Jackson Heights Cinema

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

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Showing 26 - 50 of 129 comments

stephenalexvasquez
stephenalexvasquez on May 20, 2010 at 10:06 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 16, 2010 at 2:33 am

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 9:00 pm

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

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on May 1, 2010 at 4:34 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

Nooshig
Nooshig on January 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

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

fred1
fred1 on January 21, 2010 at 9:59 am

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

fred1
fred1 on January 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

The Colony operated under the Brant’s banner

Movieguy718
Movieguy718 on January 21, 2010 at 3:19 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 15, 2010 at 12:33 am

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 11:37 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 10, 2009 at 1:31 am

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 2:30 pm

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 2:07 pm

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 1:29 pm

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 6:21 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 3:24 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 1:36 pm

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 12:57 pm

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 6, 2009 at 12:25 am

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 6:10 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 10:39 am

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

View link

trinity
trinity on April 5, 2009 at 7:03 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
mp775 on March 25, 2008 at 11:21 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
NativeForestHiller on March 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Can someone please post a photo with a workable link?

IRONY
IRONY on February 6, 2008 at 12:56 am

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