Dear Squire, You Will Be Missed

Squire Theater publicly announced its permanent closure on September 11th.

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Squire Theater open during its better days. (Credit: Mapquest.com)

Squire Theater publicly announced its permanent closure on September 11th via Facebook, a seemingly impersonal end to an establishment that has touched so many people. Just seven months prior, the cinema had sold its final tickets on March 16th, 2020 before having to temporarily close due to the novel outbreak of coronavirus. Though somewhat expected due to its seven months without sales, the Facebook post invoked a flood of nostalgia within the hearts of many Great Neckers, as seen in the heart-felt messages that mark the comment section of the theater’s penultimate post.

Squire Theater’s sign reveals that it is now officially closed. (Credit: Facebook)

“My childhood movie theater, the one I saw all the most amazing movies in, and later worked in as an usher, ticket seller, concessionaire, and marquee artist… my first real job, my first real paycheck, is gone,” former Great Neck resident Jonathan Steiner commented on Squire’s Facebook post.

A quintessential hangout spot for people of all ages, Squire’s closing also impacts Great Neck’s younger generation.

“From birthdays to nights out with friends and family, the theater was everyone’s ideal place to visit,” said Giselle Makhani, a sophomore.

Lauren Murphy, a senior, also highlights the theater’s important role within the town. “It’s definitely been a staple of Great Neck and seeing it, like so many other businesses here, close down is definitely upsetting,” she said.

The last tickets purchased at Squire Theater were sold on March 16th. (Credit: Facebook)

Great Neck North junior Eden Reznik similarly touched upon her disappointment after hearing about Squire closure.“I’ve enjoyed going there since I was a little girl, and have made unforgettable memories there with friends and family,” Reznik said.

Adding to Reznik’s sentiment, junior Kevin Khadavi said that the theatre holds many memories for him as well and hopes that Great Neck can help preserve the iconic building and its historic architecture. If not a movie theater, Khadavi explained, then as a building with a different purpose. “Hopefully [Squire] remains in Great Neck for many years,” he said.

Squire prompts Great Neck moviegoers to take action in the summer of 2020. (Credit: Facebook)

Khadavi’s idea might just have the potential to be carried out. According to Newsday, Franklin Square Cinemas in Franklin Square, NY, was officially declared a landmark in 2019. Built only two years apart, Franklin Square Cinemas and Squire Theater share the same art-deco style architecture. The former theater’s uncanny similarity to Squire suggests the possibility of declaring Squire a historic landmark as well.

Squire Movie Theater circa 1940. (Credit: Patch.com)

Throughout its 85 years, the theater proved resilient. First opening in 1935 with just a single screen, Squire seemed to grow along with Great Neck, ultimately expanding into the seven-screened movie theater that it was in March of 2020. However, despite its abrupt ending, the theater and the memories that it has created will continue to reside within Great Neck for many years to come.