Crescent Theatre

Gillette Avenue,
Sayville, NY 11782

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Crescent Photo Play Theatre, Mantha's New Theatre

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march opening

The Crescent Theatre was a small, early and short lived theatre. It was originally built as a rental property by local businessman William Mantha in 1913. The first leasee defaulted almost immediately. It reopened to much fanfare Saturday, March 7, 1914. Unfortunately there was a bitter fall out of the partners almost immediately and it changed hands. A third partnership took over in October but one of the partners was arrested for something unrelated to the theatre.

Nothing more is heard of the theatre in print until 1920 when, as an empty building, it was sold to be used as a storage garage for an adjacent business.

Vacated again, it was demolished in May, 1937.

Contributed by robert boehm

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

robboehm on February 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

Apparently the problem with the first set of 1914 partners had to do with money; particularly the failure to pay bills. One of the partners was actually in a fist fight over an unpaid bill with a printer.

According to one retrospective mentioning the theatre decades after it’s passing, business was good.

Good business can never win with bad management.

robboehm on May 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I recently posted information that the manager of the original Babylon Theatre (Babylon, NY) had been arrested when he tried to exhibit a five reel film on white slavery entitled “Traffic in Souls” in March 1914.

Yet, in May 1914 the Crescent was showing a five reel exposure of white slavery called “Trapped in the Great Metropolis”. Really? Two five reel features on the same subject in 1914? Renamed?

robboehm on June 14, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Re my May comment. Two unique films on the same subject.

Also, while doing research on the Unique Theatre in Patchogue came upon a reference that the 400 seat Unique Theatre opened in Sayville on July 29, 1913 under the management of Walter Smith. Oddly enough the theatre was just north of the Crescent at the intersection of Gillette and Main. Sayville historical never heard of it.

robboehm on October 29, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Opening and a later ad uploaded. One of the many owners had proposed building an airdrome on Gillette directly across from the theater. It would seem that this theater was killed by bad management. There were breakups, lawsuits other brushes with the law.

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