Trylon Theater

98-81 Queens Boulevard,
Rego Park, NY 11374

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Showing 101 - 125 of 226 comments

DavidHurlbutt on August 21, 2006 at 1:03 pm

In the 1960s The Trylon did show some first run films. “Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte” openened there which I saw at the Trylon with a sneak preview of “Quick Before It Melts.” I do recall one Sunday seeing lines outside the Trylon waiting to get in the theater to see a double feature: THE MUSIC MAN and GYPSY.

Bway on August 21, 2006 at 12:45 pm

In my opinion, at least in later years, the Trylon usually played “different”, or weird movies. Perhaps artsy?
Perhaps they were trying to form a niche.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 21, 2006 at 11:17 am

During its first 20 years at least, the Trylon was a late-run “nabe” with double features, so it probably showed every Hollywood “A” movie produced, and many of the “B"s. If you just made a list of the "Best Picture” Oscar nominees of those years, I think it would be safe to say that they all played at the Trylon.

Bway on August 20, 2006 at 11:33 pm

Well, I saw “A Stranger Among Us” there in the summer of 1992, so you can add that to the list….

NativeForestHiller on August 20, 2006 at 9:12 pm

The following is a list of films that were shown at the Trylon from 1989-1990, provided by RobertR.

I am doing research on the Trylon. I would appreciate it very much if someone can please post a list of as many films as possible that were featured at the Trylon between Dec 26, 1939 and late Dec 1999. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! You can also e-mail

5/5/89 Scandal
6/9 Dead Poets Society
8/25 Uncle Buck (moveover)
9/15 Shirley Valentine
10/27 Sex Lies & Videotape (moveover)
11/3 Crimes & Misdeamenors
12/15 Blaze
1/5 My Left Foot
2/2 Stanley & Iris
2/23 Where the Heart Is
3/9 Madhouse
3/23 Pretty Woman
6/15 Dick Tracy

NativeForestHiller on August 20, 2006 at 8:59 pm

As a committee, we are not giving up!!! Councilwoman Katz is beyond hope, and is the most developer-friendly politician out there. She has refused countless times to meet with us, and her campaign contributions illustrate how she is heavily supported by the greedy “over-developers.” The Trylon-adorned ticket booth will be rebuilt even if it’s not at the site for the time being. It will be a symbol which says “We will not permit our history & culture to be torn apart by greed!!!”

Bway on July 12, 2006 at 9:33 am

It’s not that the theater was falling apart, it’s that the current owners ripped everythign apart. The Kings has been neglected, but it wasn’t ripped apart.

uncleal923 on July 12, 2006 at 1:28 am

Wait, are you guys giving up? I haven’t seen any of the photos, but this could still be a diamond in the rough. There are people, myself included, not willing to give up on the Kings in Brooklyn, which is a few years older and hasn’t been used since the 1970s. Maybe you should just keep pressing. Any theater, like most historical buildings, is worth keeping. Furthermore, the politicians may be crooked, but sometimes they straighten out with the right coaxing.

NativeForestHiller on June 5, 2006 at 2:26 pm

“You can say that again!”

RobertR on June 5, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Nothing will happen with the crooked politicians we still have in power in Queens, very sad indeed.

NativeForestHiller on June 5, 2006 at 2:14 pm

It is a shame that we have to fight this hard to try to preserve it. It wouldn’t have been difficult for a “reputable” owner to keep the exterior intact, and preserve defining features of the interior. What were they thinking?!? Shame on them! With the presently intact Queens Museum of Art facing a risk of being altered & expanded, we will have no traces of the 1939 World’s Fair left! :(

NativeForestHiller on June 5, 2006 at 1:54 pm

The interior is in an even worse state than the exterior, and the interior photos that were Aug 2005 posted on this site. It seems as if they are working inside on a daily basis, but not too much progress has been made over the course of the last year. In Aug 2005, the hand-painted cloth murals were on both sides of the theater stage. No one at the site or any affiliate has responded to their whereabouts, causing the committee and other preservationists to believe they have been completely destroyed. The auditorium, which the owner promised would be left mostly intact, seems gutted. There are numerous violations at the site/Stop Work Orders. When CM Katz was informed, she turned her back on her constituents. It’s very sad! We’ll keep fighting for preservation of the streamlined facade, glass block tower, and restoration of the marquee. The entrance pavilion’s mosaic/terrazzo floor which bears the Trylon logo & features Art Deco chevrons, is still present, but the Education Center for Russian Jewry & the councilwoman, change the subject. They promised to rescue facade features, but without landmarking and the lies accumulating, there is no confirmation. I suggest that any enthusiasts who are interested in volunteering for the Committee To Save The Trylon or lending their support by contacting key officials, to e-mail us at Thanks!

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 1:09 pm

Any word on the current state of the interior?

PKoch on May 30, 2006 at 4:13 pm

I saw it at the 34th Street East in January 1978.

Forever ?

Tony Manuro will burn forever in a “Disco Inferno” !

For wearing a “condominium” !

RobertR on May 28, 2006 at 2:32 am

This played forever here
View link

NativeForestHiller on May 13, 2006 at 7:01 am

Thought you might like to read the following letter to the editor of the Queens Chronicle, entitled “Trylon For All” & published May 11th:

Dear Editor:

In response to the April 27 letter to the editor by Dave Shlakman of Howard Beach, titled “Trylon Case,” numerous preservationists and residents who are advocating for landmark status for the Trylon Theater have attended movies there. Besides nostalgia, the dominant reason for our initiative is the rare and distinctive art deco/art moderne architectural features the Trylon Theater exhibits. It is an anchor of Queens Boulevard and Forest Hills and a great representation of 1939 World’s Fair history.

While it is true that owners have the authority to make alterations to a structure that is not landmarked, the Landmarks law grants us every right to continue encouraging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate worthwhile buildings like the Trylon, and others that merit preservation throughout the five boroughs. That is the beauty of it.

Occupancy by the Education Center for Russian Jewry is commendable, but we are baffled as to why the center didn’t find it viable to preserve some of the most significant elements (present in the entrance pavilion), which included the Trylon adorned mosaic ticket booth, and the terrazzo/mosaic inlaid floor that also depicted a 3D mirror image of the Trylon Monument, accompanied by chevrons.

The floor is present, but in jeopardy of being masked by generic tile or cement. It has been proven in many scenarios that older buildings can be “adaptively reused” with a preservation minded strategy. Although the ticket booth is gone, it still is “economically viable” to preserve what remains.

The Trylon will be a center that offers social programs, so the whole community should work cohesively. The 1939 World’s Fair fostered social and cultural change that led to the arrival of immigrants in America. Do we “educate” attendees of the Education Center by erasing a part of their heritage? If this neighborhood trend continues, what values do we hope to instill in our children?

We are grateful for the 1,600 people who signed our petition and those who care about our community. There are some aspects of every community that should be here to stay, and the Trylon Theater is one of many in Forest Hills and Rego Park, while accommodating it to a newer use.

  • Michael Perlman, chairman,
    Committee To Save The Trylon Theater,
    Forest Hills
NativeForestHiller on May 3, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Thank you for sharing the above photo, Robert!

The Trylon entrance pavilion’s ticket booth might be gone & the mosaic floor is in the process of being covered over, but the remainder of the exterior is not gone.

CM Katz’s flip-flop of decisions is particularly disturbing in the Trylon case, since she opposed landmarking, then publicly stated her support, and then said she never felt it was suitable. She made no effort to encourage the LPC to calendar it. LPC won’t act without strong political support.She has the power, since she’s the Chair of Land Use. How can an elected official choose to suit her own interests, and mislead her constituents rather than serve them?

The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater & the community communicated. It was Melinda Katz who failed (to meet after promising, respond to letters, etc)! The effort isn’t over. Will her lack of intervention in this scenario be an obstacle in other neighborhood preservation efforts? Let’s continue to bond together for the benefit of the community, and not let this happen. “Power to the people!!!!!”

Please voice your frustrations to CM Katz:
Send carbon copies to James McClelland (her comm. affairs rep):
Carbon copy Committee To Save The Trylon:

Please tell Robert Tierney of the Landmarks Commission to reconsider his decision, and at least grant the Trylon a hearing to determine its status: .gov, .gov, .gov, and copy on all correspondences.

Cumulatively, we’re up to 1600 signers. Please sign our ongoing online petition, if you haven’t already done so:

PKoch on May 3, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the link to that image, RobertR !

Regarding the loss of the Trylon, as “Cool Hand Luke” had said, was what we had there a failure to communicate ?

RobertR on May 2, 2006 at 8:16 pm

A picture from better days
View link

NativeForestHiller on April 30, 2006 at 7:04 am

Even though the Trylon was turned down (“It doesn’t meet the LPC’s criteria for landmarking”), we will continue to apply pressure on the LPC & CM Katz. Our consensus is that the remaining exterior features of the Trylon are distinctive enough to merit landmark status. Anything to the contrary is a violation of the landmarks law.

The following article is from the March 30th Times NewsWeekly. I just noticed it online. It features the March 23rd Juniper Park Civic Association meeting when Mayor Bloomberg was presented “man of the year,” and documents my speech on behalf of Committee To Save The Trylon.

View link

uncleal923 on April 26, 2006 at 1:31 am

I did not have to read that whole thing above to realize how sad it is. These old theaters should be preserved.

NativeForestHiller on April 17, 2006 at 5:30 am

A letter to the editor as noted in the 4/13 Queens Chronicle:

Trylon Landmarking

Dear Editor:

Regarding Rick Archer’s article in the April 6 Queens Chronicle, I read that the proposed Education Center for Russian Jewry has promised to preserve the marquee and projection tower of the Trylon Theater. The center does not mention the mosaic floor. In any event, a promise is not enough. The people of Queens County need the city of New York to back us up on this one.

Countless thousands of moviegoers including myself have invested a lot in this town. I believe the criteria has been met. With all due respect to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, I understand sites must be carefully considered, but ones in Queens are few and far between. Save some of the familiarity of our structures for all of Queens’ residents.

Thomas Killeen,
Kew Gardens

NativeForestHiller on April 8, 2006 at 3:43 am

Forest Hills Ledger (Times Ledger) April 6, 2006:

A BIG lie – Notice how a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission said “the inside of the Trylon had been modified too much to qualify for landmark status.” It is common knowledge, only exteriors of buildings qualify for individual landmark status. Interiors are an entirely different category. This is confirmed in the LPC’s book, “A Guide to NYC Landmarks.” The Committee To Save The Trylon requests an answer from the LPC, and will get a hold of their minutes!

Trylon denied landmark status
By Nathan Duke
Residents in western Queens communities and preservationists are hoping to save two historic borough movie palaces, one of which is being converted into an educational center, while the other will soon face competition from a newly constructed multiplex.

Efforts to save the 66-year-old Trylon Theater, located at 98-81 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park, were dealt a fatal blow recently after the city Landmarks Preservation Committee decided not to grant landmark status to the theater. Signers of the Save the Trylon Theater petition said the site is one of the last standing structures that has cultural and historical ties to the 1939 World’s Fair.

Michael Perlman, founder of Save the Trylon Theater, criticized the preservation committee’s decision not to designate the Trylon as a landmark. The Art Deco theater is currently being transformed into the Educational Center for Russian Jewry.

“The Landmarks Preservation Committee has chosen to disregard a highly significant landmark, confirming a consensus among preservationists that Queens continues to get the back door,” Perlman said.

City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) recently received a letter from Landmarks Chairman Robert Tierney, who explained that the theater did not meet the commission’s criteria for landmark status. A spokeswoman for the commission said the inside of the Trylon had been altered too much from its original state to qualify it.

In a recent Daily News article, Katz said she never thought the theater was suitable for landmarking and that she was “happy that [Tierney] made a decision.” But Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden and Perlman both said they were upset with Katz’s comments in the article. “The worst thing that an elected official can do is mislead their constituents,” Holden said.

Borough residents and theater preservationists are also unsure of the fate of the 90-year-old Ridgewood Theater, located at 55-27 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood, which will soon face competition from an eight-screen Regal Cinemas at the Shops at Atlas Park, a large office/retail complex set to open in late April on Cooper Avenue between 80th and 83rd streets in Glendale. Although some residents said they hope to get the historic theater landmarked, others complained on Cinema Treasures, an online movie theater forum, that the Ridgewood had sticky floors, creaky seats and rodents.

Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5, which serves Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, said he would like to see the area retain a historic neighborhood movie theater. He said the Ridgewood might just need a little sprucing up.

But Karen Colizzi Noonan, president of the Chicago-based Theatre Historical Society of America, said saving the theater is a responsibility shared by the theater’s owners and the community.

“If the community values that piece of property and doesn’t want to lose it, they need to make a commitment to support it,” she said.

While the fate of the Ridgewood Theater, which has survived two world wars, the Great Depression and the invention of television, video and DVDs, is yet to be decided, the Trylon joins the ranks of several historic Queens sites that have been denied landmark status or torn down to make way for new developments. These include the 159-year-old St. Savior’s Church in Maspeth, the Middle Village German eatery Niederstein’s and Glendale catering hall Durow’s.

“I think the borough is losing a lot of its history because Landmarks is not stepping in,” Councilman Dennis Gallagher (R- Middle Village) said. “The commission is too slow and out of touch with the outer boroughs. If you want something landmarked in Manhattan, it takes a second to get done.”

NativeForestHiller on April 8, 2006 at 3:35 am

According to the Queens Chronicle, April 6, 2006:

Landmarks Commission Rejects Trylon Theater

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has turned down the application to landmark the Trylon Theater in Forest Hills, but preservation advocates vowed to continue their efforts.

In a letter to Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Landmarks Commission Chairman Robert Tierney said the 67 year old Queens Boulevard theater “does not meet the criteria for designation,” and the request would not be sent to the full commission for consideration.
The decision was based on the findings of a committee of senior staff members, which found the theater had been altered too extensively to be eligible for landmarks status, said Diane Jackier, the commission’s director of communication and government affairs.

Michael Perlman, chairman of the Committee to Save the Trylon Theater, disagreed with the decision. “It pretty much goes against the premise of the landmarks preservation law, since the building has artistic, historic and cultural value,” he said. The building still has its facade, its illuminated projection tower, and its mosaic tile floor, which are distinctive enough to merit landmark status, he said. “We are dismayed that the LPC has chosen to disregard a highly significant landmark, confirming a consensus among preservationists that Queens continues to get the backdoor,” Perlman said in a statement.

He also criticized Katz, whom he feels obstructed the bid by opposing landmarking for the movie house. Katz did not return a call for comment, but said in a press release: “We continue to work with Chairman Robert Tierney and the Landmarks Commission to create historic districts and designate landmarks that do meet the criteria for designation and preserve those areas for future generations to enjoy.”

Perlman said the committee would remain in business and would continue to circulate the petition it startedâ€"which now has 1,600 signaturesâ€"in the hopes of changing the commission’s mind. “We have to prove to the landmarks commission just how important this issue is,” he said.

Built during the 1939 World’s Fair, the Trylon Theater epitomized art deco and art moderne styles with its streamlined design. At the end of 1999, the theater’s lease expired and it closed down for good, only days after its 60th anniversary. The building was then sold to the Education Center for Russian Jewry, which planned to convert it into a cultural youth center for Queens’ rapidly growing Bukharian population. The center has reportedly promised to preserve the theater’s marquee and projection tower. Center officials did not return a call seeking comment.