The Westbury Movie Theatre has been shut down, following an order by the Village of Westbury Board of Trustees that the building be closed due to safety concerns.
Notices have been posted on the Westbury Movie Theatre instructing the public that the building has been closed. The Village of Westbury Board of Trustees has ordered that the Post Avenue establishment be shut down due to safety concerns. Photo by Andrea Morale
The order to close the building came after a review by the village inspector revealed that there are internal structural problems with the walls and ceilings of the building, according to Village Clerk Thomas Savino. He noted that the building itself does not show evidence that it will collapse, but that some of the rooms inside it, as well as the exterior, are in disrepair.
According to Savino, the Nassau County Health Department, Nassau County fire marshal and Westbury Fire Department assisted the village inspector in an investigation, and they agreed that the building was unsafe. The village inspector, as the official with local jurisdiction over the building, gave the declaration that it was unsafe. Upon the recommendation of the inspector, the village board voted to order the building closed.
"Everyone is pretty much in agreement that things need to be done to make that building safer," Savino said last week. "Because this is a building of public assembly, we felt it necessary to move quickly." The village has posted notices on the theater instructing the public that the building has been closed.
As of press time, the movie theater phone number still had a recorded message listing featured movies and times, and the owner's office phone number went unanswered. Although the owners of the Westbury Theatre could not be reached for comment on the issue, Savino said they are cooperating with the village on the matter, and working on making the establishment a viable village theater.
"We're going to do everything in our power to make that a healthy, viable, village theater," commented Savino. "From Post Avenue's perspective, that theatre is very important." He added that the village has engaged an architect with expertise in movie theater construction to make recommendations on improving the building, and that before the business can be re-opened the owner will be required to make recommended changes to ensure that the building is safe.
The Westbury Theater, located on Post Avenue, is one of Westbury's oldest establishments, as it was built prior to the incorporation of the village (1932).