Seeking tenant for historic Ridgewood Theatre

posted by NativeForestHiller on May 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

RIDGEWOOD, NY — Michael Perlman of Queens Preservation Council is seeking a historically-sensitive arts-related tenant for the endangered historic Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY). It is of the utmost omportance to lease, and adaptively & creatively reuse a gem by the prolific Thomas Lamb, so it can contribute to the appeal of an up & coming neighborhood.

The theater shuttered in March 2008, marking the end of its nearly 92 years as a first-run theater. The new owner is considering leasing the 2 ground floor theaters and reopening the upper floors' screens for films, but plans are not believed to be confirmed. ***Parties of interest may contact , and information will be relayed to the appropriate parties for prospective tenants.


Opening its doors on December 23, 1916, it was considered the longest continuously operating neighborhood theater citywide, and potentially throughout the U.S. It staged Vaudeville, silent films, saw the advent of photoplays, & the first “100% All-Talking” feature, Lights of New York (1928). Its original seating capacity was 2,500, but currently contains 5 screens and seats 1,950.

Modeled after Times Square’s long-demolished Strand Theatre, the $250,000 theater was designed by Thomas Lamb & built by the Levy Brothers. The 3-story Indiana limestone & terra cotta facade is highly ornate, incorporating unique geometric patterns, medallions, a frieze, pilasters, and proudly boasts “Ridgewood Theatre” across the top. Interior murals originally depicted the history of Ridgewood. Nearby theaters with an unfortunate fate include the Oasis, Parthenon, Irving, & RKO Madison Theatre (retail), but hopefully the Ridgewood Theatre won’t be on that list.


Ornate facade: (Courtesy of Ken Roe)

Theater lobby: (Ken Roe) (Ken Roe)

Historic images:

Theaters in this post

Comments (3)

NativeForestHiller on January 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm


“Queens Residents Push For Landmarking of Ridgewood Theatre,” (Interview with Michael Perlman, Chair of Friends of Ridgewood Theatre), NY 1 News, Jan 23, 2009:

“Ridgewood Theatre May Be Landmarked: LPC To Hold Hearings In Near Future,” Times NewsWeekly, Jan 15, 2009: View link

“City Eyes Ridgewood Theatre Landmark,” Ridgewood Ledger, Jan 15, 2009: View link

**Please sign the petition to Landmark the historic Ridgewood Theatre, post a comment, and forward link to all of your contacts. Your help is crucial & much appeciated: View link

NativeForestHiller on February 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

UPDATE: Great News, but your help is still essential, so please continue signing our petition and posting a comment! On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will make a motion to calendar the Ridgewood Theatre’s facade. This is the first step, and then comes a public hearing at a later date, followed by a motion to designate the theater an Individual Landmark. Testimony will be taken during a future public hearing. Stay tuned!

View link

NativeForestHiller on February 18, 2009 at 1:28 am

The Landmarks Commission today voted to formally consider the designations of West Park Presbyterian Church, Fort Washington Presbyterian Church and Audubon Park Historic District in Manhattan; Ridgewood Theatre in Queens, and Brooklyn Union Gas Co. Building in Brooklyn.

The press release in its entirety is as follows:
View link

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