Elmwood Theatre

57-02 Hoffman Drive,
Elmhurst, NY 11373

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Showing 51 - 75 of 242 comments

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 27, 2007 at 2:42 pm

“insulting asides” are part of the spice of CT. I’ve zinged a few myself.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm

I think you need to develop a thicker skin Fernando.

When you did that work on the building, you drew the attention of the preservation community. Now you are hearing our opinions.

Think of it as being like a new movie release. A movie comes out and journalists everywhere have opinions about how good or bad the movie is.

Volunteer labor is commendable, and I am glad the building was not demolished. But I think the work you carried out on the exterior exhibits extremely poor judgment. That is my opinion, and there is no reason I should have to apologize for it.

I don’t appreciate you trying to heap shame on us for voicing our displeasure.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 27, 2007 at 11:00 am

Fernando… I, for one, am extraordinarily grateful that the Rock Church came along and saved the Elmwood from an uncertain fate (RKO Keith’s anyone?), but I don’t think that the restoration path chosen for the exterior of the building is beyond critical analysis. That all this work has been done by volunteers is a tremendous credit to the Church and its congregation. Kudos and my sincere respect to all involved. However, I find (as do others) it extremely disappointing and frustrating that the beautiful original exterior – which appeared to be in very good condition right up to the end – was destroyed rather than preserved.

I hope that you don’t hold those opinions against those who have elected to post them here. I can understand your taking issue with the tone of some of the comments or the insulting asides that have been posted here by some, but understand that this is a website that is open to free discussion by all who wish to participate. As a result, the opinions expressed in this forum will inevitably run the gamut from respectful and well articulated to belligerently offensive – and everything in between. Please do not indict the entire board because you find a few of the opinions or comments to be critical or even disrespectful of the church’s plans and actions.

Bway on September 27, 2007 at 8:17 am

Here’s another photo of the beautiful front of the building before it was destroyed. What a gem it would have been….

Bway on September 27, 2007 at 8:11 am

Such a beautiful facade, lost forever:
View link

(Repost photo originally posted by Jeffery1955 above on this page)

Bway on September 27, 2007 at 8:07 am

While it’s great that the building did survive, the exterior destroying of the entire historic terra-cotta and woodwork on the windows is a travesty. It’s now just like any other non-historic non-descript exterior building, lost all it’s historic features unncessarily. Yes, it’s better than had it been destroyed, but you could have saved a lot of money, and at the same time kept a historic building’s exterior had you just not covered/destroyed the beautiful historic fascade of that building.
Yes, you are to be commended on saving the building, and maintaining it, and hopefully restoring what’s left of the interior after the multiplexing of the theater….but unfortunately what happened on the outside clouds the whole project. There was no reason to cover over the exterior of that building.

NativeForestHiller on September 27, 2007 at 7:27 am

Fernado, I tried sending you e-mails (as well as others) with a sincere proposal telling you how the majority of us felt, and you said you would make sure it would end up in the right hands, but I never heard back since. Why should I apologize, if I feel it was wrong to commit to a restoration in 2003-2004 (with the press), get people’s hopes up, and proceed with just the opposite?

The terra cotta facade and tilework did not have to be concealed with stucco, and other facade elements did not have to be carted away for the trash. My proposals contained ways to fund a proper restoration. How could priceless antiques of an extremely rare & significant Queens heritage site, which required some restoration work, be destroyed further (by stucco)? I am baffled.

Being dedicated towards the future and character of Queens, I am still willing to work with you, and help the church restore faith in the community by eliminating the stucco and revealing the original tilework. I know of agencies/non-profit orgs who can help.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 27, 2007 at 6:35 am

Fernando, I visited the auditorium last Sunday, but did not file a report here since the work still looks far from completed. I was pleased to see that the turret on the left side of the stage has been restored, but there is still an empty space where a castle veranda used to be. Perhaps it was destroyed during the sub-dividing of the theatre and is too expensive to replace? I didn’t know that all work is being done by volunteers. I applaud you for that. I think that if the church hadn’t taken over, the building would have been demolished by now. The cosmetic changes may not please some people, but at least the Elmwood/Queensboro has survived.

ferjll on September 27, 2007 at 2:53 am

I joined this group because i though this was a “mature and Smart” group of people but, please!!! guys stop with the name calling and criticizing a group of people you know nothing about or perhaps…. you think your LIFE’S TOO SHORT and you wanna spend it trash talking others!! + we take very seriously OUR CHURCH we dont JOKE about it, im sorry you dont like the renovations but i dont know if u have any idea how expensive it is, just so you know all that dreadful renovation (as you call it) was made possible by the donations that we all happilly and joyfully give in many ways and not just by giving money!! Hey! i wonder if maybe some of you would’ve ACTUALLY helped us not just by talking and emailing unsincere offers!! but with something concrete!! we could’ve renovate and preserve it the way it was, and Michael how could you call us lazy and greedy" when we work 7 days a week non stop not even in holidays because everyday after a hard day at our jobs and schools we go to OUR CHURCH to work some more because we are not afraid of rolling up our sleeves, get dirty and sweat a little more, while others take time to make silly sarcastic remarks like:

(“"The Rock "Community” Church has made a great case for their LAZINESS and GREED on behalf of the Elmwood, especially when they committed to restoring it in 2003-2004 with “volunteers.” Sad!“”)

(“"These church jokers”“)

Yes!! all the work is being done by VOLUNTEERS ‘cause we all are VOLUNTEERS, not even the pastors get paid, just keep in mind that all the work is being done while we have Service and congregate 7 days a week + having many community services, events and outreach programs that are completely FREE of charge open to anyone and you know what?; we need more VOLUNTEERS (know anyone?); I understand that maybe is hard for some of you to empathize or sympathize with us and our beliefs but as they say “If you have nothing nice to say, (PLEASE!!) don’t say anything at all” , it would be nice to receive an apology for your comments to show the person of good character that im sure you are. i apologyze if i’ve offended anyone it was not my intention at all but, as you may have noticed by now im a little insulted so A SINCERE SORRY… to all.

+++ Warren: thanx for your concern, comments and constructive criticism is very well receive and appreciated and all i can say for now is that nothing is definite yet!; perhaps you would like to visit our website which was also made possible by volunteers +++ www.therockchurches.com

jflundy on September 26, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Thank you Ed and Warren for your prompt identification !

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 26, 2007 at 12:25 pm

The photo shows a portion of the ill-fated Fox Kew Gardens and was once displayed at the CT listing for that theatre. See also a later one that I posted there myself on 2/21/06.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 26, 2007 at 12:16 pm

J.F. Lundy… I think the photo depicts the Fox Kew Gardens Theatre. The location definitely matches what we know about the Fox.

jflundy on September 26, 2007 at 11:58 am

Can anyone ID this theater on the north side of Queens Boulevard near 78 AVENUE, taken in 1932. Photo is located in Forest Hills section, page 8 of this web site:

Theater appears closed.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 26, 2007 at 11:08 am

What an ufortunate story.

I remember photographing this building in the 90’s when it looked to be a pretty bustling and well-maintained four screen complex.

These church jokers really messed up bad.

NativeForestHiller on September 26, 2007 at 10:11 am

Hi Ed! You have a point by stating that the stucco can be blasted off someday to reveal the remainder of the terra cotta. The cornice and roof balustrades have sadly been covered with stucco as well. I haven’t been inside. The Rock “Community” Church has made a great case for their laziness and greed on behalf of the Elmwood, especially when they committed to restoring it in 2003-2004 with “volunteers.” Sad!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 26, 2007 at 9:57 am

Well, at least someday that stucco can be blasted off to reveal the terra cotta elements beneath. Unfortunately, I believe the original window lintels and decorative scroll and wreath motif just below the cornice were all stripped from the facade and thoughtlessly discarded. I haven’t been there in a while… does the stucco stop at the dentil molding at the base of the cornice? That seemed to be the direction the work was heading when I photographed the building back in October of last year. And then I believe the entire cornice was to be “whitewashed” to match the color of the stucco.

As unfortunate as the choices were for the exterior renovations, has anyone been inside to check up on the interior restoration?

NativeForestHiller on September 26, 2007 at 8:39 am

The exterior hasn’t been whitewashed, but completely concealed with stucco which most of us dread.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2007 at 7:58 am

I drove past the site last weekend. The exterior side of the building on 57th Avenue has been whitewashed to match the renovated Queens Boulevard frontage. The QB entrance is still boarded up, and parishoners must use a side door on 57th Avenue.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 13, 2007 at 6:38 am

For at least part of 1938 and starting on January 12th, the Queensboro Theatre was open only on Wednesday nights for a 14-week series of bingo games sponsored by Elmhurst’s R.C. Church of the Ascension, according to advertising in the Newtown Register. Game cards were 40 cents each. Prizes worth a total of $1,500 were to be given out during the season. There was also a weekly door prize of a trip to Bermuda or $50 in cash, as well as an “early bird prize” of $10 presented at 8:30 PM sharp. At the end of the series, there would be bonus prizes of a fox fur piece (or $100 in cash) and a 1938 automobile (donated by a local dealer).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 2, 2007 at 11:40 am

The last movie shown at the Queensboro Theatre was a revival of “One Third of a Nation” (1939), which was presented on March 8th and 9th, 1941, in support of a stage show topped by Bob Fritkin’s Laurel-in-the-Pines Country Club Orchestra and Elsie the Cow. This was the last in a series of Saturday & Sunday film/stage bookings advertised as “Long Island’s Best Amusement Buy.” A coupon deal enabled patrons to buy two tickets for the price of one. By this time, the Queensboro was closed the rest of the week. Upon closing after the last show on March 9th, the Queensboro remained shuttered except for brief seasons of “Subway Circuit” stage plays in 1944 and 1945. In 1945, the Interboro Circuit purchased the Queensboro and re-opened it as the Elmwood in 1946. Here’s an ad for the Queensboro’s last stand as a cinema: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/qbfinal.jpg

ferjll on May 4, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Hi guys i am a member of THE ROCK CHURCH for quite a while and i dont know if anyone of you are interested in visiting our website www.therockchurches.com or you just want more info regarding the future of our church “building” email me @ please write “cinema treasures info” as the subject and I ll be more than glad to answer all your inquiries.

PS. our services are Sundays @ 11:00 am, Saturdays @ 7:00pm and fridays @ 7:30pm + we many other activities for the community open to everybody free of any charge.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 26, 2007 at 7:59 am

Despite a name change to Elmwood in 1946, the theatre did not do much better business than the unlucky Queensboro, due to late-run bookings and an under-populated neighborhood that was also short of shopping facilities that might draw patrons from other areas. But the Interboro management held on in anticipation of “clearance” changes resulting from the Federal anti-trust action against the Hollywood monopoly. That finally happened for the Elmwood in March, 1949, when it was granted equal status with some of the Loew’s theatres in Queens. Even though the Elmwood would still be playing two weeks behind Loew’s Valencia and a week behind Loew’s Triboro, it could show the same programs as those at Loew’s Woodside, Hillside, Willard, Prospect, and Plaza. In effect, that made the Elmwood “first-run” for some of the surrounding areas where Loew’s did not have theatres. Here are two ads showing the territory covered by the Elmwood. Loew’s immediately protested the first ad and Woodside was dropped in favor of Winfield. Also, the first ad neglected to mention the Elmwood’s own neighborhood of Elmhurst, so the second ad deleted Middle Village. Unfortunately, the Elmwood went first-run just as home television was starting to decimate theatre attendance, so it was not really until the 1960s and the introduction of saturation “Premiere Showcase” release that the Elmwood became a moneymaker:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 21, 2007 at 4:37 am

The “status” needs to be changed. The ex-theatre is now very much “open” as a church, and can be visited whenever services are being held. On Sundays, it’s usually from about 12 noon until 2:30 or 3:00 PM. Even after the service ends, people tend to linger on for socializing.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 18, 2007 at 11:03 am

And a rare view at the marquee and rooftop signage (obscured though the latter may be) featuring the Queensboro name.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 18, 2007 at 11:02 am

The theatre was closed at the time of the Municipal Archives photo. I think it closed in 1939 (or 1940 at the latest), but there had been frequent and extended periods of closure from the time the Queensboro opened in 1928. It was pretty much closed from 1939-40 until it re-opened in 1946 as the Elmwood. The only exceptions were in 1944 and 1945, when the Queensboro had short seasons of stage plays as part of the “Subway Circuit.” Very little of Queens Boulevard can be seen in the photo. The street in front of the theatre is Hoffman Drive, which begins at the junction of QB and 57th Avenue and continues at least as far as Woodhaven Boulevard.