Moviegoers filled a theater at Cinemart Cinemas in Forest Hills on Saturday to see the world premiere of the documentary “Middle Village.”
The film’s director, David Lee Madison, treated the audience to a nostalgic view of Middle Village, the town where the director spent the first 27 years of his life.
“I was beyond honored to have my film’s world premiere at the Cinemart Theater. I have many fond memories of going there as a child, and they all came rushing back to me [Saturday night],” Madison said. “I was also humbled by the enormous turnout for the film. With what happened in Paris just the day before, it was so gratifying to see so many people leaving the theater with great big smiles. Hopefully there will be future theatrical screenings of ‘Middle Village,’ both before and after home video release.”
Historians took a look at how Middle Village got its name and the town’s unique location, surrounded by cemeteries.
In the movie, Madison took actor Brian O’Halloran on a tour of all his favorite places he used to frequent growing up in Middle Village, including Dry Harbor Road, his alma mater St. Margaret’s School and the many parts of Juniper Valley Park.
The audience erupted with applause whenever they saw some of their own personal favorite Middle Village landmarks.
In order to get a more in-depth look at how growing up in Middle Village shaped the town’s residents, Madison interviewed locals including actor Ray Abruzzo, who notably played Carmine Lupertazzi Jr. on the HBO drama “The Sopranos,” and Leslie Barnes, owner of the popular seafood restaurant London Lennie’s, which has been a staple in the neighborhood for 55 years.
“Middle Village” allowed the audience to take a look back at their neighborhood and see how much it has changed over the years, but also how it has remained the same, continuing to be a safe, family orientated community where neighbors are family and a true sense of community fills the hearts of its residents.
Judging by the crowd’s reaction, Madison proved the movie’s tagline right: You can go home again.