Loew's Valencia Theatre

165-11 Jamaica Avenue,
Jamaica, NY 11432

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Showing 26 - 50 of 467 comments

mauriceski
mauriceski on October 7, 2009 at 4:13 am

Thanks Kong1911,I thought it was also Kangaroo meat.My mom would send me to the New York Blvd.Store for ham and sausages,back around 1946

kong1911
kong1911 on October 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm

My father had a butcher and grocery store in east new york brooklyn and sold merkel products for years. I thought there bacon was the best. Merkel’s building could be seen from the Long Island Railroad platforms at the Jamaica station. The Merkel Big sign above the building has been gone for many years but the building was there until about a year ago. One of the reasons Merkel closed down was that government inspectors found that to save money they were mixing horse meat into their products. If you go back that far you would have read that in the Long Island Press.

mauriceski
mauriceski on October 6, 2009 at 7:37 am

Doe’s anyone remember MERKEL’S MEATS located at New York Blvd.And Archer Ave.I think it closed in the late 50s

RobertR
RobertR on April 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Near the end
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The date of 1982 is wrong because the vertical was long gone. I’m guessing the marqueee might say Cecil B. DeMilles Show on Earth?
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Bway
Bway on April 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Here’s a Google street view of the Valencia:

Click here for link

Bway
Bway on March 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Warren. It is just paint. The theater could have been completely gutted inside and used as a store. It could have been ripped apart and left to rot like the RKO in Flushing. Or worse, it could have been torn down and used for a parking lot. The Valencia faired very well. Perhaps not as tasteful as the Loews 175th St also used as a church, but WAY better than most of other theaters have met their end.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on March 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I strongly agree with you Luis. While not a perfect solution, these conversions are far preferable to the alternatives of demolition or radical alteration.

To your list of successful conversions let me add the old Woodside, which now functions as St. Sabastian’s RC Church. Both the the exterior and interior of this lovely building are certainly worth a look.

Bway
Bway on March 26, 2009 at 10:39 am

You are absolutely correct Luis. The Valencia may not be a theater, and it may be painted strange colors, but it’s beauty is all intact and still there. If this church hadn’s taken it over, it could have been actually demolished, or converted into retail, and destroyed. NOTHING is destroyed in the Valencia, and paint is just paint. The magnificent plaster work all survives.
Churches are one of the best after theater uses a theater building can get.

LuisV
LuisV on March 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Wow, I’m an atheist and I couldn’t disagree with you more!

The beautiful building that housed the films that we went to see in our youth is still there. The work of all of the talented artisans there for all to see.

I wish that a church, even if it were the Scientologists, had taken over the Roxy or the Capitol or Loews 72nd St, or Proctor’s E. 58th St, or the Paramount or any number of spectacular palaces for conversion into a church. They didn’t, and they were all demolished. These thaters ARE GONE…..FOREVER!

Loew’s 175th Street theater, was also taken over by Revernd Ike’s church and lovingly and meticulously restored. It now houses frequent concerts. I have yet to attend, but I look forward to the day that I do. And when I do, I can thank the Reverend Ike for saving that spectacular theater for future generations.

It’s not realistic expect the old palaces to be preserved based on showing movies. In the entire New York Metropolitan area, home to over 18 Million people, there are just 3 palaces that just show movies; The Ziegfeld in Manhatan, Loews Jersey in Jersey City and The Lafayette in Suffern, NY.

Some of the old palaces like the New Amsterdam, the Broadway and the Gallo Opera House (aka Studio 54) are back to live theater. Radio City, Beacon, Apollo, Loews Paradise, St. George are all entertainment venues. Loews 175th is both a church and a concert hall. The Hollywood, Loews Elmwood, Loew’s Metropolitan, Kameo, Elmwood, and Stanley among others are churches who have maintained the integrity of the original theaters.

The Brooklyn Paramount was saved decades ago by LIU and converted to a gymnasium. They now have a brand new gym, and the possibility now exists that, someday, the Brooklyn Paramount can be reborn.

The landmark process is underway to try and save two other old theaters, The Ridgewood in Queens and The Paramount in Staten Island.

My point is, what made movie palaces special was the architecture and the atmosphere that it created when you went there to see a film. Even when it is no longer showing a film, the architecture and atmosphere remain and it is a window into the past that future generations should be able to see. It was a time when Where you went to see a film was (perhaps) more important than What you went to see.

I, for one, am grateful for each palace that is saved, even if the saviour (pardon the pun) is a church.

p.s. Loews’s Kings and the RKO Keiths Flushing sit in ruins waiting to be saved. While I would much prefer to see these historic palaces returned to us as entertainment venues, I would settle for a religious one just to save the buildings.

The answer should NEVER be “just tear it down” because that is truly forever.

AldoCP
AldoCP on March 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Converting it into that church was the same as demolishing it. It’s gone. One way or the other, it’s gone.

LuisV
LuisV on March 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

It most definitely is NOT demolished. Though I do feel it was desecrated (pun intended) by the resident church by painting the interior in bright colors and draping the nudes so as not to offend churchgoers.

Even so, the Valencia remains one of the most beautiful theaters ever built and I am grateful to the church for having saved it back in the terrible late 70’s. Otherwise, it may have suffered the fate of so many other palaces: demolition.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 22, 2009 at 2:49 am

I believe it’s up and running as a church, with most of its glory intact. Not demolished.

AldoCP
AldoCP on March 21, 2009 at 11:18 pm

This was my favorite movie theater. I loved to go there and just look around. It was magnificent.
It was a mistake to demolish it.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 23, 2008 at 12:56 am

From the NYT, dated 5/5/53:

MOVIE ROBBED OF $2,375; Queens Theatre Official Bound by 3 After Income Tax Ruse

Three hold-up men, two of them brandishing pistols, took $2,375 from Loew’s Valencia Theatre in Jamaica. Queens, yesterday and left the assistant manager, Henry Shamp of 212-08 Seventy-fifth Street, Bayside, Queens, tied up with twine on the floor of his office.

Bway
Bway on August 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm

WOW! That is so interesting about that church!! I passed that church more times than I can count when passing by on the LIRR behind it….

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Good thought, LuisV.

LuisV
LuisV on August 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Too bad they can’t switch venues!

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on August 13, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for posting this, Warren. So, to some extent, the changes in the Valencia and the Jamaica church compensated for each other. Odds are, the multi-purpose performance space at the new arts center will include a movie screen.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on July 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Thanks, HBH ! I grok you loud and clear !

HBH
HBH on July 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

comment from a relatively “young-un” – One of the great movie experiences of my childhood was “Lawrence of Arabia” – and in THAT theater and on THAT screen, I’ll say no more.
And you know what else – one of the saddest Saturdays in American History, the rainy day after JFK’s assassination, went to see “The Haunting”

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for posting your recollection of the Valencia here, Don.

Jazziest
Jazziest on July 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Great to read these rich exchanges about this grand palace. My grandmother took me several times in the mid-late 1930s, and I still recall my awe at the constellations above us. I wept when Dick Powell sang “Don’t Give Up the Ship” in (I think) “The Singing Marine.”

Don

PKoch
PKoch on May 14, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Good point, Warren. Thanks. Have you mentioned this to the management of CT ?

PKoch
PKoch on May 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm

All too true, Life’s too short.