The Five Corners Auto Salon on Hillside Avenue in New Hyde Park will turn into a “Tunnel of Terror” for its second annual Halloween-themed experience later this month.
For the first time, a portion of the proceeds from the spooky spectacle will be donated to the Cohen Children’s Medical Center Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program.
On Oct. 22 and 23, as well as Oct. 28-31, the facility and staff will be decked out in decor and costumes similar to a haunted house. Also included is a “Terror Wash” involving a “Wicked Blood Bath” and “Terrifying Triple Foam,” among other things.
The car wash will be covered in an assortment of webs surrounding the wash tunnel and fake blood splattered across the walls in the form of hand prints. Owner David Rubenstein said the entire staff of more than 20 people will be in full costumes from a psycho clown to Jason Voorhees, the villain from the “Friday the 13th” slasher film series.
Rubenstein, whose car wash has been in business for 38 years, said he got the idea for the event after seeing it pop up on social media around the country. He brought it to Nassau County last October to an overwhelming response that he didn’t expect.
“It just became like a big buzz in the industry,” Rubenstein said in an interview Friday. “And then with COVID last year, it just seemed like the right time to do it.”
Rubenstein, a Suffolk County native, said he thinks it was a good idea because it didn’t require any contact with visitors during the pandemic, which shut down the business for multiple months.
“We had all ages, young kids, college kids and families,” he said. “People were on their way to Halloween events and wanted to add another trip and make it a whole process.”
After having an almost mile-long line down Hillside Avenue, Rubenstein is thinking of ways to expand the experience for everyone involved. He’s reached out to some restaurants along the thoroughfare about their interest in possibly being vendors, and has gotten a good response.
“We tried it out last year and it proved to be super successful and super fun,” Rubenstein said. “We figured why not do it again and make it a little bigger.”
This year’s “Tunnel of Terror” will benefit the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program at Cohen Children’s, which incorporates playing areas, music therapy and a resource center for patients in need, among other things. Emotional support is also provided to patients to help decrease fear and enhance their understanding when in the hospital.
Rubenstein wanted to support a special program that he considers is a big part of the local community.
“They are just around the corner from us and it just works well in all aspects to be able to team up with them,” Rubenstein said.
After the success the salon saw last year, the car wash is expecting an even bigger influx of cars lined up down Hillside Avenue from all parts of Long Island and elsewhere in the tri-state area. Rubenstein said he received many calls from people in places like Bayonne, New Jersey and farther who wanted to participate and make sure the attraction would be open.
“If we have a line, we’ll be open,” replied Rubenstein.
Tickets to the “Tunnel of Terror” will cost $45 for Oct. 22, 23, 28 and 29. Tickets for Oct. 30 and 31 will cost $50.