Elmwood Theatre

57-02 Hoffman Drive,
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Unfavorite 23 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 242 comments

Bway on April 6, 2009 at 7:29 am

Has anyone been inside the “church” to see what the interior of the theater looks like now?

Bway on November 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm

I noticed the same thing. I drove by the Elmwood about 3 weeks ago. The loss of the terra cotta is a travesty, but at least the building does remain, I guess it could have been worse.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 1, 2008 at 7:30 am

While driving by the other day, I noticed that the front entrance on Hoffman Drive has finally been re-opened, though work continues on the re-designing of what remains of the marquee.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 31, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I still can’t believe all that beautiful terra cotta work is gone. Native’s comparison to the many McMansions that are going up all over Queens is spot on. I guess at this point we just have to accept the fact that this is the direction the church chose to go with the exterior – ill advised and regrettable as that choice may have been – and remain thankful that they are attempting to restore the interior to something resembling its original splendor. This entire structure could have been quite easily sold and gutted – or even demolished for re-development.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 28, 2008 at 11:14 am

Here are two ultra-rare images from a brochure published in 1928 by Wirth and Hamid, the company that built and first operated the Queensboro. W&H was best known at the time for its extensive interests in Altantic City, including the Steel Pier. The turret at the right side of the stage survives. A similar turret at the left side of the stage was destroyed in the multiplexing of the Elmwood Theatre, but efforts are being made to replace it in the ongoing renovations by the Rock Church:
View link
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 12, 2008 at 7:28 am

This is still very much a renovation-in-progress. Here’s an exterior photo taken yesterday (5/11/08): View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 12, 2008 at 8:42 am

A new direct link to a 1946 image showing the recently opened Elmwood Theatre’s marquee and modernized entrance. The boxoffice had been moved to the sidewalk from the lobby. Entrance doors and poster cases were of burnished aluminum. The surrounding walls were decorated with blue mosaic tiles and a smattering of other colors for design effects:
View link
This image shows newspaper coverage of the theatre’s grand opening as the Queensboro in 1928. The framework holding the marquee in place was later used for the Elmwood replacement:
View link

Bway on March 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Lets hope we have more luck with the Ridgewood Theater.

NativeForestHiller on March 28, 2008 at 9:36 pm

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!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 26, 2008 at 7:02 am

These are new direct links to images that I posted above on 7/10/05:
View link
View link

ferjll on February 21, 2008 at 11:34 am

The sign works fine now the R now looks like an R i took those pictures the first day they were testing them. + the main entrance is almost done.

new pictures

View link
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 26, 2007 at 6:30 am

The letters in “ELMWOOD” had all the neon tubing removed long ago, so I doubt that it will be restored. Also, some of the individual letters have breaks in them. I would guess that at most, the church will repair them and perhaps treat them all to a new paint job to protect them from corrosion…And thanks, Fernando, for those pictures, which save me a trip to take some. It’s comforting to see a holy cross hovering over the so-called “Boulevard of Death.”

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 26, 2007 at 5:59 am

They’ll have to fix the “R” in Rock Church. It doesn’t seem to illuminate fully and looks like “Pock Church” in the long shot. I hope the “ELMWOOD” lettering will remain – even if they don’t decide to restore illumination. Should I be encouraged by the fact that the original letters are still up there or discouraged that the clashing font and color of the new signage might spell doom for the original?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 25, 2007 at 7:50 pm

That’s some good news. I’m delighted that the sigh will be retained – even if somewhat altered. I’m hoping the new lettering will be in keeping with the overall design of the original sign.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 25, 2007 at 1:29 pm

The roof sign is in the process of being renovated. “Elmwood” remains at the top, but two more rows of lettering of equal size (but different style) are being added below that. When I passed by earlier today, the sunlight happened to be so dazzling that it was reflecting off the new lettering and making it impossible to read, but I assume that it gives the name of the church. I hope to return soon with camera to verify.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 6, 2007 at 5:07 pm

No, it won’t be breathtaking.

I hope the building serves your purposes well. But your group really messed it up.

Bway on November 6, 2007 at 4:03 pm

I am not doubting any of the above, but God could have done that behind the once beautiful terra-cotta facsade too….

carolinad on November 5, 2007 at 6:01 am

just wait until its done ,it will be breathtaking ,and you guys will be overwhelmed …it is going to be amazing …a place not only of entertainment but where the broken can be healed ,lives restore and helped, it will be just a glimpse of God’s goodness ,he repairs teh broken ruins and fragmented ,naturally and spritually and makes them his work of art …

just wait and see .
darls c

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 28, 2007 at 11:18 am

Thanks, Warren. However much we might disagree with the unfortunate choices made in the renovation of the Elmwood’s exterior, the Rock Church is to be commended for its efforts in restoring the interior of the old theatre – not only in terms of architectural preservation but of functionality as well.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 27, 2007 at 7:47 am

Stage shows have returned to the former Queensboro/Elmwood, with free performances being given this weekend:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm

The parcel of land between Hoffman Drive and Queens Boulevard that was once occupied by a Mobil gasoline station is now vacant and surrounded by wire fencing. I wonder if something will be built there? If tall enough, it would obscure views of the Rock Church.

Bway on October 9, 2007 at 11:49 am

Ugh!!! They took off the marquee too! It looked so good on there with their Rock Church sign!
How did we go from this beautiful sight to what they did to it now….

NativeForestHiller on October 9, 2007 at 10:25 am

Thanks for sharing the photos and your memories, but it’s unbelievable what was done and how they lied to the community.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 9, 2007 at 9:00 am

Here are three photos that I snapped yesterday. The main entrance still looks a long way from being re-opened, but the bulk of the marquee has apparently been removed. In the second photo taken on 57th Avenue, the reddish brown door was the entrance for stage perfomers. When I was a child and the Queensboro presented plays, I often stood outside that door and collected autographs, including those of Gloria Swanson, Zasu Pitts, and Ruth Chatterton. The boarded up portion at the right of the photo covers the former loading entrance for scenery and props. In the third photo, the roof sign appears to have at least two broken spots, at the bottom of the “L” and at the top of the second “O.” The neon tubing in the letters was long ago removed.