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Hi “Smore!” Thank you for contributing to the Ridgewood Theatre forum, and volunteering to take photos of the theater. Can you please do so in your spare time? I recommend taking wide angles of the facade, close-ups of facade features, the entire streetscape, and side views showing the theater’s relationship to the street according to passersby. My friend is an urban planner & encouraged me to follow that procedure. Hope this helps! Please feel free to e-mail me &/or post them online. Interior views would also be of help. Thanks again! – Michael
I encourage everyone who endorses the Ridgewood Theater plans of “Althefilmguy,” to please contact him via e-mail, and state how you’re willing to participate, or if you would like to know more. We would appreciate more Cinema Treasure members to come through. We regret to see it become another chain store. I have a feeling the theater is under renovation, to attract buyers, or it may be the owners' tactic to flee the theater of those who wish to see it preserved & adaptively reused.
Thanks for posting a scan of the Daily News article, Warren. I couldn’t find it online. The ornate portion of the lower facade that was hiding behind alumninum siding, seems to be stuccoed over now, according to the news photo. This alteration (w/o permits on DOB site) was unnecessary. If it is stucco, restoring the ornate details at a later time would require greater effort. It was intact based on the missing piece of aluminum on the right hand side, which I saw via the link a few postings above. Assemblymember Nolan is definitely an asset to Al’s plans! Landmarking is equally important to prevent the owners from damaging the intricate white glazed terra cotta facade further.
Our e-mails are:
1. Michael at
2. Al at
It is always important to plan ahead & think proactively, especialy since this theater is still in operation, unlike others (which have met an unwelcomed fate).
Sorry for the typo. I meant to say “luck” in my opening line.
Good lick with your project, “Butternut73!” I recommend that you contact my friend Glen Leiner of the Art Deco Society of NY. He always has wonderful suggestions when it comes to restoration & adaptive reuse. Please tell him Michael referred you. He can be reached at
Thank you, Frankie. I will be looking forward to meeting you. I hope others come forward & join us at our meeting. We can still try to preserve the theater, even if the owners oppose our effort. I’m glad you understand my point, Mike.
Our next 2 major goals should be to: 1. Photograph & research the theater to compose a “Request For Evaluation” report to the Landmarks Preservation Commission; 2. Fill out Nat'l Register nomination forms & submit it to the State Historic Preservation Office. If the property qualifies, the owners would be eligible for grants & tax credits to restore their theater. They could also be eligible for other types of technical assistance, which would in turn initiate business. We should share #2 with them. Please refer to my 9/17 posting above for more information. My e-mail is
Another great shot!!! Thanks!
To my understanding, Nicholas Hirshon is running another story on the Ridgewood Theatre. The missing aluminum pane is on the right hand side of the photo, directly underneath the word “furious” on the marquee. It is a small portion. I’m thankful that it’s missing, since this serves as a lens which proves the entire white glazed terra cotta facade is intact beneath the siding. This increases our chances of gaining landmark status, although the Landmarks Law does not state that an alteration wouldn’t qualify a site.
It is my pleasure to get involved and assist anyone in any way. It is very true as to what you said. Hopefully, our proactivity will ensure its preservation!
Thanks for sharing this, Warren! We were all looking forward to the restoration of the Elmwood’s exterior by the Rock Community Church. In a Daily News article last winter, someone even said that it’s being prepared by some of the best architects. However, I passed by the Elmwood last week, and I was shocked and heartbroken to see the green & yellow terra cotta lentils above the windows completely carted away, and a new white facade that closely resembles stucco, concealing the tarditional colored bricks. I called in & the person who answered the phone said that the facade is being repaired & wouldn’t reveal any other information. Can everyone please call in, question what’s going on, and voice your opposition to the plans? I think I’ll call in again as well. There # is (718) 651-2950.
I am more than happy that there are fellow enthusiasts that are willing to preserve & landmark the Ridgewood Theatre, and I am looking forward to working with all of you further!!! Thank you for your encouragement & kind words in regard to my synopsis on how to get a building landmarked.
Thanks for taking the initiative for corresponding with Nicholas Hirshon of the Daily News. He would like to interview more people on Tuesday, and might also be seeking additional comment from those he previously interviewed. Please call him at (718) 793-3328. Speaking with him over the phone is probably the best way. If you can’t call, e-mail with full name at
We should call ourselves, “Committee To Save The Ridgewood Theatre.” Any thoughts? Besides corresponding in cyberspace, I recommend meeting in the near future at the theater, so we can brainstorm a bit more, and photograph the exterior and interior extensively. Then we’ll work on visiting archives/city agencies, and compose a mini feature story to complement our detailed photos. Our goal is to take photos of almost every view possible, to establish its relationship to the streetscape & the passersby. After an article is out in the Daily News, which should get the ball rolling, I recommend sending out a press release to as many contacts as possible, with all our names and contact info on it. Please share your thoughts.
One CT member raised a question. My reply is that we should not ask the Landmarks Preservation Commission for any advice on what to include in the Request For Evaluation form i.e. architect’s name or specific historical facts. Many Queens preservation activists find the LPC too busy to answer such questions, besides the fact that they have been ignoring Queens for quite some time. We want to come over as knowledgable and confident in our endeavors. The LPC is not so transparent as it is. As you may recall, I am a director on the board of the Four Boroughs Preservation Alliance, who is trying to reform the LPC.
Getting back to my interview with Nicholas Hirshon, I explained my reasoning for declaring it a superb candidate for landmark status. I pointed out the rich ornament of the white glazed terra cotta facade (pilasters, classic geometric patterns, the coat of arms) above the marquee. Then I explained another eye-opener, which will lead one to believe it’s completely intact (minus the doors). Check out Kencta’s June 2006 photos on View link Please note the missing generic aluminum pane on the right beneath the marquee & the detail that’s hiding underneath. (You can also scroll left &/or right to see Kencta’s other photos, some of which are of the interior). Another point in my interview was that the owner should clean up and restore the theater, as well as sponsor a celebration to honor its 90-year run. This would be a great marketing tool, since there’s no reason why it shouldn’t operate another 90 years!
I appreciate it that some of you have volunteered to contact the owner. It should be noted to him that they can make use of programs setforth by the NY State Historic Preservation Office. This is an agency that administers the Nat'l Register of Historic Places. We would have to fill out a form & submit it to the Queens representative, Virginia Bartos. If they nominate it for the State &/or National Registers, the owner could be eligible for grants, tax credits, and other technical services and benefits, which would be one of many ways they can assist him in restoring the theater. Virginia Bartos contact info is as follows: http://nysparks.state.ny.us/shpo/ This is a case in point that should be relayed to the owner, but all in the right timing. Who is part of the newly formed committee? What are the best days & times to meet? Thanks again, & hope to hear your thoughts.
Hi Everyone! I have dedicated lots of time towards preservation of several buildings throughout Queens, as well as other boroughs on occasion. I learned never to give up, & adhere to your mission statement.
I am unfamiliar with the historical & architectural significance of the Ridgewood Theatre. However, if someone can compose a brief report that will serve as the body of an online petition, I can organize a petition on www.petitiononline.com We should document the exterior & parts of the interior that are deemed landmark-worthy. It should be directed towards local councilmembers, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and it wouldn’t hurt to aim for the Mayor & Borough Pres. Helen Marshall.
We need to build up as much support as possible in a proactive manner!!! Please e-mail me (Michael) with thoughts, suggestions, & potential text at
I. The Landmark Preservation Commission’s general site is: http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/home/home.shtml
To recommend a new landmark, access the following site & download a Request For Evaluation form (RFE):
**In addition to sending in the request for evaluation form to the address specified on the (downloaded) form, it is extremely important that we also send the same letter to LPC Chair Robert Tierney’s e-mail,
II. Some press contacts if we wish to work together on sending out a press release:
To address your inquiry, Nick Hirshon of the Daily News can be reached at
Additional contacts which include the Times Ledger, Queens Ledger (two different papers), Queens Chronicle, Tribune, NY Times, Newsday, Times NewsWeekly, Gazette, Courier, & more (a few contacts may come back as undeliverable).
Let’s hope Boymelgreen’s plans fall through in its entirety. This might be distant, but if he is willing to sell, we should find someone who’s sensible enough to restore the RKO Keith’s completely, and build above it. If everyone circled our Keith’s petition to at least 10 contacts, we would be in the thousands. Pleas help: View link If you look at the current proposal, you will see a structure that looks like a bunch of cubes randomly thrown together, and deserves a “chunk of junk” award. It will be a shameful act in history if that Lego structure is built, and remember…There will only be ONE RKO KEITH’s!!!
WE SHOULD CALL A MEETING WITH BOYMELGREEN ASAP & PRESENT THE ONLINE PETITION & OUR CONCERNS. WHO WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE? WHEN IS BEST? ANY THOUGHTS? AS A RESULT OF THE PRESS COVERAGE, THIS SOUNDS AS IF IT WILL BE OUR LAST CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED!!!
We should stop conversing about the theater’s fate & try our best to be more active in the political process! Maybe some orgs would help raise $$$ to restore the Keith’s interior and exterior. How about grants from the State/Nat'l Registers? Please post your thoughts &/or e-mail Michael at
The following is a list of films that were shown at the Trylon from 1989-1990, provided by RobertR.
I am doing research on the Trylon. I would appreciate it very much if someone can please post a list of as many films as possible that were featured at the Trylon between Dec 26, 1939 and late Dec 1999. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! You can also e-mail
6/9 Dead Poets Society
8/25 Uncle Buck (moveover)
9/15 Shirley Valentine
10/27 Sex Lies & Videotape (moveover)
11/3 Crimes & Misdeamenors
1/5 My Left Foot
2/2 Stanley & Iris
2/23 Where the Heart Is
3/23 Pretty Woman
6/15 Dick Tracy
As a committee, we are not giving up!!! Councilwoman Katz is beyond hope, and is the most developer-friendly politician out there. She has refused countless times to meet with us, and her campaign contributions illustrate how she is heavily supported by the greedy “over-developers.” The Trylon-adorned ticket booth will be rebuilt even if it’s not at the site for the time being. It will be a symbol which says “We will not permit our history & culture to be torn apart by greed!!!”
I recommend ArtKraft Strauss, a company that has been in operation for nearly a century, and produced marquees & illuminated signs for many noteworthy theaters. Please follow: www.artkraft.com
Mel R – Welcome to Cinema Treasures! Was the RKO Keith’s recently cited in any newspaper? I was unaware that the proposal was denied once again. I hope Boymelgreen will choose to RESTORE more of the building. Please encourage as many people as possible to sign this petition, since enough is enough:
Try contacting the Brooklyn-based developer, Boymelgreen, for interior photos. Interior landmarks must be open to the public by law.
Thank you for contributing, Warren, and thank you KenRoe for the additional information. When inserting the address into the DOB site, it is listed as a store. I am unfamiliar with Bayside so I can’t be too specific, but when I do come across some additional info, I will be more than happy to share it.
I hope their vision is achieved!!!
I passed by the Elmwood Theater about a week ago and noticed that the glazed terra cotta lintels above the upper windows & beneath the frieze have been minimized. The central portion of each lintel is still present, but what happened to the sides? I also notice that it was carted away since the facade has the imprint where it was removed. I thought the exterior is being restored & the terra cotta is being repaired, since that was what I heard originally. This is shocking! Am I seeing correctly? If you have a chance, pass by the site & then compare it to the photo on top of this thread. Please share your thoughts.
It would be a conversation piece if anyone took a photo of the facade with vacant lots all around, as it appeared last summer. Even now, some quality photos can be taken. If anyone has taken photos, please share them. I do miss the original interior though, despite the shape it was in. I hope the modern theater will duplicate the intricate plasterwork, but with modern technological conveniences. That would put the icing on the cake, since the original interior has already been demolished.
I recall participating in Manhattan Association of Cabaret & Clubs (MAC) functions there in 1999, after an awards ceremony and show at Town Hall, across the street. Looking forward to seeing whether Henry Miller’s Theatre will be something we can call “a victory!”