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I remember the original electronic marquee Cinema 5 had was screwed up alot and either had old titles flashing or nothing at all. They later redid it with a better electronic/conventional one. I am not sure if Cinema 5 did that or Loews.
Someone also reminded me that when the indian movies stopped playing they renamed the place The Queens Kung Fu Cinema and played those films. The policy lasted about a month.
I loved this theatre I first discovered it in the seventies when it ran a reserved seat engagement of an Italian version of Aida with Sophia Loren lip syncing to someone elses voice. It was made in the fifties and never released here until then. A truely bizzare film, I have not heard of it since then. If I am correct the distributor was 21st Century Distribution who released all those dubbed Italian horror films.
I think I remember reading that later on it screened second run fims.
I was always suprised Loews closed this theatre, it had parking and could have easily added more screens. I dont even think theres many theatres in the same booking zone.
Enjoy it now they are closing it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Another one bites the dust but I am not suprised, Loews is getting like UA taking viable theatres running them into the ground and selling them for other uses. The Elmwood, The Trylon, Oriental, Smithhaven Mall, The Walt Whitman and now The Astor Plaza and The State.
This is sin but I am not suprised Loews is getting like United Artists running theatres into the ground and then closing them. Has anyone seen the condition of the 2 multiplexes in Fresh Meadows?
Absolutely Orlando, I have a block ad that RKO used to run in Newsday showing all the discount theatres and the Valley Stream was one of them.
I could have sworn Woody Allen used The Kent, I remember the owner telling me that was how they afforded the original twinning after the closing for the movie shoot. It was stupid to not remodel the Kingsway it’s such a densely populated area for a triplex thats only open nights.
I remember the last year or so RKO-Century did not renew the lease on the Jamaica Avenue entrance and it was turned into a store. The 165st entrance was opened for the first time in decades. They half assed re-lit the 1930’s marquee. After a shooting in which a security guard got killed the theatre closed. It seems like retail is in the lobbies only and the theatre may be intact inside.
One thing I forgot to add the building was originally a firehouse.
I ran this theatre for awhile in the eighties and it truly envoked the feel of Greenwich Village. At that time we were going back and forth between revival and off-beat independant films. It was not unusual to see celebraties on line or in the audience. I recall Richard Gere coming one night and Ronnie Spector another. It is great it is still here when all the other village theatres dies slow sad deaths.
Another trivia item that I was told was that they were the only theatre in Brooklyn to open Star Wars in stereo. I wonder if it was 70mm?
I saw Cabaret here, a family friend lived around the corner and she went to this theatre all the time. I remember it then as being a very nice spacious Centurys house. Too bad it’s gone now, I think Centurys chose to just ass more screens to Kings Plaza which is a few blocks away.
The multiplexing of the theatre was done in a way as to not destroy any of the walls or ceiling. It was almost like a free standing shell. There was one theatre in the balcony and three downstairs. The two under the balcony were tiny but the other one allowed the walls and arch to be seen. In typical UA fashion they mismanaged this place and just closed it. The Mandys store is only built in the lobby and part of the auditorium, dead center. The entire theatre is there untouched as per the lease with the owner. The marquee remains also. Maybe someday someone will make this a live theatre. By the way in the 70’s they played loads of italian shows here with people like Tony Bennett, Al Martino and Connie Francis.
I remember once seeing a picture of the marquee near the end, I think it was playing horror and action double bills in all of its auditoriums.
The Meadows was built by Centurys and was always one of Queens highest grossing houses.
What killed such a modern multiplex in such a short time?
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.
Did this open in 1969 as a single or a 5-plex?
I remember when Cineplex Odeon took over the Fairfax it had either been closed or run into the ground as a $1 house. I think they triplexed it and the last time I was in LA it was a first run theatre. When did it go discount?
It’s hard to believe a twenty screen theatre closed after a year. Someone should try a discount policy here.
The saddest thing of all to me was UA’s moronic closing of Cinema 150 in Syosset. It put the Zeigfeld to shame with a huge dimension 150 screen. It was totally renovated in the early 90’s with all new seats, drapes, carpet, screen and lighting. They never advertised the theatre for what it was. I introduced friends in Manhattan to the place and they used to travel on the LIRR after that to see films there.
A friend in LA saw all of the Cinerama revivials at The Dome some were 3 projector also. New York always seems like a step child for film. When is the last time anyone played 70mm? Although they are not as frequent anymore LA has had a few recent 70mm engagements.