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This is my flickr photoset for the St. George Theatre for all to enjoy. It is courtesy of Michael Perlman of the Four Borough Neighborhood Presrvation Alliance:
Do you have any pictures to share? Please send them to me at
What is the latest status of this Art Deco gem? I hope to see this theater preserved. You may e-mail me at
Thank you,Michael PerlmanFour Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance
As usual, it tells the story of shameful Queens politics. A typical retail establishment could have opened anyplace else. Why here, when the owner has the power to do something creative? Our borough keeps on losing its distinctive culture, only to be predictable and homogenized. Can you please take a few photos, and share them with us? My email is
When accessing the above Landmarks Designation Report, I was pretty certain that landmarking covers the facade, since it is noted as an Individual Landmark.
I also checked the Dept of Building website, and noticed no active job filings or permits. You may wish to call 311 & report your observation anonymously, as many other people do throughout the city. This is a direct link to the DOB for other members' reference:
This is a great, but bittersweet compilation of many historic theaters that are left abandoned throughout the US. Everyone, please take a few moments to examine the above photos (link), & visualize the time it took to produce such craftsmanship, & the generations-worth who were entertained. If only walls could talk! Hopefully someone will purchase & restore them all over time. Nothing is impossible. We need visionaries!
Thank you for sharing these images of the facade & interior, Ed. Too bad the facade has that tacky aluminum siding. I hope the owners see our correspondence, and restore the theater. A restored facade = A greater entrance, which is better for business. I love envisioning what it would be like to peel back the layers.
Typo… I meant LolaLovesCookies as your username.
To Laura a.k.a. LauraLovesCookies: I responded to your posting above, and I would like to correspond via email to discuss your ideas further. My e-mail is
P.S. I hope your dream to attend the Academy For Film & TV comes true, and I am see you are quite a film buff. I hope your name appears in the credits of an award-winning film someday. Never cease to pursue your dream. Always pursue what’s in your heart.
I see a parallel. As you grew up in Ridgewood and frequented Myrtle Ave, I grew up in Forest Hills and marveled at the neighborhood’s entertainment destinations i.e. the Trylon Theater and the Hollywood Lanes Bowling Alley. Now they are a case of history going under. Sometimes it takes a preservation travesty for people to come to a realization of what was at loss, but it grants a lesson as to how we can bond together, and think of creative methods of preserving and creatively reusing such establishments.
Hi Laura, We should be in touch via e-mail. I feel your “headache.” I admire how you are one of the younger members of the community and of Cinema Treasures who understands the value of historic theaters, and the role they can continue to play for all generations of our communities. They were designed as architectural and cultural treasures, and should still be treated as such. My passion for preservation and especially in regard to sparing historic theaters, first emerged when I witnessed the jackhammering of the Trylon Theater’s Art Deco mosaic ticket booth in 2005. That was one of the last sites which depicted the Trylon Monument of the 1939 World’s Fair, which was one of the most important cultural events in our nation (alongside the ‘64 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park).
Hurrah to being a senior! I appreciate it that you are willing to speak with your principal & post flyers around I.S. 93 if it’s ok with the staff, as well as help acquire signatures to preserve the entire Ridgewood Theatre. Please e-mail me at
I assume your name is Lola, and I see you are new to CinemaTreasures. Welcome! You are one of the younger members, which is great to see. I am glad you understand the value of a historic theater, and a “landmark opportunity” we have in our hands. The community deserves something great for years to come. What were some movies that you saw in its historic walls?
Please consider joining Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre on Facebook, and check out our photo link on flickr: http://on.fb.me/RidgewoodTheatre
This is our petition. Please sign, comment, and forward it to your friends. The more signatures, the merrier! View link
Thank you very much for your kind words, Luis! If you have a chance, please sign, comment, & circulate the petition link above. It is open to all signers, and those from Ridgewood should prove additionally advantageous.
This is the rundown… It was not a public hearing. Some members of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre met with staff members of Councilmember Diana Reyna’s office, to discuss our vision for the Ridgewood Theatre. We learned “the table is open,” and we are in the process of devising methods in which a restoration of the auditorium and lobby’s rare features could prove feasible, and be advantageous. The councilmember and owner is interested in hearing our ideas on funding opportunities, and we have an architect and The NY Landmarks Conservancy who is assisting us. We are putting our creativity to work, and hoping for a win-win for the owner, preservationists, and the entire community.
***Everyone: If you haven’t already done so, please SIGN & COMMENT on the petition to preserve the interior of the Ridgewood Theatre, designed by the famed Thomas Lamb in 1916. We lost too many historic theaters, & Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre and other groups are determined to do everything in our power to restore this theater. A revitalized historic theater = A community destination & jobs! The table is open, and timing is crucial to acquire funding for a restoration and potential creative reuse alongside adaptive reuse.
Please forward to EVERYONE that you know, and especially Ridgewood contacts:
You raised some great points in your letter to the editor, Jeffrey. I have also noticed a trend of local newspapers praising the developer and project as if “the theater” is being saved. Some newspapers tend to recycle the “nonsensical and questionable PR claims,” rather than introduce new, concrete, and thought-provoking facts. An investigation is needed.
Send a similar version of your letter to all local and citywide papers, since this is a citywide issue that merits rightful coverage for the people’s sake.
Jeffrey, I encourage you to write to both sources you mentioned, and regardless of whether you receive a response, it will be on the record. CC politicians too. Let the voice of the people be heard. Kudos!
Dave, superb work in drawing a comparison between the original blueprints and what features may be retained if developer Patrick Thompson & the politicians have their way.
I second your comment on how the developer does not seem to know what they are talking about. Removing the front for glass curtain slap would most likely mean sacrificing a wall of the original lobby. It is doubtful that the Landmarks Preservation Commission would permit that.
And I am sure there will be some type of wax figures of the political figures behind this, preserved behind glass for future generations too. If they want to mummify the lobby, they will cast themselves as well. Nightmare At The RKO Keith’s!
I am with you, Jeffrey & Dave. The photos in the Queens Courier are precisely what it looks like now. Not so bad afterall. The developers tend to exaggerate about condition to generate an excuse for demolition of what they want, and also say that something intact is in shambles to make it appear as if they are actually doing something. This is one such case study. Observe it citywide, and we will all see for ourselves.
This appears on the Rego-Forest Preservation Council Blog:
“Coming Attraction: Nightmare At The RKO Keith’s Theatre”
It takes into account the History At Sake segment with an article in Crain’s, & David He’s quintessential peace capturing sentiments & the vision of members of Rego-Forest Preservation Council & Friends of The RKO Keith’s Flushing Theatre.
Shall we settle for a Landmark or a glass high-rise rental with a curtain-wall lobby? Post a comment on the blog link, & spread the word!
The fact I disagree with is the need to limit what you can save. Putting tax credits, grants, subsidies, and low-interest loans aside (as helpful as they are), in many cases, incorporating existing features (restored over the long-term or not) into a new use for the space will prove to be more economical than the high cost of demolition and new construction, particularly in this economy. As a preservationist, you should strive for all remnant theaters, since there are far fewer these days to save. That is my philosophy, and we should do all that we can before any bulldozers potentially come. Thank you for your compliments in regard to my work. I am impressed with the rundown of theaters you mentioned, and hope many more will be saved.
I disagree. We should aim for the preservation and restoration &/or reconstruction of as much as possible from square 1, and do all we potentially can proactively & in the moment when necessary. Smaller scale theaters can be considered miniature palaces. America’s foremost theater architect Thomas Lamb’s greatest works in Queens include the RKO Keith’s Flushing Theatre & the Ridgewood Theatre; the latter of which is his earliest extant theater design. If you were in the theater in the late 70s, you would clearly recall the auditorium’s smaller scale palatial feel. The proscenium has since been unveiled. Never consider anything a lost cause. There are no bulldozers. Stand up for what the majority believes in! Even if the Ridgewood becomes a supermarket, there’s no reason a performing arts space can’t co-exist, likely increasing the building’s revenue. The supermarket can be built around the original architectural features(restored or not or restored over the long-term), giving the site a more distinctive environment with a historic customers for customers and die-hard theater preservationists & patrons.
You are right on target, Panzer65! Those types of people only see one thing, and that is not the community or a historic treasure. It would be great seeing a photo of the chandelier.
Read the above and you will see how the 2 Nicks are stating the Ridgewood Theatre is “beyond saving.” Keep in mind that it was a fully operational theater 2 years ago, and how carefully some of the multiplexing was removed to reveal the authentic 1916 Thomas Lamb features in 2009. That’s for the record!