Jackson Heights Cinema

40-31 82nd Street,
Jackson Heights, NY 11373

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Showing 26 - 50 of 162 comments

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on May 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

I am elated to hear the news of the Jackson Triplex’s new lease on life. I am from the Four Borough Preservation Alliance, Queens Preservation Council, and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, and I have a vast interest in Queens preservation; particularly theaters. My research and advocacy by establishing Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre led to its Individual Landmark status on Jan 12, 2010. I am willing to accomplish the same for the Jackson Theatre, by submitting an RFE form and accompanying research (including primary sources) to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (City agency), and help the owner acquire grants through the State & National Register of Historic Places and NY Landmarks Conservancy (non-profit), for example.

I sent you a detailed e-mail around 2 weeks ago, concerning the Jackson Theatre and Eagle/Earle Theatre. Please add to your safe contacts list. It may have ended up in spam. We are both young advocates with similar interests, and should correspond with each other and meet with the new operator of the Jackson Theatre. Please post a comment on this forum as well as send me an e-mail, and we will test if it’s being transmitted successfully.

stephenalexvasquez
stephenalexvasquez on May 20, 2010 at 7:06 am

The theater has reopened!

I received a phone call last night from a friend in Jackson Heights, she told me that the Triplex was open, under new management and a lease renewal. I immediately made my way to the theater to greet the owners. Upon arriving I noticed a camera crew interviewing the new owner of the theater, a middle aged Indian man. I approached one of them and expressed my appreciation for their vested interest in trying to restore the theater. He said it was an arduous undertaking, but they renewed the lease for five more years and they are working on making it a landmark. Wink

Reparations and renovations are already underway, (they’ve added carpeting and painted the walls in the lobby) and the theater will have it’s “official opening” this Saturday. I thought this would be of interest to everyone on the forum.

On another note, I am working in conjunction with owner’s son to premiere my film at the theater, we are planning on having a red carpet screening (he’s even willing to close the theater down just for this event). It would be great to have support from the community for this, as it is probably the first time something like this is attempted at the theater. We are thinking June 18.

This has been a childhood dream of mine and now its come true. I get a second chance at screening my first feature film in the theater that cultivated my love for film in the first place.

The name of the film is ‘The Electro Wars'
You can find more information on it here: www.theelectrowars.com

View link
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I grew up in Jackson Heights my whole life, I am now 26 years old, and I am still very fond of the neighborhood. The subject matter in the film appeals to a younger demographic, and it has the support from many of them in the community, it would be a great event to bring publicity to the theater, give it a second life. I am actually screening a preview of the film in Amsterdam tomorrow and then in Vegas next week, but there has not been a NYC screening as of yet.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on May 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

What will the theater reopen as? A movie theater developed with creativity with community spaces could foster jobs. A revitalized theater that respects the historic ornate craftsmanship is what Jackson Heights and all of Queens needs. Please let us know, so we can contribute in any way possible. I am aware of funding sources. Thank you!

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on May 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

The Jackson will reopen within the next 2 weeks……….

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on May 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Hi Everyone! Any updates on the Jackson Theatre? It must be creatively and adaptively reused, and preserved by a party who thinks “outside of the box” and values community, before it’s too late. Please post here and e-mail

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

The Colony has its own CT listing here. Although the introduction claims no information is available, there is considerable in the postings that follow it: /theaters/4025/

Nooshig
Nooshig on January 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

Yes, that sounds familiar. There was one on either side on Roosevelt on 82nd right?

fred1
fred1 on January 21, 2010 at 6:59 am

You are right tinseltoes. I had to recall my memories of youth

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 21, 2010 at 6:51 am

The company was named after the Brandt (not Brant) family. The foremost executives were brothers Harry and William Brandt. Both were leaders in defending the rights of “independent” exhibitors against the “Big Five” monopoly that was eventually broken up by the Federal Government.

fred1
fred1 on January 21, 2010 at 4:30 am

The Colony operated under the Brant’s banner

Movieguy718
Movieguy718 on January 21, 2010 at 12:19 am

There was another theater in Jackson Hts (NOT the Corona Plaza) up until at least the late 80’s. Anybody know what it was called?

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on January 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I am unsure of the real estate price on leasing a theater such as the Jackson Triplex. I would need to do more research. I also suggest contacting the Jackson Heights Beautification Group to find out more specifics, and they will refer you to the necessary party/parties: http://www.jhbg.org/

What do you plan on using the theater for? A combination of films and performing arts?

For the long-term success of the theater, and its state of preservation and feasibility, I recommend consistently keeping in touch with experienced preservation non-profits including the Historic Districts Council, www.hdc.org (Exec. Dir. Simeon Bankoff), NY Landmarks Conservancy (Pres. Peg Breen or Community Outreach Manager Andrea Goldwyn, or Program Coordinator Karen Ansis), Four Borough Preservation Alliance (I am Queens VP of the Corp, and Raul Rothblatt is the Exec. Dir), National Trust For Historic Preservation, Theatre Historical Society of America (Pres. Karen Noonan, NYC Regional Rep Orlando Lopes). The NY Landmarks Conservancy has a number of grant programs for the facade and interior, which property owners can utilize at the Conservancy’s discretion: http://www.nylandmarks.org/ One such funding program that we should explore is the Queens Historic Properties Fund: View link

Another superb idea is as follows. If the property is proposed for the NY State Historic Preservation Office’s “State & Nat'l Register of Historic Places,” and is deemed eligible for listing by a professional SHPO regional surveyor, it would be your option to support it, and apply for tax credits &/or matching grants, which would be advantageous in restoring the facade and interior features, and upgrading the theater’s technical aspects, while respecting its overall historic integrity. You would likely save significant pocket money. It would also grant historic recognition. The website which includes links to various options is as follows. This link includes the nomination forms that can be downloaded: View link In this case, the SHPO regional representative is Virginia Bartos: .ny.us & (518) 237-8643 ext. 3256.

The League of Historic American Theatres can connect theater owners to rehabilitation experts, with a yearly membership: http://www.lhat.org/programs_services.asp The LHAT’s Exec. Dir. Fran Holden can be reached at (410) 659-9533 &

In the long run, significant pocket money can also be saved by seeking truly passionate volunteers to perform necessary work. Great models of success are:

A. Loew’s Jersey: http://www.loewsjersey.org/restore/index.php (Best example)
B. Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda: http://www.rivieratheatre.org/ (History link has success story)
C. Landmark Theatre in Syracuse: http://landmarktheatre.org/history.html
D. Capitol Theatre Center For Performing Arts in Rome, NY: http://www.romecapitol.com/restoration.html

If you would like to introduce an artistic platform to the theatre i.e. a performing arts space (besides the film aspect), then consulting with the Queens Council on the Arts may be advantageous. They mention related programs that may also be beneficial: http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on all of the above, as well as learning more about your vision. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at

Nooshig
Nooshig on January 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Out of curiosity, how much might it cost to rent or lease a theater like this? What would operating costs be like on a daily or monthly basis, initial renovations aside of course. I haven’t been to this theater in about 2 years and I know it could use some elbow grease to buff it up. I’d love to start a small business in the next year or so and have had many a daydream about a small theater like this one. I’ve lived in Jackson Heights all my life and would love to stay in my own backyard.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on December 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm

As part of a preservation and revitalize campaign, can some of my fellow theater enthusiasts assist me? I would appreciate high-quality exterior and interior photos, which illustrate the Italian Renaissance style of the Jackson Triplex, and Art Deco style of the Eagle/Earle Theatre. Photos of the streetscape which show them as a central unit of a commercial complex, and wide-angles and details of the facades would be great, as I’d like to feature them on flickr and give you credit.

Also, any historic photos and newspaper clippings, which would strengthen our preservation cause, would be much-appreciated. Please e-mail me at

Thank you,
Michael Perlman
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair

fred1
fred1 on November 19, 2009 at 11:30 am

I think most of the inteiror is still intect .The triplexing was done with minimun costs. The ceiling is glorious to to behold

LuisV
LuisV on November 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

Hi Bway, I’ve seen photos posted on this page and they were pretty amazing. I don’t know if the links still work, but other comments above implied that most of the interior was still there. I’m acutally busy at work righ now and don’t have the time to investigate, but I intend to. :–)

Bway
Bway on November 19, 2009 at 10:29 am

I don’t believe so. The Ridgewood was pretty ornate on the inside. Granted a lot was lost over the years inside in the Ridgewood, but a lot remains too. but what remains inside of the Jackson? Any interior photos (current or recent)?

LuisV
LuisV on November 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Isn’t this theater much more adorned and architecturally significant than the Ridgewood? Certainly it is on the inside. The danger, of course, is the familiar “economic hardship” that the owner can claim. This would be an incredible shame to lose this beautiful theater.

Bway
Bway on November 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm

The writing seemed to be on the wall for this theater….the same owners also operated the Ridgewood Theater, which closed a little over a year ago too.

LuisV
LuisV on November 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

This article appeared in today’s Daily News:

What’s left of the Eagle Theater’s once majestic marquee is rusting. Signs on the Jackson Triplex advertise films the movie house will never show.

Both of the small Jackson Heights movie theaters have closed within the last six months due to financial problems. And though many locals mourn the loss of cinemas in the neighborhood, others see it as a golden opportunity.

“It has awakened a sleeping giant in our community,” said Edwin Westley, president of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group. “It presents a new opportunity for us to improve the quality of life with a quality, world-class movie house.”

Westley said he wasn’t too disappointed when the theaters closed because they had fallen into disrepair. He would like to see an independent movie theater open in the neighborhood and he’s working with other community members to make it happen.

Several theater operators have expressed interest in opening a new movie house at the site of the Triplex, sources told the Daily News.

The disappearance of small movie houses isn’t a new phenomenon in Jackson Heights. The Polk Theatre on 37th Ave., which showed adult films, closed in 2006.

But the latest losses were devastating for fans of the Jackson Heights Film and Food Festival. The film portion of the fourth annual festival was supposed to have been at the Eagle, said festival founder Bryan Pu-Folkes. When the Eagle went dark, the festival switched the venue to the Triplex, he said.

Several days before the festival, organizers learned the Triplex was also to be shuttered, Pu-Folkes said. It closed Oct. 20.

“It’s very sad and disheartening that we don’t have a theater in the neighborhood,” he said.

But bringing one in is no easy task, said Edward Summer, chairman of the New York State Movie Theatre Corridor, which tries to preserve historic theaters.

It can be extremely difficult for small movie houses to compete with DVD sales and the typically more profitable multiplexes, he said.

These were problems for the Eagle, which was built in 1939, according to the Web site PropertyShark.com.

At one point, it showed pornographic films before specializing in Bollywood films more than a decade ago.

But the cinema was unable to survive the lethal mix of a Bollywood strike in India in April and the renewal of its lease, said former projectionist Amier Khan. The Eagle’s rent was set to more than quadruple, said property manager Judson Ain.

“There were no movies coming out anywhere,” Khan said. “We were losing business.”

The 85-year-old Triplex also struggled to stay afloat, said property broker Suraj (Sonny) Advaney.

It couldn’t compete with the multiplexes, Advaney said, and the owners were unable to pay rent and real estate taxes.

Since the Triplex closed, he has been approached by other cinema operators about the location, he said.


Does anyone have any other information to add about this theater and its future?

br91975
br91975 on November 9, 2009 at 9:57 am

Per the Jackson Triplex closing, I’ve noticed more sheriff-enforced eviction notices plastered on business doors around the city lately; literally signs of the times, from both sides…

ajcp78
ajcp78 on August 5, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Just went there to see Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince. You walk in, make a left, and there are three small theaters. Very interesting theater in that it looks very old-fashioned. It’s clean but needs some work, as some of the seats are pretty beat up. The ticket stands are still the original ones I think! There is a small concession. It’s funny how there were only 8 of us on the theater…ahhh the wonders of the declining American economy.

Michael D. Jackson
Michael D. Jackson on May 3, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Here is the Jackson Triplex today, May 3, 2009, playing first run movies, though the marquee and entrance is in horrible repair.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeldj/3498753524/

Here is a back view showing the loft space.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeldj/3498753492/

Bway
Bway on April 27, 2009 at 7:39 am

Here’s a fairly recent street view of the Jackson:

View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 17, 2009 at 9:30 am

Here is the Jackson in 1987.