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Everyone, please read my public appeal for the Ridgewood Theatre, where I am seeking an art-related tenant. This was composed voluntarily, as a director on the board of Queens Preservation Council:
Thank you for your verification, BrooklynJim. It’s a shame the management didn’t market the theater correctly, especially around the 90th anniversary season.
A great assessment, Bway! I couldn’t agree with you more. The Ridgewood Theatre needs a sensitive tenant/tenants, and an architect with a vision to respect its history while moving into the future. It has been accomplished in various states, and there’s no reason why the same can’t be accomplished here. I am working on finding an art-related tenant, as part of my Queens Preservation Council role. If anyone knows of someone, please don’t hesitate to contact me at
BrooklynJim, have you spoken with the owner who was in place since last year? Please share the background info on item #1.
Great point, Bway!
On the marquee, the owner posted a banner stating “retail space available.” Even though it would be great retaining all the screens for movies, I speculate the owner feels it’s not profitable enough. Therefore, live theater or reuse by an art group is pretty ideal. I understand how you feel. The bottom line is that anything is better than a typical retail establishment to inhabit the theater, and alter it further. Some architectural details are visible to the eye, and some are obscured awaiting restoration. We need to find a respectful tenant or two.
Vito, clever reuse for the marquee letters!
A restored and adaptively reused theater can improve the value of a neighborhood, and lead to urban renewal in a positive context. It has been proven through & through across America. It only needs someone with a historically-sensitive & creative vision.
The most up to date website is http://www.kewgardenstheatre.com
Thank you very much! Will do either tonight or tomorrow.
Thank you both for your wishes! Considering its endangerment, a most ideal scenario economically would be film screenings on the upper floors, and utilizing the 2 ground floor theaters for live theater or a related arts group. I feel the future will be somewhat positive or very positive.
And an additional favor, Warren: I came across quite a few great links throughout this thread. However, they were inaccessible. Can you please resend valid links, or send the documents to my e-mail? I would be happy to give you credit as part of my research.
Hi Warren, I visited the Performing Arts Library, and found what I was looking for on the Midway Theatre. Thanks for your tips on that!
Please let me ask you for another favor. What publication are the 2 links you posted above from? A full-image with a decent resolution would be extremely useful for my research. Post or e-mail
I am assisting owner Tony Montalbano, and hoping to find a theater/art group who would be interested in leasing the 2 ground floor theaters. Please network the idea with trustworthy contacts. I need all the help I can get, and would appreciate your help. That is HOW EVERYONE CAN HELP WIN this effort. You heard right! My e-mail is
Panzer65 wrote “It should either be saved and restored to a historic performing arts and film venue….” I’ll take that part of your suggestion anytime. May the majority of citizens on this forum & in Ridgewood win out. Know of anyone who’s interested?
For all you Ridgewood Theatre fans, here is a press round-up.
Also, pick up a copy of the Forum West newspaper, for another great article. It is not available online currently. Please share your thoughts, concerns, & comments.
Each community has its own type of residents, and their interests should be surveyed. I don’t feel that one performing arts center per community is too much.
Thanks, Movie534! Performing arts is the way to go! I don’t live in SI, but do take an interest in this theater. Its facade is highly appealing. The people should be the individuals to seek preservation-friendly owners with a vision. Otherwise, these gems will most likely go to pot in the name of progress in a negative sense.
Does anyone have any updates?
It’s a shame you were unable to experience a screening in this historic theater, but perhaps you will if we’re successful in reopening it. It’s forthcoming to know of a developing strong arts community in Bushwick. Thank you very much for providing the link, and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate your help very much, and I will reach out.
RKO Keith’s is now put up for sale once again by developer Boymelgreen. It would be best trying to find an organization who’s faithful for its history to acquire the site, and not abide by the aesthetically displeasing glass curtain facade concept with demolition of a majority of the theater. Any ideas?
Sad how a promised restoration of one of Queens' most historic theaters now symbolizes a McMansion with artificial stucco known as “dryvit.” Kudos for retaining the sign, and the balustrades and ornamentation near the roof though.
Great links, Warren!
Queens Chronicle, Ridgewood Theatre Closes Its Curtain After 91 Years:
I don’t know of any vintage interior shots, unfortunately. This is the only bit of press coverage thus far:
A press release was circulated to some newspapers, similar to the link on the homepage: http://cinematreasures.org/news/18787_0_1_0_C/
Some additional newspapers have expressed interest, so keep checking the weeklies. I will post direct links as they come.
Four performing arts-related non-profits have expressed interest in leasing the property, and we are in communication. They may want to lease the space with AL, and partner up. Still, words need to be put into actions quite frankly, in order to spare this gem of a theater from being converted into retail. My question then becomes: Can everyone PLEASE try to think of some more parties I can reach out to, that may be interested in leasing some of the screens? We need to think ASAP. Thanks! Feel free to e-mail me at
It is unfortunate that the Forest Hills Theatre was gutted for a typical Duane Reade and Staples, but I am thankful that the facade is still present for passersby and theater buffs to cherish. I recall seeing many movies in that theater growing up, and remember marveling over its architecture even at a young age. The marble staircase was great. Here’s a link I came across for all of you to enjoy. It contains a brief history, a photo, and interesting information on its organ installation: