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Thank you for a very descriptive update. What you saw would be perplexing to just about anyone, except the owners.
A theater does not have to be the greatest theater in the world to be regarded as an official NYC landmark and a “cinema treasure.” Also, there are different ways of defining great. In our democratic society, the majority wins, and the Ridgewood Theatre is indeed a testament to vaudeville and film history, and was designed by one of the greatest theater architects that ever lived, Thomas W. Lamb. This is a case study, and with a creative vision, it could be granted a new lease on life to benefit the local and greater community.
I look forward to your assessment. Thank you, Peter!
Larry 2 sounds somewhat pessimistic, which makes one a defeatist. Let’s have some creativity and originality here, so it can fuel our efforts as preservationists and theater buffs.
P.S. Excuse the typo above.
This is the press September 14, 2010 press release from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission:
That is a great idea! I will get in touch with the Committee To Save The Loews Kings, and will then consider reaching out to the Economic Development Corporation and any other appropriate parties.
Mike: Read its landmark designation report, and try to acknowledge and understand the larger picture…
Hope this helps!
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
Four Borough Preservation Alliance, Queens VP
Considering the style of the Daily News article, who can guarantee that the journalist has been inside the theater?
Thomas Lamb’s Adamesque architectural features were awaiting discovery, and the treasure was unveiled upon the removal of sheet rock and multi-plexing. Now, all of a sudden, it is in shambles. Ironic how it wasn’t that way in 2008 when the theater closed, for that sake. I smell a rat here.
Sounds cliche, but when there’s a will, there’s a way. Supporters of the Ridgewood Theatre’s preservation and reuse consists of a broad coalition, which I spearhead as Chair of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre since the theater’s closure in 2008. We are still working with a few potential buyers and tenants. There are numerous historic theaters, where the multi-plexing has been removed, and the theaters were perhaps vacant for years, and then restored after substantial weathering. Staten Island’s Paramount Theatre is currently being restored, and they are doing a commendable job. Loew’s Paradise has been completely restored and was landmarked in 2006, and now reused for boxing, occasional performances, and a restaurant. Also consider the complete restoration and reuse of the Beekman Theatre in NYC as a performing arts center. A performing arts center could thrive in Ridgewood, considering the growing arts community locally and in Bushwick and Williamsburg. You mustn’t be a defeatist, but a proactive creative visionary.
Something is very unkosher in the Daily News interview. It is bizarre how usual preservationists such as Paul Kerzner and Ted Renz of Ridgewood, have even agreed that the theater auditorium is inn shambles. It was a fully operational theater in 2008, and since some multi-plexing was removed, to reveal plentiful early Thomas Lamb Adamesque features, so now it’s suddenly in shambles??? It was a treasure awaiting rediscovery after decades, and it would be a CRIME destroying it for any business that can open someplace else.
Check out these photos in the Times NewsWeekly from April 2010, and tell me what you think: View link
Can you please post a link to the article that makes this claim? Thanks!
Perhaps the owners are placing it on the market again, in order to evaluate their options. When it was listed by Massey Knakal in 2008, it was believed to be at $14 million and then $11.75 million. Now it’s believed to be at $3.4 million. It has decreased, but I can see how even that asking price can be a strain in a tough economy. On the plus side, prospective buyers can acquire a landmark theater with great architectural and cultural history, superb location bordering 2 boroughs, proximity to art communities, great square footage, and eligibility for grants. It could launch several careers. A revitalized theater could improve property values. This could be the Radio City of Queens & Brooklyn, if it was restored and redeveloped creatively as a performing arts center with community spaces. Any bids? Feel free to circulate my take, and feel free to e-mail me at
Thankfully, Lost Memory is not ill. No worries. I received an e-mail reply from him. He sent regards to his Cinema Treasures companions. However, he said he decided to retire from Cinema Treasures, and that maybe one day, he will come out of retirement and return.
ok, thank you, Peter!
I add my name to those who miss LostMemory’s postings on Cinema Treasures, and I hope he is in good health. Maybe someone has his phone number or e-mail? If you know his name, and would like to e-mail me in private at
We haven’t abandoned hope. As Chair of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, I am always trying to bring together preservation-minded performing arts tenants with the co-owners of the theater.
Is there a link to this theater on Cinema Treasures, so enthusiasts and prospective parties can acquire more insight?
The owners and prospective tenants do not envision it reopening as a movie theater, and if it did take on such a function, it would not be the major source of capital, and would occasionally include a screening. The vision of the owners and prospective tenants is performing arts with other community functions. This is a diverse city for the arts, and bringing an increase in the arts to Queens will be a throwback to the theater’s early Vaudeville days, and help make the community and surrounding community’s a greater destination, as well as improve property values and boost jobs. A performing arts center can perform economic wonders if developed sensitively and creatively.
Thank you for sharing the updated theater website! I will once again bring it to the owners' and prospective tenants' attention.
In an e-mail, I have shared some case studies with the Ridgewood Theatre owners and prospective performing arts tenants. It indicated how other endangered theaters were spared and restored with the community and governmental intervention, by applying for grants, holding fundraisers, recruiting volunteers, and hiring architects who are out of work, and willing to take on noble projects pro-bono or low pay, to boost their experience. I will look into the Strand in RI as well. Thank you!
I will add that you also invested the time to take questions from NY Times reporter Anne Barnard, which was very helpful. I will inform everyone how they can help with the cause, as soon as new developments in need of “power to the people” unfold.
Thank you, but you are also a “trouper,” since you delivered a superb testimony in front of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, based on its architectural significance, your sentiment, and the need to preserve such theatrical historic gems.
Thank you for your monthly observations! I am working with the owners and prospective tenants, and it may be reused as a performing arts center with community spaces, housed in a restored theater. It is a long process, but not impossible with creative visions and continued dedication.