RKO Alden Theatre

165-16 Jamaica Avenue,
Jamaica, NY 11432

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Showing 76 - 100 of 161 comments

Bway on July 18, 2006 at 5:18 am

September 11th, 1977 was the last day of service for the Jamaica El, east of Queens Blvd. At that point service was truncated at the Queens Blvd station, 4 stations west. The el was demolished soon after. The Valencia operating as a theater never operated without the el obliterating it’s facade. The Valencia opened in 1928, the el opened in I believe 1918, so the Valencia was built 10 years after the el was already there. And going by the photo that Warren pointed out, the last day of service for the old Jamaica El saw the Valencia already the Tabernacle of Prayer.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 18, 2006 at 4:51 am

Both photos show the Alden featuring the popular 3-D martial arts extravaganza “Dynasty” on a bill with a Frankenstein film that is either this European import, which was released in the U.S. in ‘77 or might possibly be Andy Warhol’s X-rated version of the tale which was also shot in 3-D. The former is probably the more likely scenario.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 18, 2006 at 3:53 am

The photo ending with 24041.jpg shows the Valencia already as a church, and with a white cross in the spot where the vertical sign used to be. The church must have acted very fast, as the photo is dated 9/11/77.

BrooklynJim on July 17, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Una otra fotografia, lo mismo tiempo (‘77):


BrooklynJim on July 17, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Again, Peter hits the mark – not only his sharp eye for the WHN John Denver ad (“Sunshine on my shoulder makes me sweaty…”), but also for the link below:


Now Bway can go nutz trynna figure out which Frankenstein flix in what year. Ha! Hint: the old BMT standards were part of the Transit Authority’s Nostalgia Specials to Coney Island and elsewhere in the late 1970s. [i was still a F/T resident in ‘77 and had snapped a shot of my own personal fave at the time, good ol’ Olivia…]

PKoch on July 17, 2006 at 12:11 pm

I think there’s at least a hint in the nycsubway.org images of 168th Street that are similar to this one.

Bway on July 17, 2006 at 12:06 pm

I wonder what the “Two Action Hits” were.

PKoch on July 17, 2006 at 11:22 am

That’s a good picture, BklynJim. Thanks ! It’s like images I’ve seen on nycsubway.org, one of many images of “els showing the cinemas” that either are no longer there, or are no longer cinemas. In this case, the el isn’t there any more, either !

The WHN 1050 John Denver poster is familiar, and dates it to about September 1977 :

“Thank you for being part of our country !”

Also The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Crystal Gale, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John, etc.

I joked with a friend, that WNEW 102.7 FM should have had a poster of the Rolling Stones, captioned, “Thank you for being busted !”

BrooklynJim on July 17, 2006 at 9:51 am

Here’s another link for the RKO Alden. Pic was snapped when the J train terminated in the Jamaica shopping district at the 168th Street station. The top of the Alden’s marquee can be seen clearly at lower right:


BrooklynJim on June 15, 2006 at 10:43 am

I used a buddy’s addy to log on to this wonderful site. The poor guy just found some 20 CT messages telling him that someone had responded to my posts. After I stopped laughing, I told him it was A-OK to delete ‘em wholesale.

I’ll have access to a relative’s e-addy when I return to Brooklyn later this year. We’ll make contact then. Thx!!!

PKoch on June 15, 2006 at 8:48 am

BrooklynJim, you mean, you don’t have an e-mail address, or, you don’t have mine ? You’re most welcome to the invite.

BrooklynJim on June 15, 2006 at 8:09 am

Would love to, Peter, and I thanks ya for the invite. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have access to an e-addy. In time, perhaps…

PKoch on June 14, 2006 at 9:58 am

BrooklynJim, I invite you to e-mail me privately, should you wish to continue our dialogue about films.

Great photo, Ed Solero. Thanks !

BrooklynJim on June 14, 2006 at 9:54 am

You da man, EdSolero! Can’t believe ya got it so fast! Impressive!

I know what you mean about telephoto lenses. The 165th St. marquee was probably 5-6 doorways down toward Archer and the LIRR.

PKoch on June 14, 2006 at 6:59 am

I think my dad and I ate in that Chock Full O' Nuts, near the left edge of the image, in spring 1968.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 14, 2006 at 6:06 am

Thanks B'klynJim… I found the photo on the website and snagged it for my photobucket collection. The film on the marquee is “The Beguiled” from 1971 with Clint Eastwood:

Alden 165th Street marquee

The marquee looks a bit closer to Jamaica Avenue in the photo than the spot I would have assumed it existed based on my drive down the block the other morning, but then… those telephoto lenses tend to mess with the field of depth. I remember that for a few years after the elevated J line was dismantled, the concrete bases of those support stanchions were still embedded along the edge of the sidewalk. I seem to recall that the steel girders were actually cut just above the concrete base rather than being completely torn out.

Anyway, you’re right… A great photo.

PKoch on June 14, 2006 at 4:58 am

BklynJim, I remember Zacherle hosting Chiller Theater in the spring of 1970, mocking films like “Killers From Space”, that really mocked themselves, by inserting a shot of a page with “2 + 2 = 5” scrawled on it, in the scene where the bug-eyed alien zombies are showing the Peter Graves character some physics equations.

Sort of a pre “Mystery Science Theatre 3000”.

BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 1:20 pm

EdSolero, I found the website I’d told you about:


Will need to solicit your assistance, however, as I don’t have e-mail capability. The guy who runs the site occasionally removes the archive files. There are some 17 transit archives (where the 165th pic is on) and 11 bus archives. Oddly, he still has the 3 rail archive sites accessible. His e-addy is Perhaps you could drop him a quick line to ask where he may have posted them now. And maybe if you describe the photo, he’ll e-mail an attachment to you. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Thx!

BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 12:19 pm

With you guys jumpin' on some TV talk, wish some of you might have remembered Zacherle (and Gasport!) on Channel 7’s “Shock Theatre.” It was so bad that it was great!!!

BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 12:17 pm

Thanks, Peter. Greg was only 23 when a rare form of cancer nailed him last year. He was a diehard movie critic. He was friends with French actress/writer/director Agnes Jouie, met his hero David Lynch and even got to do a walk-on for a late ‘05 episode of his fave TV show, “Gilmore Girls.” He loved anything connected with film and Hollywood. We hope to issue a book of his reviews, articles and interviews next year, with all profits going to the Film School Scholarship his film critic peers established at San Diego State University.

We are never good at making sense out of random stuff like this, but I always liked what one of his peers had said: “God needed a foreign film critic He could understand.” That sure works for me.

PKoch on June 13, 2006 at 11:48 am

Thanks, BklynJim. My condolences to you on the death of your son.

PKoch on June 13, 2006 at 11:47 am

I first saw “Teenage Frankenstein” on the ABC 4:30 movie. It was called “The Big Show”. CBS, NBC and WOR also had 4:30 movies. The CBS 4:30 movie was called “The Early Show”.

BrooklynJim on June 13, 2006 at 11:46 am

For diehard Carradine fans, “The Unearthly” is avaible on widescreen DVD for less than 10 bucks. As a bonus, it also features the non-acting skills of Allison Hayes, who was the 50-foot woman with a terminal case of P.M.S..

To save you guys some dough, try this site that my late son turned me on to a while back. The beauty is that there’s NO tax and NO shipping fees, and delivery is fast:


And if you’re music lovers to boot:


PKoch on June 13, 2006 at 11:40 am

EdSolero, I’m glad it’s your favorite.

I’m glad you remember all those old movies on TV. There was also “The Late Late Show” and Schaefer Award Theater on Saturday night.

The Chiller Theater opening I first remember was a montage of clips from the films they showed, like “Plan 9”, “Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman”, “The Gorilla”, “Killers From Space”, backed with godawful scary music I couldn’t begin to mimic. The six-fingered hand came later, about 1970.

Whit Bissell even more ubiquitous than John Agar?!? Or John Carradine?!? Not at all ! I couldn’t begin to guess !

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2006 at 11:34 am

PKoch… that is my favorite Bissell line of all time!

I wasn’t around in those days, being in my early 40’s, but I did catch a lot of those old movies on WPIX channel 11 and WNEW channel 5 growing up! I shouldn’t forget channel 9, WOR TV. Or even the local programming no the network owned stations! The Late Show on WCBS, the 4:30 Movie on WABC… the Million Dollar Movie… Chiller Theater… Creature Features… Fright Night…

DVD and cable TV pretty much put an end to watching old movies that way… As much as I miss the intro’s to some of those shows (the 6 fingered claymation hand rising from the swamp on Chiller Theater is a fave), I gotta say I love watching unedited and uninterrupted classic-era films on Turner Movie Classics. And the prints they run are usually pristine.

Anyway… are you telling me that Whit Bissell was even more ubiquitous than John Agar?!? Or John Carradine?!? I love this site.