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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Suffolk Theater Hosts Soft Opening

Invite-only party on Friday night packed the seats for the first time since 1987.

"I remember when..." was the regular sentiment on Friday night, as Suffolk Theater co-owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi hosted an invite-only party for family, friends, and more, opening the Main Street theater for the first time in more than 25 years.

Friday night marked a night the Castaldis had been looking forward to for eight years since they had purchased the building, before next Friday's Grand Opening, a "Back to the 1930s" night featuring Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks

"We've been here 12 hours a day, seven days a week for the last month," said Bob Castaldi, who added that opening the doors for a packed house still hadn't sunk in. "It probably will Monday."

The Suffolk Theater hosted its last screening on Feb. 22, 1987, Castaldi said, with a showing of "Dirty Dancing."

But the theater has been markedly transformed, with terraced seating featuring four-seat tables, a new heating system, and top-to-bottom refinishing of the whole theater itself. Castaldi said some work still remains to be done in the way of wall fabric.

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