Five Towns Theatre

253-01 Rockaway Boulevard,
Rosedale, NY 11422

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Showing 26 - 48 of 48 comments

robboehm on July 8, 2011 at 1:22 am

I concur with Ed on this. But, there may have been a post office change which resulted in this “correction”. Due to a postal reallignment the Bellerose which was in Bellerose since it was built in 1927 is now in Floral Park.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I recall this shopping center being anchored by a TSS when I used to go to the Five Towns. Also seem to remember a Garden World type of nursery over in the far right part of the mall. And to answer formerprojectionist’s post from December 12, 2009, the theater had a direct entrance from the outside. In fact, all the stores in this strip had individual entrances… there was no indoor mall aspect to this shopping center at all.

The Five Towns was a single screener. The RKO Twin was down the road heading east on Rockaway Turnpike and on the right side where Peninsula Blvd intersects.

Anyway, I also see that the address has been updated to identify the town as Rosedale, but I wonder if that’s correct. This was always listed as being in Woodmere in the newspaper ads and under Nassau County in the ads and movie clock listings. Rosedale is in Queens.

ChrisPlatt on October 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The Five Towns was located in the Pathmark/Pergament (now K-Mart) shopping center on Rockaway Boulevard near Brookville Blvd (aka Snake Road).
Some of you may be confusing it with The Lawrence, which was located less than a mile east in a small triangular shopping plaza (~3 stores) on Rockaway Turnpike just east of TSS (now Costco) and west of Falcaro’s. IIRC it was a twin, and is now a kosher market.
In high school in the 1970’s I lived in Rosedale and frequented both.


Coate on December 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm
*I worked as relief projectionist when "Fiddler on the Roof" played as a hard ticket roadshow engagement day and date with the Syosset. I can't recall the date, I remember "Fiddler" opened at the Rivoli in November 1971, however I think it opened on Long Island later in 1972, perhaps someone remembers the date. *

The Five Towns roadshow run of “Fiddler On The Roof” began on June 21, 1972, the same date on which UA also opened it in Paramus, Upper Montclair and Woodbury. The original NYC run, at the Rivoli, opened seven months earlier. This, to my knowledge, was the only time a film had five simultaneous NYC area runs of the same film as a hard ticket roadshow attraction.

*Five Towns, although we received a mag/optical print, played it in 35mm optical mono.*

Why? Was Five Towns not equipped for magnetic playback?

formerprojectionist on December 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I remember seeing The Sword and the Sorcerer there in 1982. They had a trailer for Cannibals in the Streets, and I was dying to go and see that. My memory is that the Cannibals film was set to play, was listed and all but the theater had already closed. I also saw Clash of the Titans there. I believe you had to enter the mall in order to enter the theater.

larry6803 on March 19, 2009 at 2:33 am

Century (today its part of AMC.Ruined this house by turning it into a discount house.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 26, 2007 at 4:59 am

I’ve been using a lot to try and identify and pinpoint locations for some of the theaters I used to frequent as a youth. The Five Towns Theater is particularly difficult to pin down because it was buried so inconspicuously within the shopping mall that even from this aerial shot you can’t make out a possible outline for the auditorium.

The one possibility is the sort of square slightly raised structure that sits towards the back behind the Modell’s (which is immediately to the left of the large Big K store that used to be the TSS – and Mays prior to that – anchor). Still, that structure seems pretty far back from the entrance… I don’t recall the lobby/foyer being so deep and long to get to the auditorium way back there.

Anyone have a clearer memory than I do?

Vito on August 31, 2006 at 11:32 am

Robert, To my knowledge it was the first and only roadshow to play there, I don’t remember how long it played, I worked the house for about 4 weeks and then left. I hope you can find the ad.
Syosset played the movie in 35mm 4 track mag sound, but Five Towns, although we received a mag/optical print, played it in 35mm optical mono. The Rivoli played it in 70mm (blowup) with six track sound.

RobertR on August 31, 2006 at 10:36 am

I have to search for that ad, first I ever heard Five Towns played a roadshow. Was it a long run?

Vito on August 31, 2006 at 10:01 am

I worked as relief projectionist when “Fiddler on the Roof” played as a hard ticket roadshow engagement day and date with the Syosset. I can’t recall the date, I remember “Fiddler” opened at the Rivoli in November 1971, however I think it opened on Long Island later in 1972, perhaps someone remembers the date.

RobertR on August 31, 2006 at 12:05 am

1972 still first run showing “Last Picture Show"
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 9, 2006 at 5:31 pm

The photo links from my last post are no longer working. Here’s a new link where the pics are now located.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 25, 2006 at 2:22 pm

Here are a few current shots of the former TSS Shopping Center where the Five Towns Theater was located. I can’t exactly recall which current storefront marks the location of the former theater, though I think it was where the Danice discount clothing store is depicted in the last photo. One thing hasn’t changed about this location… the preponderance of sea gulls in the lot!

Shopping Center and Gulls
This might be the old pylon sign for the theater
Theater was somewhere among these stores
Maybe here?

I remember the theater from 1979 through ‘81 or so. The price for tickets was 79 cents then went up a penny per year. I think the pricing policy here and elsewhere along the Century chain began in 1976 in coincidence with the bi-centennial. All the films here were either in re-release or on third run at least 6 months out from their initial release. In '79 I saw a re-release of Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” during which the audience laughed so long and hard we missed much of the dialogue. I remember my Mom and some of the neighborhood kids going to see Speilberg’s “1941” here sometime in 1980, I passed since I saw the movie a couple of times during its run at the Lynbrook Theater. I can also remember seeing (again with my Mom) the Neil Diamond remake of “The Jazz Singer” for 81 cents. This was definitely a favorite theater of my Mom’s as it allowed her to take a whole brood of kids along with her at very favorable prices!

JakeGittes on July 4, 2005 at 3:43 pm

Interior of this theatre was identical to two other Century houses, the Park East in Garden City and the Richmond on Richmond Ave in Staten Island. All were boxlike auditoriums w/o a balcony -built around the same time- mid to late sixties. The Five Towns suffered from its close proximity to the Century Green Acres house and identical booking policy. The shopping center it was part of rarely attracted destination/ chain stores. None of the three theatres mentioned made it into the mid-80’s. The closest theatre to the Five Towns was the RKO Lawrence Twin.

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 2:42 pm

adding the link would help :)
View link

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Remember this film “Over the Edge” Warner had no faith in it and it played on HBO, got great reviews and then they released it to theatres. Tender Mercies had the same release pattern. Of course in 1982 cable was not in every home like now.

CathyN on June 28, 2005 at 9:36 pm

I think this is Lawrence, not Woodmere. And it was also near Falcaro’s bowling alley, now gone as well. And the Sherwood Diner!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 26, 2004 at 5:50 pm

“Like some of the other Century bargain houses, the price was always the last two digits of the year.”

I assume that it closed some time before 2000?

RobertR on December 26, 2004 at 5:39 pm

Being between Hewlett and Lawrence this place should have made a fortune as a first run theatre. I’m not sure how it did with the bargain policy but the times I went there it was always crowded.

chconnol on December 7, 2004 at 8:23 pm

The shopping center also had a Pergament (remember those)?

You would think that the location would’ve made it a prime theater? It’s strange how sometimes all the elements are there but a theater fails. And then in other cases, the opposite is true.

RobertR on December 7, 2004 at 8:03 pm

In the Pathmark Shopping Center that also had a Mays Department store in those days.

chconnol on December 7, 2004 at 7:11 pm

Was this the one that was pretty much at the end of Rockaway Blvd before you hit that long and “lovely” strectch of barren road heading toward Kennedy?

RobertR on December 7, 2004 at 6:11 pm

This theatre had 2 marquees one flat against the building and one located out on Rockaway Boulevard.