RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

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Showing 326 - 350 of 1,234 comments

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

That’s a loaded question, BobbyS! For an unusually through and complete history of RKO Pictures and the theater chain, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RKO_Pictures I had assumed RKO went completely under years ago, when General Tire finally relinquished RKO General, but apparently the name was kept alive as RKO Pictures LLC, founded by Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill in 1989, with offices in LA and NY. However, they have no connection with either the theaters or the rights to RKO films.

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 8, 2011 at 8:11 pm

On my next flight over Flushing, which will be very soon, I will look out the window for the water tower of the Keith’s. Is there still an RKO company? And where are they located?

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 8, 2011 at 9:22 am

I went to the Dec 19th photo. I think the theater I see is not the Keith’s arriving at LGA. Is there another theater building around there? We pass right over it as we land. I know for years there was a rather large marquee and a vertical that has been since stripped. I can’t imagine there are two remaing large empty theaters in one area. Maybe I am thinking of the roof sign on the Keith’s. I would love to attend Loews Paradise in the Bronx, but nothing on the menu interests me.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

BobbyS, not sure what sign you are thinking of. There was once a small RKO sign perpendicular to the upper facade; there was also a larger RKO Keith’s scaffolding-type sign above the left-hand side of the storefronts. Both can be seen in the 70s-era shots posted by SWC on December 19. They’ve been gone for some time.

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

I have to agree with Jeffery1955. I still get a “chill” when I come to NY and we fly over NYC on a clear day. When I fly to LGA, the plane always passes over the Keith’s. I have been doing this for 40 years. When did they take down the signage? Wasn’t there a large vertical or perhaps I am thnking of a roof sign. This building is easy to spot in Flushing for a theater lover!

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

I’m the last one to be a party pooper, SWC, but images like that still make me squirm 9 ½ years later, and I’m sure many others as well. Point made, but not a great way to do it. (Not attacking you, just saying…bad idea.)

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on March 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Hey that was kinda close! Good thing they got that variance – close enough to make a glass wall undulate:

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

You guys are hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bazookadave
bazookadave on March 7, 2011 at 10:38 am

LOL Dang ya got me! :)

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

The dentist’s hygienist undoubtedly removed the plaque.
Sorry, you left yourself open for that one. Open wide, in fact.

bazookadave
bazookadave on March 7, 2011 at 9:55 am

I would hope the dentist would have originally included a plaque with information about the fountain and its glorious origins, but since it might involve a criminal offense, any such plaque, if it ever existed, would no doubt have been removed by now!

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I guess it would be a conversational piece in the dentist office. I agree with Jeffrey1955, patients have to rinse and spit somewhere. Why not the fountain of the Keith’s? Better than what they would do in it if it was still in the theater!

bazookadave
bazookadave on March 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I think the missing fountain referred to as being in a dentist’s office is not the large one from the center of the foyer which disappeared during the triplexing, but one of the smaller fountains from the wall, on the west side of the faux facade. A few posts back I pointed out the blank spot on the wall where a fountain was removed. Its colorful counterpart is still there, pictured in that Tribune link. Or it was still there recently.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I doubt the dentist would just return it free of charge. He will want a return on his investment.I wonder if it was reinstalled would they actually reconnect the pipes so the fountain would work? In addition, would the upper part of the lobby be restored with the restrooms? This reminds me of the Minnesota Theater in Minneapolis. The lobby was retained but the auditorium was demolished. No idea if the lobby still exists today however.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Hey, patients have to rinse and spit somewhere!

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Amazing how the lobby was landmarked but the auditorium, done in the same style, was not. Makes one wonder. Manes was virulently anti preservationist. What might have been if someone else had been borough president at the time.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on March 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

The above figure is a detail from the East side of the proscenium and one of the many surviving artifacts from the de-landmarked auditorium.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

The above photo looks like the logo from the original Follies musical.

BobbyS
BobbyS on March 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Thanks tinseltoes for the great link on the Tribune. This must have been some great theater in its day. The dentist should return the fountain without any questions asked how it got it don’t you think?

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on March 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thanks Ed I’ll uncredit you, although I’m sure if you could’ve you would’ve – perhaps they are from “evilcamera” who last posted Flickr stuff here in 2007, all gone now (who knows maybe I did take it – but there are no more).
I wouldn’t want the Phantom of the RKO on my conscience

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I don’t remember ever seeing that photo before! Where did you find it, and are there more?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Can’t take credit for those photos, SWC. I never made it inside the theater with my camera, alas.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on March 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Yes welcome back Ed, I think you posted this photo here about 5 years ago (I am humbly hosting with your credit), it’s an important photo because the crates are numbered up to 43 in this view alone. I suspect that many of the hacked off details from the auditorium are in these crates. I saw a large makeshift enclosure where the fountain was – I assume these crates are inside.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on March 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

Ed, back from the dead… hey, that rhymes!