2. The former Little Neck Theater is now a donut shop

Little Neck Theatre

In somewhat typical fashion these days, the Little Neck Theatre, which opened in 1929, is now occupied by a donut shop, among other stories. The Little Neck Theatre was located at 254-18 Northern Boulevard, and its curved facade with an eagle on top still remains. The movie theater was opened on property belonging to the Van Nostrand family, who until the 1920s was one of the biggest landholders in Little Neck. According to the Queens Chronicle, the theater was first managed by Paul Raisler, a Polish immigrant who worked as a gas fitter before pivoting to the theater business.

After opening with the silent Frank Capra film “Submarine,” the theater achieved great success in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Raisler opened up another theater, the Utopia Theater on Union Turnpike, in 1942. Locals would spend afternoons and evenings attending double features, or two films for the price of one. This success continued into the 1970s and early 1980s, but by the mid-1980s, the theater shut down after its air-conditioning system failed. In the theater’s place is now a donut shop called Donut Craft, as well as a medical clinic, a church, an education center, and an insurance office.