Raising his voice against the sounds of drills and other tools reverberating through the unfinished lobby of the Regal movie theater as dozens of workers scrambled about, Project Superintendent Marc Losquadro discussed the strategy of completing such an undertaking.
“Top down is what you work with for the theater,” said Losquadro, of the Manhattan-based All Building Construction. “You know, from the roof down. So you want to get everything complete and work your way out the door.”
All Building Construction is the general contractor for Blumenfeld Development Group, based in Syosset, which is developing the $21 million theater. There are about 100 workers on the site, on Merrick Road, near Atlantic Avenue, many of them employed by subcontractors. The late Mayor William Hendrick, who died in October, targeted a holiday season opening for the theater, but delays have pushed the deadline back. Nonetheless, Losquadro said he was pleased with how work has progressed.
“With masonry, you’re limited to your weather conditions on when you can get out there,” he explained. “That was one of the issues with delays, absolutely.” He added that because of the building’s size and the limited space around it, it was difficult to move materials. “Logistics really is the most difficult aspect,” he said. “… You don’t have a lot of work space, so you’re constantly moving things around.”
The outside of the building is nearly complete, and just needs a few finishing touches like signage. Crews are now busily working on the interior, in the hope that the building will be finished by the first week of March. They work about nine hours per day from Monday through Saturday. In the fall, village officials OK’d working on Sundays, but Losquadro said the crews have worked on Saturdays instead.
Touring a coming attraction
Losquadro and Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach took the Herald on a tour of the facility on Monday. Beach said it was his first time inside the building in two months. “I’m very impressed with the progress they’re making,” he said. “They’re working very hard, and we believe in early March it will be ready to go.”
There are 13 auditoriums in the theater, 12 of which will vary in size from 60 seats to 100. Six are on the first floor, and seven are upstairs.
Auditorium 13 is a special Regal Premium Experience theater. Losquadro said that the 160-seat RPX auditorium is comparable to an IMAX theater, with a larger screen and seats that can vibrate and have built-in speakers. RPX theatergoers will exit through a small hallway with a series of large windows overlooking the streets below.
Most of the auditoriums are near completion. The finishing touches will include the installation of fabric on the walls, vinyl carpeting and aisle lighting. Screen and seat installation will be final step, which Losquadro said would be completed by Regal. He added that the theater chain has brought in a sound expert to perfect the acoustics for each auditorium, and that the walls have three layers of sheetrock to make sure nothing reverberates through.
“It’s gonna be a nice place,” Beach said. “That RPX theater, the place is gonna be packed.”
The restrooms also remain under construction, and sinks and toilets have yet to be installed. The only refreshment stand in the building will be near its first-floor entrance. Elevators and escalators, and ceiling tiles in the lobby and the hallways also need to be finished. In addition, carpeting is needed throughout the facility.
Losquadro explained that only two floors will be accessible to patrons, but mezzanine levels above the auditoriums will house the projectors and power equipment. “There’s two floors, but technically, this is almost like a 10-story building because of the height of it,” he said. “But there are four different levels.”
He added that even though it seems like there is much left to do, he didn’t foresee any difficulties in completing the project by early March. “We’re right there,” Losquadro said. “We’re at the end."