Long Beach native and realtor Joe Ponte remembers when the city had four movie theaters.
Like other locals, Ponte wonders about the status of the city’s lone movie house, Long Beach Cinema 4, after the movie listings were cleared and the coming attraction posters were pulled down from the building at the corner of East Park Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard last week.
“As a realtor, I hope it is something internal and I’m hoping that there’s a new operator coming on board, a Loews or Sony,” said Ponte, a realtor with Prudential Douglas Elliman on West Park Avenue.
The theater was dark and the doors were locked last Thursday, but there have been no postings on the windows or exterior as to whether the owners have closed it for good or for renovations. A call to the theater is met with no answer or recorded messages. Philips International Realty, a Manhattan-based real estate agency that owns the building, did not return a call for comment on Monday afternoon.
Scott Kemins, commissioner of the city’s building department, said that he hasn't heard anything about the status of the business.
“I know nothing about the movie theater other than it is closed,” he said on Sunday. “I tried to get some information on Friday, but I wasn’t able to get through to anyone. We don’t know why.”
The owner of the Smoke Shop store next door to the theater told Patch last Friday that the manager told him that the owner suddenly closed shop on Thursday.
West End resident George Ennis, who emailed Patch about the closing last Friday, was booked to host a pre-screening for his film festival at the theater on May 25. Each spring Ennis hosts the annual George Ennis Film Festival at the Cabana restaurant on West Beech Street, which will be held on June 5.
Long Beach Cinema 4 houses four screens at the site of the former Lido Theater. At one time, Long Beach had four movie theaters: Lido Theater, The Laurel on West Park Avenue (now CVS pharmacy), West End Movie House on West Beech Street, and The Crest, once located at the former Jackson Hotel on West Broadway at Edwards Boulevard.
“If it’s closed,” Ponte said about Long Beach's only theater, “it’s an end of an era to me.”
“I’m hoping that a new operator is going there because Long Beach really does need a theater,” he added. “I can’t say too much because we don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
The nearest movie theater to Long Beach is AMC Loews Fantasy 5 on North Park Avenue in Rockville Centre.