Green Acres Cinemas

610 W. Sunrise Highway,
Valley Stream, NY 11581

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Showing 76 - 97 of 97 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 18, 2006 at 5:03 pm

I haven’t been to this theater in over 20 years, but I’ve been back to Green Acres Mall on a few occasions in recent years. I know some suburbanites probably aren’t too pleased with the current ethnic mix that patronizes the mall, but I don’t know that I ever felt in any danger. There were definitely problems at the Sunrise Cinemas down the road even when I was still in the area living in Laurelton and I know things got rougher later on with some intense rowdiness during the 1986 engagement of the Run-DMC movie “Tougher Than Leather” and a shooting incident in 1990 when “Godfather III” played there. I am unaware of any such incidents at the Green Acres Theater.

While the mall and theaters might still attract their share of rowdy kids on a Friday or Saturday night, I think the village of Valley Stream is still pretty quaint and friendly. When I think of dangerous theaters, I think of the old RKO Alden in Jamaica or the Harris and Anco Theaters on 42nd Street.

DonRosen on April 17, 2006 at 8:40 am

When I was a kid in the 1960s, this was THE theatre to see a movie. I hear the neigborhood ain’t what it used to be…in other words, dangerous. True?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 24, 2006 at 7:47 pm

I recently attended some first-run movies here, and while the place seems a little worn it is still in pretty good shape.

The theatre has “Silver Screen Classics” that happens the first Monday of the month at 1pm. (I haven’t yet been to any screenings, so I don’t know the condition of the prints, the aspect ratio used, whether there’s an intermission or an entr'acte, or any of the many other concerns voiced regularly on the Ziegfeld page!)

Their recent schedule:

My Sister Eileen on Monday, January 9, 2006;

On the Waterfront on Monday, February 6, 2006;

Funny Girl on Monday, March 6, 2006;

Angels Over Broadway (from 1940, with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rita Hayworth and Thomas Mitchell) will be screened Monday, April 3, 2006 at 1pm. I’ve never heard of this movie but I will be checking it out. Ben Hecht was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, so I’m sure it’s worth a look-see. I wonder if anyone reading this will be going there, too.

Oh, by the way, admission to this film series is ONE DOLLAR!

See you there.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 16, 2006 at 9:46 am

A freind told me that this theater recently had a policy (and may still) of playing older films during off-hourse – like matinees. Can anyone confirm that?

ScottMullen on December 18, 2005 at 4:24 pm

I was one of the managers when they rebuilt/reopened the Green Acres in 1988. We opened with Who Framed Roger Rabbit in three theaters, and it wound up playing there for 6 months.

The theater was really not ready to be opened. The candystands were unfinished, and we poured soda out of 2-liter bottles. It was a while before the 3 upper-floor theaters were done.

We played The Last Temptation of Christ there, and often had a handful of protestors. Al Sharpton came to see the movie there.

The Green Acres at that time had the rep of being the quiet theater where the guy could take his girlfriend. The Sunrise Multiplex down the street is where the guy went with his buddies to raise hell.

RobertR on October 12, 2005 at 2:54 am

I’m sorry if my memory has faded, we are not all Christ on the cross like you.

Coate on October 11, 2005 at 11:10 pm

“Someone above mentioned ‘The Towering Inferno’ played here but I think they’re mistaken.” — CConnolly

I agree, and this is why I had asked RobertR, who made the claim in the theater summary, about it a few posts before yours. I didn’t grow up in the area, though my familiarity with this movie’s release is due to researching the original newspaper ads, of which I’ve kept copies. And if you, or anyone else, is curious, “The Towering Inferno” played in the following Long Island theaters upon its “wide break” in February 1975:

Mann Albemarle
Century Avalon
Mann Seaview

UA Crossbay
Century Glen Oaks
UA Midway

Century Fantasy, Rockville Centre
UA Playhouse, Great Neck
Century Roosevelt, Garden City
UA Syosset, Syosset

UA Cinema, Bay Shore
UA Patchogue, Patchogue
Century Shore, Huntington
UA Smithtown, Nesconset
UA Southampton, Southampton

Except for the Mann National in Manhattan, no presentation format notations are present in the ads, suggesting 35mm-mono presentations.

The theater in question, Green Acres, isn’t even listed as playing the film! So if “The Towering Inferno” ever screened at Green Acres, then it would have been at a later date as a move-over, sub-run, re-issue, etc. (This isn’t the first time that RobertR has made a questionable claim. See his “Star Wars” comment on the Pequa page, for example.)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2005 at 10:55 am

I saw the Marx Brothers' “Animal Crackers” here in 1976 on a double bill with the bio-pic “W.C. Feilds and Me” during a matinee. It was the very first time I attended a movie by myself (I was 11 and had my Mom drop me off). I had tried to see this attraction on the previous day, but got there too late to be allowed in unattended by an adult — we discovered that there was a late afternoon cut-off for allowing unaccompanied children into the theater regardless of the film’s MPAA rating. This was back in the days when smoking was still allowed in theater balconies and/or the last 10 rows of the orchestra!

I had seen “Animal Crackers” during it’s exclusive re-issue engagement at the Sutton Theater in Manhattan the previous year, but really wanted to see it again.

In addition to the movies I listed above in my post of October 2003, I recall specifically seeing The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker here. Not entirely sure if I caught the next two Bond flicks, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy here, but I think I might have. I also recall seeing The Right Stuff and the first Evil Dead movie here (and eating at the Red Lobster that is still located next door).

I don’t think I was ever in this theater after they triplexed it. Anyone know what year that was? I definitely have not been here since it’s been further carved up into 6 screens.

chconnol on September 20, 2005 at 4:07 am

Someone above mentioned “The Towering Inferno” played here but I think they’re mistaken. Since this was one of my favorite theaters on LI (if not my absolute favorite), I simply don’t remember it ever playing here but I could be wrong. I would’ve seen it here but I ended up seeing “Inferno” as the Rockville Centre Fantasy.

“Earthquake” was her in 74/75 and I remember seeing it here with that awful sensouround (sp?) thing.

And since those two “classic” disaster movies opened so close to eachother, I remember the old joke about them playing as a double feature (which never happened) and they’d be billed as “shake-and-bake”.

KatCoconut on September 20, 2005 at 3:41 am

Does anyone remember when a cocktail waitress from the steakhouse nextdoor was found murdered in her car in the parking lot behind the theatre? I think it was the late 60s.

Coate on June 30, 2005 at 10:12 pm

“I remember seeing "The Towering Inferno” here in 70mm.“ (RobertR, intro)

Do you recall when this was? After the Manhattan run ended? Re-issue?

RobertR on June 30, 2005 at 5:18 pm

Here is the ad from the first Premiere Showcase which opened here.

View link

chconnol on December 27, 2004 at 6:40 am

I think of all the theaters I remember as a kid, THIS one is the one I remember and love the most. It wasn’t fancy or anything but it (seemed) HUGE to me and I saw so many movies there. I loved looking at the marquee as we drove by on Sunrise Highway. It stretched the entire width of the theater.

RobertR on December 13, 2004 at 6:24 pm

I think it opened very early 60’s.

DonRosen on December 13, 2004 at 4:46 pm

This was the UA Premiere Showcase Theatre and later the UA Red Carpet Theatre.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 22, 2004 at 5:44 pm

(This is a copy of some posts on Sunrise Multiplex board about the Green Acres Cinemas.)

The Green Acres Cinemas is so much nicer than this one. [Sunrise Multiplex] Sadly NA is letting it get run down. They do book the more upscale features here, but when you start seeing hand printed signs hung on walls it’s not good.
posted by RobertR on Nov 22, 2004 at 9:50am

RobertR: You have GOT to be kidding me that the Green Acres Cinemas is falling apart! When that opened (or reopened as a six screener) in 1988 or so, it was a REALLY nice place. The theaters were small but it was beautiful. The last time I saw a movie there was “The Crying Game” in 1992 and it was still really nice. What a shame to let it go down hill. But with the megaplexes now taking over, this place’s days are numbered. If this was located in a more accesible place, like on a neighborhood street, it might have a chance. What I mean is, there’s dumpy theater located in Teaneck, NJ that’s a four plex made from an old single screener. Now this place is nothing special but it’s got two things going for it: it’s located in a neighborhood that enjoys the type of movies it shows (independent/art films) and it’s in a very accessible neighborhood street. Hope this made sense.
posted by CConnolly on Nov 22, 2004 at 10:39am

I was there over the summer and although it was still clean there were many signs things were not being kept up. The candy stand only used one out of four stations and they did not even bother to make the other stations look decent. The show cases were just empty. They also did not have as much concession item’s as most theatres. The auditorium I was in had most of the runway lights burned out and alot of the theatre lights were dead. I checked out upstairs and that candy stand looks like it has not been used since the Cineplex days. As a former theatre manager this always suprises me. For the small amount it pays to have another concession person, you can make this up in a few sales. Also having a person behind the counter upstairs prevents vandalism. This was a top rate house in it’s single days when it used to play exclusives, I have a load of great movie memories there.
posted by RobertR on Nov 22, 2004 at 11:06am
I s still think to this day this theater must be in the top 5 grossing theaters in the country the #s here are still hugh…..
posted by longislandmovies on Nov 22, 2004 at 11:51am

“This was a top rate house in it’s single days when it used to play exclusives, I have a load of great movie memories there.”

Oh, are YOU kidding me? Of all the theaters I remember going to as a kid, the Green Acres is the one I have the best memories of. The most distinctive is seeing “Jaws” there in the summer of 1975. The entire PACKED audience screaming our collective heads off when the guys head rolls toward the audience. I remember the deep red brick on the front of the theater and that huge marquee.

Obviously this is a discussion more for Green Acres posting than the multiplex but it does relate to it. Do you know what year the original Century’s Green Acres opened? Do you remember that marquee they had on the BACK of the theater that faced the mall? That always got to me as a kid…
posted by CConnolly on Nov 22, 2004 at 12:05pm

RobertR on November 22, 2004 at 5:35 pm

Do you remember that marquee they had on the BACK of the theater that faced the mall? That always got to me as a kid…
posted by CConnolly on Nov 22, 2004 at 12:05pm

That marquee is still there but another sign the place is going to hell is that a few months ago they stopped putting the titles up there. All it says now is welcome to the Green Acres Cinemas. This is so stupid because it was free advertising to all the thousands of mall visitors.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 26, 2004 at 9:09 pm

And where is the listing for Sunrise Multiplex?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 26, 2004 at 9:07 pm

I live nearby and it seems that this theater plays many action and popcorn features day-and-date with Sunrise Multiplex, but also plays many dramas and comedies that don’t appeal to Sunrise’s mostly black audience. And the Sunrise has 14 screens, not 25.

timquan on July 26, 2004 at 7:36 pm

What are the seating capacities for the Green Acres Cinemas?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2003 at 9:44 pm

This place was a barn when it was a single screen theater. Nothing fancy, a plain unadorned big box of a theater on Sunrise Hwy in the parking lot of the Green Acres Mall. But it had the widest screen I can remember and was fitted with Sensurround in the mid ‘70’s for films like Earthquake, Rollercoaster and Midway. All the James Bond movies would play here through the '70’s and early '80’s until it was triplexed. I remember seeing epic movies like Ghandi, Tess and Lion of the Desert on it’s massive wide screen. Last time I drove by, it was a sixplex. The Sunrise Cinemas, about a half mile to the west, opened in December of '79 on the site of the old Sunrise Drive-In, as a sixplex but has since been expanded and cut-up so many times that there are now 25 screens! It’s amazing that a suburban area like this can support over 30 screens in such close proximity.