EXCLUSIVE: Residents say Bay Terrace theater offers leftover movies

DSC_0415 (380×253)
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Bayside blockbuster seekers have to go outside their neighborhood for their cinematic thrills, and they are none too happy about that.

Moviegoers in Bay Terrace say they only get the leftovers from a recently renovated theater in Fresh Meadows.

“I wanted to see something up to date and it’s not here,” said Colette Setton. “They’re only playing second-, third-rate movies.”

The cinemas, both run by theater chain AMC Loews, offer two different sets of films.

New hits including “The Big Wedding” and “Pain and Gain” are playing at the redone Fresh Meadows theater at 192-02 Horace Harding Boulevard, while movies from early March such as “Tyler Perry’s Temptation” are showing in Bay Terrace.

As of April 26, the newest movie in Bay Terrace was “Disconnect.” It came out on April 12. The oldest was “Oz The Great and Powerful,” which premiered March 8.

Meanwhile, the oldest movie showing in Fresh Meadows, “The Croods,” came out on March 22. All other films playing there were released within the past month.

“It seems like they’re designing it to die,” Dan O’Connor of Bay Terrace said of his hometown theater. “They don’t want it to do well. It was always shortchanged. We always get the weakest movies.”

The new stadium-seating movie house in Fresh Meadows boasts reclining plush leather seats, reserved seating, new food offerings and an usher.

“I haven’t been to the Bay Terrace theater in quite a while because there are now so many theaters that have been renovated,” said Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance.

Mary Hughes, vice president of leasing at Cord Meyer Development, said the last time the theater underwent improvements was two years ago. She added that the theater got equipment upgrades and 3D screens. Cord Meyer Development leases the cinema to AMC Loews.

“People shouldn’t have to go out of their neighborhoods to see the newest movies,” Schreiber said. I think if people are unhappy, maybe they should show their displeasure by not going to that theater or any AMC theater.”

According to Hughes, sales at the Bay Terrace theater went up 22 percent from 2011 to 2012. Data for this year, when the Fresh Meadows theater reopened, were not yet available.

According to an AMC spokesperson, the theaters do not play the same movies at the same time due to the establishments’ “closeness in proximity.” However, upcoming hits including “Iron Man 3” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” will play at both locations, the spokesperson said.

Posters of the highly anticipated “Great Gatsby” and “Man of Steel” are displayed in the Bay Terrace theater’s lobby. But an employee said that does not necessarily mean the films will be played on their release dates.

“I’m disappointed because it was such a convenient location,” said Sandy Shamlian, 70, of North Flushing. “They should share the movies in both neighborhoods.”

When Setton, a Bay Terrace resident, walked up to her local ticket booth, she turned around immediately upon viewing the movie selection.

“Bayside doesn’t offer anything, really,” she said. “If you want to see a good movie, you have to go to Manhattan.”