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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.
I am elated to hear the news of the Jackson Triplex’s new lease on life. I am from the Four Borough Preservation Alliance, Queens Preservation Council, and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, and I have a vast interest in Queens preservation; particularly theaters. My research and advocacy by establishing Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre led to its Individual Landmark status on Jan 12, 2010. I am willing to accomplish the same for the Jackson Theatre, by submitting an RFE form and accompanying research (including primary sources) to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (City agency), and help the owner acquire grants through the State & National Register of Historic Places and NY Landmarks Conservancy (non-profit), for example.
I sent you a detailed e-mail around 2 weeks ago, concerning the Jackson Theatre and Eagle/Earle Theatre. Please add
What will the theater reopen as? A movie theater developed with creativity with community spaces could foster jobs. A revitalized theater that respects the historic ornate craftsmanship is what Jackson Heights and all of Queens needs. Please let us know, so we can contribute in any way possible. I am aware of funding sources. Thank you!
Hi Everyone! Any updates on the Jackson Theatre? It must be creatively and adaptively reused, and preserved by a party who thinks “outside of the box” and values community, before it’s too late. Please post here and e-mail
Thank you for asking! I will be creating a Facebook Group in the coming week or two. I have been busy trying to find a historically-sensitive tenant in the arts, as well as other projects (preservation and non-preservation). I will get to it shortly. The existing MySpace page, www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre will be updated shortly as well.
Thank you for providing the Times NewsWeekly link, John! The photos can be compared to opening a Ridgewood & Thomas Lamb, the Great’s time capsule!!!
These are some more articles on the theater:
Queens Courier, “Seek ‘Sensitive’ Theater Buyer,” Apr 15, 2010 by Noah Rosenberg: View link
Times Ledger, “Activitist Hopes To Utilize Ridgewood Theatre,” Apr 15, 2010 by Connor Adams Sheets: View link
This is a Queens Chronicle article from April 8, 2010, titled “Theaterâ€™s Defenders Team Up With Owners To Sell Site”…
Thank you very much! I will advise my colleague to inquire.
Does anyone have any historic photos or leads on how to acquire them? Your help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi! Your venture sounds promising. I am a historic preservationist from NY, and I would appreciate it if you can add me to your mailing list. One means in which I am furthering the preservation ethic is by convincing, working with, as well as securing potential theater owners and tenants to adaptively and creatively reuse historic theaters, as well as restore their ornate or subdued yet elegant or striking architectural details. My contact information is as follows:
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.
Central Queens Historical Association, Bd. of Dir.
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
Friends of The RKO Keith’s Flushing Theatre, Member
Committee To Save The Forum Diner/Cheyenne Diner/Moondance Diner, Chair
To Butternut73: What is the name of your theater? There is a great chance that original photos exist, and the ticket booth can be recreated. Feel free to e-mail
Landmarked Ridgewood Theatre Available: Call For Proposals
QUEENS, NY (April 4, 2010) – On Jan 12, 2010, the 1916 Ridgewood Theatre, 55-27 Myrtle Ave earned Individual Landmark status after nearly 2 years of advocacy by Chair Michael Perlman of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, and also due to parties who testified in favor including the owners: View link The theater is a Greek Revival gem with great square footage, was deemed the longest continuously operating first-run theater upon closure, witnessed a series of firsts in Vaudeville and film history, and was designed by the renown Thomas Lamb.
Closed since March 2008, the owners announced plans in March 2009 to adaptively/creatively reuse the ground floor auditorium as retail, with modern screens upstairs, as well as preserve and restore the historic interior. Currently, the owners may not pursue their plan, and would consider leasing to art, entertainment, cultural groups, or any combination, or selling the theater. Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre is trying to help the owners by finding an individual or group(s) with a creative vision, who value its architectural and cultural history, and will make it an economically viable venture for the up & coming neighborhood of Ridgewood, and accompanying neighborhoods to enjoy. Paul Kerzner of the Ridgewood Property Owners Civic Association is also trying to find such parties.
Please e-mail Chair Michael Perlman at
I am keeping my fingers crossed that much remains of the interior as well. With the exception of the ground floor/removal of the marquee, the upper facade, which is the majority of the front, remains intact, and the condition of its terra cotta is superb. I will conduct a search via Proquest and see if I can come across an architect’s name and any other historic references. The theaters that remain across Queens, especially those that are moderately to mostly intact, should remain, be restored, and be adaptively and creatively reused. With a vision, it can make a community thrive. Let’s be proactive!
Thank you for your report, John!
Let’s hope that this church does not lie to the media and the community like that of the Rock Church occupying the Elmwood Theatre on Queens Blvd in Elmhurst. What a shame that was! You may recall that the Rock Church said they will restore the facade in 2004 and 2005, and the community then praised them, but they ended up concealing and carting away ornate glazed terra cotta, and masked the whole facade with stucco in late 2006.
I hope the Bellerose Theatre congregation will work the community, acquire grants and tax credits after applying for National Register of Historic Places status, and preserve and restore the glazed terra cotta facade and as many period interior finishes as possible. This is a historic gem that should not go unrecognized, and needs our TLC as much as possible right now!!!!
This is what I came across on Craigslist. I have reached out to the owners for an update, and how we can help preserve and reuse it, preferrably for films (even in part). There are funds they can take advantage of, and I am making sure the owners know precisely.
17-54,000sq ft-Busy Myrtle Ave Queens (Myrtle Ave) (map)
Date: 2010-03-15, 7:23PM EDT
Retail Space-Perfect for inside Mall with room for Many Stores- Church- School-Medical Center- Theater- Can be developed into 60 condos+retail space with below ground parking- Tax Credits Available- 20 Min to Manhattan- Near 2 Subway lines- Vibrant Area-
BUSIEST RETAIL AREA IN QUEENS
Myrtle Ave at Cypress Ave (google map) (yahoo map)
Location: Myrtle Ave
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Hi Jennifer, I cannot offer much on Bollywood, but I surely can offer my background on Queens preservation causes, and tie that in to my preservation campaign for the Earle/Eagle Theatre. I sit on the board on several preservation organizations, and organized some independent movements and my own organization as well. I am responsible for achieving landmark status for the Ridgewood Theatre most recently, and hope to achieve the same here. The Earle Theatre opened around the time of the 1939 World’s Fair, and its architecture is evident. Perhaps you can incporporate the need to preserve a rare surviving Art Deco theater into your paper. Afterall, it was designed by a mastermind of theater design, John Eberson, and not many of his works survive today citywide, especially in a mostly intact state. This theater merits a new lease on life and creative adaptive reuse. On behalf of locals and history buffs, can we please help each other? Please feel free to ask me any questions.
Thank you, John, for sharing the City Planning Commission report. It is forthcoming!
In the near future, I will be creating a Facebook Group for the Ridgewood Theatre, and I hope that many Cinema Treasures members will join.
RKO Keith’s Fundraiser information can also be accessed on my Rego-Forest Preservation Council blog.
Direct link: View link
Blog link for future reference: http://regoforestpreservation.blogspot.com/
Please feel free to become a Google Follower and post your comments on our Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Queenswide news, preservation alerts, and research. If you would like to write a piece, contact
Although BushwickBK composed an overall great piece, this is an important EDIT on the last paragraph of the piece as it appears on the blog:
The owners original intentions to develop retail will not be affected by Individual Landmark status (facade) or any future possibilities of Interior Landmark status. Landmarking does not dictate the use of a building. It only ensures that historic architectural features will be preserved and reused creatively in the new use for the theater, so future generations can cherish them. As in this case, it is most likely retail for the back auditorium space, with modern screens upstairs. Landmarking helps maintain and enhance the values of a property.
Also visit http://www.savethekeiths.com It will also feature a silent auction, music & dancing! Power to the people in sparing a highly significant gem, since once it’s gone, it is gone!
Anyone aware about what is happening to this theater? Visit
I am unsure who recorded this footage. It could be Monica.
Thank you for sharing this impressive bit of history by Kevin Walsh!
What movies played at the Earle Theatre from its opening circa 1939 through 1955? Does anyone have a listing, or can provide some highlights? Please let me know. Thank you!
Thank you, John for your informative update. With unanimous support from all people who provided testimony to the Commissioners, political support, owner support, and given the theater’s extensive history, I am confident it will be an easy pass.