Park East Theatre

2349 Jericho Turnpike,
New Hyde Park, NY 11040

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rivest266 on June 2, 2021 at 4:39 pm

the Century’s Park East Theatre opened on June 29th, 1966 with “Mary Poppins”. Grand opening ad posted.

Century's Park East openingCentury’s Park East opening 28 Jun 1966, Tue Newsday (Nassau Edition) (Hempstead, New York)

rivest266 on October 20, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Newspaper listings ended in 1986.

robboehm on February 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I asked about the Park at it’s there. Enter New Hyde Park as the city and four theatres come up : Alan, Herricks, Park East and Park.

techman707 on February 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

TKM: Someone asked about Century’s Park Theatre (not this new Park East), but I can’t even find it in the database.

TM on February 20, 2011 at 11:44 am

Does anyone remember a Manager named Mr. D?( Bernie)??

robboehm on March 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Seats from this theatre found additional life in the Bellmore Movies.

robboehm on February 19, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I never could figure why they called it the Park East. Initially, I thought they were going to retain the Park, but didn’t. It closed simultaneously with the opening of the Park East. This naming has caused confusion in the postings on both theatres.

RobertR on May 25, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Except for the Meadowbrook every theatre in Nassau county this played was a Century House
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 9, 2006 at 9:05 am

I reorganized my photobucket album and broke the photo links I posted above in December. Here’s the new link to the photos for anyone interested.

mns2lv4ever on May 2, 2006 at 8:17 am

yeap they had the best 1000 island dressing, everything else I could careless about, I remember them because of the dressing, I don’t remember a sausage place.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 2, 2006 at 4:16 am

I remember it being Sante Fe… that wasn’t so long ago. Maybe 5 years?

Ligg on May 1, 2006 at 5:32 pm

Yes, It was first Ponderosa Steak house and then there was a German sausage place like Wiener Schnitzel, but not that chain..

mns2lv4ever on May 1, 2006 at 5:14 pm

The last movie I saw there was mommy dearest in 81' I don’t know how long after it closed, but it wasn’t long. There were two restaurants there before charlie brown, I beleive the first one was the pondarosa then It was a Santa Fe steakhouse

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 9, 2005 at 4:46 am

Here are a couple of photos I took yesterday of the former Park East Theater, which now houses Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse. Again the address is 2349 Jericho Turnpike, Garden City Park, NY.

View link
View link

Was there a balcony here? Looks tall enough to have accommodated one. Looks like a typical mid-sized free-standing early 1960’s suburban theater. I suspect Charlie Brown’s did some serious reconstruction to the lobby portion of the building… were there always solid exterior walls here or was there a lot of glass? I imagine it had nice sized screen with a curtain and the auditorium was comfortably spacious. Could the seating have been much more than 1000? I gather it closed sometime in the mid or late 1980’s? Can anyone provide more details about the interior look and feel?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 7, 2005 at 10:07 am

The street address for this theater is 2349 Jericho Turnpike and the town should be Garden City Park, NY. That is the listing for the Charlie Brown’s that occupies the former theater, however, phone directories list the location as being in New Hyde Park due to the 11040 zip code. However, this building is past the sign on Jericho Turnpike that welcomes eastbound traffic into “Garden City Park.”

Ligg on July 5, 2005 at 4:31 am

It was poorly kept with a lot of “Cinemuck” the mixture of popcorn, candy and any other things stuck to the floor. I remember because one of the first originally series on HBO, had a segment called, “Signlets.” Words that ought to be in the dictionary, but not!

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 12:39 pm

Seems “African Queen” was re-released in 1968 by Trans-Lux Releasing
View link

RichardC on May 28, 2005 at 5:34 pm

Thx for all the detailed info on the Park East. Another lost gem. I can’t understand how it could have failed in such a prime location. Even had more than ample parking. I lived accross the street on Nassau Blvd from 1982-88. Always enjoyed the convenient location and the comfortable auditorium there. The tickets were always reasonably priced, but I do recall many shows in a nearly empty theater, and poor maintenance (sticky floors) near the end.

Ligg on May 28, 2005 at 2:30 am

I am always sad to drive down Jericho Turnpike where there were so many theaters. I am only in my early 30s but I remember, along Jericho there as the Bellrose, Floral, and the Park East. For a young kid it was easy to reach by bus. It is sad when I pull out of the staples and the Park East Restaurant, especailly because now that Pathmark shopping center has declined. The old original Pergament is the Goodwill and even the Pathmark there has declined. I do not believe it is the area, because a block away the Walbaum shopping center is an eyesore. I think the problem with Park East was the non-constant movie program. I mean it was owned be Century theaters and a new company. I always felt the company was run by idiots and programmed by the blind leading the blind. I remember the Park East the worst example. The movies would open there on the standard opening weekend, but it seemed they waited until all of Nassau county to see the movie. I remember one instance as a pre-teen when Ghostbuster opened I believe July 4th weekend. It stayed there for two months. Even something like Titanic would stop yielding profit after a month. I think Century had idiots running it because they did it all over their chain. Working in the entertainment industry now, I know that when theaters open a movie first weekend is 90% for the studio and 10% to the studio, then the next week 80% for study and 20% for theater. Until by the 4th week it was a 50-50 split. That is why the concession in theaters are. Even then popcorn was ridiculous. I quote comedian Rita Rudner “Going to movies beside seeing the movie. The prices for the concession are ridiculous. Three dollars for a small tiny bag of popcorn. Popcorn cost 13 cents a "sylo??”(Spelled write? Sylo meeting the tall building on a farm with the round top) Instead of trying to reach the 50-50 profits, which by that time no one is in the theater, what is the point of showing the movie. I mean don’t get me wrong, Ghostbusters was a great movies, but I even remember seeing one movie there that played forever, and when I went to the matinee, myself and my friend were the only ones in the theater. What is the point of running a movie with two people in theater.

The theater was huge and the resisted mutliplexing. In that area, between Garden City, and the lower part of the weathy northern Long Island suburbs, that area could be ripe for a new theater even built into the shopping center similar the Malverne. Where Charlie’s is, the restaurants has changed so much. But with the dying shopping center, you can even make small art house type theaters in Northern Nassau, even the Malverne is like watching in the living room. But the area around New Hyde Park and Franklin Sq, Garden City, Floral Park and Garden City South has no real movie theater. The park east inside was mordern, and not as much as tradgedy like the Floral theater, which was crime, but close because lack of bargain. If anyone were to ask where the perfect place for a theater and Nasssau would be I would say, that area. The Herricks is nice, but growing up I watched it go from a twin to a quad. With fewer and fewer seats. The Park East maybe gone, but there is a huge opportunity for the right person and art film lover. The new Pergament, one of the biggest stores in the former chain has sat idle for years. It has lot of parking, great corner, and is empty. Anyone who remembers that store, knows if is perfect for someone to develop. It was one of the first real “box stores” so you have a huge building of just open space and parking. It is just a shame that now people from Floral Park east need to go to the mall or the Raceway to see a movies, with decent sound and not feeling like watching a moving in your living room. For me, unless I a really, really want to see a movie, I by pass the Franklin or the Herricks for waiting for the DVD, the sound is better on my own TV! The other thing I miss is bargain matinee. Remember when that was 1PM. Now with the Loews theaters, their first show “bargain” which is barely a bargain saving a $1.50 is at 9am. I think the movie going experience is ruined on the weekend when you have to get up at 7:30 am to see a movie. After a long work week, even an amazing movie, would put me to sleep getting that early.

So, there one sad thing about, the Floral, Park East, Westbury Twin, Bellrose, (the theater that became the appliance store Eldee and then an office building) in addition also the RKO Century Alan on Hillside ave, these films were in my neighborhood. The west side of Garden City, near New Hyde Park road. My mother preferred them, because she did not want leave me and friends at a young age at the mall because of the bus hub and the bad element could be there. But the saddest thing of the closure is that today in my early 30’s I am a producer of film and television. These long gone theaters were the theaters that maybe love movies and one day work in the biz and make them. Who knows if I went to these giant multiplex at Roosefelt Field or Green Acres and my movie experience was see films at a time with no stadium seeding, not much better sound, and thin walls that in those days, if you were watching a quiet scene in a film, and and action film was in the theater next door, the soundproofing was horrible if any, and on top of that, the only benefit of Roosevelt Field was the size of the theater. The seats were still crapp and until the Raceway Opened, every two years, they would keep cutting theaters in half, to make more theaters. The one godsend of the raceway is at least the Roosevelt field theater has allowed Roosevelt Field to reopen with less theaters and more space instead of trying to show every movie out.

One other memory I am sure you all have of the teaters of Jericho Tpk and areas around it. Remember during the matinee, as security for the kids, she would walk up and down the aisle almost row by row to make sure, the kids are ok, and no one is harassing or doing anything wrong. I think back now as an adult, knowing more about life and now with the church scandals and crack down on sex offenders, if someone is sexual harrassing you in the theater, who would these elderly ushers with flashlights who were also considered security guards, could have helped you even if someone was bothering you. If remember, these theater were skeletoned staffed. A ticket book clerk, a ticket ripper, maybe one or two concession persons and the manager/projectionist. Looking back, if would love to have seen these elderly, usher/security women taking on a 200 pound man.

Those are the days, that were great growing up, encouraged me to go into the film and entertainment world. But that history is gone. Maybe someone can make a highlight reel for me like for Cinema Paradiso or artifacts from these old theaters.

However, not only going to film school, but an MBA, that area is still perfect for a well managed theater, especailly showing movies like the Malverne or Angelica. I look at the Pergament Local Box store across from the old Park East. It has been for rent for so long, it would be perfect for an Arthouse theater and house the parking. Either that but a store also missing from this nook of Nassau county, Trader Joes. But I would trade Joe for a theater anyday!

RichardC on February 27, 2005 at 7:00 pm

I lived across Nassau Blvd from the Park East, in the 1980’s.
It was always convenient to walk to the theater and catch the latest flicks.
I remember seeing “Q-The Winged Serpent”,there. It starred David Carradine and michael Moriarty! Really bizarre.

nhpbob on November 15, 2003 at 2:57 pm

It’s now a Charlie Brown’s steakhouse restaurant.

philipgoldberg on November 13, 2002 at 11:44 am

It was part of the Long Island-based Century Theaters.