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***It is not too late too call Councilwoman Melinda Katz at (718) 544-8800 or e-mail her at
Please follow this Queens Chronicle link:
Please read this: “While John Jurayj of the HDC accused City Councilwoman Melinda Katz of not supporting landmarking, her office said the issue has not yet come up for a vote.” HMMMM……
Also, according to the article, it says that the Trylon’s inlaid mosaic tile floor is intact, which is a misprint.
VERY URGENT/PRESERVATION ALERT: Community Calls for A Halt To Further Demolition of The Trylon Theater:
A 1939 Worldâ€\s Fair Historic Gem!!!
FOREST HILLS, N.Y. (August 10, 2005) â€" Members of the community of Forest Hills and others are appalled at the plight of their 1939 Art Deco/Art Moderne Trylon Theater, located at 98-81 Queens Blvd, in Forest Hills. The historic theater is being demolished day by day, and unsympathetically converted into a Bukharian center. Many Forest Hills, Rego Park, as well as residents in other boroughs, feel strongly about the preservation of the historic Trylon Theater. It was heartbreaking to see demolition men smashing the Art Deco mosaic tiles on the ticket booth with a jack hammer, boarding up and dismantling the entrance pavilion, and gutting the interior.
The Trylon Theater is one of the last standing architectural, cultural, & historical gems that bear strong significance to the 1939 World’s Fair. The theme of the fair was the â€œWorld of Tomorrow,â€ and exhibits were intended to emphasize how technology would make life better for everyone. The fairâ€\s enduring image was the â€œTrylon and Perisphere.â€ The exterior and interior of the Trylon Theater bear resemblance to the Trylon pyramid and the Perisphere globe. One of the most striking features of the Trylon Theater is the exterior box office and floor, which contains mosaic inlaid tiles, depicting the design of the 1939 Worldâ€\s Fair â€œTrylon.â€
It is of utmost importance to have the Trylon Theaterâ€\s faÃ§ade and entrance pavilion landmarked, and to restore what was lost during the ill-conceived conversion.
Those involved in the public funding as well as the administration and programming for the Bukharian center should adhere to the concept of preservation of this neighborhood icon, rather than demolition.
â€œThe historical and architectural significance of the Trylon calls out for an architect who is sensitive and respectful of the original features, while adapting the site to a Bukharian center,â€ said Mitchell Grubler, Executive director of the Queens Historical Society. Act now!
**To lend your support: Please contact
VERY URGENT: Community Calls for A Halt To Further Demolition of The Trylon Theater:
A 1939 Worldâ€\s Fair Historic Gem!!!
Citywide Effort To Halt Demolition of The Trylon Theater: A 1939 Art Deco Queens Landmark
REGO PARK, NY (August 10, 2005) – Since its closure in late 1999, community groups, historic preservationists, and the local media have tried to clarify the fate of the iconic Trylon Theater, located at 98-81 Queens Boulevard.
Sadly, the property is now undergoing profound alteration for its new use as a social services facility for the Bukharian community. At this writing, the entrance pavilion has been walled off, faÃ§ade features have been destroyed, and the interior is being gutted. Original painted murals, decorative tilework depicting the Trylon and Perisphere (the 1939 New York World’s Fair symbols), and marquee elements have all been destroyed and no salvage is being conducted.
Appeals to NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission and NYC Councilwoman Melinda Katz to halt the destruction and achieve a preservation-minded adaptive reuse plan for the defunct theater have been unsuccessful thus far. The Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY) and the Historic Districts Council (HDC) have spearheaded the effort to intervene — even at this late stage — to protect the outstanding and unique Art Deco property.
The Trylon Theater, designed by Joseph Unger, reflects the cultural impact of the 1939 World’s Fair and its theme of “The World of Tomorrow,” in decorative tiles, murals, and overall aesthetics. The streamlined Art Deco property is a rare surviving neighborhood movie theater due to the loss of hundreds of such buildings in New York and meets criteria to become a designated and protected Historic Landmark.
URGENT UPDATE (Please read): Many Forest Hills and Rego Park, NY residents feel strongly about the preservation of the Art Deco/Moderne Trylon Theater (98-81 Queens Blvd). However, last week it was heartbreaking to see demolition men smashing the Art Deco mosaic tiles on the ticket booth with a jack hammer, & boarding up the entrance pavillion. It is going to be converted into a Bukharian Center. I tried contacting the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to have at least the facade landmarked, since it is one of the LAST STANDING architectural & historical gems that bear strong significance to the 1939 World’s Fair. The LPC told me that they are aware of it, and they’re concerned as well, but they are slow in acting. They advised me to also contact other historical societies/preservation groups, and spread the word. Hopefully, we can have the Trylon theater landmarked, and possibly coordinate a fundraiser to restore the exterior. I understand that the demolition of the RKO Keith Theatre in Flushing was halted by the city a little while ago, & is currently undergoing a restoration.
I was informed by a higher official that there is still a chance that the 1939 historic Trylon Theater can be saved, designated a landmark, & then a fundraiser/restoration can be organized. The only factor that is “preventing landmark designation” from the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission is a signature from local councilwoman, “Melinda Katz,” who is reluctant to give her approval. We need detailed letters, phone calls, & E-mails to Councilwoman Melinda Katz. It is not too late to convince her to reverse her decision! (This has to be a LOCAL & NATIONWIDE effort)
**CONTACT ASAP (1ST): COUNCILWOMAN MELINDA KATZ
104-01 METROPOLITAN AVE
FOREST HILLS, N.Y. 11375-6735
PLEASE CC: ROBERT B. TIERNEY, CHAIR
NYC LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION
1 CENTRE ST, 9TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10007
PHONE/FAX: (212) 669-7955
Co-Chair of the Modern Architecture Working Group & Historic Districts Council would like to be contacted as well, so he can keep track of how many letters are being sent:
John Jurayj: E-mail:
URGENT (Please read): Many Forest Hills and Rego Park, NY residents feel strongly about the preservation of the Art Deco/Moderne Trylon Theater (98-81 Queens Blvd). However, last week it was heartbreaking to see demolition men smashing the Art Deco mosaic tiles on the ticket booth with a jack hammer, & boarding up the entrance pavillion. It is going to be converted into a Bukharian Center. I tried contacting the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to have at least the facade landmarked, since it is one of the LAST STANDING architectural & historical gems that bear strong significance to the 1939 World’s Fair. The LPC told me that they are aware of it, and they’re concerned as well, but they are slow in acting. They advised me to also contact other historical societies/preservation groups, and spread the word. Hopefully, we can have the Trylon theater landmarked, and possibly coordinate a fundraiser to restore the exterior. I understand that the demolition of the RKO Keith Theatre in Flushing was halted by the city a little while ago, & is currently undergoing a restoration.
Another case in which those evil landlords win out, & another failure for the Landmarks Preservation Commission!!! We don’t have too many theaters left around the city that were erected in mid-century modernism. A DAMN SHAME!!!!!
How could anyone be so cruel to destroy such a work of art in such a brutal way?!? I’m highly anticipating the completed Keith Theatre project. Can’t wait to tour it! A victory is finally being achieved!!! (If only that applied to more Queens theaters)
For my collection, it would mean a lot to me if someone can please send me some scans showing the Elmwood Theatre as a work in progress. My e-mail is
P.S. The theatre itself was first built around 1907. Around 1910-1915, it housed “Cafe Madrid” at its base, which was most likely a cabaret venue.
In the late 1990’s, preservations & Mayor Guiliani agreed to preserve as much of the “old Times Square” & Broadway theatres as possible. Very funny that the Duffy Theatre & Gaiety Theatre are being demolished. Was the agreement that they made, some sort of joke??? Developers of today have no mind of their own, since they insist on mimicing the current trends (i.e. of Times Sq). A solution is to restore these old structures, & if they desire a modern structure to rise, make an addition to the existing site (i.e. the theatre that housed Howard Johnson’s). There are times when the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission fails, as many NYers would agree.
Bless the Landmarks Preservation Commission for prohibiting that naughty wrecking ball from demolishing the facade of the glorious Henry Miller’s Theater. Restoration of the Georgian facade is a great idea, but what good is a facade without its core…the Georgian-styled interior??? Passed by the former theater tonight, & what a heart-breaking sight!!!!! The interior of the theater could have been restored too, don’t you think?? Erasing years of Broadway history, & erecting a modern theater in a 1917 exterior is a case for the Guinness Book of World Records for shameful developers. Rebuilding the interior from scratch is a waste of time, effort, & disrespectful to its history. Anyone feel the same?
Even though I live closer to Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, I occasionally take a stroll to the Cinemart on Metropolitan Ave to check out a good movie. I recall an elaborately carvered, impressive Coffered ceiling in the entranceway, painted black, gold, red, & white. I probably saw that ceiling two years back.
Last summer, however, I noticed “heartbreaking” industry standard, paper-thin, lackluster paneling concealing that ornate ceiling. If the Coffered ceiling was in place since the theater was built in the 20’s, why cover it up now, or cover it at all? Conclusion: Some people just don’t know what’s good! Can we convince the theater to remove that modern eyesore? That would feel so good! By the way, the intricate design of the carved ceiling balances sound so much better than modern accoustical tile. E-mail
A member on our site, m_acevedo, posted a very interesting point on another theater strand regarding the Trylon on Feb 12, 2004. It is as follows: “Another local â€œghostâ€ theater I have kept my eye on is the beautiful little deco palace the Trylon. One would think that Queensborough Hall would go out of its way to salavage a relic of the era of the fabled 1939 World’s Fair, especially they are so keen these days to promote the legacy of the old Fairgrounds as the possible site of the 2012 Olympics.”
A useful link providing Trylon history & its architectural importance to the Forest Hills/Rego Park landscape, as well as support options can be found at – http://www.hdc.org/trylon.htm Show you care! Thanks!!! ^._.^
P.S. Perhaps we can start an online petition for the Trylon Theatre? Any ideas?
Hi fellow theater history enthusiasts!!!
I’m a new member on this board. It’s great that we have such a site to spread the awareness of the current status of theaters worldwide. So many theaters are endangered worldwide by carelessness, and the greed of landlords & developers. Hopefully, more people will see our postings, & realize the need for preservation!!! Remember that our path to the future is marked by a strong foundation of the past. It’s a shame to see the 1939 Art Deco Trylon Theater sitting there in a state of disarray. I believe the Trylon Theatre on Qns Blvd is not a landmark at this point. It baffles me as to why Melinda Katz won’t give her approval to the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission (http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/about/), which is creating a major burden towards landmark designation. Selfish, isn’t it?? Is Joseph Nocerino an option? If you feel that any site is worthy of landmark designation, e-mail