Loew's Valencia Theatre

165-11 Jamaica Avenue,
Jamaica, NY 11432

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kencmcintyre on November 23, 2008 at 12:56 am

From the NYT, dated 5/5/53:

MOVIE ROBBED OF $2,375; Queens Theatre Official Bound by 3 After Income Tax Ruse

Three hold-up men, two of them brandishing pistols, took $2,375 from Loew’s Valencia Theatre in Jamaica. Queens, yesterday and left the assistant manager, Henry Shamp of 212-08 Seventy-fifth Street, Bayside, Queens, tied up with twine on the floor of his office.

Bway on August 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm

WOW! That is so interesting about that church!! I passed that church more times than I can count when passing by on the LIRR behind it….

PeterKoch on August 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory.

PeterKoch on August 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Good thought, LuisV.

LuisV on August 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Too bad they can’t switch venues!

PeterKoch on August 13, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for posting this, Warren. So, to some extent, the changes in the Valencia and the Jamaica church compensated for each other. Odds are, the multi-purpose performance space at the new arts center will include a movie screen.

PeterKoch on July 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Thanks, HBH ! I grok you loud and clear !

HBH on July 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

comment from a relatively “young-un” – One of the great movie experiences of my childhood was “Lawrence of Arabia” – and in THAT theater and on THAT screen, I’ll say no more.
And you know what else – one of the saddest Saturdays in American History, the rainy day after JFK’s assassination, went to see “The Haunting”

PeterKoch on July 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for posting your recollection of the Valencia here, Don.

Jazziest on July 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Great to read these rich exchanges about this grand palace. My grandmother took me several times in the mid-late 1930s, and I still recall my awe at the constellations above us. I wept when Dick Powell sang “Don’t Give Up the Ship” in (I think) “The Singing Marine.”


PKoch on May 14, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Good point, Warren. Thanks. Have you mentioned this to the management of CT ?

PKoch on May 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm

All too true, Life’s too short.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 2, 2008 at 3:03 am

A discussion of atrocities would not be complete without mentioning the Elmwood:


Bway on May 2, 2008 at 12:37 am

Ziggy you are correct. The Velencia’s biggest problem is a chandelier and a questionable chocie of paint. That’s pretty much it. I totally agree with Warren that the paint choice is garish ar best, but hey, it’s protecting the plaster, and it’s only paint. The Kings which has lost a lot of it’s plaster that would have to be duplicated, the Amsterdam had severe plaster problems, and yes, I have seen before and after photos of the Paradise. The Valencia is not even a hint of “lost”, a new paint job, and a missing chandelier, and the Valencia is back in business as original.

Another theater I feel that is TOTALLY salvagable is the RKO Keith’s in Richmond Hill, which unlike the Valencia, lost all it’s seats…but is relatively intact inside. Not nearly as well maintained as the Valencia (and of course not as ornate to begin with), but it’s plaster is protected under a coat of nondescript one color beige paint. I rather see that though, as hope exists there, as it’s intact, and the building is maintained…..than seeing it gutted and turned into a drug store with a drop ceiling.

Ziggy on May 1, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Yes, we’ve been through this before, and yes it would be better if the Valencia had not been repainted, but the Paradise was so chopped up and remodled inside that it actually made a list of “lost” buildings of NYC because it was assumed it could never be restored to its original look. Now look at it! Granted it’s not a complete resoration, but it looks pretty much like its old self again. The Kings has some serious water damage, yet people are still saying its restorable. The New Amsterdam actually had mushrooms growing in it because it had been so neglected. Compared to these theatres, having to (hopefully) restore the Valencia’s original paint job, and removing that chandelier, does not seem like such a big job.

Bway on May 1, 2008 at 5:34 am

Gaudy yes, Desecration, no. It could be gutted and have “Dollar Tree” on the marquee instead. THAT is desecration. I’d take this any day over the alternative.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 1, 2008 at 3:48 am

It is a pretty bad color scheme. Kind of reminds me of Vegas.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 1, 2008 at 12:55 am

Better desecration than demolition.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 29, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Could be wrong. But don’t think these have been added yet:

View link

Bway on April 23, 2008 at 2:59 am

I am not familiar with the church, as was only last in there when it was still the Valencia. Also, the colors they painted the interior are quite questionable, but again, hey, it’s being well cared for and maintained, and that’s better than we can say for most theaters. Again, all that was “The Valencia” is all still there, and for that we should be thankful. This is the next best thing next to actually showing movies inside. Certainly better than a “Duane Reade” sign on the marquee.

Bway on April 22, 2008 at 3:09 am

I don’t understand that, but I guess that is the way it is done. As mentioned though, this building is very much open, and almost fully intact inside from it’s theater days. Of course, it’s been modified for the church use, which includes the chandelier to bring in light (as while a theater needs darkness, a church needs light), but if someone said tomorrow that they wanted to make the Valencia a theater again, it wouldn’t be all that hard to do, as most of it is intact.
I can understand a theater gone retail being listed as “closed”, such as let’s say the RKO Madison which is still very much the building standing, yet the interior gutted….that makes sense to say “closed”. However, the Valencia, although only used as a church, is very much open to the public, and still looks like a theater.

LuisV on April 6, 2008 at 6:46 pm

While Jamaica has declined from its heydey (up to the 1960’s), there is a lot of hope for the future. At least 3 big hotels from Sheraton and Marriott are due to be built within two blocks of the Jamaica Air Train Station followed by several office buildings which are expected to serve as an “Airport Village” of sorts. There is even hope that JetBlue, the hometown Queens airliner will move their HQ to one of these new buildings. No hope, though, that The Valencia or The Alden will be returned to screening films anytime soon!

PKoch on January 28, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Thanks for your answer, Warren.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 19, 2008 at 2:01 am

… although, that might explain the compartively paltry collection taken up at the Malboe!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 19, 2008 at 2:00 am

Or that the cannisters would come back empty! Not to imply that the young Warren would have been so mischievous!