmare On Elm Street”,on opening day with long lines caused a brief fight,yes,someone did get thrown into the beauty supply store plate glass window.The theatre had security guards for weeks after that one. He opened Cinema Five Video,sold it,bought it back and converted it to another screen.In the early 90’s he closed it for three weeks to move the main auditoriums front to make room in the back for another screen,bringing the total to 6.He bought the closed Squire Cinemas from UA when they were dumping small theatres for desperately needed cash.Needless to say,he converted that theatre from three screens to six,then shortly after that when a store next door closed,he converted it to screen 7,moved the box ofice. A few years later Bud Mayo made him an offer to buy it from him,along with Squire,a very good cash offer,so he sold them.He left to build Seaford Cinemas with a partner.Clearview Cinemas home office people were a mix of people from other theatre chains,notably Loews,since at the time when they merged with Cineplex Odeon,they downsized the home office when a new owner bought both companies.the Cineplex home office people were retained,and Loews execs were out of a job,several wound up at Clearview.They changed the sound in 2 screens to the newer digital system (Dolby Digital and DTS,along with surround sound,leaving the other auditoriums the old mono sound).The company was sold to Cablevision in the early 2000’s (the current SVP/GM has “rewritten” the history to “eliminate” the traces of Bud Mayo’s ownership in an employee handbook).I have pictures of some stages of the theatre’s interior and exterior as a quad,and five screens,and a few booth shots.In 2005,they upgraded all the sound systems and all auditoriums had surround sound (Ultra-Stereo systems).I have seen a lot of things happen there and can regale some good stories, and can tell you as of today,the theatre was renovated again,with new leather seats with moveable armrests,which has reduced the seat counts in each auditorium even more,and 5&6 now have 50 seats each.They also removed the 35mm equipment and installed digital projectors,along with a library management system for the shows.Hencewith,the home office people felt they no longer needed me as a projectionist there.So FS is run by the managers,so if the shows ever go down,or they mess up,just complain to the company,let them know how you feel.FS has been fun,but its rather bittersweet today.

robboehm on November 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm

The original marquee was a half circle like the Manhasset, the Suffolk, the original Amityville and others.

robboehm on March 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm

It’s odd that an earlier posting should say this theatre was identical the the Baldwin. The Baldwin was just a simple rectangle. The Franklin had a multisurfaced facade with the auditorium jutting out from the side, like the Alan.

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on December 18, 2008 at 9:03 pm

You know, I have worked at so many unions from Hollywood to Long Island. So Many. Local 640 has got to be one of the best, period. Mark Escorcia, the projectionist here, is one of the best around. The man is huge but his heart is huge too. If you see Mark, say, “Hi Brother.”

LJS on April 26, 2008 at 12:56 am

This theater was the site of one of the infamous brawls that resulted from “Krush Groove” screenings. I believe someone got thrown through a window here, but that may be local urban legend.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 24, 2006 at 4:36 pm

I was in the area tonight and snapped these two evening shots of the illuminated marquee:

Franklin Square night 1
Franklin Square night 2

Not the greatest shots, as there is no light around there but that of the marquee and I didn’t have an SLR on me. What typically bland and crappy marquee signage, eh? And the facade above the marquee is now painted royal blue. I’ll go back for a couple of day shots, but I’d love to find a vintage image of the exterior when this was a single nabe.

Ligg on August 31, 2006 at 7:38 am

I am posting this here, because this is more relevant to questions about the Franklin Square Theater, but was part of the discussion about GG Theaters about the Herricks Theater.

In an old Newsaday clipping, it lists that Franklin Cinema was part of the GG cinema group, which anyone who went there would find hard to believe simply by the way the theater was run. It was no Loews, from their “Quading” to playing movies without audiences. Here is a link to the newsday advertisement that list both the Herricks and Franklin as part of the GG theater group. I spent a lot of time at the Franklin as a kid, and again, I find it very hard to believe that this theater before Clearview was a “corparately run” theater. I always thought it was an independently owned and operated theater.

What were the GG Cinemas anyway? One owner, owner affiliation to get bookings of the first run releases, co-op etc? Though I went to both the Herricks and Franklin growing up, both GG theaters, I never felt they were coporate or even franchised, just independent theaters just by the way they were run, the management “Decisions” made. I am using the Franklin as an example, because I spent the most time there and find the most bizarre decisions, from construction to running films without audiences there!

Was GG renamed Clearview when it was bought by Cablevision? When I was growing up, it seemed like the Franklin which my friends and I used to go to at least on day a weekend, seem to be more of an independent theater. Could I be wrong about that? Was GG just a sort of “Co-op” of theaters to book movies so they can get first runs against the big chains or was it an actual corporation? The Franklin I know was never an RKO, a Century, Loews, Sony, etc. but I never remember it ever being a GG theater or even advertising any kind of chain affiliation except in the paper.

It seemed so too, it was independently operated the way it was run, and also the way it quaded. They just took the two small balconies and made theaters of them.

It was very strange how it was quaded, because first off, it looked to the naked eye about only 50 seats if that much, and then there was an area, the same size where no seats were, and then the screen. I do not know if it was structually unsound to put seats, but they did not have bars so you could not walk on them, and you could walk up and touch the screen as you sometimes did as “crazy teenagers.” It if was a corporate of theaters, I doubt they would have quaded the theater in this way, because the cost of rental against the number of seats, it really would seem, “what is the point?” if you only have 50-75 seats in the theater?

I even remember on a couple of occasions seeing a day, non matinee for another film, and walking into both the big theater and the small theater on seperate occasions and the movie was running but no one was in the theater. When I asked about that, they said, no one had come for the 3:30 showing on a summer weekday. I asked, “Why then, after a half hour, do you not just shut the film off? I was told, they keep in on just in case people come late! Well we know movies never start on time because of previews etc, and then after a half hour and no tickets sold? That does not sound like a corporate run theater.

For that reason it seems like it was some kind of independent theater that either joined the GG group for advertising and movie booking purposes or was bought and joined with Clearview when Cablevision bought it. Does someone have the history of GG, and how it evolved to Clearview and the purchase by Cablevision?

Needless to say, movies up there on the “living room theaters”, were always sold out on the weekends.

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