Long Island entertainment venues we loved

Feeling nostalgic? Take a look back at My Father's Place, the Jones Beach Marine Theater and more Long Island entertainment venues of yesteryear. Some have been demolished, others simply re-named, but all hold a place in Long Islanders' hearts.

The Emporium

The Emporium, the Patchogue music club that boasted seven bars, an outdoor beer garden, a dance floor and a bowling alley, announced Friday, May 5, 2017, on its website and Facebook page that it had gone out of business. It opened on Railroad Avenue in 2012. Here, an employee works outside the venue on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, ahead of a Suffolk County Republican Party gathering where then-presidential candidate Donald Trump would speak two days later. staff

Inside the The Emporium in Patchogue.

Jones Beach Marine Theater

Before rock bands roamed the stage and Nikon lent its name, Jones Beach was home to the Marine Theater, where audiences watched lavish Broadway musicals -- like this one from the '50s that featured a moat within the stage area -- produced by "Mr. New Year's Eve" himself: Guy Lombardo. Lombardo's orchestra, the Royal Canadians, would also play during intermission. Some guests would arrive via motorboat from Lombardo's Freeport restaurant across the bay.


Producer Guy Lombardo watching a rehearsal of "The King and I" at the Jones Beach Marine Theater on June 13, 1972.

Record stores

Record stores: True, a few holdouts still exist and vinyl is making a kind of mini-comeback, but will the thrill of perusing the aisles of Sam Goody or Tower Records (pictured here on Feb. 23, 1998, where it once stood at he Huntington Shopping Center, Rte. 110) and thumbing through bins of albums ever return? Unlikely.

Sam Goody on Main Street in Huntington Dec. 7, 2000, the same year Best Buy bought the company.

My Father’s Place (Roslyn)

My Father’s Place (Roslyn): LI’s premier music club (1971-87), whose acts included a pre-Born to Run Bruce Springsteen, one of the first U.S. concerts by reggae legend Bob Marley, the LI debut by the Ramones and early gigs from some LI kid named Billy Joel.

Mike Epstein (foreground) and Jay Linehan, co-owners of My Fathers Place in Roslyn, work the busy bar on June 2, 1971.

The Long Island Arena (Commack)

The Long Island Arena (Commack): The minor-league hockey Ducks and the ABA’s Nets played here, but the always-freezing barn saw some pretty decent concerts in its day, including Peter Frampton, who recorded a large part of his landmark “Frampton Comes Alive” album inside the arena. It's pictured here on Dec. 8, 1964.


Tuning to 92.7 FM (WLIR/WDRE, "The station that dares to be different") gave LI kids a musical education in New Wave, punk post-punk and synth-pop: the place to hear the Smiths, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode and great jocks like Larry the Duck, Malibu Sue and Donna Donna. Pictured here is Jed Morey, 24, on April 5, 1999, when he was president of WLIR Radio.

From left, Joel Arass, public affairs director, and Ken Kohl, program director, at the WLIR Radio Station in Hempstead on May 17, 1972.

Drive-in movie theaters

The last LI drive-in movie theater closed in 1998, but at one time the Island had more than a dozen, including what was billed as the USA's largest: Copiague's All-Weather Drive-in, which had parking spaces for 2,500 cars. Here, the Drive-In Theater at Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream on Jan. 17, 1972.

The Sunrise Drive-In in Valley Stream, on March 27, 1979.

Cars at the Sunrise Drive-In in Valley Stream on Jan. 17, 1972.

The Westbury Drive-In on Brush Hollow Road in Westbury, on Nov. 14, 1991, around the time residents were objecting to plans for a multiplex cinema complex to occupy the site. Those objections helped waylay the drive-in's closing until its final season in 1998. Today, a BJ's Wholesale Club store and the United Artists Westbury 12 stand in its place.

Moviegoers watch the Keanu Reeves thriller "Chain Reaction" at the Westbury Drive-in Movie Theater on Aug. 3, 1996.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman's "Practical Magic" plays on one of the three movie screens at the Westbury Drive-In on Oct. 24, 1998, near the end of the outdoor theater's final season.

The Rocky Point Drive-In (pictured Nov. 23, 1977, during its idle winter months) on Route 25.

Melville's 110 Drive-in, on Oct. 19, 1969.

The Crazy Donkey Bar and Grill (Farmingdale)

The Crazy Donkey Bar and Grill in Farmingdale, one of the Long Island music scene's best-known concert venues for years, shut down in September 2011, stunning employees and fans alike.

The sudden shuttering of Farmingdale's Crazy Donkey Bar and Grill -- one of the Long Island music scene's best-known concert venues for years -- stunned employees and fans alike. Here, an exterior shot taken Sept. 20, 2011, shortly after its closing.

A broad range of bands and styles, but most notably LI’s own Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, played here; its sudden closure in 2011 still stings.

Teens hang outside the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale on a Teen Night at the club, July 21, 2011.

The exterior of The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, on May 22, 2009.