Lynbrook movie theater to be replaced by 13-screen multiplex
Lynbrook's vintage movie theater will be demolished to make way for a multimillion-dollar multiplex.
Regal Entertainment Group plans to replace the 23,000- square-foot film palace at 321 Merrick Rd. in the village's downtown with an 80,000- square-foot facility.
The new theater will have 13 screens and 1,600 seats, a spokesman for one of the developers confirmed Friday. He said the project would cost $25 million and take 18 months to complete.
Lynbrook officials approved the project in May. It is part of the village's new arts and cultural district, established to revitalize the downtown.
Village and Regal officials weren't available to comment Friday afternoon.
Regal real estate vice president Jerry Grewe said in a statement after securing the village's approval, "Through the state-of-the-art renovations at the Lynbrook Cinema, we will offer a whole new moviegoing experience featuring our plush recliners."
The new theater will serve a larger territory with January's closing of Sunrise Multiplex Cinemas in Valley Stream. Also, Rockville Centre is down to one multiplex from two.
The existing Lynbrook theater is about 100 years old and hosted live performances before being converted to show films. It was a respected vaudeville house with ornate chandeliers in the lobby and dressing rooms for the actors on the second floor.
In 1929 the theater showed the first sound film, as well as the first "talkie" film on Long Island, "The Lights of New York." Forty-four years later, when the theater showed "Last Tango in Paris," village officials asked a court to intercede, calling the movie obscene.
The new theater is being built by Blumenfeld Development Group of Syosset and the Prusik Group of Manhattan. They have applied for tax breaks from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. A hearing scheduled for Monday has been postponed.
State law prohibits industrial development agencies from aiding retailers unless the project falls within an exception, such as drawing tourists to an area. The county IDA has backed previous Blumenfeld projects.
Developer David Blumenfeld said the project reflects his company's "commitment to Long Island and its economic sustainability."