Seeking tenant for historic Ridgewood Theatre
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.
http://flickr.com/photos/kencta/115980486/sizes/o/in/photostream/ (Courtesy of Ken Roe)