Corona Theatre

37-80 Junction Boulevard,
Corona, NY 11368

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 21, 2007 at 5:42 am

The Corona is featured in this week’s Queen Chronicle in the weekly series, “I Have Often Walked.” Writer Ron Marzlock reports that the theatre’s manager for many years was Robert Wanek (apparently as an employee of the Skouras circuit, which ran the Corona for most of its existence as a cinema). “With a lack of parking, few seats and just a single screen, the theater fared poorly against the popularity of television and folded in 1958,” Mazlock says. “In 1960, owners briefly reopend the place as Corona Lanes, then as Corona Bingo in the 1970s, which had a big following. As times changed, the venue could no longer support itself as a bingo hall and eventually became very successful to a whole new generation as ‘Young World.’” The full article can be found at www.queenschronicle.com, but the accompanying photo is so small that I have enlarged it here. The photo was taken in the summer of 1948, when the Corona was showing a double bill of “Give Me Regards to Broadway” & “Green Grass of Wyoming.” Both movies were nearing the end of their Greater New York runs, both of which started at the Roxy Theatre with support from stage shows. I believe that the Corona, like many of the lesser Skouras theatres, never had air-conidtioning, which would explain the absence of “comfortably cool” bammers on the marquee:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/corona1948.jpg

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 9, 2006 at 7:11 am

In December of 1959 there is a bowling alley located at 37-80 Junction Boulevard.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 9, 2006 at 4:14 am

In this view taken yesterday from the platform of the Junction Boulevard el station, you can see the south wall of what was once the Corona’s auditorium. The interior has been totally gutted for a department store with two floors, neither of which reveal anything that suggests the building’s original use as a cinema. But YoungWorld does have the same address of 37-80 Junction Boulevard:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/sscorona1.jpg
www.18.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/sscorona2.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 24, 2006 at 4:22 am

The Corona apparently continued operating for a time as an “indie” after being dropped by the Skouras circuit. I saw an individual ad for it in the LI Star-Journal of June 24, 1955, when it was showing “Underwater” & “Cattle Queen of Montana.” The same program was being presented that day at the Corona’s former Skouras siblings, the Grand, Broadway, Bayside, and Roosevelt.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 16, 2005 at 7:01 am

This 1927 image shows the Corona with its original signage as part of the S&S Circuit, which built many theatres in Brooklyn and Queens before selling out to William Fox circa 1928-29. Almost all of the S&S theatres ended up under Skouras or Randforce management after Fox’s bankruptcy. S&S stood for partners Small and Strausberg. The Strausberg family later returned to NYC-area exhibition with the formation of the Interboro Circuit.
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/sscorona.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 13, 2005 at 6:19 am

Exterior photos of the Corona, Hyperion, and Plaza Theatres can be seen in the new feature article about Corona at www.forgotten-ny.com

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 16, 2005 at 6:03 am

Here is a repeat of the photo that I mentioned in my post of 5/25/05. The trolley cars ran along Junction Boulevard/94th Street from just above Queens Boulevard nearly to LaGuardia Airport (Grand Central Parkway). At Corona Avenue, you could transfer to the trolley that ran between Ridgewood and Flushing:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/coronatheatre1948.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 25, 2005 at 10:53 am

A 1948 photo of the Corona Theatre’s marquee and vertical sign can be seen at www.queenspix.com The photo is numbered COR057.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 17, 2004 at 6:16 am

The Corona Theatre’s interior was gutted many years ago for retail space. The frontage on Junction Boulevard is unrecognizable as a theatre, but the rest of the original exterior and the roof can still be seen. The best views are from the platform of the Junction Boulevard elevated subway station for the #7 line.

br91975
br91975 on December 16, 2004 at 6:39 pm

The Corona Plaza page is @ /theaters/7131/

joemasher
joemasher on December 16, 2004 at 3:16 pm

The Movie Clock in today’s New York Posts lists “Theater Opens Dec 22” for the Corona Plaza. The auditoriums will probably be in the balcony.

Allen1931
Allen1931 on July 20, 2004 at 2:51 pm

I grew up in Corona & lived on 103rd St. The Plaza was on 103rd & Roosevelt. The Corona was on Junction Blvd just north of Roosevelt. The Granada was on Polk Ave.(now 37th Ave} between 102nd & 101st Streets. I attended all three. The Plaza was the priciest of the three. The pictures in the Corona came to the Granada a week later. At one time I lived on 102nd St. across from the Granada’s stage door. I was born in Corona & lived there until I was 19{1950}. The good memories of these 3 palaces never go away or diminish.

Orlando
Orlando on May 18, 2004 at 3:22 pm

Queens Theatre Management who operate(s)/(d) this theatre is partially to blame for this, in the Daily News listings which list it as “Closed for Renovations” the theatre is called Plaza Corona Theatre at the foot of the Corona Plaza station. The theatre’s front marquee neon read “Teatro” in a thin green script (where the LOEW’S name was) followed by PLAZA in the same red neon letters leftover from when LOEW’S letters were removed from the right in 1953. Has the marquee been removed or altered as of today?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 17, 2004 at 1:54 pm

The “lead” to this entry needs to be changed. It was written in the false belief that the Corona Theatre was the Loew’s Plaza Theatre. The Corona Theatre closed in the 1950s and was never twinned. It was a single floor theatre, with a stadium section of seats at the rear instead of a balcony. The Junction Boulevard address and seating capacity are correct.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on May 17, 2004 at 12:58 pm

I can’t find the Corona Plaza Theater at 103-14 Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens, on this site, so I will post links to images showing this theater here. These images are of the 103rd Street – Corona Plaza station on the # 7 IRT Flushing elevated line. Next, I will look for images of Junction Blvd. station on this line showing the Corona Theater at 37-80 Junction Blvd.(this page) :

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?12772
http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?8028
http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?8026

Theater appears at upper right. Look for the telltale water tower mounted on a slanted roof surmounting a brown brick wall.

Too bad the last stop on the 7 line is underground (Main Street). I’d love to be able to post a link to an image of RKO Keith’s in Flushing. Perhaps the Flushing Keith is visible from the platform of the Willetts Point – Shea Stadium station ! Perhaps it appears in an image of the nearby Flushing LIRR station !

DougDouglass
DougDouglass on May 2, 2004 at 1:57 pm

Estee Lauder grew up in Corona. Her A&E “Biography” showed a photo of the S&S Corona. The marquee read “Doug Mac Lean in LET IN RAIN”, a 1927 film.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 14, 2004 at 7:19 am

The confusion over these two theatres should be ended! There should be a separate listing for Loew’s Plaza, located at 103-12 Roosevelt Avenue. It was built by Loew’s and first opened as Loew’s Plaza on November 17, 1927, with a policy of vaudeville and a feature movie. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been known as anything but the Plaza. After Loew’s “divested” it as part of the anti-trust action against the circuit, it became Century’s Plaza. Century operated it until the area became a trouble spot. An “indie” later re-opened it as the Plaza, showing mainstream movies with Spanish subtitles. As mentioned in my comments above, the Corona was a different theatre entirely, located on Junction Boulevard and only half the size of the Plaza.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 26, 2004 at 10:30 am

The Corona Theatre on Junction Boulevard was built by Small & Strausberg, which operated under the name of the S&S Circuit. It was constructed simultaneously with another S&S theatre in Corona, the Granada, which was located on Polk Avenue (now 37th Avenue) at 44th Street. Both theatres opened within days of each other in February, 1927. Although the 1,750-seat Granada was the larger of the two, it was located in a mainly residential area and never did well, even with attempts at vaudville and wrestling/boxing matches. It was one of the first victims of home TV and closed in the early 1950s. It served as a factory/warehouse for many years and still stands. When I visited the site last summer, it seemed to be at least partially occupied by a local church/charity group, but it was closed at the time and I could find no one to answer questions. I’ve never been able to find photos of its interior and have always been curious. The name suggests that it might have been Spanish/Moorish decor. An elderly friend who attended the Granada as a youngster can only remember that it was of the stadium type, with a raised section of seats at the rear of the auditorium instead of a balcony…Up until the advent of television, the Corona always did well because of its location in the heart of Junction Boulevard shopping. But it was never more than subsequent run, showing the movies two weeks after Loew’s Plaza and RKO Keith’s Flushing, which were the leaders for that area…The S&S Circuit was one of many acquired by William Fox during the 1928-29 rampage that ended in his bankruptcy. In the re-organization that followed, all of the ex-S&S theatres, including the Corona and Granada, landed with Skouras Theatres, which ran them until their closure. I believe that the Corona lasted only a few years longer than the Granada. It was converted to retail and the exterior shell still stands.

LLEON7777
LLEON7777 on January 26, 2004 at 7:00 am

Just this weekend I saw a sign on the Corona Plaza marquee that a Walgreens will be coming there soon. – For months now there had been signs that the theater was under renovation and that 4 modern theaters will open – The Marquee will now have a Walgreeens Pharmacy sign – If this is true it means that the developers, community leaders and the City officials have misled the community claiming that the theater would be renovated while knowing all along that the theater was being replaced with MORE retail space. – A renovated theater that maintained some of the architecture would have been a great addition to this community and would have helped to spur more legitimate activity and more commerce for the other businesses in this plaza. If the theater is being replaced by retail space it will be a great blow to the community and to the architectural heritage of the City as a whole. – The people responsible for misleading the public should be held accountable –
A restored theater with modern amenities would have been economically viable- either for showing first run mainstream movies – or as a foreign film house showing Latin American films in addition to Chinese, South Asian and Eastern European films since this is a very diverse community and it’s easily accessible by train.

mp775
mp775 on December 11, 2003 at 4:15 pm

The Plaza is closed for renovation; when it reopens it will feature five modern theaters. The last films to play there apparently were The Matrix Revolutions, Elf, and The Cat in the Hat.

William
William on November 14, 2003 at 5:15 pm

The Corona Theatre’s address is 37-80 Junction Blvd., it seated 1180 people.

The Plaza Theatre’s address is 103-12 Roosevelt Ave., it seated
2151 people.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 7, 2003 at 11:42 pm

I believe the theater being described above is the Spanish language twin called The Plaza which is on Roosevelt Avenue and 103rd Street set back on Corona Plaza from the elevated tracks of the #7 IRT train line. It remains in current operation, showing the latest films either dubbed in Spanish or (more frequently) with Spanish subtitles.

The Corona Theater was on Junction Blvd just north of Roosevelt Avenue a station or two west of Corona Plaza on the #7 train. When I was a kid growing up in Elmhurst/Corona in the early ‘70’s, The Corona Theater had been converted into a Bingo Hall for several years already. A similar situation for the RKO Keith’s Theater in Richmond Hill (not to be confused with the controversial and long dormant RKO Keith’s on Northern Blvd in Flushing).

Currently, the lobby area of The Corona has been converted to retail space. However, the setback hulk of the auditorium is still visible from a passing train on the nearby elevated tracks.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 14, 2003 at 9:03 pm

The Corona Theater is not the same as the now-Spanish language Plaza. The Corona was located on Junction Blvd just north of Roosevelt Avenue. When I was a boy growing up a just a few blocks away from this theater in the early ‘70’s, the theater was used as a bingo hall. The shell of the building is still clearly identifiable from the elevated train platform on Roosevelt, but the marquee is long gone and the former entrance converted to retail space.

The Plaza, is located on Roosevelt Avenue and 103rd street (about 10 blocks east of The Corona), and is so named because it is set back from Roosevelt on a small concrete plaza. It was twinned sometime in the ‘80’s.

philipgoldberg
philipgoldberg on November 13, 2002 at 11:22 am

I believe that this theater is called The Plaza and used to show Spanish language movies. It now screens American movies with Spanish subtitles.