Glen Oaks Theater

255-01 Union Turnpike,
Glen Oaks, NY 11004

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Century Theaters

Functions: Drugstore

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Glen Oaks Theater

The small Glen Oaks Theater stood on Union Turnpike in eastern Queens. It was a long one-level theater that anchored an outdoor shopping center. At some time during Century’s wholesale closing of its theaters, this one was shuttered, and it rose from the ashes as a drug store.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 94 comments)

techman707 on March 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm

The Diaz brothers also owned and operated the “Ridgewood Theatre” I don’t know how I could forget that theatre. A group is NOW trying to get Landmark Status for this theatre because it’s architect was Thomas Lamb (he designed some of the most spectacular theatres in the U.S.

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robboehm on March 6, 2014 at 3:24 am

The Queens went porno after it was closed by Century. The Plaza in Corona also continured for a time as Spanish language.

techman707 on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Right, all under the ownership of the Diaz brothers.

CenturyBill on August 8, 2014 at 4:50 am

I started at the Meadows as an usher for Mr. Decatsky in 1972. Went to the Glen Oaks for Mr. Twin and to the Prospect as Mr. D’s assistant manager. They made me a relief Asst so I wound up in Bynum and Nassau during the week and back at the Prospect in Flushing. I learned a lot from Mr. D. and eventually went into the Navy.

robboehm on August 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm

CenturyBill do you have any Century memorabilia? I remember they used to print a movie guide. Wonder what ever happened to the comedy and tragedy masks at the Glen Oaks.

robboehm on August 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

CenturyBill, an after thought. what was the seating capacity at the Glen Oaks?

techman707 on August 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

“robboehm CenturyBill, an after thought. what was the seating capacity at the Glen Oaks?”

I’m not sure of the exact number of seats, but, I know it was OVER 600 seats (most small neighborhood theatres had 600 seats or less)because of the pay scale in the union contract. When the Glen Oaks opened they were still using the number of seats as a factor in determining the pay rate. Compared to other neighborhood theatres, like the Utopia Theatre, the Glen Oaks wasn’t as “small” as the “overview” above would have you believe. It was over 600 seats, but less than 800.

CenturyBill on August 9, 2014 at 5:47 am

It was under 800, I don’t remember exactly. Only things I have are some movie stills from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and my original nameplate. I do remember when it became an evening house the Teamsters were trying to unionize the managers and Mr. Tawfik was on strike. When I came to open the theatre someone had sliced the bottom of the screen and cut open the syrup containers. I used duct tape on the back of the screen. Fortunately it was an Xrated movie and no one was looking at feet!

techman707 on August 9, 2014 at 9:37 am

I remember when the Teamsters tried to organize all the Century managers. The managers originally wanted to join Local 306 (projectionists), but the NLRB said that would be a conflict.

I only worked at the Glen Oaks about a dozen times since it wasn’t my “permanent” theatre. I believe around 1967-68 that was the last time I worked at the Glen Oaks. I recall it was on New Year’s eve 1968. I ran “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love”. Mr. D was the manager working that day.

My permanent job was in Manhattan at Walter Reade’s DeMille Theatre. It burned down on 1973 and I waited for it to be reopened. When it re-opened under “New Management” I decided to leave. I decided to go to the Prospect. Because I’m losing my memory, I can’t remember whether Ed Burns was the manager before or after Mr. D. Unlike some other projectionists, I got along with and liked BOTH Ed and Bernie. Any projectionists that didn’t get along with them probably had trouble going their job, since that was the only reason that would caused any problems with either one of them, since normally they were real nice guys.

robboehm on May 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm

The Glen Oaks was an add-on to the existing shopping center, not part of the original; part of Century’s recognition of the potential of the vast area north of Jericho Turnpike. They also envisioned a stand alone theater on the north side of Hillside Avenue, west of the intersection with Braddock Avenue. I remember the large sign which announced this was the site of the newest link to the chain of Century Theaters. Never happened.

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