Jackson Heights Cinema

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

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Showing 26 - 50 of 121 comments

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Here is a back view showing the loft space.

Bway on April 27, 2009 at 7:39 am

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

View link

trinity on April 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

OMG!!!! Ignorance is not dead!!Have YOU all forgotten that the very city YOU live in was built by immigrants. People who have sacrificed time and family for less than what YOU make. Immigrants are in fact the backbone of this country. And yet they are subjected to prejudice and humiliation DAILY. If a community, any community wants to give something to OUR NON ENGLISH speaking neighbors than DEAL. They deserve something.After all they work hard for a little entertainment. Those of you who live in the Jackson Heights area, know of the 74 st station Hop on the freakin E to 71 Forest Hills (15min ride) walk 7 mins to any of the 2 theaters there. Or visit Barnes and Noble an educate yourselves, a book perhaps written by an immigrant. it is Your mentality that may intimidate some immigrants to pursue an English education. Or rather stop being so CHEAP and cough up the 11.00 dollars like everyone else and go to another theater. Oh an I speak 3 languages and still enjoy a subtitled film. TOO Bad there isn’t enough theaters like Jackson Triplex

mp775 on March 25, 2008 at 8:21 am

The Jackson is visible in this 2004 photo. The Passion of the Christ, Scooby Doo 2, Kill Bill, and The Alamo are playing. Judging from the order of the words on the marquee, it appears that not everything is subtitled in Spanish.

NativeForestHiller on March 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Can someone please post a photo with a workable link?

IRONY on February 5, 2008 at 9:56 pm

thanks for the picture, i always imagine that it could look like that…

Bway on January 27, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Wow,that photo shows how beautiful this theater was. It may be a diamond in the rough, but hopefully one day it can be restored. At least it is still operating as a theater, and not gutted like so many other theaters.
How is it triplexed? One theater downstairs, and the balcony divided in two?

IRONY on January 26, 2008 at 11:31 am

hello, I just became a member because I wanted to find out about this theater that’s been haunting my curiosity for quite some time now, not because the movies they show, but because of the architectural details that you could appreciated around the stage or screen whatever you want to call it, and around the columns and at the top of the dome, but cannot at the same time because of the poor managment in taking care of the theater,they recently change the seats by I hope the will never destroy the main theater, just by walking in, it is like going back in time, and all I find it’s a disscution about subtitles and language, in a way I’m pleased because I found the information that I was looking for, but I feel sad, because the discussion about the ethnicity of the theater, I’m hispanic, and when I go to the theater don’t pay attention to the subtitles, but I do take my time staring at the sorroundings.
My daughter whos 13 would like to add a comment…
hello i believe that the theater is an amazing structure. I as well believe that you are all arguing for the wrong reason, about subtitles and language choice in the theater. The top of the dome in the main center theater is astonishing. The architectual detail inside the theater in general is beautiful and i just hate to see the condition it is presently in. The Jackson Heights community is not aware of this beautiful Queens monument that we have today. They just treat it like a low quality theater.

MarkieS on September 8, 2007 at 9:38 pm

I just don’t get people who don’t go to foreign films because they “can’t handle ” the subtitles. If you would just try it you would see that after the first few minutes, you don’t even realize you’re reading anymore. My favorite film this year is La Vie En Rose, which is in French with English subtitles. I guess I’m completely floored because I’ve been going to see so many great films for more than 30 years which are in foreign languages. Bergman, Fellini, Kurasawa; God, I can’t imagine missing these great films because I stubbornly refuse to make a slight effort and read subtitles(which by the way are far preferable to dubbing). I also happen to live in Jackson Heights, just a few blocks from The Jackson. Just as reading subtitles doesn’t bother me, NOT reading them doesn’t bother me either!

Bway on December 6, 2006 at 5:56 am

Wow, that’s a nice photo, the theater looks so out of place there!

RobertR on October 9, 2006 at 12:58 pm

If the Diaz brothers really wanted to stay in the business they could take back the Plaza, multi-plex the balcony like the Coliseum in Manhattan and even take over the Polk.

Bway on October 9, 2006 at 5:08 am

The truth is, a theater has to do whatever it can to survive. It’s certainly better being alive as a Spanish movie Theater, than gutted up and turned into another CVS store.

LuisV on September 26, 2006 at 11:10 am

I have to admit, though I said above that subtitling is no big deal, I now remember that it was an acquired taste. Way back when, I didn’t see subtitled movies because I found them annoying, but over the years I realized that I was missing out on incredible films and so I began to watch and got accustomed to it. Now, I don’t have any problem at all with them.

I think what also helped was that I had subscriptions for many years at NYC Opera and The Metropolitan Opera. The only reason I got the tickets was because I could read the subtitles. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea what was going on. I know that the purists still complain about the intrusion, but if it weren’t for the titles I would never have gone at all. I think that is the lesson here at the Jackson. It probably is the reason that this theater is still open. Without subtitles, many of the local population who now go wouldn’t.