Trylon Theater

98-81 Queens Boulevard,
Rego Park, NY 11374

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Showing 101 - 125 of 219 comments

Bway on August 20, 2006 at 3:33 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 1:12 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 12:59 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 1:33 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 11, 2006 at 5:28 pm

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 6:26 am

“You can say that again!”

RobertR on June 5, 2006 at 6:21 am

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

NativeForestHiller on June 5, 2006 at 6:14 am

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 5:54 am

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 5:09 am

Any word on the current state of the interior?

PKoch on May 30, 2006 at 8:13 am

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 27, 2006 at 6:32 pm

This played forever here
View link

NativeForestHiller on May 12, 2006 at 11:01 pm

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 1:02 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 4:29 am

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 12:16 pm

A picture from better days
View link

NativeForestHiller on April 29, 2006 at 11:04 pm

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 25, 2006 at 5:31 pm

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 16, 2006 at 9:30 pm

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 7, 2006 at 7:43 pm

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 7, 2006 at 7:35 pm

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.

NativeForestHiller on April 7, 2006 at 7:25 pm

For a recent Trylon Theater news story, entitled “Trylon Theater Denied Landmark Status,” please follow:

A Daily News article can be accessed through that link as well.

NativeForestHiller on April 5, 2006 at 8:23 pm

Thursday, March 30, 2006 (as appeared in Queens Ledger, Queens Chronicle, etc)
Letter: Katz-call for Local Councilwoman and LPC

Dear Editor:
Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s call for a City Council oversight hearing regarding the workings of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) appears, on the surface, to be admirable and long overdue, considering the sluggish and snobbish attitude that LPC has displayed in regard to our borough of Queens. The LPC has proven by its own record, with respect to the numerical pittance of designations in our borough, that they have discriminated against Queens. While Manhattan has the lion’s share of landmarks, Queens has been tossed table scraps.
It’s not that Queens is less deserving; we’re only less deserving in terms of the time and resources that LPC wishes to allocate for its country cousins. One cannot blame them entirely, though. They have been gun-shy in the past considering how many of their designations were overturned by the old Donald Manes and Claire Shulman administrations. Indeed, the “Shul-Manes” administration proved its support for unbridled development and anti-preservation for well over a quarter of a century.
Currently, however, the borough’s bulldozer is still rolling, driven this time by Melinda Katz, chair of the City Council Land Use Committee. Her list of campaign contributors reads like a “Who’s Who” of developers, real estate managers, prominent politically connected lawyers, and sleazy political action committees. Katz’s LPC oversight hearing is just a crude smokescreen to deflect attention to her role as an accomplice in destroying the character and quality of life in our Queens neighborhoods by supporting over-development, while being well-funded by her friends, the builders.
This is precisely why, for example, the landmark-worthy Trylon Theater in Forest Hills is not being landmarked. She’s “waiting” for Robert Tierney, chairman of LPC, to designate, but Tierney won’t until he gets the nod that Katz will support the designation. In other words, we have a battle of the chairs between Tierney of Landmarks and Katz of Land Use. Both need to get their behinds off their chairs and stop playing political ping-pong, or else Queens will continue to be the loser.


Jerry Rotondi
Committee to Save Flushing Keith’s Theatre, Inc.

NativeForestHiller on April 1, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Stage I: Landmark-worthy Trylon Theater Gets Denied, & Swarmed with CM Katz & LPC Contradictions

FOREST HILLS, N.Y. (March 31, 2006) â€" According to the March 31, 2006 article in the N.Y. Daily News entitled, “Theater Landmark Bid Gets Thumbs Down,” Chairman Tierney faxed a letter to Councilwoman Melinda Katz stating that the Trylon Theater at 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, N.Y. does not meet its criteria for landmarking, and “will not be recommended to the full commission for further consideration as an individual landmark.” Katz responded, “I never thought that this was a building suitable for landmarking. I guess I’m just happy that Tierney made a decision, and now we move on.”

The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater (local residents, preservation groups, historical societies, community & civic groups) has been trying to encourage the Landmarks Preservation Commission to landmark the Art Deco/Moderne 1939 World’s Fair-inspired Trylon Theater, with its rare attributes (Streamlined Art Moderne facade, elliptical marquee & glass block projection tower which illuminates Queens Blvd, & the mosaic tile/terrazzo floor which bears a 3D mirror image of the Trylon monument, complemented by a chevron pattern).

Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Tierney had intentions of granting a hearing for the Trylon Theater as early as 2003. However, Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s inactivity and initial opposition to its possible landmarking, prolonged Mr. Tierney’s decision, since the LPC usually does not act without sufficient political support. Upon a few phone conversations between Michael Perlman & the LPC, and according to the Forest Hills Ledger (Jan 26, 2006), when emphasizing the Trylon’s rare architectural, cultural, & historical attributes, Chairman Tierney states: “I agree that the Trylon qualifies under all conditions as a NYC landmark. I request a note from Councilwoman Katz’s office, indicating her consent of a hearing and that she supports my landmarking notions, since Katz opposed from the very beginning.”

CM Katz’s opposition is further documented as follows: The NY Times (9/18/05): CM Katz said, “I’m just not sure at this time if landmarking just the front of the building would be the best for the community. Being able to renovate the theater without restrictions, would save both time and money.” Queens Chronicle (8/18/05): John Jurayj, Historic Districts Council board member/Co-chair of Modern Architecture Working Group, said “The HDC & Modern Architecture has been asking for it to be landmarked for 2 years,” and accused Katz of not supporting landmarking. Mitchell Grubler, Exec. Dir. Of the Queens Historical Society, wrote a letter to the editor, stating he was “outraged that Katz let it be known to the LPC that she opposed landmark protection, and they have thus taken a hands-off stand.” Forest Hills Ledger (9/8/05): Katz questioned whether the theater in its current condition should be landmarked. “The outside would need so much work to make it look even half as nice as it did originally.” Forest Hills Ledger (10/27/05): An LPC official commented “Rarely do buildings get landmarked without first acquiring the approval of the City Council representative.” (9/8/05): A LPC spokeswoman said “A building rarely gets landmarked without the local councilmember’s blessing.”

However, according to the Feb 2, 2006 Queens Gazette article entitled, “Trylon Landmarking: Unnecessary Confusion?” Councilwoman Katz claims she values its historical significance and favors landmark status: “Councilwoman Katz made it abundantly clear that she is in favor of landmarking the Trylon, which is agreed by all parties concerned, would include the building facade, its crystal tower, the theater marquee, and retain the Trylon name.” CM Katz then states “The Committee To Save The Trylon’s members have great respect for the community. We want to work with them, to have a discussion with them, rather than have them in the community with a lot of tension between us. I believe they want to do the right thing. I don’t want to put the community at risk. There’s no need for that. In fact, I don’t know what we’ve both been fighting about. We both want the same thing.”

In conclusion, Michael Perlman states: “CM Katz never responded to a series of letters and phone calls from The Committee To Save The Trylon (her constituency) requesting a meeting since July 2005. A councilwoman charged with representing the people, once again leaves her constituency baffled. We are also dismayed that the LPC has chosen to disregard a highly significant landmark, confirming a consensus among preservationists that Queens continues to get the backdoor. Chairman Tierney also broke his promise to meet with us, and didn’t value a petition of 1,600 signers in addition to a letter campaign. We request a copy of the LPC’s minutes, to see how they determined it ineligible. According to architectural critics (i.e. Art Deco Society), the Trylon fulfills every definition of a landmark, and the failure to grant it a hearing at the very least, defies the architectural and historical provisions of the landmarks law established in 1965. CM Katz & the LPC are now in the spotlight as a result of their landmark-related contradictions, and their distrust as Queens preservationists heightens. CM Katz of Land Use & Chairman Tierney of the LPC has to realize that the people who inhabit their communities understand them best, and therefore, we assure that this is only the beginning of a worthwhile battle for the Trylon & other Queens landmarks!”


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 31, 2006 at 7:10 am

If you’ve ever driven around the areas surrounding Flushing Meadows & Corona Park (where the World’s Fair grounds were) you will find a few architectural allusions to the great symbols of the Fair – the trylon and perisphere. Along 108th Street in Corona, just north of the LIE, there is a block of storefronts with apartments overhead that include a trylon and perisphere motif in the frieze below the 2nd story window line. There are other examples, but this comes first to mind.

What an absolute shame that the Chairman of the LPC could not see his way clear to endorse the designation of the Trylon for full committee review. I’ve been trying to remember the films I saw here at the Trylon over the years. I can remember seeing “Trading Places” here for the 2nd time (I believe I saw it first at the Sunrise Multiplex in Valley Stream) and can also recall seeing “Flashdance” here as well. Most memorable of all was a legitimate test-screening of Ron Howard’s “Gung Ho” at the Trylon just a few months before its general release. I rememeber a freind of mine had gotten the passes to attend and about 5 or 6 of us went. There was an announcement before the start of the movie that it was a work-in-progress in rough-cut form and that the sound mix was not yet completed (with certain effects missing and musical cues not finalized). We were asked to fill out some cards about what we liked and what we didn’t like. I didn’t see the film again when it was finally released, but I did catch it on cable and remember catching some of the changes that had been made based on our input (and presumably that of other test-screenings around the country).

The theater didn’t have a great big screen, that I recall, but it certainly had a charm that one only finds in a vintage neighborhood venue. I can’t recall the last film I saw there, but I do remember that the “coming soon” exterior display case to the right of the entrance doors featured an add for the Matthau-Lemmon “Odd Couple II” sequel… that would have been 1998.