Farmingdale Trivia Answer: Village Theaters

Answer to Thursday's trivia question.

asked how many theaters the Village of Farmingdale has had since it became incorporated in 1904, given the discussions today about . Many have said they hope the plan includes a theater, after venues like the The Downtown,  and  have all closed or relocated.

According to the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society, the Village of Farmingdale has had at least four theaters during its history.

"The first was the Farmingdale Opera House built by Adam Heiselmann in 1909. This large frame building, which stood at the corner of Main and Richard Streets opposite Main Street School, was also known as the Heiselmann Opera House. The term "opera house" was common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century throughout the United States. Most, like Heiselmann’s staged far more touring vaudeville programs than operas. Unlike the later theaters, Heiselmanns staged live entertainment; the other three were motion picture theaters. The opera house eventually became a factory before being razed.

Farmingdale had two movie theaters, the Unqua and the Strand, which dated back to the silent film era. The Unqua stood on the east side of Main Street a few shops north of Conklin Street. It was originally a primitive shed-like structure, but was later remodeled into a traditional movie theater. The Strand, whose structure still stands, was on Main Street near the corner of Prospect Street. Both survived into the era of 'talkies,' which began in 1927.

The Farmingdale Theater, built adjacent to the Strand at the corner of Main and Prospect Streets, opened in early 1942 only weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This beautifully appointed theater suffered a fire in 1950 but was quickly rebuilt. Like many movie theaters across the nation, the Farmingdale eventually succumbed to cable TV, rental movies on VCR's, and multi-screen entertainment complexes. It closed in 1984 and was remodeled.  A tradition dating back over three quarters of a century of 'going to the show' on Main Street closed with it."

Congratulations to  . and  for their correct guesses.

Come back to the site Thursday for the next Farmingdale Trivia installment.


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