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Romance in Port Jeff: Theatre Three Was Site of Proposal in 1984

Man proposed to his wife on a Theatre Three sign.

When Steve Rothstein decided to ask his girlfriend Beth Pepper to marry him back in 1984 he wanted to do something a little different, which is why his brother arranged to have the words "Beth Will You Marry Me Steve" put up on the marquee sign of .

"My younger brother Robert worked in a building next door that’s not there anymore called Captain Ahab’s," Rothstein said. "He made friends with somebody at Theatre Three."

Steve met Beth through his friend, who happened to be her brother.

"He owned in Port Jefferson Station for 30 years and his daughter said 'you should ask my aunt out,'" Rothstein said.

One day Rothstein walked into the pizza parlor and she was there. He asked her brother for her number and they’ve been together ever since.

At the time, Rothstein lived on the border of Setauket and Port Jefferson (he went to ) and worked at . When they were dating, the couple always went to dinner in the village. With the help of his brother, he came up with the idea of putting his proposal in big letters outside of Theatre Three.

"I thought it would be really cool to come down the hill and see the sign," he said.

They were married the next year at the in 1985. The Rothsteins bought his parents' house where they currently live with their two children, Jenna, 22, who recently graduated from Roger Williams University and son Michael, 19, who attends Florida Southern.

All these years later, Rothstein said he doesn’t remember exactly how his future wife reacted to the proposal but the outcome was a good one.

"Obviously the answer was yes," he said.

This is the first in a series of articles on romance in Port Jefferson running up until Valentine's Day. Do you have a Port Jefferson related story of romance? Drop us a line at lon.cohen@patch.com.

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