Ridgewood Theatre

55-27 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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MonicaRdgwdBK on April 21, 2004 at 11:52 pm

Hello, My name is Monica. I am 18 years old and have lived in Ridgewood, Brooklyn all my life, specifically a few blocks from this theatre . It has always been “my theatre”. I decided to take some pictures today using my digicam and submitted them to the site, so hopefully they’ll be up soon. I was really suprised about the history of this theater. I saw three movies there in the past week (Hellboy, The Punisher, and Kill Bill 2), so as you can tell I frequent it A LOT.
I’ll be the first to admit it looks dilapidated on the inside,is rat and roach infested,there’s bad food, very poor lighting, has old creaky seats, and not to mention its stinks there a bit, even though it is decently clean. Robert R(who posted the second message) perfectly describes the seats,bathrooms, and lobby. BUT I have and will continue to go there.
With all the bad stuff I just said you would wonder why I would. Well #1, it’s dirt (no pun intended) cheap [$5 adults M-F, $3 kids, $8 adults/$6 kids after 6PM everyday, and Sat & Sun it’s $3 adults, free for kids], #2- It’s very private, unless its opening day (or night time) of a highly anticipated movie, there are usually no more than 20 people per theatre [yes there are still 5 screens]. #3- you dont have to worry about sneaking in your own food- eat takeout and no one cares, #4 you can play arcade games for $.50 there, #5- you can hang out there, and #6- if you grew up with it, you grew up being able to overcome its bad points, and are able to have a wonderful time there. I especially believe it’s the company you’re with that makes going there special. I have plenty of good memories there, but I strongly believe it needs to be renovated.
As far as my neighborhood, well, during the day it’s not that bad, but at night, look over your shoulder a bit and be aware of your surroundings, just in case. If you are a pretty girl, you will get constantly harassed by so many guys (believe me I know this), even if you are with your friends or boyfriend, so be careful and just ignore them.
Other than that, it’s not that bad as say my neighboring city of Bushwick, Brooklyn or Jamaica, Queens. If you are used to the environment, it doesn’t bother you, otherwise it will. I guess Ridgewood won’t be renovated any time soon (although it should) because people still go there a lot, (more than in the past few years)and they(the theater) would go into serious debt by doing so. Yes it is amazing that it is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters, and I hope it will continue to provide the people of Ridgewood -Queens and Brooklyn alike with entertainment for years to come.

Bway on April 14, 2004 at 9:34 pm

Weezah, wow, you weren’t in too many neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens if you think the Ridgewood is in a “terrible” neighborhood. While the neighborhood certainly isn’t “heaven” it’s far from an “afraid to walk around” neighborhood.
Anyway, the Ridgewood is indeed in Queens, although Brooklyn is in fact on the other side of Myrtle Ave. The theater is literally across the street from Brooklyn, and even that side of Myrtle Ave becomes Brooklyn in about 2 or 3 blocks, so yes, it is close to Brooklyn on 2 sides, but is in Queens.
I remember the Ridgewood being on theater, and was a bit more run down than the other theaters in the area. Even after converting to 5 screens, it continued it’s decline. I have not been in the theater in over 10 years, but do remember the thater being much like weezah described (aside from the neighborhood itself being “terrible”. You did stick to the floor, filthy seats, and yes, mice. Looking up at the ceiling would show much of the old plaster work, even if “half circles” because they put up walls all over the original theater to cut it up. The exterior is also not all that inviting, and also a bit “seedy” looking. Hopefully, one day renovation will come. It is amazing that it is one of the oldest continuously operating theaters.

PeterKoch on April 14, 2004 at 8:50 pm

The newspapers listing the Ridgewood Theater as being in Brooklyn are just plain wrong. The theater is in the borough and county of Queens. The “Brooklyn” listing may be an uncorrected holdover from the days (pre-January 1980) when the 11227 postal zone, albeit mostly in Queens, was part of the Brooklyn post office. In January 1980, the 11227 postal zone, and the part the 11237 postal zone located in Queens, became postal zone 11385, part of the Flushing post office.

My first experience of the Ridgewood as two or more screens was on Tuesday June 17 1980 when I saw “Friday the 13th” there. The movie was shown on the upper screen, visible from what used to be the balcony, with its beautiful elliptical lobby, which I hadn’t seen for at least ten years, prior to then. A boxing match on closed circuit TV was being shown on the lower screen.

Subsequently I remember it being two, three, then five screens. Seeing “Die Hard” there in September 1988 in one of the upper cinemas, made from the balcony, was an interesting experience. The balcony has such a slant that, sitting in one of the upper rows, my eyes were level with, or a bit above, the top of the screen, and looking at the screen was like looking diagonally down a long tunnel.

The last film I saw at the Ridgewood was “Hellraiser III : Hell On Earth” on Saturday Sept. 12th 1992, in one of the lower cinemas.

weezah22 on April 5, 2004 at 6:59 pm

My experiences with the Ridgewood theater has been anything BUT glamorous. The seats and theater was always filthy, feet sticking to the floor and yes mice. THe people in the theater never shut up, on EVERY occassion I’ve been there. The location is in a terrible neighborhood, maybe it was nice at one time but that is not the case anymore. Its too bad it couldnt be fixed up but that would require an entire neighborhood overhaul and a quite a fe Immigration officers.

DougDouglass on March 15, 2004 at 3:42 pm

We do believe you, Warren. The Ridgewood neighborhood like Bellerose and Floral Park bordering Nassau stradles two counties, but neighborhoods don’t have legal boundaries. That’s what boroughs and counties are for. :)

DougDouglass on March 14, 2004 at 11:26 pm

The theatre is at 55-27 Myrtle Avenue, between Madison Street and Cypress Avenue. The hyphenated address and 11385 ZIP Code confirm the location is in Queens County.

RobertR on January 23, 2004 at 9:26 pm

The Ridgewood theatre is in the section of the neighborhhod that is Brooklyn. I grew up going to this theatre as my grandmother lived in Glendale. I remember the Sound of Music played forever and I saw alot of great films there. In the 60’s they used to play childrens matinees on the weekend mornings and the theatre was well maintained even by United Artists the last operators. I think the last film to play there under the UA banner was the Peter Weiler film “The Last Wave”. I was there for the previous engagement “The Wiz” which was double billed in its last week with “Seargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band”. The current owners also opearate the Jackson and The Plaza in Corona and previously had The Colony in Jackson Heights, The Community and The Queens in Queens Village and The Deluxe in Woddside. The theatre was triplexed in the early eighties by clsoing off the balcony and making two theatres downstairs. You could not cross over to the other auditorium because it had a wall that divided the lobby and each side had its own bathrooms and candy stand. Around 1990 the balconies were divided into three bringing the amount of screens to five. There is so much wasted space where the huge stage was that could accomidate more cinemas. I last was in the theatre for the first time in many many years for the opening night of “Spider Man” because a friend knew someone there and we were able to get tickets. The theatre is clean but really needs an overhaul. It still has the seats and bathrooms from the UA days. There is a little bit of the old glamour in the first lobby where the original ceiling and showcases remain and in the downstairs theatres you can see the stained glass fixtures that are still intact.