photo: Christina Wilkinson
With the shuttering and razing of the Scobee Diner, the recent closing of the Little Neck Inn and of Patrick’s Pub about ten years ago, Little Neck leaches out a bit more of its character year by year. Even the Staples and the local Subway sandwich shop have closed. The Shaffer Funeral Home, about as immune from downturns as a business can be, remains.
The former Little Neck Theater, 254-18 Northern Blvd., opened January 7, 1929. It was built on Van Nostrand property, one of the longstanding families in Little Neck; the house that formerly stood here had been owned by William Van Nostrand from 1905 to the late 20s was moved one block to Pembroke Avenue and 254th Street, where, altered greatly since 1929, it stands today. The house was built in the mid-1800s; before it was in the Van Nostrand family it had been owned by Capt. Valentine Peters, who ran a general store from part of the property. When Peters owned it the house was called “Old Oaks” as it was surrounded by large oak trees.
The theater closed down in the 1980s after its air conditioning failed. Presently, a variety of businesses lease space there.