Comments from JCJohnsong

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JCJohnsong commented about Bellmore Movies & the Showplace on Dec 24, 2020 at 9:22 pm

I have been trying to get a more accurate opening date for this theater as I have read everything from 1908 to 1922 (as stated in the theater bio on this page). These are all recent sources from the past few decades and since they do not agree with each other … I have searched old newspapers for my information. Below is some of what I found… (I will post some old photos and newspaper clippings to the photo section soon)

A L@@k Back at this Movie House’s History…

General Contractor and Builder, Antonio (aka Anthony) Palermo – who once lived at 800 Bellmore Avenue, in Bellmore – built the first movie theater in Bellmore … the BELLMORE THEATRE in 1914-15. It was built on land that was part of what was once known as Fredericks Park, just north of the Railroad Depot on Petit Avenue.

L.W. Richards & W. Schwab of Richards & Schwab, of Manhattan, managed the theater, but before the end of the first year Richards & Schwab would be dissolved and L.W. Richards would go forward managing it himself.

Building of the two story, 40 foot by 100 foot structure, that would accommodate 500 movie paytrons commenced in 1914 and the Grand Opening Movie Show and Vaudeville Show was on Monday, July 5th, 1915 … right after the community’s Fourth of July festivities.

One Hundred and Five years ago motion picture houses played silent movies and required the services of a pianist to accompany the movies live as they were projected on the screen. The August 20th, 1915 issue of the Nassau Post announced that Bellmore resident and musician of rare ability, Mrs. Maurice Higgins, had taken the position as theatre pianist and that she had formerly worked for the Vitagraph company. Her husband, Maurice, owned an interior decorating firm in town at Bedford Avenue near Merrick Road back in the day.

That First Summer… Tuesday Nights were “Broken Coin” Night with parts of the serial playing each Tuesday.

Friday Nights were “Chaplin” Night with Charlie Chaplin movies on the bill every Friday and always a crowd and plenty of laughs.

The Nassau Post of July 23rd, 1915 was already reporting that the Jitney Bus from Wantagh to Bellmore Theatre was always filled to capacity on ‘picture nights’.

And the building is still a movie theater today some 105 years later!

JCJohnsong commented about Majestic Theatre on May 9, 2019 at 8:19 pm

I’ve just posted a clipping ( of what I think may be the FIRST advertisement for SAMMY DAVIS JR … from May of 1929 … which would have made him 3 ½ years old! It is an advertisement for the Majestic Theatre and Sammy is billed as “Little SAMMY DAVIS Jr., Colored Boy Marvel” I thought readers of this theater’s page would enjoy seeing it posted here a bit of ENTERTAINMENT HISTORY!