Saturday, November 15, 2003

UA The Syosset (Cinema 150)
Syosset/Woodbury, NY

Jericho Turnpike, Syosset/Woodbury, NY
This was one of a handful of "Cinema 150" movie theaters across the country, designed as an "all-purpose" luxury theater that could exhibit films in the following formats: D-150, Todd-AO, 70mm, Panavision, Cinemascope and 35mm.

Streamlined in a very late 50's, early 60's post-modern fashion that placed a premium on functionality, the Cinema 150's vast auditorium featured a large, detached balcony, oversized rocking-chair seats, a huge curved screen with a 120' arc, and a phenomenal sound system. The theater could hold well over 1000 (probably 1200 or 1400).

In contrast to the "golf ball" style of the now-restored Cinerama in California, this theater favored a simple, understated red brick and concrete exterior that blended in with the suburban surroundings.

Right up through its last days of operation, the theater remained immaculately maintained and well attended for blockbuster movies. Unfortunately, however, the geniuses at the United Artists chain decided to build a 12 screen stadium theater a mere one mile away in the year 2000. Not only did UA demolish the last remaining drive-in on Long Island, the Westbury D.I., to make room for the new multiplex, but it ultimately led to their decision to shut down the Cinema 150.

Although it was always a popular place to see a film, few people seemed to know of the theater's unique design and technological amenities, and thus it was gutted to make way for offices without a peep.

To the best of my knowledge, the only remaining Cinema 150 today is in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Contributed by Marty Nartinez

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