Jackson Heights Cinema

40-31 82nd Street,
Jackson Heights, NY 11373

Unfavorite 10 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 100 of 156 comments

LuisV on September 24, 2006 at 11:37 am

I hate to rehash an old topic discussed above, but here goes…..I was born and raised in the US and speak perfect English. I also speak Spanish fluently. When I see the latest Almodovar film or other Spanish film I insist that the film be subtitled in English. Why? English is my first language and while I speak and understand Spanish quite well, there are some things I have trouble with: sometimes accents, sometimes very rapid speech, sometimes words I am not familiar with. So, even though I understand Spanish, having subtitles adds to my enjoyment of a film so that if I missed something that was spoken I can read it in English. Since I go to a movie to be entertained I think this is a great feature. The same situation applies to all of the Spanish speaking immigrants in Jackson Heights. They may and probably do know some English, but they go to the movies to be entertained. Having the Spanish subtitles enables them to enjoy the film and learn English at the same time.

I also insist on subtitles when I go to the Opera, even when the Opera is in English since I don’t always understand the singers words.

There is obviously a market in this neighborhood for sub-titled movies. If it bothers you, then you should go to another theater.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 6, 2006 at 5:51 am

Here’s an opening ad from 1924. A news report of the opening night performance said that all 1,500 seats were filled, and that hundreds of people had to be turned away. For several decades, the Jackson was one of the most successful cinemas in Queens. When it was modernized and redecorated in 1939 in time for the NY World’s Fair, publicity claimed that “over 1 million moviegoers attend the Jackson yearly!” That averaged out to at least 2,740 per day:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 17, 2006 at 6:33 am

Theatre #1 is apparently the ground floor portion of the original auditiorium. #2 and #3 must be the original stadium section at the rear, divided in two.

Bway on June 9, 2006 at 12:46 am

Well hopefully they do the same thing at the Ridgewood Theater, as I think it’s the same owners. I don’t think they need a building permit to just renovate their auditoriums. Apparently they keep the Jackson in about as good a shape as they keep the Ridgewood. Any repair is better than nothing.

Warren, interesting find about the JH Airdome.

imoutopoul on June 1, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Hey Guys,
I was at the Jackson the other night catching X-Men. I noticed that the main theater was closed and the windows blacked out. Depending who I spoke to I was told that the projector needed repair to the ceiling being fixed to a major overhaul of the main theater. I didn’t see any building permits or construction containers around the theater. Everybody I did speak to said that it would reopen within a month. Does anybody have any further info?
Jimmy M

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 31, 2006 at 8:55 am

The first cinema in Jackson Heights was an outdoor theatre called the Jackson Heights Airdome, which opened on July 5, 1919, and gave two performances per night (weather permitting) at 8:15 and 9:30 PM, according to a newspaper report of the time. The address given was Roosevelt Avenue & 25th Street, near the 25th Street elevated subway station. Since 25th Street is now known as 82nd Street, it seems possible that the Jackson Theatre was built on ground previously occupied by the Airdome.

Bway on March 21, 2006 at 5:50 am

Oh, and Warren, I forgot to comment on your comment about the movies on the Jackson’s marquee in the current photos…..it appears perhaps all three are fitting for the theater’s present state!! Irony is not even the word!

Bway on March 21, 2006 at 5:48 am

Thank you Warren, what an elegant interior it had! And the beautiful marquee! Compared to what is there today! Thanks for the photos.
From what I gather, the front part fo the Jackson is still intact, meaning the procenium arch, and all the plasterwork, because the multiplexing took place in the back of the theater?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 21, 2006 at 5:01 am

The Jackson had a stadium section of seats at the rear of the orchestra instead of a conventional, over-hanging balcony. For the triplex, the stadium section was walled off from the orchestra and divided into two screens. I posted some photos of the Jackson’s original interior here about six months ago. Please look above.

Bway on March 21, 2006 at 4:29 am

As for the condition, it appears the owners of the Jackson (which also own the Ridgewood Theater) don’t seem to take much better care of the place than the Ridgewood Theater. In fact, on the exterior, the Ridgewood seems to be in better shape (and that’s saying a lot).

Bway on March 21, 2006 at 4:28 am

Thanks very much Warren, those are the first I have seen of it. did the Jackson have a balcony? It seems sort of too low, unless that’s just an illusion of just the lobby being low.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 21, 2006 at 3:48 am

Here are two exterior views from October, 2003, before the Jackson switched to running Spanish sub-titles with its English-speaking films. Two of the titles on the marquee make an ironic comment on the theatre’s physical condition:

Bway on March 21, 2006 at 1:28 am

I don’t have any of the interior, but if you are looking for a theater highly intact inside (and out), check out the RKO Kieth’s Richmond Hill. While the seats have been removed, most of the interior of that theater is completely intact. And it was never multiplexed, so even more intact.
Here’s a link:

As for the Jackson, I too would be interested in seeing photos of the inside. I don’t know how much of the original ornamentation survived the multiplexing.

jurayj on March 20, 2006 at 6:36 pm

could someone please post current photos of the jacksons exterior facade including entrance details, and any current interior shots
to show its condition, I am looking for highly intact new york movie houses to present to the landmarks commission

JHGuy on January 2, 2006 at 6:08 am

I went to see a movie there last night. Most of the theater’s original details appear to be intact under several coats of paint. The main auditorium is one of the largest movie houses I’ve been in since I was a kid, although it has a faint odor of stale fake butter flavor.

And the movie had subtitles in Spanish. Did this bother me? No, as I’ve been to theaters all over the world that play Hollywood movies with subtitles in many different languages at once. It is rather entertaining that several of you are getting all hot and bothered over subtitles as some sort of vandalism of the movie. The Jackson Triplex shows Hollywood blockbusters—not art. There are several other movie theaters in the area accessible by subway and car. So it’s not like the Jackson Triplex is the only theater around showing Hollywood movies. (You don’t’ complain about the Eagle that shows Bollywood musicals 8 blocks away.) However, the Jackson is the only theater accessible on foot from Jackson Heights that shows Hollywood movies.

dellwebb on December 25, 2005 at 7:53 am

Grew up in the neighborhood. Was there many times, before and after it became a triplex. For some reason remember seeing, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” there with Lily Tomlin over everything else. My fondest memory of it was pre-triplex was when I went to a Saturday afternoon event in the mid-70’s, “Go Ape for a Day”, all 5 films starting with of course “Planet of the….”

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 31, 2005 at 3:04 am

Stereo sound was first installed in Queens theatres in 1953, starting with the most important ones on the Loew’s, RKO, Skouras, and Century circuits. Although the Jackson was not part of that group, I’m sure that it had stereo sound by the end of that year or early in 1954.

maramadus on October 30, 2005 at 6:31 pm

I purchased and removed an old (early 1950s) sound system from the Jackson Triplex in the summer of 2004. Does anyone have any information or history on when the Jackson first went to stereo sound? I would venture that this system would have been their first sterophonic sound system and would love to know exactly when it was installed.

br91975 on July 15, 2005 at 7:34 am

The exterior – without, of course, the original marquee – appears today much as it did in the image Warren posted earlier this afternoon.

Bway on July 11, 2005 at 8:51 am

Ah, it was cut up totally different than other cut up “multiplexes” I am thinking of.

RobertR on July 11, 2005 at 8:42 am

The Jackson used the elevated stadium section (I am refraining from using “balcony” before I am corrected)to make theatres 2 and 3, so except for the year iot must all be there.

Bway on July 11, 2005 at 8:38 am

If you take the multiplexing of some of the other theaters, such as the Ridgewood Theater, most of the auditorium ornamentation survives, except for the fact that it has walls cutting up thing, like the huge ceiling circle, etc.

br91975 on July 11, 2005 at 8:26 am

The foyer retains most of that appearance to this day; I imagine much of the same, save for the alterations brought forth by the triplexing, can be said for the auditorium itself.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 11, 2005 at 8:21 am

Here’s an image of the Jackson’s original foyer. The ceiling is below the stadium section of seats. To enter the auditorium, you used a short corridor at the center of the foyer’s left wall. This took you to the rear of the orchestra seats, and directly behind you was the stadium section: