Showing 51 - 75 of 3,208 comments
That is very interesting! It seems the Whitney was an abandoned theater very early on. This kind of explains why it was demolished so early on. A shame, I have never seen a street view of the old theater, the one above is about as best as I have seenm and it is also from the side.
BTW, Welcome back Ken!!
It sounds great that they would want to restore the front, but it seems a bit ironic as this religious group blatantly without respect to the history of the area or building just needlessly destroyed the beautiful original mosaics of the theater’s front. For no reason at all!! It is that karma coming back to them.
Ironically, if they had left all that history there, there may be more of a fight to let them stay.
As I mentioned, ironically, the religious group would have had a better chance at staying there if they didn’t destroy all the beautiful features of the theater that made it worth landmarking. They deliberately just destroyed the whole front and lobby.
The Trylon is an example of just about EVERYTHING that can go wrong in theater restoration, building architecture, etc.
Right from the moment the theater closed to today.
From the deliberate destruction of the landmark lobby, mosaics, etc when they “renovated” into the synagogue, to now the building facing complete demolition.
Ironically, had the synagogue group SAVED the historic features out front and the beautiful mosaics, it would have been a much better candidate for landmarking, and they may not be in this predicament they are in now….
973 Fresh Pond Rd would have been an address before they converted the address numbers into the QUeens grid system. It would be a 69-XX number now because it’s between 69th and 70 Ave. Halleck Ave must have been the old Queens street name before being converted into Queens street numbers.
Yes, I didn’t realize the Alden was still open then yet too, and as a theater.
In any event, while the removal of the Jamaica El was a fiasco for the Jamaica business district, it really only made a bad situation worse. It was in trouble even before the removal of the el.
In any event, the removal of the el can’t be blamed as one of the reasons for the demise of the Valencia, as the Valencia had already closed BEFORE the el was removed.
Actually, the Tabernacle of Prayer was already in the Valencia BEFORE service on the eastern end of the Jamaica El closed…. See here for a photo. Notice the Tabernacle of Prayer cross is already up, and the Valencia Theater sign gone:
Click here for link
Wow, that is REALLY cool!!!
Wow, it’s a long time since I have seen a comment in this theater! I just drove by this theater the other day for the first time in years and thought of this site….
I think only the facade remains? Wasn’t the entire theater destroyed and the building rebuilt?Was even the lobby retained?
The total was a shambles, I don’t know how much was left to restore after the water damage. There were literally hundreds of holes in the roof.
I have to say, while it’s sad it can no longer be a theater anymore, they did an absolutely FANTASTIC job with the exterior conversion and restoration.
The exterior shell is better than total demolition, so a piece of history is in fact preserved.
Radio City may have been planned to be only live theater, but it never was only live theater at the beginning, as mentioned, two weeks after opening it showed it’s first movie. They had to know it would be showing film two weeks earlier…. :)
Again, even if the theaters are used as churches instead of theater (movies), it’s still better than gutted and turned into a drug store or something….or worse, torn down.
As for the Hollywood Theater (Mark Hellinger), as far as I know, the theater is maintained beautifully, even if used for a church. Would you rather have seen it turned into retail, or some of the far worse things that could have been done to it?
Hollywood-Mark Hellinger Theatre
As for Radio City Music Hall, it was always meant to show film, as well as live theater. It showed it’s first movie in January 1933….within two weeks of opening.
It appears the old Imperial Theater now operates as a warehouse, judging by this google street view:
Click Link Here
Wow, that is just wonderful!!
The perfect example of why often times “churches” have “saved” a theater….and now even returning to it’s natural use, at least partly.
For all those that “knock” the Tabernacle of Prayer in Jamaica (former Valencia Theater), because of the garish colors they painted….remember it’s churches like that that saved many theaters.
Based on the street view which says it was taken in June 2011, it’s now a used appliance store. Ironically, right around when Ken uploaded his 2006 photo to the site!!
Does anyone know if any of the theater’s ornamentation remains inside in the drug store.
John, did you ever compare the street view with the historic photo posted? It appears the whole right side of the building was ripped off some feet in, and a new side wall placed ¾ of the way in when they widened Flatlands Ave!!
Not only that, the CVS moved out about a year ago, and the “store” is now vacant.
I never understand all the mocking that takes place in regard to the Loews Valencia. Sure, it would be nicer if it was a theater again, and it is “sad” that it’s a church instead of such, but this church has saved the Valencia. While yes, the colors they painted the interior are garish at best, what would you rather have, the interior gutted into a drug store or something instead? or worse, leveled?
The Valencia is completely intact, maintained, and good shape. Who cares if the colors are garish….all that beautiful plasterwork could be gone instead, and prescriptions sold there instead.
Interestingly, all what remains is the candelabra style lighting in front of the foundation of the former theater.
jgraif, Cypress Ave is not the Brooklyn-Queens border.
The Madison is and always was in Queens.
The Border has been in a zig-zag line since the Madison was built. The Brooklyn Border traces Cypress Ave from Newtown Creek to Menahan St. It then zig zags down to St Nicholas Ave. It then precedes to Gates Ave. At that intersection, it then goes down to WYckoff Ave. It then Traces Wyckoff Ave across (and behind the Madison) to Eldert St where it goes down to Irving St, whichg then traces it through the Cemetery of the Evergreens.
This is a cool concert venue….but not a thing remains of the former interior ornamentation. Is bare brick walls and bare steel. You can see you are in the balcony where you walk through sloped beams to enter the main floor.
Thanks so much! It’s nice to finally see a photo of this theater!
The tax photos are from the 1980’s, and there is a wealth of great photos there! Especially of Bushwick where things were at their worst.
I wish they would publish the 1930’s tax photos too online.