RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

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Showing 51 - 75 of 1,279 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm

The Keith’s was triplexed by dividing the orchestra level in half right down the middle. The balcony was left intact with a false floor added in front of the first row railing to enclose the twinned orchestra level below and a screen hung from the top of the original proscenium. The balcony was definitely the auditorium of choice in those days, as it was massive and still had the majority of the theater’s architectural features and decor left intact.

As for comparing what is happening with theaters in Brooklyn to the fate of the Keith’s… Hasn’t Queens always received short shrift in matters of preservation???

robboehm on April 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Some places created auditoriums on the stage area or in dressing rooms. Both present here.

markp on April 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm

With all the damage you see in different photos, Im sorry to say it will just be way too much to restore this place. And a question, how did RKO triple this place? Under the balconies?

robboehm on April 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Not all the proposed projects make it to completion: the Paramount in Stapleton, Staten Island was killed by bureaucracy; the Times Square on 42nd Street reno also died. I agree that it’s encouraging when you hear about some of these projects but I think the Keith’s is just too far gone with no real push.

Jeffrey1955 on April 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

It makes me crazy when I see how they’ve restored the Kings in Brooklyn and now they’re going to restore the Brooklyn Paramount as well. Perhaps I should be hopeful that the tide is turning and perhaps there’s a chance for the Keith’s as well, but with the complete lack of neighborhood interest and the fact that it’s QUEENS after all, I’m not going to hold my breath.

WilliamMcQuade on July 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Don’t hold your breath Mikey.

I also think you meant petty and not pretty.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 18, 2014 at 8:18 am

Boys, boys, you’re both pretty.

Now why don’t you each take the high road and delete most of your own recent posts.

Thanks in advance!

SWCphotography on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

Nope all my shots were taken on the same day. Now the billboard sized graffiti on the exterior was done by individuals who break in on a regular basis.

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

William – I was not referring to you, and I was 7 years old when the Triboro was demolished. I wish I was older and could have helped you try to save it.

Jeffrey1955 on July 16, 2014 at 9:27 am

I think JamesD was referring to SWC, not to you.

WilliamMcQuade on July 16, 2014 at 9:23 am

To James D

I have a life and breaking into derelict theaters does not do it for me. As a theater historian and someone who has been in hundreds of theaters across the country, I do not have to explain myself to anyone including you. Where were you when the Triboro came down or when we were fighting to save an intact RKO? You apparently got faith very late in the game.

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

You don’t need to lie to us. It’s obvious you break into the theater on a regular basis. I mean, you run out of images on your Keith’s Facebook page then you post one of the exterior with the date, and the next day you have more interiors.

SWCphotography on July 16, 2014 at 8:37 am

Not “break in” – no signs posted and the front door was left open between developer #3 and developer #4. All help is welcome.

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 8:05 am

William, SWC has done quite a bit. He constantly breaks into the theater to take photographs so he can post them on the Keith’s Facebook page he started. What have you done lately?

SWCphotography on July 16, 2014 at 7:56 am

That was back when the Board of Estimate could be influenced by the late QBP Donald Manes and before they were disbanded. Now we have the Board of Standard Approval who extended the time for completion of the RKO condo replacement for the third time by an unprecedented 4 years, but that was over 2 years ago and under a different Mayor. So the fourth developer now has 18 months left to show substantial progress, but alas he does not yet have FAA approval. A demolition by neglect complaint for the lobby, foyer and ticket booth was filed with the LPC forcing him to remove the construction offices abandoned by the second developer and repairing the fence but all work is now monitored by the LPC and no building permits exist. It seems the third developer falsified construction claims with the FAA before selling the property to the fourth developer. Now that the gargantuan Flushing Commons project has begun in an already saturated condo market the RKO developer is not only behind schedule and lacking permits but will be late to market. In 28 years a shovel has never hit the ground.

WilliamMcQuade on July 16, 2014 at 3:49 am

Sarcasm noted . Keep dreaming on about saving the Keith’s. I actually did try and save this and the Triboro as well. Got both to the Board Of Estimate before being done in by a corrupt politician. What can you guys say?

BobbyS on July 15, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Looks pretty good..Is this a plaster mold? Probably used it in many other places inside the Keith’s I suppose.

Jeffrey1955 on July 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Shhhhh! You’re imagining that!

SWCphotography on July 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Wait…I think I see something where there is not supposed to be anything

WilliamMcQuade on July 15, 2014 at 4:56 am

To Robboehm

I never heard the term you are referring to. It means nothing as I still stand by my statements. Years ago, I was NYC Director of the Theater Historical Society . I have been in old theaters from one coast to another and seen them in all states of repair and disrepair so I do know what I am talking about. Simply not knowing what a term means is not the criteria here. It may be to you but not me.

Anyone who believes that it can be rebuilt is playing fast and loose with reality. To believe this theater will ever function again is kidding themselves.

gd14lawn on July 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

As long as the steel structure is intact it can be rebuilt.

robboehm on July 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

William McQuade does 340 MP mean anything to you?

WilliamMcQuade on July 14, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I have been in many theaters all across the country and take my word for it, the Keith’s is toast.

JamesD on July 14, 2014 at 4:13 pm


There are a number of them, but off the top of my head let’s – the Paramount Theatre in Boston, MA. It was restored by Emerson College in the mid/late 00s, and the school uses it as a theater.

The thing about the Keith’s is that a lot of the work has already been done. The seats have been removed, the stage has been stripped, and the asbestos has been removed. Of course it will need a new ceiling and roof, but it’s still partially done.