Polk Theater

93-09 37th Avenue,
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

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Showing 51 - 75 of 139 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 8:21 am

I should add that that those images were taken prior to the Polk’s closing. As far as I know, the theater has not re-opened.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2006 at 8:05 am

A couple of interesting recent images of the Polk Theater box office may be found on flickr here and here.

toby0821 on September 29, 2006 at 5:32 am

Do I understand you correctly that they are still showing XXX rated films at the Polk today

longislandmovies on September 29, 2006 at 4:45 am

single screen… it last 10 years after you went …….strange how some theaters hold on……

SingleScreen on September 29, 2006 at 4:22 am

There was a fascinating artilce in the Village Voice this summer on the Polk, the owner, his employee, and his regretful decison to sell it. I stumbled upon the Polk around 1996 while apartment-hunting. I was curious, so I checked it out. The outside area was filled with movie posters for mainstream movies, and curiously, they all were from 1983. Inside, they were showing porn. The theatre was very dirty, and I was afraid of what my pants were gonna look like or smell like after sitting down. There were very few patrons inside. Some of them were sleeping. I got the impression it might have really been a beautiful theatre back in its day, but there were hardly any hints of that remaining. As I left, I scratched my head wondering how such a place could stay in business.

RobertR on September 24, 2006 at 8:50 am

In 1968 the Polk was playing childrens matinees. They had already been playing soft core on and off at this time but had not yet gone all adult.
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 22, 2006 at 6:07 pm

I wonder… are they carting away stuff from the theater in that red truck?

toby0821 on July 20, 2006 at 5:30 am

LOL. Thanks. I really meant a 1 line comment abount each theatre that is open in the city.

toby0821 on July 20, 2006 at 5:12 am

Can someone please post a 1 line comment on the current status of the XXX movie houses in NYC.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 10, 2006 at 5:53 am

Ahh… Got it. Thanks.

RobertR on July 10, 2006 at 4:57 am

I cut and pasted that paragraph from a post by Alto on May 23, I was responding to his comment

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 10, 2006 at 4:38 am

RobertR… I think you contradicted yourself… Your opening statement says “no XXX movies were ever shown on the Fair’s main screen” and later the last paragraph opens with “The main auditorium of teh Fair always showed XXX until the city started cracking down…” I’m sure it’s a simple typo. Do you want to clarify?

RobertR on July 10, 2006 at 3:34 am

One more thing: as far as I know, no XXX movies were ever shown on the Fair’s main screen, and ANY type of physical contact or sexual activity is closely monitored and STRICTLY forbidden in the main auditorium (or XXX screening rooms for that matter) – all “monkey business” is privately kept in the back booths, behind CLOSED doors (unlike the Polk, where it was “all going” in one big auditorium). As for the balcony, it has been closed to customers for quite some time.

The Kings Highway Cinema is similar to the Fair in its mixed-use configuration.
posted by Alto on May 23, 2006 at 8:48am

The main auditorium of the Fair always showerd XXX until the city started cracking down, the balcony was mobbed with customers cruising and having sex. Changing over the main auditorium was complying with the rule about only a portion of an establishment being sex related. The balcony was open at one point still with monitors but they were unable to stop the goings on so it was closed down totally.

pmullinsj on July 9, 2006 at 6:17 pm

I went to the Polk having discovered it here at this website about February, 2005. I went with a friend and I am so glad, because it was a true time warp and very interesting second floor antique ruins, but the theatre floor was pure suicide in feeling. I can vouch for the terrible quality VHS, and that was very tacky of the Voice not to report it properly (but they’re going down the drain anyway, firing all their best people in the last 2 years, some veterans of 40 years, really disgraceful that Goldstein, Ridgeway were fired, and Ward Harkavy reduced to a little clerkism, it sounds like, as for an ‘exciting merger’ scenario). I mainly decided to just add that the screen even looked filthy and the video was all pink-purple. This was one total slum of a place, fascinating but completely horrible. I have rarely seen any place so depressing.

BoxOfficeBill on May 22, 2006 at 11:20 am

Charles Sandblom was also the architect of the treasured Harbor Theater in Brooklyn. A bit larger than the Polk, but wonderfully comfortable and attractive, the Harbor had been part of the Interboro hand-me-down-late-run circuit before turning independent and joining Premiere Showcase in the early ‘60s.
In Jackson Heights on 83 Street between Roosevelt and 37 Avenues, the Colony was another likewise comfortable and attractive late-run art deco theater. These theaters were great places to catch major-studio productions just before reaching their last sunsets.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 22, 2006 at 3:52 am

What about the Playpen (former Cameo Theater) on 8th Avenue in Manhattan? Are they not doing the porn-video projection thing on thier main screen?

While the Fair is still a porn theater – since the adult fare in their private viewing booths and the small converted-from-retail-space screening rooms is what drives their business – Warren is accurate to point out that there is no longer any porn being projected on the theater’s “big screen”. Another bit of journalistic laziness on the part of the Voice writer.

RobertR on May 21, 2006 at 5:34 am

It was called the Cinart

RobertR on May 21, 2006 at 4:54 am

OK, so the main screen shows action double bills while people have sex in the seats and balcony and the smaller screeing rooms and private booths show XXX, your right that’s not a PORNO theatre. Sounds like just the place to take the family for a nice show.

64lesabre on May 20, 2006 at 4:21 pm

non-film, I presume..?

we still have 2 here in vancouver (Fox and Venus) — 3rd one (Kitten) had building demolished or would still be going. all video/dvd by now

RobertR on May 20, 2006 at 4:10 pm

The Fair in Jackson Heights and Cinema Kings Highway in Brooklyn

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 20, 2006 at 3:28 pm

The Voice article said the Polk was one of three theaters left showing porn on the big screen. What are the other two; I’d like to check them out before they close.

64lesabre on May 19, 2006 at 8:39 am

I hear ya' — I already wrote a “letter to ed” of V Voice to this effect, politely of course. don’t know if they print those rec’d online….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 19, 2006 at 6:17 am

Thanks for clearing that up, Alto. DimitriosOtis, I guess I shouldn’t be so assuming as to a major publication’s journalistic integrity. If you ask me, it would have been even more interesting had the article played up the fact that the theater had stopped projecting film long ago and was using “tired old VHS equiment” as Alto refers to it. I find the implication that there was a projector (and that the projectors were over 50 years old) to be the result of journalistic laziness.

Alto on May 18, 2006 at 8:29 pm

As for the box office cashier “Paola” (formerly “Paolo”, no doubt), I honestly thought that she was a drag queen! That was one ugly broad, with a snippy attitude to match.

That whole place was a nightmare â€" facilities, management, staffing, customers…