Wantagh Theatre

3305 Jerusalem Avenue,
Wantagh, NY 11793

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Showing 26 - 38 of 38 comments

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on August 23, 2004 at 2:18 pm

i managed this theater 1 day when the manager was a no show a nice local theater that was run down .Strange as this may sound the thing i remember most about the theater was the bathrooms were inside the auditorium never have seen that again in any other theater.

Burt on August 23, 2004 at 11:54 am

I have a picture of the Wantagh Theater that was on Jerusalem Ave. on my Web site, (tried positing it here but C.T. not accepting them). You can see it at this addr: http://godblessarthur.homestead.com/pictures.html
I lived in the D section, right behind the theater. As kids, we went all the time. I remember, we lined up to see “Triffids” on a Saturday, payed extra to sit in the loge, and got the c**p scared out of us… We walked out after the plants from outer space ate their 1st victim.

mauibell on August 2, 2004 at 11:58 am

my name is bobby ,I was head user 1961-1963 great times w/ bobby bloom dennis ruby johnny poleker we had a ball working THE WANTAGH MOVIE THEATER , I now live in MAUI and still having a ball bobby bell

robtom on July 21, 2004 at 7:45 pm

I remember seeing Three Men & a Baby there in ‘87, by this time Cineplex Odeon was running it in an attempt to revive it as a discount second run house..it didn’t work…I remember it was a large theater with the large brick and glass front it was just behind the Cherrywood Shopping Center.

tjweppler on June 15, 2004 at 10:59 am

I was the last manager at this theater. It closed very quietly after the last showing of The Fabulous Baker Boys on Thanksgiving Day, 1989 (four showings, two of them empty, two of them with two patrons each). By the time it closed, the roof was so leaky that I was under orders to go up on the roof after rainstorms to sweep away the puddles that would gather to keep from getting further damage. The place was cold enough that the employees would keep their coats on. Despite these problems, I still have fond memories of the Wantagh.

mmayper on December 5, 2003 at 6:09 pm

Oh my God!!! I don’t know who you are, but you brought back a flood of memories—first of all, my dad called it “the itch” and I was going to tell you that, but I wasn’t sure if it was his invention—he had a very strange sense of humor. I think he took me there to see Exodus. The card table with the candy—of course I remember that. And the Merrick GAbles — was always in the list of options (where the parents would be willing to drive on a weekend. We never ventured into Freeport—it was the asphalt jungle in those days. Except the night I was born, my father awaited my arrival at the White Castle in the middle of the street. What do you do—is this a hobby or what?


flickhead on December 5, 2003 at 5:17 pm

Another note about the Wantagh Theatre: Joan Crawford appeared there in person sometime in the early ‘60s to promote one of her movies, either “Straightjacket” or “I Saw What You Did” — I’m not entirely sure which one it was.


flickhead on December 5, 2003 at 5:13 pm

The Bellmore Theatre, collectively known as “The Itch,” was and still is a single screen, on Petit Avenue, running adjacent to (the north side of) Sunrise Highway. Up until the mid-‘70s, it was “air cooled” in the summer, a block of dry ice propped in front of a fan. Their concession stand at that time was a folding card table with some candy bars on it. Their marquee back then protruded off the building, covering the full expanse of the entrance, with a series of light bulbs underneath. As the Bellmore Fire Department is located next-door, their alarm would blast through the walls and drown out the sound of the movie.

The Bellmore Playhouse is on nearby Bedford Avenue. It closed down about 15 years ago, but reopened about 5 or 6 years ago as a small multiplex.

On Merrick Road was the Merrick Gables in Merrick, and the Grove in Freeport. And, of course, the grand Freeport Theatre was on Sunrise Highway.

Best regards,

mmayper on December 5, 2003 at 12:38 pm

Flickhead figured this out. I remember both theatres. I dont think I went to the one near the 5 & 10 because I was pretty much out of Wantagh by that time, but the Wantagh theatre with the glass lobby I do remember. I used to go to saturday matinees there (for 40 cents). The last time I was there it was gone. Did any of you ever go the the Bellmore theater on either Sunrise Highway or Merrick Road near the railroad tracks. By the way, I remember the smoking loge having visited it many times.


flickhead on December 3, 2003 at 10:56 pm

The Cinema Wantagh theatre was located on Wantagh Avenue, on the north end of the Wantagh 5 & 10/Veeder Paints shopping center. It opened in the early 1970’s, and closed in the early ‘90s. It was then renovated into a strip mall.

The description given on this webpage, however, probably reflects the Wantagh Theatre, which was built in the ‘50s, across the street from the Kwong Ming restaurant on Jerusalem Avenue. Its design was post-modern, and the auditorium had a sectioned-off smoking loge. Contrary to what was written above, the Wantagh Theatre deteriorated by the mid-to-late '70s, with broken or slashed seats, and a heavily-stained screen. The site is now an office building for professionals.

Best regards,

mmayper on November 23, 2003 at 10:40 am

I suppose so, I will ask my family if they ever heard of it.

sdoerr on November 23, 2003 at 10:33 am

Well it says closed to it could have been defaced, or renovated into something…

mmayper on November 23, 2003 at 10:28 am

I lived in Wantagh from 1951-1974 and I never heard of this place/