Historic Ridgewood Theatre may be landmarked & reopen, but still needs your help

posted by NativeForestHiller on February 12, 2009 at 10:55 am

RIDGEWOOD, NY — Thomas Lamb’s 1916 [url/theater/4021/] Ridgewood Theatre[/url] (55-27 Myrtle Ave) shuttered in March 2008, and was deemed the longest continuously operating first-run neighborhood theater in NY, and potentially throughout the U.S. Nearly one year later, this is how a gem fared:

  1. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission might calendar the facade for a public hearing in the near future to determine its eligibility as a NYC Landmark, but no word is official yet. Please sign an online petition & post a comment, to designate the facade an Individual Landmark, and the lobby an Interior Landmark (by law, only possible once the theater reopens). Please share this link with your colleagues. Your help is extremely significant, only takes moments, and can go a long way:


  1. The owner (as of 3/08) is now considering to reopen the 2 ground floor screens and the upper floors' screens for films.

  2. Please become a member of “Friends of Ridgewood Theatre” for status updates, the latest press links (NY Times, NY 1 News, Queens weeklies, etc), history, and photos: www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre

  3. Enjoy my latest Ridgewood Theatre flickr photos: http://flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/sets/72157606443928732/

Thank you for your support!

  • Michael Perlman
    Friends of Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
    Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.

Comments (4)

HowardBHaas on February 16, 2009 at 9:36 am

What are you doing? Is the below quote accurate? I will post on Ridgewood news, too, since that’s still on homepage.

Nobody is going to “move” the entire Ridgewood Theatre, with all its original plaster, paint,and other decorative features. Movie palaces cost millions to build, and it is too expensive to move or reconstruct them in another location. Historic preservation of all buildings will be destroyed if preservationists pretend that moving a few artifacts is good enough!

February 8, 2009 New York Times:
Also on their list of possible acquisitions, she
said, is the Ridgewood Theater on Myrtle Avenue, where Queens and
Brooklyn meet. ‘'We might take it,’‘ said Ms. Miller, a publicity
manager. Mr. Owens is an auto dealer and financial planner. The
93-year-old movie house, designed by Thomas W. Lamb, who was considered
the king of theater architects, never missed a day of showings until it
closed last March, making it the longest-continuously operated cinema in
the country, according to the Theater Historical Society of America.
Ms. Miller said that she and Mr. Owens learned of the theater's
uncertain fate from Michael Perlman, a local preservationist who has
rallied supporters in efforts to save the theater and recently got the preservation commission to consider designating it for protection. In any case, only the facade would be granted landmark status. Of the n25,000 landmark buildings in New York, only 125 are protected inside as well. Mr. Perlman, 26, who has a graphic arts business and collects vintage postcards, said that the relocation of the seats and other furnishings of the Ridgewood Theater to Birmingham would be ’‘bittersweet.’‘ But he said, ’‘At least it would allow future generations to cherish it.’'

NativeForestHiller on February 17, 2009 at 12:41 am

UPDATE: Great News!!! 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 17, 2009 at 12:45 am

Howard, if the theater was facing demolition, then the AL couple would have been interested in transporting the facade and some interior architectural attributes and resurrecting it elsewhere. I know some history would be sacrificed, but if it was facing imminent demolition, it would certainly be better than seeing a prime architectural work in a landfill.

NativeForestHiller on February 18, 2009 at 4:27 am

Press Release from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

Five Designation Proposals Calendared for Public Hearings -
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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