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Yellow Pages > News & Articles > Local Events

Suffolk Theater to Reopen in Riverhead

Cynthia Marie Thursday, February 28, 2013

One of the great landmarks of Riverhead, and all of Suffolk County, is the Suffolk Theater. Many, many, many years ago it was the central hub of entertainment as people would flock to the marquee for the latest and greatest on stage and in music. It hasn't been that way for a long time. The grand theater hasn't been open since "Dirty Dancing" was playing in its first screening. A long way removed from 1987, the Suffolk Theater is bracing itself for a grand opening this Saturday that will be only fitting for the historic landmark.

When it reopens Saturday night -- after tomorrow's ribbon-cutting -- the music emanating from the newly refurbished stage will reach back way before 1987, when "Dirty Dancing" was released. In fact, the music of Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the opening night headliners, predates even the original debut of the Suffolk Theater in 1933 -- the year Prohibition ended. "Footlight Parade," a Busby Berkeley musical starring James Cagney, played that night.

Bob and Dianne Castaldi of Cutchogue are partners in marriage and on this project. Having moved to the East End in 1985, they have no connection with the theater's former life. And on first inspection when they bought the property eight years ago, Bob Castaldi's first reaction was: "Holy mackerel."

 

Of course, Castaldi was not thinking about the condition of the building, but of the wonderful, unlimited possibilities that lie before him.

 

"We've tried to replicate the glory that was in this place," says Dianne Castaldi. "That's our vision." From the lighting fixtures to the carpeting, the Suffolk Theater has undergone an old-is-new-again rebirth.

 

But neither the Castaldis nor Spiotto see the new Suffolk as a typical Long Island arts venue. "We've seen theaters struggle," says Bob Castaldi, a builder with a background in historic restoration. "We intend to succeed."

I can't wait to see what the new owners can do with the theater. I never really got to enjoy the old building in its hayday, but have heard plenty of great stories. I hope to be able to spend great nights out with friends in the new Suffolk Theater.

 

cynthiam@longislandyellowpages.com

Appears In: Local Events

Cynthia Marie Recent Columns | E-Mail
Cynthia Marie is a writer for the Long Island Yellow Pages Local Events section. If you have a press release that you'd like to share please send it to cynthiam@longislandyellowpages.com
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