WBAB / WBLI COMMERCIAL
Council Members & Officials Get Sneak Peek at Soon-to-Open Facility; Former Abandoned Movie House Set to Become Premiere Performance & Event Venue on Gold Coast
(Long Island, NY) Cyrus Hakakian, partner in Lowe Properties which owns the newly-restored performance and events facility The Space at Westbury along with Bruce Michael, Executive Director welcomed members of the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts, Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro and Nassau County Legislature, Deputy Presiding Officer Richard J. Nicolello for a private tour of the once derelict Westbury Theater.
Mr. Michael led the tour of the former movie house which has been redesigned as a live performance and events venue while preserving as much of the original structure and numerous architectural details. Michael pointed out many examples including the re-purposing of materials such as the former floorboards which were used to construct the main bars located throughout the auditorium.
As the group assembled on stage they were treated to a light show of magical designs conceived by The Space’s Technical Director, Jeff Siegel. The auditorium’s 8 monumental chandeliers were lit one by one as the architectural details of The Space were artfully illuminated by LED and theatrical effects, eliciting applause. The tour continued with an explanation of the multi-faceted capabilities of the facility. As the members of the Arts Council left The Space, they witnessed Westbury’s newest landmark, The Space Marquee complete with video screens and sparkling lights. A welcome message to the Arts Council was the first of many announcements that will herald the great Attractions coming to The Space.
Following the tour, Bruce Michael noted, “It was a wonderful experience opening the doors of The Space for our first audience. To watch the members of the Arts council marvel at the extraordinary re-purposing of the Westbury Movie Theater was most gratifying and an excellent barometer of the excitement that will be generated when the doors are opened to the public”.
Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro, an advocate of The Space at Westbury summed up the group’s feelings saying,” “The tour was really wonderful, and The Space exceeds my expectations as to the kind of venue it will be. There will be no other venue like it in all of Nassau County. The members of the Arts Council were unanimous in feeling that this will be a tremendous positive attribute for the arts in our community. Cyrus Hakakian and his team have worked very hard to realize his vision, and we are very close to that vision becoming a reality. I thought it was important to have the members of the Arts Council have this preview so that they can carry their enthusiasm for The Space to their friends and neighbors.”
Exterior, The Space Westbury
Interior, The Space Westbury
Marquee, The Space Westbury
Peter Cavallaro, Cyrus Hakakian and Bruce Michael
Stage from Balcony
After 8 years in development, Cyrus Hakakian is very optimistic about the future of The Space at Westbury. “This is what is possible when you have local government working closely with the private sector for the betterment of all. The Space at Westbury will not only be a tremendous asset to the region but will also have a deep economic impact on the Greater Westbury Community. Already property values on Front Street are seeing an upsurge as has happened in other communities when a live entertainment venue is restored”, said Hakakian.
Hakakian and Michael are planning on an official Marquee Lighting Celebration to take place in late August. Programming for the Fall and Winter will be announced at a later date.
The Space was born as the Westbury Movie Theater on November 10, 1927, opening its doors to an audience that marveled at the beauty of its Tudor style inspired auditorium. The feature for the opening night was “hula” starring Clara Bow. On the stage, the University of Maryland Collegian’s Band thrilled the audience with a spectacular performance. On Friday, November 11, 1927 to celebrate Armistice Day, “Beau Geste” starring Ronald Coleman was screened.
The Westbury Theater was one of six theaters built by Salvatore Calderone in Nassau County, Long Island. The theater flourished as a single screen house until it was twinned in the late 1970s. As patronage decreased, the theater soon closed its doors. Eight years ago Cyrus Hakakian and his partners saved the Westbury Theater from demolition.
After viewing the once magnificent space, he was determined to preserve the grandeur of the original theater while re-purposing the facility to accommodate all aspects of contemporary entertainment. With the installation of state of the art lighting and sound systems combined with flexible seating plans, The Westbury Theater now enters a new chapter of its illustrious history as The Space at Westbury.
For those interested in booking The Space at Westbury for an arts, corporate or private special event, please contact Bruce Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org, The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590 www.TheSpaceatWestbury.com