50 greatest Long Island entertainment moments

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Cinema Arts Centre

1973

Cinema Arts Centre

Former Manhattanites Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky, determined to give locals an art-house movie experience, rent an old dance studio in Huntington and begin projecting films onto a bedsheet. What was then called the New Community Cinema eventually became the Cinema Arts Centre, one of the oldest and longest-running repertory cinemas in the country.

Cinema Arts Centre

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

2013

'The Wolf of Wall Street'

“The Wolf of Wall Street” dramatizes the story of Long Island-based financial con man Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Director Martin Scorsese shot several scenes locally, including a beach party in Sands Point and an outdoor wedding in Bayville.

TNS

Long Island Cares

1980

Long Island Cares

In response to the needs of hungry Long Islanders, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin founds the Long Island Cares charity, which continues today, to address both short-term and long-term causes of hunger in the area.

Bill Senft

'Noah'

2014

'Noah'

Darren Aronofsky’s big-budget Biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson arrives in theaters. One of the film’s biggest stars, the ark, was built in Oyster Bay.

Paramount Pictures / Niko Tavernise

'Royal Pains'

2009

'Royal Pains'

USA's comedy series about a surgeon catering to the Hamptons elite premieres in June and becomes TV's only primetime series shot entirely on LI. Showtime's The Affair, which premiered in October 2014, is now the only other.

'The Brothers McMullen'

1995

'The Brothers McMullen'

The family drama, filmed on location in Valley Stream by a native, Ed Burns, becomes one of the biggest success stories of its era. Shot on 16mm film with a micro-budget of $28,000, the movie went on to gross more than $10 million and helped launch an ongoing wave of independent filmmaking.

Eric B. & Rakim

1985

Eric B. & Rakim

When Eric B. lands a job as a DJ on WBLS, he decides he needs a rapper, and places an ad that Wyandanch native Rakim answers. The partnership quickly leads to hits including Eric B. Is President and the landmark Paid in Full album.

Island Records

Vanilla Fudge

1967

Vanilla Fudge

While working with producer George Shadow Morton in Hempstead, Vanilla Fudge band members listen to the Supremes’ 45 rpm single, You Keep Me Hanging On, at 33 1/3 rpm, and learn to play the song that way, helping give birth to the prog rock movement.

Patty Stein

Twisted Sister

1984

Twisted Sister

The band receives gold records onstage at Nassau Coliseum to celebrate 500,000 sales of the album. But they didn’t get the usual wall-mountable plaques. Mark Metcalf, star of the band’s We’re Not Gonna Take It video, instead places the records around their necks as if they had won Olympic gold medals.

AP / Corey Struller

Amy Fisher

1993

Amy Fisher

Two TV movies based on Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher air the same night, Jan. 3, 1993: The Amy Fisher Story, starring Drew Barrymore, and Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story, with Alyssa Milano.

AP / Mike Albans

'Annie Hall'

1977

'Annie Hall'

Though specifics are hard to pin down, one of this movie’s most memorable scenes -- in which Woody Allen and Diane Keaton go to the Hamptons and attempt to boil some uncooperative lobsters -- was filmed on the South Shore. It’s proof that even before his European phase, Allen was willing to venture at least a little ways outside of Manhattan.

United Artists

'Long Island Medium'

2011

'Long Island Medium'

The reality series starring spirit-channeling Theresa Caputo, of Hicksville, launches in September and quickly becomes the most popular show in TV history with Long Island in the title.

TLC

'Love Story'

1970

'Love Story'

The three-hanky romance, starring Ryan O’Neal as wealthy Harvard student Oliver Barrett IV and Ali McGraw as a working-class Radcliffe girl, is released in December. At the time, it was the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. The Phipps estate plays the role of the Barrett family manse.

Paramount Pictures

'Everybody Loves Raymond'

1996

'Everybody Loves Raymond'

The popular CBS sitcom, about (fictional) Newsday sportswriter Ray Romano and his funny, dysfunctional family, premieres in September and runs nine seasons.

CBS

Ashanti Douglas Day

2002

Ashanti Douglas Day

The Princess of Hip-Hop and R&B was actually the reigning queen with the No. 1 album in the country and a record-setting three simultaneous Top 10 singles when she was awarded the key to her hometown of Glen Cove and her own day to rule Nassau County.

Nelson Ching

'Princesses: Long Island'

2013

'Princesses: Long Island'

The reality show about six young, privileged Long Island women angers many LIers (specifically, some Freeport residents and the family of fallen FDNY firefighter Jonathan Ielpi). The show is canceled after one season.

Bravo

'Reversal of Fortune'

1990

'Reversal of Fortune'

Reversal of Fortune becomes a career milestone for Jeremy Irons, who will win a best actor Oscar for playing Claus von Bulow, a chilly aristocrat accused of trying to kill his wife (Glenn Close). Some interior scenes of the Von Bulow mansion were filmed in Knole House in Old Westbury.

AP

LIer wins 'Survivor'

2004

LIer wins 'Survivor'

Sayville's Tom Westman, a now-retired FDNY fireman, wins Survivor: Palau and becomes one of the most popular winners in the franchise's history. Later, he competes on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains in 2010.

CBS / Bill Inoshita

'Pollock'

2000

'Pollock'

Starring Ed Harris as the action painter Jackson Pollock, the biopic becomes a critical hit. Marcia Gay Harden, as Pollock’s wife, later wins a supporting actress Oscar. Much of the movie was filmed at Pollock's real studio, known as the Pollock-Krasner House, in East Hampton.

BPI

LIer on 'Idol'

2006

LIer on 'Idol'

Kevin Covais of Levittown finishes in 11th place on American Idol Season 5, at the height of the show’s popularity. The 16-year-old, nicknamed Chicken Little -- with a good sense of humor to match his good voice -- jokingly referred to himself as the sex symbol of the season.

'Seinfeld' in The Hamptons

1994

'Seinfeld' in The Hamptons

The gang goes to The Hamptons in a season 5 episode in which George (Jason Alexander) suffers from shrinkage -- to the amusement of Jerry's girlfriend, Rachel (Melanie Smith).

NBC

Billy Joel sells out the Coliseum

1998

Billy Joel sells out the Coliseum

Touring to support his Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 collection, Joel breaks his own record of six sold-out shows at the arena by selling out nine shows in 1998, which lands him in the Nassau Coliseum Hall of Fame.

J. Michael Dombroski

Alicia Keys records in Glen Cove

2007

Alicia Keys records in Glen Cove

Her Grammy-winning album, featuring the No. 1 hit No One, was recorded mainly at Keys’ Oven Studios in Glen Cove, which she was able to open after the success of her previous two albums.

Hamptons International Film Festival

1993

Hamptons International Film Festival

HIFF launches its first edition with the opening-night film “A Home of Our Own,” starring Kathy Bates as a single mother. Among the festival’s first honorary board members were Roy Scheider, Alan Alda, George Plimpton and Alec Baldwin. The festival’s special advisor was Steven Spielberg.

SocietyAllure.com / Rob Rich

Nine Days tops charts

2000

Nine Days tops charts

The story of Absolutely (Story of a Girl) hitting No. 1 on the pop charts is one of triumph for the Deer Park band, led by John Hampson, bringing Long Island rock fans their first chart-topper since Billy Joel.

Grateful Dead at the Coliseum

1973

Grateful Dead at the Coliseum

It was the start of The Dead’s hold on the arena, which they've sold out a record-setting 35 times over the years, spawning several special shows, including the recently released box set Wake Up to Find Out, which captures the band’s March 29, 1990, show there with Branford Marsalis.

John Keating

De La Soul forms in Amityville

1987

De La Soul forms in Amityville

Before they were Posdnuos, Maseo and Dave, pioneers of the Native Tongues style of lighthearted hip-hop with the legendary 3 Feet High and Rising album, they were Amityville High School students who played talent shows and impromptu parties in Amityville.

Debbie Gibson writes 'Foolish Beat'

1988

Debbie Gibson writes 'Foolish Beat'

When the ballad hits No. 1, it makes Gibson, 18, the youngest artist ever to write, perform and produce a chart-topping single, a record she still holds today in the Guinness Book of World Records. Gibson wrote the song in her hometown of Merrick.

Joe Dombroski

The Young Rascals at The Barge

1965

The Young Rascals at The Barge

As the house band at the floating nightclub in Westhampton, The Young Rascals spend the summer mixing their brand of R&B-influenced rock with the sounds of the British Invasion. They were discovered there by Beatles’ promoter Sid Bernstein.

John Coltrane composes in Dix Hills

1964

John Coltrane composes in Dix Hills

The legendary saxophonist composed his masterwork, A Love Supreme, in his Dix Hills home, building it around four notes representing the four syllables of a love supreme as a mantra to create one of jazz’s most important albums.

AP

'Sabrina'

1954

'Sabrina'

Billy Wilder’s romantic comedy, starring Audrey Hepburn as a chauffeur’s daughter who comes between the wealthy Larrabee brothers (Humphrey Bogart and William Holden), unfolds against the backdrop of Glen Cove. The Larrabee mansion was actually in Beverly Hills, but the Glen Cove train station makes a notable appearance.

Paramount Pictures

Billy Joel at The Paramount

2013

Billy Joel at The Paramount

Joel, using the Huntington club as a rehearsal space for an upcoming tour, decides to play a show there, his first Long Island concert in 11 years. It sells out within 15 minutes, even with only two hours’ notice.

Erin Geismar

'North by Northwest'

1959

'North by Northwest'

Alfred Hitchcock's landmark thriller stars Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill, an advertising executive caught in a web of espionage. The plot thickens when he’s kidnapped and taken to a Glen Cove mansion, where he is interrogated and nearly killed. The mansion was actually the Phipps estate, now known as Old Westbury Gardens.

CBS

Guy Lombardo at Jones Beach

1954

Guy Lombardo at Jones Beach

The bandleader creates a new musical, Arabian Nights, about the tales of Scheherazade to introduce musical performances to the theater at Jones Beach.

AP

Peter Frampton records at LI Arena

1975

Peter Frampton records at LI Arena

Frampton’s breakthrough hit, Show Me the Way, is recorded at his Commack show, and not only makes live albums cool again, but also introduces much of the world to the vocoder.

'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

1958

'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

Elizabeth Taylor, as Maggie Pollitt, steams up the screen in one of her most iconic films. Though set in muggy Mississippi, the film was shot partially at the Coleman Estate in Muttontown.

MGM

'The Great Gatsby'

1926

'The Great Gatsby'

F. Scott Fitzgerald's enduring novel set on the North Shore becomes a movie for the first time. A Paramount Pictures production starring Warner Baxter as Jay Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan, it has since been lost, though three more adaptations would follow, in 1949, 1974 and 2013.

Public Enemy forms

1982

Public Enemy forms

When Chuck D. lands a show (The Super Spectrum Mix Hour) at WBAU, Adelphi University’s radio station, the core group begins to work together: Chuck raps, Hank Shocklee mixes records live on the air, Flavor Flav is, you know, Flav.

Getty Images

Taking Back Sunday headlines the Coliseum

2006

Taking Back Sunday headlines the Coliseum

The Rockville Centre-based band has plenty to celebrate with its Nassau Coliseum show: its “Louder Now” album going gold and its graduation to arena headliner status. But it's a shared triumph with its Long Island faithful, who jump the barricades before the show starts, to create the biggest mosh pit in the arena’s history.

'SNL' parodies Blue Öyster Cult

2000

'SNL' parodies Blue Öyster Cult

Singer Eric Bloom says he was shocked when he saw the Will Ferrell/Christopher Walken sketch about how the band’s recording session for its 1976 hit (Don’t Fear) The Reaper should have gone. But they have embraced it now, as have fans who still bring cowbells to the band’s shows to play along with the song.

'Masters of Sex'

2013

'Masters of Sex'

The Showtime series, based on Newsday writer Thomas Maier’s non-fiction book about sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, premieres in September and quickly earns Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Some scenes were shot at a Lloyd Harbor home.

AP / Showtime

The Stray Cats

1979

The Stray Cats

United by a love of rockabilly and a keen ‘50s fashion sense, Brian Setzer decides to team up with Massapequa grade-school friends Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom to make music.

Gavin Cochrane

'The Godfather'

1972

'The Godfather'

Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan as members of the Corleone Mafia dynasty, The Godfather creates some of the most indelible images in American cinema. One, involving a decapitated horse head, was filmed in Falaise, a 26-room manor house in Port Washington's Sands Point Preserve; another, in which Caan dies in a fusillade of bullets, was filmed on an unused runway at what was then Mitchel Field in Hempstead.

Lou Reed hits the Top 20

1973

Lou Reed hits the Top 20

Freeport native Reed tells many tales of arriving in the big city in his Top 20 hit Walk on the Wild Side, including Massapequa Park actress Candy Darling’s, and, in some ways, his own.

AP / Mark Goff

One Direction gives Wheatus a shout-out

2013

One Direction gives Wheatus a shout-out

It’s always been weird that the Northport-based Wheatus was way bigger in England than it was at home. It got even stranger when 1D started covering Wheatus’ British smash Teenage Dirtbag in its set. But even Wheatus frontman Brendan Brown thought it was surreal when the lads paid tribute to his band when they come to Jones Beach.

Sony

LL Cool J gets his name

1982

LL Cool J gets his name

James Todd Smith is at his mom’s house in Bay Shore when the 14-year-old budding rapper gets the idea to call himself Cool J, which a friend convinced him to change to LL Cool J, with the LL standing for Ladies Love.

LIer wins first 'Big Brother'

2000

LIer wins first 'Big Brother'

Commack's Eddie McGee becomes the show's very first winner, and is the first of many LIers to compete on (and win) popular reality TV shows.

AP/ Kevork Djansezian

'Shoop'

1993

'Shoop'

Salt had just moved to Melville when she, Pepa and Spinderella start work on their Very Necessary album, with the new surroundings spawning a new sense of creativity and a desire to shoop shoop shoop.

AP / Malcolm Clarke

Vitagraph Studios

1916

Vitagraph Studios

Vitagraph, one of the most prolific studios of the silent era, produces 26 films out of its facilities at 94 Fourth Avenue in Bay Shore.

Library of Congress; Erin Geismar

'It's Raining Men'

1982

'It's Raining Men'

Baldwin native Martha Wash and her fellow Weather Girl, Izora Armstead, thought it was a joke when Paul Shaffer, who co-wrote the song with Paul Jabara, asked them to sing what has become a disco anthem. But they do it anyway. Hallelujah!

TheWeatherGirlsVEVO via YouTube