Spotlight On: Strongbox Theater

Location: 40 Main Street, East Rockaway, NY 11518
Phone:  516-680-1138

Interviewed: Tony Leone (Owner & Founder)

We are located at 40 Main St. in East Rockaway. We are in the process of designing and putting out to bid the construction of our black box theater. We just received the final set of plans last week. We also bought 50 Main St. and plan to merge the buildings.

We intend to create an audience and be an outlet for performers of straight theater. I’m not a fan of the tried, true, tested, and proven profitability of musicals and Shakespeare. I know, I’m nuts. But, for anyone investing in this business at this time he has to have some gumption.

My wife, Marla D’Urso, is not only the light of my life, she is my business partner, co-owner, and co-founder. Our architect is Joe Artusa of FLA Associates.

We do not plan to be open until the New Year. Since we delayed our launch with the purchase of the 50 Main St. building, we decided to cut our teeth on producing a summer show. It will be “The 39 Steps.” That show will run 9 JUL – 31 JUL on Friday and Saturday nights only. We think producing this show, free to the public, will also give us good theater karma. After this stinking pandemic, I’m hoping we the Long Island audience be as eager to see a show as the cast and crew are to put up a show!

Hmm, funny stories? There’s already been some pain and mistakes with this first production. I know that pain + time = comedy, but am not finding some of this funny, yet. But, I have to say I have an awesome director and production crew lined up and it’s thrilling to put this creative team together.

Marla’s history is in interior design and she was the owner of Three Tarts Bakery in Manhattan. In the 90’s I was an actor while getting my undergrad degree in Buffalo. I came back to the city and just couldn’t pursue theater. I then worked for 23 years at a terrific company, World Courier. I was a Senior Manager for our Strategic Accounts Team. World Courier is a pharmaceutical logistics company. I did very well there. So, with our backgrounds, we think our experiences coalesce and will build a wonderful place for people to gather and see a great show.

Previous Theatres:


Herricks Community Players

EastLine Productions

Malverne Theatre

Theatre Box

Sid Jacobson JCC