Kew Gardens Cinemas

81-05 Lefferts Boulevard,
Kew Gardens, NY 11415

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Showing 26 - 50 of 112 comments

johndereszewski on November 26, 2010 at 12:33 am

Just came back from seeing “The Social Network” at this great old movie house. It is always a pleasure going there.

With regard to accessing the place from the Union Turnpike station, you can also board the Q-10 bus, which begins its run just below the station’s southeastern entrance at Kew Gardens Road. It’s less than a five minute ride, serves as a free MetroCard transfer and stops very close to the theater. But even if a bus is not available, it is only a pretty short walk to the Kew Gardens

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on June 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Up Kew Gardens Road about 4 blocks to Lefferts Blvd, make a right, go one block to Austin Street and Presto….Kew Gardens Cinema! Even closer if you take the LIRR to the Kew Gardens Station: Once off the train, make a left up the street to Lefferts Blvd then make another left and at the end of the block on the right hand side is the theater.

MarkieS on June 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Went there last night and loved it. However, I take the subway to the Union Turnpike station and if you don’t know the neighborhood, it can be very very confusing finding the theater. I kept getting turned around and asking for directions. I’m sure once I make a few trips and recognize certain landmarks, I’ll find it much easier.

johndereszewski on March 6, 2010 at 1:04 am

Luis, thanks so much for informing us of Time Out New York’s very deserving designation. As a frequent patron of this theater, I can easily verify that the designation is definitely deserved. I hope you – and many other viewers – will soon visit this place and share the wonderful experience that the Kew Gardens provides.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on March 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Time Out New York just named the Kew Gardens Cinema as one of New York’s best movie theaters!!!
Not bad for an outer borough former porno house! Though I grew up in South Ozone Park and lived in Kew Gardens for several years, I have never been to this gem. (Since it was a porno theater at the time) Someday soon, I will make the journey from Manhattan to see a film here to experience it for myself.

Lauren75 on March 5, 2010 at 5:58 am

My grandma lived in Kew Gardens and worked at the Austin ticket counter when it was a XXX theatre. I was a little girl at the time but when I got older, she told me some amusing (and revolting) stories! It seems to have changed a lot since then, but I’m glad it still exists. :)

johndereszewski on November 26, 2009 at 1:16 am

What a wonderful shot! You can really feel the cold. And the old AUSTIN letters can still br viewed in the side lobby!

johndereszewski on September 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I just took a closer look at the picture RobertR posted in April. The fact that the old awning covered the entire narrow sidewalk and almost seemed to protrude over the roadway clearly underlines the hazard it posed to truck traffic on this busy and winding street. It’s thus not at all surprising that it had to be replaced with today’s more modest structure. Anyhow, the old “AUSTIN” sign still exists in the theaters side lounge.

It was also nice to see one of the old light Queens street signs.

johndereszewski on June 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Michael, I’m glad you had such a great experience at the Kew Gardens. As an occasional patron of this place, my experience has been that it usually draws a lot of business. My guess is that you probably saw a film that was near the end of its run.

Michael D. Jackson
Michael D. Jackson on May 9, 2009 at 3:52 am

I just treked out to Kew Gardens to see the old theater and it was a great experience. The area is like a cute old fashioned small town main street and the theater, though broken up into many screens, is a comfortable place to be. The lobby is long and big with the old murals in place and decorated throughout with old movie posters, framed movie fan magazines and such. However, I was one of 5 people in the big theater on a Friday night for the seven o'clock show. I hope this isn’t the usual case these days because it’s a great place to see a movie.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on April 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I passed by the front of the Kew Gardens Cinema yesterday evening and looked through the windows and thought “What a cute theater this is!” While I live in Manhattan, I am going to have to make a special effort to see a film here some day.

Which screen actually contains the original proscenium, if any?

PeterKoch on February 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Good article, Warren. Thanks. If I were still single and living in Ridgewood, Queens, I, too, would probably be walking four miles or more to the Kew Gardens Cinemas to regularly see exceptional films there.

As opposed to exploding fireball movies at the Midway and Brandon Cinemas in downtown Forest Hills.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on February 1, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I also found the comment about Leffert Blvd widening very interesting. Even today, the Q-10 bus has to do a wide turn from Austin Street to be able to turn onto Lefferts. I can see where a wider sidewalk would have been a major problem.

johndereszewski on February 1, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Very interesting comment b'klyn. The explanation for the replacement of marquees seems very plausable. I did not realize how narrow the sidewalk is and will pay special to this on my next visit.

Luis, you should definitely check out this wonderful theatre. A week ago Friday my wife and I saw The Wrestler here and had a great time.

I enjoyed viewing the web site and am trying to link it. Hope it works. Even if it doesn’t, it’s definitely worth accessing.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on February 1, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I passed by the Kew Gardens Cinema yesterday and I saw a wonderful site! There was a line around the corner and onto Austin Street to get into the theater for the first showings around 12:30. I don’t live in the area, though I own an apartment which I sublet and therefore brings me to the neighborhood periodically. I really would love to someday see a film at this theater. When I was growing up and lived in the area in the 70’s this theater was a porno house and I never saw a line to get in though I am told it did pretty good business. Thank goodness for the VCR/DVD.

To the comments above about safety, let me add that this area has always been one of the safest in the city. That is what was truly shocking about the Kitty Genovese murder. That it could happen here scared everyone, no matter where they lived. Kew Gardens always has been and continues to be a very safe place to live and visit.

harveyelgart on February 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm

go on line to to check out the website and see the original photo of the theatre in the thirties. the outside was not changed at all except the marquee. years ago they widened lefferts blvd. and shortened the sidewalk. the delivery trucks constantly backed into and damaged the oversized marquee. it had to be modified. the facade was recoated with fresh gray finish to duplicate the original concrete exterior. it looks even better than the original which had no punch.

PeterKoch on December 15, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Both good comments, John D. Thanks !

johndereszewski on December 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

Correction. It was Slumdog – not Slumlord – Millionaire that I viewed at this great theater yesterday. (Hopefully, the protagonist will not turn into a slumlord after reaping the profits from the game show – but that is the plot of another – and far more depressing – sequel.)

In any event, long live the Kew Gardens!

johndereszewski on December 13, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Spent a great evening yesterday enjoying Slumlord Millionaire at this lovely theater. While waiting for the flick, I caught a few minutes of Gone With the Wind which was being telecast in the lounge. This movie house remains a real treasure!

PeterKoch on November 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm

That’s good, John D. Thanks for you answer.

johndereszewski on November 22, 2008 at 12:38 am

No Peter K, there was no porn to be seen. I think I did see scenes from All About Eve though!

PeterKoch on November 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm

That’s good to know, John D. Saving the old marquee would have been good. As it is, the facade of the Kew Gardens Cinema is so inconspicuous, and so un-theatre like, that you could almost pass by it, and not know there was a theatre there at all. That’s my only gripe about it.

Hopefully, those tapes of old movies showing in the lounge do not include the porno movies that the Austin used to show.

johndereszewski on November 21, 2008 at 10:19 am

Yes Ed, the old Austin lights continue to glow in a lounge located just to the right of the entrance. While sitting there, you can also view tapes of old movies as you wait for the feature to begin.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 21, 2008 at 3:12 am

Too bad they couldn’t save the old marquee. Not a fan of the modern look of the exterior. But I think some of the lettering from the marquee is preserved within the lobby, isn’t it?