Wedding & Event Planning, Venues

The Suffolk Weddings

ABOUT The Suffolk Weddings

The Suffolk is a unique Art Deco theater located on Main Street in historic downtown Riverhead on Long Island. The original architect was R. Thomas Short, of the New York firm Harde & Short.

Mr. Short’s legacy includes eleven movie theaters on Long Island. Notably, The Suffolk is the last remaining movie house built by R. Thomas Short and is also the last remaining large art deco theater on Long Island. The theater was built as a National Recovery Act project for the Century Theater circuit chain.

The Suffolk opened on December 30, 1933. According to newspapers of the day, more than 2000 people attended the opening night festivities and it was hailed as:

“Long Island’s prettiest and most complete playhouse” and “the Radio City Music Hall of Long Island.”

During World War II, The Suffolk was an official issuing agent for U.S. war bonds. Various organizations, including the Long Island Farm Bureau, regularly used the theater for special events and meetings.

Unfortunately, changes in shopping habits, a shifting economy and the birth of the multiplex forced The Suffolk to close in 1987. The theater was listed for sale from 1987 until 1994 when the Town of Riverhead purchased the theater.

In 1996, cinematographer, Keith DiNielli and producer Jeff Bassetti, filmed the movie Changeover in The Suffolk. Set in 1978, Changeover revolves around the closing of The Suffolk due to the increasing popularity of the multiplex, and also explored how the closing impacted the lives of its young employees.

The Suffolk remained “dark” and sat idle for eighteen years.

In 2005, Dianne and Bob Castaldi purchased The Suffolk with a vision of creating a unique, state-of-the-art performing arts center. Many repairs and updates were required; however, much of the interior beauty of the theater remained intact. It truly became a labor of love for the Castaldis as the project was fraught with many obstacles.

The Suffolk restoration project took a major, public step forward on September 2, 2011 with the lighting of the theater’s newly renovated state-of-the-art LED marquee – a colorful, electronically animated marquee that wowed a crowd of hundreds who gathered to celebrate the re-lighting on East Main Street in historic downtown Riverhead.

The marquee-lighting ceremony was part of “A Night Out in Riverhead” – one of a number of events taking place in downtown Riverhead. They included a reception for a new art exhibit at the East End Arts gallery on East Main Street, a free concert by the Sunnyland Jazz Band presented by Riverhead Townscape on the arts council’s grounds along the riverfront, and special deals at downtown restaurants.

Following five years of research, investment, planning and negotiations, The Suffolk has once again become Long Island’s favorite playhouse. The theater has been meticulously restored and transformed into a flexible performance space and special event facility.

The owners have lovingly refurbished and restored practically every facet of this historic facility and have re-imagined the space for a whole new generation, for which they have been subsequently recognized and awarded for their work and commitment to this project. The Suffolk is now available for special events, weddings, corporate functions, and benefits, along with ample parking to accommodate you and your guests.


Consult the expert planning team at The Suffolk Theater to bring your wedding vision to life. They will help with everything from concept to delivery and appoint a day-of coordinator to ensure your event runs smoothly. You can browse their list of preferred caterers and vendors to curate a celebration that suits your needs and desires. They offer couples two signature cocktails from their on-site bar to toast their new beginning. Additional services include an on-site cloakroom, animated marquee, private green room, and a large lobby for photos and balloons.