Elmwood Theatre

57-02 Hoffman Drive,
Elmhurst, NY 11373

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Showing 226 - 242 of 242 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 16, 2004 at 9:15 am

I gave them pictures about two years ago, which are possibly the only ones in existence of the interior. They were originally published in a trade magazine when the theatre opened as the Queensboro in 1928. I’m sorry to learn that half of the castle effect was destroyed, but it consisted of two nearly identical turrets at either side of the stage, so it should be fairly easy to build a replica.

zoegirl on July 16, 2004 at 9:00 am

The Rock Community Church is trying to restore the Elmwood to its original beauty. They have already installed a new ceiling, and they are going to duplicate the Spanish Castle that is surrounding the stage area. Half of the castle was destroyed due to the lack of maintenance through the years. If anyone has pictures, I am sure they could use them while trying to restore the interior.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 20, 2004 at 7:29 am

A rare backside view of the theatre when it was originally known as the Queensboro can be seen at www.queensboard.com/photopg3.html The sign on the rear wall was later painted over to read “Elmwood Theatre,” with “Free Parking” in smaller letters under that. As you can see from this photo, the theatre had a roof sign facing Queens Boulevard from its beginning.

RobertR on May 14, 2004 at 8:44 am

When Loews bought the Elmwood from Interboro it was still a huge single. The twinning was done around the time of Blue Lagoon. It also was a triplex for awhile If I remember right. I think they split the downstairs in half and left upstairs alone for awhile. The problem was Interboro had long ago painted the whole interior royal blue totally covering up any gilding or ornateness.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 14, 2004 at 6:53 am

I’m not sure of the dates, but it was first twinned, upstairs and down, and those two auditoriums were later sub-divided for a total of four. My guess is that Interboro did the original twinning, and then Loew’s added the other two after it acquired the theatre, but I could be wrong.

Bway on May 13, 2004 at 8:13 pm

When was the elmwood divided up into four theaters? I had seen a few movies there, the last one back in the mid 80’s was “Back to the Future”. For the life of me, I can’t remember if it already was chopped up. I think I remember it being one theater at that time, but it’s nearly 20 years ago, so really can’t really say for sure.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 7, 2004 at 12:58 pm

After visiting the site today during a church service, I’m happy to report that the renovation has progressed greatly since my last view about six months ago. Believe it or not, the quadding has been undone and the building is again a single auditorium with orchestra and balcony floors. Unfortunately, there was so much scaffolding and protective canvas that I couldn’t see much more than bare walls. Since the interior of the Elmwood was “modernized” even before sub-dividing began, I doubt that much, if any, of the Queensboro’s orginal Medieval Castle decor remains, although I do know that some of it was hidden by pleated draperies. Renovation of the entrance is also proceeding, with removal of the boxoffice and aluminum display cases that were installed in 1946 for the Elmwood’s opening. Some of the original stone walls of the Queensboro are now exposed. The marquee seems in the process of being dismantled. Meanwhile, some of the original neon tubing from the 1946 marquee, later covered by sheet metal borders, are now evident again.

fred1 on February 13, 2004 at 3:26 am

the name of the treatre where joeAbbracciamento is was the drake theater
it was seen in howard stern’s private parts

MarcoAcevedo on February 12, 2004 at 7:59 pm

In 2001 I moved into Rego Park, the neighborhood “next door” to Elmhurst, and “discovered” the Elmwood Theatre for myself on my first walk to the Queen’s Center mall. I have since watched with dismay what seemed like the slow death of yet another New York treasure. I could never bring myself to see any of the movies that played there while it was still open; from the shabby treatment of the exterior (marquee, lobby and ticket booth encased in cheap generic siding) I got a sense that the interior was probably trashed beyond hope; what did give me some hope that this grand old dame might survive was the news in these commentaries. I just passd the theatre this afternoon and saw that the sidwalk around it is now boarded off. Is this a sign of renovation or demolition?

P.S., another local “ghost” theater I have kept my eye on is the beautiful little deco palace the Trylon. One would think that Queensborough Hall would go out of its way to salavage a relic of the era of the fabled 1939 World’s Fair, especially they are so keen these days to promote the legacy of the old Fairgrounds as the possible site of the 2012 Olympics. And does anyone know the identity of the movie theater once occupying the space which is now the Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant on Woodhaven Blvd.? There’s still a marquee… looks like a duotone brick Deco from the 30s or 40s…

RobertR on February 4, 2004 at 9:00 am

The Elmwood used to be so well maintained except in its last few years when its closing was pending and a new mega-plex planned for across the street in the Queens Center. That all fell through the Elmwood and magnificent Trylon sit shuttered.

Greenpoint on February 1, 2004 at 6:31 pm

I remember seeing Pulp Fiction here. Back in 1999: I seen South Park in mid-august with no air-conditioning,that theatre was hot as hell.

MarkW on February 1, 2004 at 6:00 pm

Passed the theatre yesterday. STOP WORK order from the buildings department on the door. I hope the Rock Community Church does not abandon the theatre and move elsewhere.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 18, 2004 at 10:08 am

The 2,200-seat Elmwood was designed by architect John Schladitz and first opened in 1928 under the name of the Queensboro Theatre. It was the first theatre in Queens in the so-called “atmospheric” style, with the auditorium walls similar to those of a medieval castle, and the ceiling like the midnight sky, with twinkling stars and floating clouds. Due to its independent ownership and the then under-populated neighborhood, the Queensboro was never successful and was closed more often than open during the Depression and the WWII era. In 1946, the Interboro Circuit purchased it and re-opened it as the Elmwood Theatre, with slight change to the auditorium but with a new and modern marquee, boxoffice and entrance lobby. As the neighborhood rapidly grew after WWII, the Elmwood began to prosper, mainly because it could offer free parking in the empty “lots” behind the theatre…The new church ownership seems “solid as a rock,” and I doubt that there is any chance of the building being re-converted into a theatre. But I do know that the new owners are trying to restore some of the original interior decor, which was heavily damaged during the multiplexing.

belind1068 on December 22, 2003 at 10:04 am

I want to restore & reopen The Elmwood. Does ANYONE have any ideas on how I can start this process? I like a good church as much as the next person however, I think it would be a crying shame to see that great theatre turned into a roadside bible-beater’s club. Any ideas? Contact me at:


mp775 on December 18, 2003 at 5:06 pm

The Rock Community Church is currently renovating the building. It looks like the Elmwood will be, pardon the pun, “saved.”

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 10, 2003 at 10:16 pm

My Junior High School graduation was held in the huge auditorium several years before it was divided by four. I can’t recall much about it’s interior architectural elements, however. I’d been back to see movies there while it was a quartet, but as I recall, any ornamentation in the auditoriums were either stripped away or concealed during the conversion.

David10465 on June 8, 2002 at 8:53 pm

The Elmwood is now closed.