30 Chamberlain Highway,
Kensington, CT 06037

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Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on October 17, 2022 at 1:31 am

@DaveBonan: Mr. Bonan, where do you get your information? I worked at the theater(s) from 1981-1985, and my recollection of dates and shows is different than yours. Thank you.

Also, btw, it’s *Naughton. Dave wouldn’t like misspellings. 😉

Drive-In Dave Lounder (Kensington, CT)

Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on August 26, 2021 at 12:34 am

Note: David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) was never in a porn flick. The actor that DALLAS MOVIE THEATERS mentions is porn actor, David Pierce.

Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on August 26, 2021 at 12:17 am

dallasmovietheaters: Not quite. Carrol’s built and operated the theater until about 1978. The manager, John Disantis, renamed it the KENSINGTON CINEMA, which he operated under his JOMAR THEATERS banner. John also operated the CENTRE CINEMA in Wallingford. Declining business prompted Disantis to seek a liquor license with the intention of switching to a cine-pub, not a ‘dinner and a movie’ format. Because of a liquor store being very close to the venue, Disantis was denied a variance, and put the business up for sale. PUSSYCAT CINEMAS had a passing interest. A local man wanted to keep the theater operating as is, but was outbid by the owners of the MANCHESTER TWIN, an X-rated, former Jerry Lewis Cinema. Kensington Cinema was closed sometime in December of 1981, awaiting the change in operators. The new operators (as CALI-CON CORP.) decided that they wanted to assume residence in an operating theater, so Disantis re-opened KENSINGTON CINEMA for the last two weeks of December, 1981. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK was screened the first week to sell-out crowds, and was held-over. The final screening was New Year’s eve (to the best of my recollection, anyway), 1981. The next day, the theater became CINE-FOX THEATER, and began showing X-rated pictures. I stayed on as an employee for four years.

rivest266 on February 25, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Converted into a adult cinema called Cine Fox on January 6th, 1982

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annie11 on November 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I grew up next to the theater as well. Me and my friends spent many happy weekends going to see Star Wars Mel Brooks movies Charlie Brown and of course Live and Let Die and the Poseidon Adventure. I remember when you walked in we would purchase a ticket at the immediate right I remember the manager being thin with a moustache and he said in the office directly behind ticket counter we would buy a popcorn take a drink from the water fountain in the corner before settling into a theater it was a one screen Movie house. I was sad to see it turned into an x ray theater. I do remember someone trying to reopen it having problems with parking which was very sad because now its its abandoned and in total disarray. I looked in on it yesterday and it looks like a lawn is growing inside the building it’s in terrible shape. Another theater with so many memories

Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on August 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Note: KC was ACROSS THE STREET from the above view — behind the package store and out of sight, but the shell still stands today. The theater WAS more visible before the single fronting edifice – now the expanded package store – was added onto, making the property into more of a ‘strip-mall.’ The operator once told me that he felt the theater would’ve been far more successful had it been built into the ‘former’ Ferndale Plaza, depicted in the above street view. Side note — There was a Foto-Mat location on the front of the property long ago (standing at least as late as 1/82).

Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on January 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm

The Kensington Cinema opened as Carroll’s Cinema in 1971. It became the Kensington Cinema in approximately 1978 when the manager took control. I began employment there in approximately 1980 (I lived down the street – it was my favorite indoor theater). Due to declining attendance and a rejection of the owner’s liquor license application, the theater was sold (and closed) prior to Christmas in 1981 to the owners of the Manchester Twin (adult – former Jerry Lewis theater). The new owners wanted the theater up and running when they took over so they commissioned the (prior) owner to re-open for two weeks at Christmastime, at which time RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK did booming business. The theater again closed and re-opened in 1982 as Cine-Fox, a XXX venue, which folded in approximately 1986. I left in 1984 or thereabouts. I attempted to re-open the Kensington Cinema in approximately 2000, but was denied a parking permit (when the theater first opened, the fronting plaza was about half the size of today — there was tight available theater parking, and the theater could be viewed from Chamberlain Highway). The theater was a small one-screener with 333 original seats (I have the only one remaining, in my house), pared down to 313 seats (the front row was removed after 1978 [i think] so it could be used to replace broken seats) when it closed. It had a very tiny lobby and concession stand and a tiny manager’s office. After Cine-Fox closed, the building was used as an auction gallery for some years — hence the loading dock addition.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on April 25, 2007 at 7:22 pm

It was one screen.

shoeshoe14 on April 25, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Saw this theatre last Saturday. There is no continuity in its appearance. It looks like it could have been cool, but it has so many faces, it’s not too appealing. It’s on Chamberlain Highway (Route 71A) behind a doctor’s office. The marquee is still up with no movies on it on the upper left. The entrance is a bunch of long concrete steps with railings. Doors are locked. Ceiling is gutted. The woodchips in front look fresh, so it’s been maintained, since it’s abutting a parking lot that’s obviously used for the doctor’s office. There are windows in front to the right and you can see the insides look new or were recently painted a fresh white. The end of the building is separate but quite close to the nursery school. It’s evident this was at least 2 screens? Says 1 here. Auditorium is on the left, but the right side seems fit for another small one and offices. On the right there is also a few doors and a loading dock with a small garage door. The same on the back of the auditorium on the left. Behind the building there are vines growing and all openings are closed up.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 7, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Oh, it wasn’t always adult. It became adult as the Cine-Fox in the 80’s.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

The building is now basically a shell. See photos at