Queens Theatre

219-36 Jamaica Avenue,
Queens Village, NY 11428

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Showing 76 - 100 of 153 comments

markp
markp on February 19, 2009 at 7:01 am

I could be wrong, but during the 1980’s, if this was a porn theatre at that time, then this, along with the Earle in Jackson Heights, the Globe in the Bronx, The Polk, as well as the Cinema 9 and Sayrewoods in New Jersey were all run by the same person. I worked at the Sayrewoods, and I know every week we would shuffle the film around from one theatre to the next. He made a lot of money out of those places, I could tell you that.

robboehm
robboehm on February 19, 2009 at 4:24 am

As a child I was always in awe of the size of the balcony. The main floor didn’t seem all that large. I also remember the rumble of the old LIRR steam locomotives as they would roar past on the express tracks.

zasu
zasu on May 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm

How in heaven’s name is my mentioning that I was a gay boy living in the closet in the 50s and 60s flaunting anything. Do you hesitate to mention your wife or girlfriend in a postings? Does that fact that anyone in this group might allude to their being heterosexual, by mentioning a spouse for example, equate with being unseemly? Or do you, GregWalsh, have some kind of separate standard of your own?

Yes I would be very interested if any of the other members believe my post is unseemly. I did not come here to discuss anything other than the cinema, but the posts always relate not only to the theatre, but to people’s experiences in the neighbourhood in which they grew up.up.other

gregwalsh
gregwalsh on May 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Michael,

You were not merely “mentioning” it; you were – in your own way – flaunting it. As to what is seemly and unseemly, I suggest you re-read the policies addressing relevancy of postings.

All other Members,

My opinion is strictly my own. Please weigh in with yours.

zasu
zasu on May 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Just who the hell do you think you are GregWalsh, to determine what is seemly and unseemly? Since when is someone who is gay not permitted to mention it? Did I go into a discussion of sexual activity of any kind? I simply stated an experience from my past, and how it related to something I saw in a posting that caused me to chuckle. What is god’s name do you find unseemly about that?

gregwalsh
gregwalsh on May 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Michael,

Please take discussion of your sexual orientation elsewhere. I think I can speak for most of us in saying that we don’t care if you’ve come out of the closet.

Such discussion is unseemly, and clearly inappropriate for this website.

zasu
zasu on May 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm

My guess, Warren, is that you are totally correct. As someone who grew up living in the proverbial closet for my entire childhood in that surrounding neighbourhood (Bellerose), the title of the film made me chuckle.

zasu
zasu on April 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Thanx for the terrific photos, Warren. I find it interesting that the headline of the story right under the second photo is titled ,The Gay Retreat.“ I wonder, back in those days, in which way they were using that word.

Artie16
Artie16 on April 30, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Great pictures of a go by era.
Artie16

Artie16
Artie16 on February 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm

oops sorry theater was a typo….. my mom danced in the “THEATRE” that would be the QUEENS THEATRE when they had vaudeville before any of us were born….actually my mom and dad met in front of the Queens Theatre…..

gregwalsh
gregwalsh on February 19, 2008 at 9:23 am

Dear Art,

Oh my goodness! Speaking of voices out of the past! I certainly DO remember you – and your limp – and your wife (Patricia, yes?) – and your home on Jamaica Avenue in Bellerose!

You and I have 50 years to catch up on. Please write to me, ASAP, at

Warmest regards,

Greg Walsh

Artie16
Artie16 on February 19, 2008 at 7:06 am

Hi all:
I also worked at the Queens, and Community theater’s from 1952 till 1969 as manager.
In later years I was a projectionist with Local 640.

Anyone remember me?

Art Ringfield

Moishe21
Moishe21 on November 23, 2007 at 12:26 pm

As a former member of IATSE Local 306 I worked at dozens of theatres within NYC. Indeed I worked at the Queens in the early 80’s when it had a porno grind policy. At the time the Diaz brothers owned the place. I also woked at the community when it was a twin.

FYI, in the early 70’s the Community was known as the Community Gardens……..rock n roll shows were the policy then…many stories of so many houses.

Today few union operators actually run films…….thanks in part to a corrupt local union and an international union who did not give a damn about the projectionists all over the USA.

Mortonman
Mortonman on November 16, 2007 at 9:07 pm

I can solve the theatre organ mystery. Austin was primarily a church organ company, but theatre organs were generally “unified” instruments. 42 ranks certainly has more punch to it than 11 ranks, but opus 1569 had only 11 ranks. I was the recipient of the organ’s being donated to Chaminade High School in Mineola, Long Island. It was a 3/11, not a 3/42. The Valencia did, indeed, blow this instrument away. It had 23 ranks and 4 manuals, and the ranks were on an even higher pressure than the Queens Village Austin.

The QVT’s reed ranks had already been taken by “midnight organ supply” before I took out the remnant in 1978. We managed to get exact replacement reeds from the Prospect Theatre and from the Beacon Theatre in Port Washington.

9 original Austin ranks remain in the 15 rank Chaminade instrument. All the Austin chests have since been replaced since releathering them would have been even more costly than getting new chests. The Austin console was replaced (given away) when we got the Robert Morton console from the RKO Keiths Richmond Hill in the mid-1980’s. Even the 7.5 hp Spencer turbine was replaced by the 15 hp Spencer from the RKO Keiths Richmond Hill. The old 7.5 is now working for the Middletown NY theatre’s Wurlitzer.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on January 18, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Hi “Youngnyer1!” I am amazed by some of the tax photos that you posted. Thank you for sharing them with us! I am a preservationist who has high hopes for a number of these properties. I would like to correspond with you via e-mail, since I have a few questions to ask. Please e-mail me at Thanks! – Michael

youngnyer1
youngnyer1 on January 18, 2007 at 9:22 am

This photo was taken in 1941 when the theater had a double feature showing “Love Crazy,” starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, and “Underground,” starring Jeffrey Lynn and Philip Dorn. Note the banner advertising the “cool” air conditioned theater. Also note the young couple walking to the theater.

This photo is from the NYC Municipal Archives. This is one of 700,000 photos taken of NYC buildings between 1939 to 1941 for tax purposes.

View link

Please look at my other comments to see more photos from this

collection.

gregwalsh
gregwalsh on January 7, 2007 at 8:50 am

Warren & JKane,

Back in the pre-TV heydays, a REAL “top hit’s” first run was always as a single on Broadway (or Hollywood Boulevard); often including some vaudeville acts. So-called “first run” showings in suburban theaters followed several weeks later. At this point, a second film was normally added to replace the vaudeville; especially since the “feature” averaged only 90-100 minutes in length to begin with.

However, to call the second film a “hit” was pure hokum. It was extremely rare when a “co-feature” film outshone the feature. The Ernest Borgnine classic, “Marty,” was an especially outstanding example. The Queens, Floral, and Meadows theaters were packed for two solid weeks!

JKane
JKane on January 7, 2007 at 6:53 am

Thanks for posting that ad. That is a bizarre pitch, since the theaters listed below (including the Community about 3 blocks away, also a good-sized venue as I recall) all advertise double features as well.

JKane
JKane on December 8, 2006 at 6:26 pm

Attended many double features here in the early and mid-60s (‘Portrait of a Mobster’/‘Fever in the Blood’ comes to mind for some reason); it was by far the largest venue in the area, though I never realized it had that many seats; somehow can’t picture a theater that size flourishing as an XXX house, though it probably afforded patrons ample ‘breathing’ room.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 8, 2006 at 5:35 pm

GregW… like it or not, it is a part of this theater’s history. Warren… did you notice that below the marquee and above the entrance doors it appears that the sign might read “Queens Village Theater?”

And Micheal D. Fein… I’ll never tell. The innocent must be protected!

zasu
zasu on December 8, 2006 at 11:32 am

EdSolereo, I gotta know. What happened at the Jamaica High School Senior Day in June of 1982?

gregwalsh
gregwalsh on December 8, 2006 at 8:01 am

Warren, I hate to say it, but I enjoyed your earlier pictures much more… Yuk!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 2, 2006 at 5:16 pm

Ha. Sex in Cunningham Park. Why am I reminded of the evening of Jamaica High School Senior Day in June of 1982???

zasu
zasu on October 2, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Well KenF and GregW, I’m delighted to know there were such responsible and alert officials guarding the Queens balcony from such audacious behaviour. I always felt we should get sex out of the bedrooms and theatres, and into the bathrooms and Cunningham Park where it belongs. :–)

KenF
KenF on October 2, 2006 at 1:41 pm

Gay hanky-panky in the upper reaches of the Queens? Not while I guarded the purple carpet and enforced the “Balcony Closed” sign in the mid-60s. And certainly not while my dad was among the gendarmie from the 105 who kept the back of the balcony safe for democracy (and the occasional nap).