Five Towns Theatre

253-01 Rockaway Boulevard,
Rosedale, NY 11422

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Showing 1 - 25 of 48 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

Agree, Chris. Sunrise Cinemas opened 12/7/1979 (Star Trek The Motion Picture on multiple screens), and the Five Towns closed within 3 years of that.

ChrisPlatt on June 7, 2021 at 6:47 am

I lived at my parents home in Rosedale starting in the the mid-1970’s.

When a friend started driving we frequented this theater. Second-run movies with a friend was better than watching TV with your parents.

77¢, 78¢, 79¢ etc. was affordable for a teenager as well. To save money we smuggled in our own “outside” food. No wonder they went out of business! ;)

Sunrise Cinemas Multiplex at Green Acres opened around that time. I’m sure that contributed to the demise of this single screener.


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 7, 2021 at 6:23 am

Of course it could have gone bargain prior to this, but the policy of matching the ticket price to the last two digits of the year started with the bicentennial in 1976. Ticket price for this (and several other Century’s houses) was reduced to 76 cents, and went up a penny each year thereafter right up to its closing in 1982.

RobertR on June 7, 2021 at 5:56 am

This was a beautiful modern Century’s house but I’m guessing it never lived up to it potential. It only played first run for a few years before becoming a bargain house.

rivest266 on June 3, 2021 at 9:43 am

Grand opening from February 9th, 1970 with a picture uploaded.

ridethectrain on October 21, 2020 at 11:03 am

Please update,theatre open February 10, 1970 display ad in photos

ridethectrain on November 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Please update, the theatre closed October 7, 1982.

ChrisPlatt on May 12, 2019 at 1:01 pm

I wonder what will replace K-Mart when it finally closes?

Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm

OOPS, I meant to say the theater is a National Wholesale Liquidators store on my last post, not “Warehouse”.

Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm

I don’t remember hearing any outside noise inside the theater. This might be why the theater was set so far back from the main doors, down a super long hallway. T.J Max is located in part of the area where the mini mall once was. A National Warehouse Liquidators store is now in the exact location of the former theater, or at least as of December 2017.

robboehm on October 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

Couldn’t be any worse than the Queens and Community Theaters which backed to the LIRR tracks, particularly in the days of steam engines.

davidcoppock on October 28, 2018 at 8:30 am

I wonder if it was noisy inside the theatre, with the nearby John F. Kennedy International airport?

davidcoppock on October 28, 2018 at 8:27 am

The site is now T.J. Maxx.

Decoman36 on October 28, 2018 at 4:30 am

Hi Ed, and anyone else here curious as I about the stores at this theaters location. The above Youtube video is a commercial for the Fleaport Flea Market. This is the store that came in after Mays went out of Business. The video states 1981, but I’m almost certain that this is from 1983. You can see the Five Towns Plaza sign a few seconds into the video on the left. Is it still possible that TSS was at this location early on before Mays came there, that could still be. Mays was there from at least 1970 though as far as I can remember. The Theater & May’s once glass enclosed garden center are now both an “NWL”, The Household Warehouse store. Below is part of a post I found on another site, that talks about the mini mall that was at this location. The only mistake in this post is that the movie theater was not in the “mall” area of the shopping center, which was to the right of Mays. The Theater was to the left of Mays it’s own building next to the garden center. Playworld Toy Store was all the way to the left where Lowes is now. I believe the Lowes building was rebuilt since that time. Here is part of a post that I found elsewhere:

“Moving up the road a bit we have the Five Towns Plaza. It is now a motley assortment of stores(K Mart, Dress Barn, etc), but back in the day, hahaha. Pergament(now Conway). Mays(which became the Fleaport flea market which itself closed later). OTB(which became Nathan’s, now it’s something else). Pathmark(which is now an Applebee’s, of all things). But the stores that were in the little interior mall that has since been demolished…such as classics like the 4 Joker’s video arcade…Jahn’s Ice cream(they had the best shakes)…there was a duplex movie theater in there…also a Halloween supplies store…and a Radio Shack…but the best one of all was(drum roll please) Mr. Music, the baddest music shop around(until I found Slipped Disc in the 1990’s)– the walls were covered with wicked blacklight posters, it smelled like incense, and it seemed like every time I went in there they were rocking "We Are Family” by Sister Sledge."

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 24, 2018 at 3:57 am

Man… Just when i thought we had it! I remember always referring to this theater as being in the TSS shopping center, and took Chris Platt’s post as a little vindication for that memory. I wish someone here could unequivocally confirm or deny that for once and all!

Decoman36 on October 24, 2018 at 1:24 am

I Have to laugh! It’s amazing that none of the members on here including myself can remember what stores were at this theater’s location and when. ChrisPlatt, Mays was at this Theater’s location for sure and TSS was at the location where Costco is now in Lawrence @ 605 Rockaway Turnpike. TSS was at the Costco location the whole time Mays was in business. Mays Closed around 1983. It’s very possible that TSS moved to the May’s location when Mays closed in 1983, but I really doubt that they then moved back to the Costco location after that. I just can’t place TSS at the Mays location at all. This theater closed around 1982. If TSS really was at this location they were for sure not there while the theater was still open. Can anybody here finally please clear this confusion up for good?

ChrisPlatt on August 13, 2018 at 1:29 am

This cinema was located in Rosedale, thus the name. Meadowmere Park on the opposite side of Rockaway Blvd. is in Nassau County.

TSS was located in that mall when Mays went bust. My friend’s brother worked in the camera department there. Later they moved down the road to a large standalone building, where Costco is now located.

caltiki54 on May 8, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I remember the “FIVE TOWNS” Theatre entrance was at the back of a wide corridor, attached to the left of MAYS DEPARTMENT STORE. You walked in, & there were side entrance doors to MAYS on the right. You walked straight down & there was a nursery to purchase Plants & gardening items. The Theatre doors/box office was all the way back. My Parents started taking me there around 1968. I saw a re-release of the “1966 BATMAN” Feature Film, at a Saturday Morning Matinee. Also saw a re-release of “FANTASIA”, & 1st release showings of, “THE LOVE BUG”-1968, “THE BOATNIKS”-1970, & “THE ARISTOCATS”-1970…For a few years, Early-70s, there was a huge PLAYWORLD TOYS DEPARTMENT STORE, at the far left of the complex. MAYS had a good Toy Department, with all the G.I JOES, but the nearby KORVETTES & Times Square Stores/TSS, had all the Best Toys & Gumball Machines!…

Decoman36 on October 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

Thanks for the info. 1982 sounds about right. I’m pretty sure Mays closed in 1983. One thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that the movie theater was not part of the mall. I’m pretty sure that the only way to enter the theater was from the front on the outside. It did have a long lobby with mall like benches. I remember that you could see into the lobby from the garden greenhouse nextdoor. The entrance to the mall that was at this location was inside Mays and to the right of the store. I know it’s off topic, but does anybody remember this mini mall? There is no info anywhere online about it.

formerprojectionist on October 5, 2013 at 5:24 am

I’m pretty sure that it closed in Fall of 1982, I’d need to confirm this but my memory seems to recall this date…

Decoman36 on October 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm

In The aerial shot that Ed Posted in 2007 the movie theater is the building with the black top to the right of Lowes. The small building to the right of The Theater was once a greenhouse which was part of J.W. Mays Department Store. Mays is now a K-Mart. TSS was never at this location, there were down the road and across the street. There was once an indoor mall to the right of Mays. I remember there was a really nice restaurant in there, which then became a liquor store. There was also a really cool “Old School” record shop in there. Many of the stores at that time could only be entered from inside the mall itself. As to the theater, I’m pretty sure it closed right before Mays did sometime in the early 80’s. Does anyone know for sure what year the theater closed?

ChrisPlatt on July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm

To this day there’s still terrible flooding on the road that runs past (Rockaway Blvd.), so it must be in Rosedale… ;)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I think the confusion is that there is a small and somewhat ramshackle residential area directly across Rockaway Turnpike that runs several square blocks. I’ve heard it called “Meadowmere Park” and I believe a portion of it is included within a weird little hook in the Queens County borderline that is serviced by the Rosedale Post Office. The Five Towns Shopping Center is actually in the village of North Woodmere, which I do not believe is incorporated. Even still, the center is in a sort of isolated no-man’s land, since the rest of North Woodmere is on the other side of the Golf Course that sits across some backwater behind the shopping center. Definitely an odd little corner of Nassau County.

ChrisPlatt on July 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Many stores have come and gone in that location. TSS was indeed there, before moving further east on Rockaway Blvd., where Costco is now. IIRC before that it was Mays department store. As a small child I remember shopping at a supermarket there, before it was Pathmark. Hills, maybe?