Comments from RonMotta

Showing 51 - 61 of 61 comments

RonMotta commented about UA Astoria Sixplex on Sep 30, 2004 at 4:51 pm

If I’m not mistaken, the Marx Brothers used to try out their comedy bits here when they were filming at the Kaufman-Astoria studios. My wife and I used to frequent this the first year we lived in Astoria. My Dad used to come here as a kid and see the Flash Gordon serials (he loves those things).

RonMotta commented about Kew Gardens Cinemas on Sep 30, 2004 at 4:37 pm

I remember constantly passing this theater when it went porno on the way to visit my grandmother (I was four at the time, you perverts!). My grandparents actually went to a showing of the X-rated Snow White and the Seven Dwarves thinking it was the Walt Disney version!

20 years later, my now-wife and I moved to Kew Gardens, just down the street from this theater. I can definitely attest that it is one of the best theaters in New York. They have the buckets of popcorn and, at least when I was there, they actually had REAL butter, not this stupid “topping”. We saw a lot of great movies there, like “Being John Malkovich” and “Almost Famous.” I sincerely hope that it’s still open.

RonMotta commented about The Space at Westbury on Sep 28, 2004 at 6:12 pm

I wonder if a woman who was breast feeding an infant would have been kicked out for bringing in outside beverages?

In all seriousness, this is one instance where you can’t blame the decline of a theater on faceless corporate conglomerates or greedy town supervisors. The Westbury Theater closed because of the owners' own incompetence. I mean, jeez, letting rain pour into the theater? No wonder why it smelled like a basement! Here’s hoping that whoever wins the auction on Thursday will commit to revitalizing this theater—which, I believe, could be the lynchpin in revitalizing that section of town.

Oh, and I totally agree the someone needs to investigate what happened to those “donations” the owners collected.

RonMotta commented about Whitman Theatre on Sep 24, 2004 at 5:28 pm

It’s really a shame because with money, time and effort, they really could’ve made this theater something. My friend and I thought about somehow getting money together (this would’ve taken a MAJOR miracle) and turning this place into a hip 2nd run house and coffee shop (next door). I loved the giant tragedy & comedy masks that hung there and I loved the fact that it was only a single screen—are there ANY single (or even twin) screens left on Long Island? The last movie I saw here was “Galaxy Quest.”

And yes, I remember that 56 week run of E.T. in 1982. That was the first movie we took my sister to (she was four at the time). She cried through the WHOLE thing—she was afraid of E.T.! She sat with her back to the screen the rest of the picture.

RonMotta commented about The Space at Westbury on Sep 22, 2004 at 11:12 am

Richard, there’ll be another inspection on September 27th, I believe. From the recent newspaper articles that I have read, I don’t think that it’s in that great condition (in fact, the town took over the theater because it was in such bad condition—particularly the roof—and the owner claimed that she would make renovations “soon”). I’d love to see it revitalized and always felt that its potential was being wasted.

By the way, I’ve read that the former owner of the theater used to solicite donations to “renovate” the theater. What did she do wtih that money?

RonMotta commented about The Space at Westbury on Sep 20, 2004 at 5:31 pm

I came I think twice to see movies here—once in the 80’s to take my sister to see (I think) “The Care Bears Movie” and in 1997 to see “Casablanca.” When I went to see “Casablanca”, it felt like I was watching a movie in my basement: the lobby had tattered carpeting and cheap paneling on the walls; the ceiling consisted of tiles and the theater proper smelled dank and damp. And the people who ran it were pretty nasty. It’s really sad, because, as noted, if someone had vision and money, this could be a really great theater.

Perhaps if it became some sort of community theater playhouse (not professional productions, like the Westbury Music Fair gets), maybe it could survive.

RonMotta commented about Syosset Theatre on Sep 20, 2004 at 5:10 pm

Ah, another theater from my bygone youth. This was the place to see action movies. At one point, before the IMAX’s, this was one of the biggest screens in the country. I remember seeing the last three “Batman” movies here, and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was mind-blowing up on that screen. Even though I didn’t like “Titanic”, it looked like a Hollywood epic here. It was also a great place to bring a date, because this was the last theater in a few miles radius to have a balcony (even if it cost a few bucks more).

I was actually really surprised when this theater closed. I honestly thought it’s uniqueness would preserve it. Sadly, that was not to be the cast.

RonMotta commented about Guild 50th Street Theater on Sep 20, 2004 at 4:46 pm

This was right across the street from NBC Studios. When I worked there as a Page, me and other pages would go to the movies if we got off early enough.

RonMotta commented about Syosset Triplex on Sep 16, 2004 at 5:45 pm

Unfortunately, it wasn’t even converted. I never realized that there was so much space there, because the theater was on this little hill that they completely leveled. I also remember the theater was run by this tough but nice old lady. My wife’s cousin worked there as an usher (long before I ever met my wife).

I always wanted to buy an old movie theater (I was thinking about the Whitman until, well, you know…) and convert it into a 2nd-run house, but a COOL 2nd-run house, with midnight showings and events and stuff like that. Back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, going to the movies used to be an event. Now, it' sjust there.

My friend Pab ended up buying what is now the DeMarco Cinemas in Vineland, NJ. It’s currently struggling, so show him some love (you can Google it on the web). I’ll let him know about this site and hopefully get him to post something on here.

RonMotta commented about Syosset Triplex on Sep 15, 2004 at 3:17 pm

“The day they knocked down the Pally, my sister stood and cried.
The day they knocked down the Pally, part of her childhood died."
—the Kinks, "Come Dancing”

I remember moving to Syosset at the age of 9 in 1981, about two or three years before they converted the Syosset into a triplex. The last movie they played there before the conversion was “Superman III”, I believe. I also remember seeing a triple-bill of the “Star Wars” trilogy there. My Dad was ready to kill me for dragging him to six hours of “Star Wars.”

This was such a huge part of growing up. Me and my best friends went there all the time, either just to hang out during the summer or, in high school, on dates. Saw a lot of great movies there (“Poltergeist”, “Batman”, “When Harry Met Sally”) and some not-so-great movies (“Cobra”). It was located perfectly next to McDonald’s and within walking distance of Syosset House diner and Carvel, perfect for carless teens.

When they closed the place down, I felt just like that Kinks song. It really felt like a huge part of my childhood was gone. As a result, I have refused to set foot in the retail space that now festers there on principle. It also increased my hatred of souless, anticeptic multiplexes. I’d much rather go out of my way to the Babylon Triplex, one of the last vestiges of the old-school movie theaters than to the zillion-screen megaplex off the highway.

RonMotta commented about Ziegfeld Theatre on Sep 15, 2004 at 3:08 pm

Love this movie theater because I proposed to my wife there two days after Christmas, 2002, right before seeing “Chicago.” I went to the concession stand, bought a huge bucket of popcorn, wrapped the ring box in napkins and stuck it down near the top. I got to the seat, she went to grab a handful and pulled out the box. I got down on one knee and said, “Jill, I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Of course, she said yes and everybody around us applauded….

….until this jerk is standing behind me, saying “EXCUSE ME, CAN YOU PLEASE MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!?” The rest of the audience around us started yelling at him. “Hey, shuddup, buddy…he’s proposing to his girlfriend!” “Yeah, you moron!”

Ah, this is why I’m proud to be a New Yorker.