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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!”
I am from NY. What superb photos & a cherishable theater! The theater should be rebuilt. If this is arson, it is even more devestating. The developers should by no means get their wish!!! Long live the Empress!
Here’s a photo from Ed Solero’s new website documenting theaters around Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, & some other interesting links:
Bless all those involved in the restoration of a gem for the sake of art & architecture, culture, history, and society. What an inspiration for all generations to come!!! Please follow the footsteps!
Nick Nicolaou is a very determined individual! It might be a good idea if he would be willing to add the Ridgewood Theater to his collection, although ALthefilmguy on the Ridgewood thread might already be working on that project. Too bad Nick didn’t add the Trylon Theater to his collection a few years back!
Thank you for sharing this NY1 news story. What a great article!
“You can say that again!”
It is a shame that we have to fight this hard to try to preserve it. It wouldn’t have been difficult for a “reputable” owner to keep the exterior intact, and preserve defining features of the interior. What were they thinking?!? Shame on them! With the presently intact Queens Museum of Art facing a risk of being altered & expanded, we will have no traces of the 1939 World’s Fair left! :(
Warren’s first reason seems more like it in this case.
The interior is in an even worse state than the exterior, and the interior photos that were Aug 2005 posted on this site. It seems as if they are working inside on a daily basis, but not too much progress has been made over the course of the last year. In Aug 2005, the hand-painted cloth murals were on both sides of the theater stage. No one at the site or any affiliate has responded to their whereabouts, causing the committee and other preservationists to believe they have been completely destroyed. The auditorium, which the owner promised would be left mostly intact, seems gutted. There are numerous violations at the site/Stop Work Orders. When CM Katz was informed, she turned her back on her constituents. It’s very sad! We’ll keep fighting for preservation of the streamlined facade, glass block tower, and restoration of the marquee. The entrance pavilion’s mosaic/terrazzo floor which bears the Trylon logo & features Art Deco chevrons, is still present, but the Education Center for Russian Jewry & the councilwoman, change the subject. They promised to rescue facade features, but without landmarking and the lies accumulating, there is no confirmation. I suggest that any enthusiasts who are interested in volunteering for the Committee To Save The Trylon or lending their support by contacting key officials, to e-mail us at
It seems as if they will keep the rooftop sign, which will add to the building’s distinctive history. The address & phone of the Rock Community Church/Elmwood is as follows:
Rock Community Church
5702 Hoffman Dr
Elmhurst, NY 11373
That is a very intresting point, Warren. It is something that will be looked into. Thank you for pointing it out! Here’s the article in the New Yorker magazine, for all those who are interested:
This is great news!!! Thank you for sharing it. I am glad the Landmarks Preservation Commission didn’t disregard this theater. There are several others throughout the 5 boroughs that they have stalled on calendaring for a hearing, or refused to grant a hearing, resulting in much confusion. It is a victory to know that it is officially designated, and a piece of “paradise” will be here to stay. For the convenience of members on this site, you can follow this link:
As a side note, if anyone feels a theater or another building is landmark-worthy, please send a request for evaluation form to the LPC. They’re available on their website. Please don’t forget to stand up for what you believe in!
Nicolos Nicolaou who owns the Cinemart Theater in Forest Hills & CC Cinemas on the Upper East Side, sealed the deal on the Alpine Theater. It will show films and also operate as a cultural center. It’s superb that he made a committment to reuse this 1921 theater, sparing it from the all too familiar drugstore. Looking forward to this victory! These links may be of interest:
NY Sun: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/news/news.cfm?doc_id=5859
Thank you very much for sharing this. Perhaps that will be one of my future efforts. In regard to the Cinemart, I hope to work with the owner and restore remnants of the interior. From what I’ve seen beneath the paneling, an ornate ceiling does exist, although it might have some holes.
Kew Gardens Cinemas has one of the “blandest” facades, which bears no evidence of its Art Deco splendor. I have never been to this theater. I hope that the original facade is underneath, and can be restored. Forest Hills 100th anniversary is this year & Kew Gardens Cinemas borders Forest Hills. What better way is there to celebrate than restore as many historic buildings as possible!?! Does anyone have any photos prior to the renovation, or recall how it once looked? Let’s work together, & hopefully we can convince the owner that our vision is viable. Please help. Thanks!
Has anyone visited the Elmwood Theatre/Rock Community Church recently & taken photos of the restoration in progress? I would prefer interior shots, although my fellow members might find exterior shots beneficial as well. Much appreciated!
Do restoration plans include rebuilding the entire facade which would bring back its 2nd story? Anything less is not a restoration in my opinion. The photo on top of this thread is what I hope the theater will look like once the theater is restored. Please let me know.
To member Jacker: I wrote you an e-mail since I’m interested in assisting you, but it was returned as undeliverable. Please clarify your e-mail address. Looking forward to working with you!
*In regard to this matter, it is best to correspond through e-mail, rather than on a forum that is open to the public. Those interested should post their e-mails here. I’ll start…
I lend my heart to all preservationists who have worked hard throughout the years to save this irreplaceable gem from the wrecking ball. Bless you! I beg City Council and the people responsible for placing a bulldozer on that property, NOT to let this happen!!! It would be a huge tragedy! Reopen it & see the smile on faces of countless enthusiasts.
To member Calc:
Please share some more specifics. Michael Magnan of D. Magnan & Co. Inc, might be able to assist you, particularly with building a ticket booth from scratch. Does it involve mosaics by any chance? They are a member of the Nat'l Terazzo Mosaic Association (NTMA). I spoke with them briefly, but never had a chance to follow through with my goal as of yet. Their contact info is:
D. Magnan & Co.
32 Cortlandt Street
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
You may also wish to contact ArtKraft Strauss, a company that has been around since 1897. They have produced illuminated signs in Times Sq throughout the decades & are also known for building and restoring marquees of numerous noteworthy theaters. Follow their website for more info:
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me at
Thought you might like to read the following letter to the editor of the Queens Chronicle, entitled “Trylon For All” & published May 11th:
In response to the April 27 letter to the editor by Dave Shlakman of Howard Beach, titled â€œTrylon Case,â€ numerous preservationists and residents who are advocating for landmark status for the Trylon Theater have attended movies there. Besides nostalgia, the dominant reason for our initiative is the rare and distinctive art deco/art moderne architectural features the Trylon Theater exhibits. It is an anchor of Queens Boulevard and Forest Hills and a great representation of 1939 Worldâ€™s Fair history.
While it is true that owners have the authority to make alterations to a structure that is not landmarked, the Landmarks law grants us every right to continue encouraging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate worthwhile buildings like the Trylon, and others that merit preservation throughout the five boroughs. That is the beauty of it.
Occupancy by the Education Center for Russian Jewry is commendable, but we are baffled as to why the center didnâ€™t find it viable to preserve some of the most significant elements (present in the entrance pavilion), which included the Trylon adorned mosaic ticket booth, and the terrazzo/mosaic inlaid floor that also depicted a 3D mirror image of the Trylon Monument, accompanied by chevrons.
The floor is present, but in jeopardy of being masked by generic tile or cement. It has been proven in many scenarios that older buildings can be â€œadaptively reusedâ€ with a preservation minded strategy. Although the ticket booth is gone, it still is â€œeconomically viableâ€ to preserve what remains.
The Trylon will be a center that offers social programs, so the whole community should work cohesively. The 1939 Worldâ€™s Fair fostered social and cultural change that led to the arrival of immigrants in America. Do we â€œeducateâ€ attendees of the Education Center by erasing a part of their heritage? If this neighborhood trend continues, what values do we hope to instill in our children?
We are grateful for the 1,600 people who signed our petition and those who care about our community. There are some aspects of every community that should be here to stay, and the Trylon Theater is one of many in Forest Hills and Rego Park, while accommodating it to a newer use.
URGENT ALERT: A BUYER FOR THE 1921 HISTORIC RAYMOND THEATRE IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY, OR IT WILL BE DEMOLISHED VERY SHORTLY. WE DO NOT WANT THIS RARE GEM TO BE DEMOLISHED. PLEASE CHECK THE HOMEPAGE FOR MORE INFO. THANK YOU!