Wrestling rocks Mattituck Cinemas
Ding ding! Live wrestling matches are officially underway at Mattituck Cinemas.
Around 30 over-the-top combatants dressed in colorful garb grappled Saturday night in the new wrestling ring erected in a former screening room at the Mattituck movie house.
More than 100 spectators filled the seats for an evening that included dinner and a show. The dinner came courtesy of Lucharitos, the next-door eatery that handles the theater’s concessions. Each guest received a flag of either red, blue, yellow or green to represent the wrestlers for whom they rooted throughout the various matches.
The hope of those involved in the new live entertainment series, including Joseph Ocasio and Leonard Totora, a pair of professional wrestlers who teamed up with theater steward Marc LaMaina to stage the event, is to keep Mattituck Cinemas a place for family entertainment despite the fact that it no longer screens the latest blockbusters.
“Myself, growing up out there, I know [the North Fork] is limited as far as activities for people of a certain age group,” Mr. Totora said. “This is great for people who want to have a good time, have a reality break and cheer and boo some people.”
The crowd roared as the combatants faced off in the ring during one-on-one matches, tag team smackdowns and even a Battle Royale.
“This is awesome,” said audience member Warren Bondarchuk after his sons, Bentley and Corey, posed for a photo with “Man Bun Jesus,” victor of the Battle Royale donnybrook. “This is the best night I’ve had in a long time.”
The fighting series is the latest of several new entertainment ventures Mr. LaMaina has introduced in recent months. He and various partners began showing second run films in the cinema’s sole remaining screening room and opened the Axe & Smash Axe Throwing Lounge and Smash Paint studios.
Following Memorial Day weekend, Mr. LaMaina said Mattituck Cinemas will host wrestling events every Friday at 7 p.m. throughout the summer season.
By the end of the year, a mini golf course seeped in ’80s pop culture designed by Ricky Saetta, the Greenport retro artist known as Ricky TeeVee, will be added to the theater’s expanding list of attractions.
The final event of the evening — the championship match — saw Mr. Ocasio, a.k.a the Long Island Landmine, fight Mr. Totora, known as Dixon. After Dixon “accidentally” knocked out the ref and tried to beat the Landmine with a metal chair, Greenport High School basketball legend, and recently sworn-in Southold seasonal police officer Ryan Creighton stepped into the ring to teach Dixon a lesson in the form of a forceful right cross.
The Long Island Landmine clinched the championship belt and invited the dozens of kids in the audience — who were perhaps more berserk than the fighters — into the ring to celebrate.
“Every expectation I thought it was going to beat, it beat,” Mr. LaMaina said.
The Suffolk Times attended the inaugural wrestling event to capture the spectacle. Click through the slideshows below to view all our stills from the evening.