Trylon Theater

98-81 Queens Boulevard,
Rego Park, NY 11374

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NativeForestHiller on November 16, 2005 at 10:18 pm

The following article has relevance towards saving our treasures, including the Trylon Theater & several other theaters. It’s entitled “CM Perkins Seeks To Amend Landmarks Law.” City-wide preservation advocates met on Mon, Nov 15th to testify in City Hall, & discuss their point of view on Perkins' proposed Landmarks Hearing Bill. Most were in favor of the new legislation. A Queens Ledger article can be accessed as follows:

View link

The following is my reaction to the bill & the hearing:

It is true that the LPC might have as half as many commissioners in 2005, and they may lack adequate funding to grant every landmark worthy structure a hearing. Rather than the city allocating an excessive amount of funds towards demolition, why can’t preservation-oriented funds exceed that rate, to safeguard priceless structures? A landmark is in the eyes of the majority, and it is of utmost importance for the LPC to hold fair hearings on worthy buildings, determined by the bulk of citywide preservationists' consent. In addition, buildings on the Nat'l Register should be granted a hearing. True Democracy ensures that the people would have a say in government. It is inexcusable and unforgivable for the LPC to ignore the public. At this point, too much power lies in the LPC, which terminates in the demolition of our buildings & BELOVED THEATERS!!! If this “denial of a hearing” trend continues, slowly but surely, a rather large percentage of our heritage will be eradicated, like chalk from a blackboard. The Trylon Theater in Forest Hills, paints a picture of the ‘39 World’s Fair and 66 years of sentiments. The Trylon Theater clearly qualifies under all conditions (architecturally, historically, culturally), and the majority’s consent, as an official landmark.

Check out some superb coverage of the Sun, Oct 23rd “Rally To Save The Trylon Theater!” The article is entitled “Residents Rally To Save A Controversial Movie House: Last Art Deco Theater In Queens.” It is featured in the Times NewsWeekly (Week of Oct. 27th), written by Robert Pozarycki, & can be accessed as follows. This is the UPDATED link:

View link

uncleal923 on November 9, 2005 at 6:06 pm

I also thought that maybe you can ask some of the former employees (ushers, candy concession, projectionists) and they could help.

uncleal923 on November 9, 2005 at 5:39 pm

The only other person who may be able to help you is Bruce1 in the Loew’s Kings section of this site


I don’t know if he will take an interest, but he may. He runs a cable access show called That’s Brooklyn.

NativeForestHiller on November 6, 2005 at 5:37 pm

Hi! I have tried contacting many celebrities, informing them about the Committee To Save The Trylon Theater’s endeavors. However, most of the time, I only reach a secretary, who doesn’t relay the message. Can you please give me some other tips? Do you know of anyone who might have some connections? Thank you!

uncleal923 on November 6, 2005 at 5:24 pm

One of the things that got me interested in joining my first theater restoration committee, the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn, was the fact that many people who are now celebrities worked there as ushers. I stated to you many times that the way to grab people’s attention is through famous people. In other words let the masses know what famous people ever came there, especially stories from before their celebrity. I am on your side, and I think the best thing you can do is tell about famous people who may have worked there. Even if some mobster was gunned down like by the Biograph in Chicago, people will be more interested in saving the theater because a mobster was killed there. One of the reasons I joined the Kings was that Barbra Streisand, and Sylvester Stallone ushered there while they were in Erasmus High School. Face facts, celebrity sells more than architecture. From the picture above it looks like it was once a beautiful theater (It still looks nice in the condition its in), but the style is not going to sell. The Kings is a grand piece of architecture, but its the celebrities that are bringing it ahead of other theaters in so far as possible restoration. The same may hold true for the Trylon.

NativeForestHiller on November 4, 2005 at 7:23 pm

Check out some superb coverage of the Sun, Oct 23rd “Rally To Save The Trylon Theater!” The article is entitled “Residents Rally To Save A Controversial Movie House: Last Art Deco Theater In Queens.” It is featured in the Times NewsWeekly (Week of Oct. 27th), written by Robert Pozarycki, & can be accessed as follows:

View link

The article says 15 people attended, but those were actually the participants who posed for the photo. At least 50 people participated throughout the hour. Rather than having a second rally, we hope to negotiate at a sit-down meeting. If no compromise is reached, we are committed to take further action. We will continue to encourage landmarking for this rare surviving cultural icon!!!

Why should a significant part of our 20th century heritage be eliminated, eradicated, & exterminated with the jackhammer, & be tossed in the wastebasket??? The LPC needs to act more independently, since a politician’s approval for a hearing is not an official law, and the politicians should stop using an area with so much history, as their “ECONOMIC WASTELAND!”

NativeForestHiller on October 28, 2005 at 12:26 am

An easier link to access the Trylon rally article in the Preservation (online) NTHP publication:

View link

An article entitled “Preservationists March To Save The Trylon Theater” with subtitle “Protestors blast Katz!” came out in the FH Ledger: View link
(For copyright issues, I can’t post the article here. You have to register to view it. It’s free.) Photos aren’t visible online.

The following is in the Queens Chronicle: View link

Other articles that came out were in the Qns Courier (Page 8) & the FH Times/Qns Ledger/Examiner/Leader Observer, and the Times NewsWeekly.

NativeForestHiller on October 26, 2005 at 5:51 pm


You can help by sending certified letters &/or e-mails to BOTH:

Councilwoman Melinda Katz
104-01 Metropolitan Ave
Forest Hills, N.Y. 11375-6735


Mr. Robert Tierney, Chairman
c/o NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre St, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007


Key points that should be addressed:
Trylon Theater historical significance
Personal insight (including Melinda Katz’s views on landmarking. There’s also a still active stop work order)
The fact in which you’re not opposed to the Education Center’s occupancy, but the Trylon’s historical integrity MUST be respected (20th century heritage building).
Halt further demolition, restore what was lost during the dismantling of entrance pavilion, etc, and ensure preservation of this truly rare icon, by designating the Trylon Theater a LANDMARK!

For additional background info:

The Art Deco/Moderne 1939 Trylon Theater (98-81 Queens Blvd. Forest Hills, N.Y.) is currently under heavy alteration, as it is being converted into an Education Center for the Russian Jewry. It
is one of the last standing structures which has a strong architectural, cultural, & historical significance to the 1939 World’s Fair, with its “Trylon & Perisphere” monuments. The Landmarks Preservation Commission was in favor of designating the Trylon Theater a landmark, but when Councilwoman Melinda Katz opposed, the Landmarks Preservation Commission was reluctant to designate it. Now, in a 10/6 Newsday article, Melinda Katz said she is “powerless when it comes to landmarking decisions.” Also, in a 9/29 Queens Chronicle article, Katz said that “any issues regarding the Trylon’s landmarking, should be taken up with the LPC, which is
where the process begins.” Another dilemma is a construction violation & a stop work order as of April 11, 2005. Even though the stop work order is still active, demolition men ignored the order, &
on July 26, 2005, they gutted the interior and the entrance pavilion. It featured hand-painted cloth murals, an inlaid mosaic floor & ticket booth with the Trylon monument memorialized. As of now, October 2005, the only fairly intact features are: the marquee, the Art Deco facade, & the glass block projection tower, which once illuminated Queens Blvd.

NativeForestHiller on October 25, 2005 at 8:58 am

RALLY COVERAGE: We landed a great article on October 24th in “Preservation (Online),” published by the National Trust For Historic Preservation. The story is by Meghan Hogan, & it’s entitled “Supporters of Queens Theater (Trylon) Hold Rally”: (Put in Trylon in general search if the page moves or the current link becomes inactive)

View link

Reporter Nicholas Hirshon of the Daily News also composed a wonderful article on October 25th, entitled “Battle To Save A Legend: Protest Seeks Landmark Status For Trylon Theater.” It can be accessed as follows:

View link

It made the front page of the Queens section, but the photo isn’t visible online. The photo shows participants marching with signs stating the following:

-Trylon Trashed: Restore What Was Lost!
-66 Years Standing Proud!
-Now Playing: “Gone With The Jackhammer” at the Trylon Theater!!!
-Now Playing: “Nightmare on Queens Boulevard!"
-A Queens Landmark To Be Cherished…NOT demolished!
-Last standing ‘39 World’s Fair Art Deco treasure!
-LPC: Grant the Trylon a fair hearing (This is a democracy!)
-Councilwoman Katz: Meet with your constituents now!!!
…& many more!!!!!!!

NativeForestHiller on October 23, 2005 at 9:14 pm

The Oct 23rd RALLY TO SAVE THE 1939 TRYLON THEATER had a succesful turnout. It featured community residents (including the Rego Park Group), good semaritans from neighboring boroughs, as well as historical societies, & media coverage.

Speeches were delivered by the following: Michael, Mr. Trylon/founder of “The Committee To Save The Trylon,” & my co-founder, Sonia. Also, Glen Leiner, Executive Director of the Art Deco Society of N.Y., & Mitchell Grubler, Executive Director of the Queens Historical Society. The Theater Historical Society of America also supported our effort, as well as the Four Boroughs Preservation Alliance, the Historic Districts Council, & Nancy Cataldi, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society. I would also like to thank David Oats & his wife, World’s Fair historians. Media coverage: NY Post, Daily News, Times NewsWeekly, Queens Chronicle, Queens Ledger/FH Times/Queens Examiner. Check it out this week!

WE ALL ACHIEVED A GREAT EFFORT TOWARDS PRESERVATION. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. We will continue, since the Trylon (& other significant structures which paint a picture of the history of Queens & NYC) deserves some JUSTICE! As I stated earlier, the LPC (Chairman Robert Tierney) not granting a fair & adequate hearing, & Councilwoman Melinda Katz ignoring the requests of her community/constituents, violates our Democratic rights. WE MUST WORK IN UNISON TO PRESERVE OUR 20TH CENTURY HERITAGE. WE MUST ALL REMEMBER: VICTORY IS DETERMINATION!!!

WRITE LETTERS TO LPC CHAIRMAN TIERNEY, COUNCILWOMAN MELINDA KATZ, & MAYOR BLOOMBERG ASAP to support landmarking of this highly endangered, rare iconic gem of a theater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uncleal923 on October 17, 2005 at 5:34 pm

I unfortunately can’t attend the rally, I will be in Connecticut.


NativeForestHiller on October 14, 2005 at 11:24 pm


DATE: Sunday, October 23rd
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Trylon Theater; 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, N.Y.

**Points of the rally:
1. LANDMARK the ‘39 Trylon Theater; a last standing structure which bears strong significance to the 1939 World’s Fair.
2. PRESERVE the presently intact Art Deco facade, glass block projection tower (which once illuminated Queens Blvd.), & the marquee.
3. RESTORE what was lost during a summer 2005 conversion, despite an active construction violation & stop work order since April 2005.
4. ADAPT the site for the Education Center For Russian Jewry, with a preservation-minded re-use strategy, rather than demolition.

Participants: Historians, preservationists, community residents, as well as residents of neighboring boroughs, politicians, possible FH celebrities, the media, & members of The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater.

For Trylon Theater then & now visuals, please follow these 2 links:

To sign the Trylon Theater petition, click or paste the following:


uncleal923 on October 6, 2005 at 5:20 pm

Can you give us any idea of the history? It may also help to find if any famous people worked or went to the theater. I am also on the committee to save the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn where people like Barbra Streisand, and Sylvester Stallone were ushers.

NativeForestHiller on October 6, 2005 at 1:46 pm

Greetings Trylon fans!

The latest article that came out was today’s, Oct 6th article in Newsday, entitled “Theater Reeling In Controversy.” It can be accessed as follows:

View link

My take is as follows:

*Please pay close attention to the wording of the article, & the complexity of the Trylon issue on various levels (Katz, Kaziev, DOB, LPC). In a Queens Chronicle & FH Ledger article last week, spokeswoman Jennifer Givner of the DOB stated that the April 2005 stop work order & construction violations were “probably” lifted already. Now, for this aticle, she states that the “order will likely be lifted soon.” Can’t she make up her mind??? Kaziev said not much was salvageable & the Trylon was vandalized. (The demolition men of course made it look vandalized, since prior to their work in July, all the mosaic tiles & significant features were almost intact from ‘39. I pass it everyday!) Notice how Kaziev also said the theater is being “RESTORED to its former glory.” Who’s he kidding? When it’s too late & they manipulate the now intact facade prior to Dec 10th (when the bizarre permit expires)??? Other articles said the facade will undergo a complete reconstruction shortly. Notice how on Katz’s level, she tries defending herself in regard to the Trylon’s landmarking issue, by saying that she “was trying to push the LPC for years to designate Richmond Hill & 10 blocks in Kew Gardens, but they designated the Ralph Bunche House instead. Why change the subject? Hmm… (In regard to the Ralph Bunche House, she made it difficult for the LPC to designate, but they did anyway). After all, M. Katz said she’s "powerless,” when it comes to landmarking decisions. Then why won’t the LPC grant any designations without the approval or “blessings of a councilmember” as the LPC stated in the NY Times article? M. Katz sure is integral regarding the Trylon landmarking scenario, & that’s a major burden (we have all the proof)!!! The LPC should have a mind of its own!

NativeForestHiller on September 29, 2005 at 10:38 am

There will be 3 more articles coming out shortly, regarding the Trylon; Tribune, Newsday, & FH/Times Ledger. Today’s Queens Chronicle article can be viewed at the following link:

View link

As of April 4th, a Department of Buildings inspector said that the Trylon has a construction violation (which is still active). On Apr 11th, a STOP WORK ORDER was issued, & it is still in effect. Despite the stop work order, demolition men started demolishing the entrance pavilion & gutting the interior on July 26th. Hmmm… It’s also really strange that the latest article in the Queens Chronicle didn’t quote anything relating to the Stop Work Order.

Freelance reporter Nicholas Hirshon wrote an article in the 21st anniversary issue of Qns Courier last week (Sept 21; page 148), entitled “Trylon Demolition Raises Questions.” It should be available online shortly. It refers to the active construction violation & the stop work order at the Trylon, which is still in effect!

NativeForestHiller on September 24, 2005 at 8:22 pm

URGENT: Please click on the following link to sign a petition to save the ‘39 Trylon Theater:

The petition:

To: Robert Tierney (Chair, NY Landmarks Preservation Commission) & Melinda Katz (Councilwoman, District 29)

The signers of this petition agree that the 1939 Art Deco/Moderne Trylon Theater (98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY) is one of the last standing structures which has a strong cultural, historical, & architectural significance to the 1939 World’s Fair, with its “Trylon & Perisphere” monuments. On behalf of residents and historical societies, it is of utmost importance to halt further demolition, restore what was lost during the conversion, preserve this icon, and officially landmark this truly rare gem of a theater!!!

NativeForestHiller on September 24, 2005 at 8:12 pm

I am happy to report that today’s Trylon Theater preservation event in Forest Hills was well-attended by community residents and out-of-towners, historians and preservationists, and the media. Thank you for such informative lectures, & a special thanks to all who participated! – Committee To Save The Trylon, Founder

uncleal923 on September 22, 2005 at 1:17 pm

Get the word out that the theater should be open. I am on the commitees for several theaters including this one and the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn, /theaters/1360 ,and if anyone from Brooklyn crossed the Queens Border, and went to the Trylon (I only went to theaters in Brooklyn and Manhattan) they may be interested in saving both.

uncleal923 on September 21, 2005 at 4:38 pm

I can not make the meeting, so I am suggesting that others attend. According to an E-Mail I received the theater is under the threat of demolition.

A theater can find other uses after it closed. Many of them became houses of worship. Others became performing arts centers. In other words, the Trylon, and other theaters should not be let alone to die.

NativeForestHiller on September 18, 2005 at 7:13 pm

Hi Robert & all Cinema Treasures friends, Hope you can all attend the meeting/community gathering at 68-12 Ingram St on Sat, Sept 24th, which I believe starts at 3 PM (as noted on my invitation). We can all voice our opinion regarding the Trylon, & I am confident that something CAN be done. This is an URGENT PRESERVATION MATTER. Did you all check out the photos of the Trylon “then” & “now” posted under the news category on this site? Please RSVP regarding this Trylon/community gathering. Thank you!

RobertR on September 18, 2005 at 4:21 pm

Being a lifelong Forest Hills resident I have gone to this theatre all my life. It pains me to see the crap that is opening here. How is a center for the Bukharan community something that benefits the area? First the West Side Tennis Stadium, then the Forest Hills Theatre and now the Trylon. I’m ready to move to Great Neck :(

FHRes on September 18, 2005 at 2:38 pm

On Saturday, September 24, at 4:30 p.m., there will be a meeting to discuss saving the Trylon Theatre. Joe Nocerino, who recently ran for city councilman and lost to Melinda Katz, will be giving an update regarding the demolation of the theatre and what the possibilities are for registering the Trylon as a landmark.

Location: 68-12 Ingram Street, in the driveway (as part of a community gathering)

NativeForestHiller on September 17, 2005 at 10:14 pm

The following article from the City section of the N.Y. Times just came out today. If you pay close attention to the comments made by M. Katz & the Landmarks Preservation Commission throughout various Trylon newspaper articles you’ve seen, you would find that the landmarking issue changes quite often (A little too often!).

Forest Hills
The New York Times

Published: September 18, 2005

When readers of a movie industry publication called Theatre Catalog scanned the 1941 edition for a listing for the two-year-old Trylon Theater in Forest Hills, Queens, they learned it was a “striking and modern” cinema named for a World’s Fair monument, complete with a stone and glass tower that lit up Queens Boulevard at night.

Today, the Trylon is crumbling. The marquee, which once trumpeted “The Wizard of Oz” as its premiere film, is blank and broken. Plywood walls of construction, plastered with posters for a Tupac Shakur album, have replaced the ticket booth and the entrance.

The theater, closed since 1999, is being converted into a home for the Educational Center for Russian Jewry, a community space to serve the area’s growing population of Bukharan Jews. Yet local preservationists claim that historic elements of the theater, on Queens Boulevard near 99th Street, are being lost in renovation.

“They’ve already torn out the whole lower facade,” said John Jurayj, co-chairman of the Modern Architecture Working Group. “It was a completely intact Art Moderne entryway. I’m trying to think of what other things there are in this style, and I kind of draw a blank.”

This summer, Forest Hills residents formed the Committee to Save the Trylon Theater, led by Michael Perlman, a journalist and preservationist who lives nearby. This weekend, the committee, which according to Mr. Perlman has 75 to 100 members, was sponsoring a meeting featuring presentations on the theater by historians.

“When the demolition men started smashing the ticket booth with a jackhammer,” Mr. Perlman said, referring to construction he saw under way in July, “that’s when I became furious.”

Efforts to have the theater designated as a landmark, however, have thus far come up short. According to Robert Tierney, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the theater has been considered for landmark status but never been the subject of a vote. For various reasons, he said, it does not meet the commission’s landmark criteria.

Nahum Kazev, a spokesman for the Educational Center for Russian Jewry, declined to comment on the renovations because, he said, that work was still under way. But in the opinion of City Councilwoman Melinda Katz, who represents the area, being able to renovate the theater without restrictions would save both time and money.

“It’s a much-needed center for the Bukharan community, and I look forward to working with them,” Ms. 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.”

Despite the dispute and the construction, the Trylon was silent on a recent visit. Pigeons flew in and out of missing sections in the marquee, and a young girl ran up to the plywood and scrawled a message in black ink where moviegoers once bought tickets. The message: “Love always, Delilah.”

NativeForestHiller on September 8, 2005 at 8:41 pm

The following is an article that is available to subscribed Times Ledger members, but as a result of the importance of the Trylon Theater preservation effort, and its dilemma, I feel it should be available to all. You can try following the link, or read the article below. It appeared in the Forest Hills Ledger, in addition to affiliate newspapers. First are my thoughts regarding the article.

(Even if we can prove that there is enough support to preserve the Trylon’s key architectural features, such as the facade & marquee, I still feel M. Katz will not give in. I do not know what M. Katz was talking about when she said “It would need so much work to make it look half as decent as it originally did.” I personally feel that it would right now, since the entrance pavilion was already gutted. Prior to the demolition, every mosaic tile was intact, but only the marquee needed some work, as evident in my photos on this website.) *PLEASE REACH OUT & HELP. Thank you! Contact

View link

“Rehab On Old Trylon Draws Fire: Preservationists Want Theater In Forest Hills Landmarked"
By Zach Patberg

The renovation of the Trylon Theater has once again sparked protest from some who worry that what made the Forest Hills relic a centerpiece in history will soon be lost at the hands of new construction.

“It’s absolutely essential that if something is done, it be done immediately,” said Mitchell Grubler, executive director of the Queens Historical Society.

Work on the Queens Boulevard theater, which opened in 1939 during the New York World’s Fair, began this summer after it was announced last year that The Educational Center for Russian Jewry would be moving in.

For most, the reopening comes as a blessing. Since its closing in 1999, the World War II-era movie house has deteriorated into a ghost-like structure, with a crumbling marquee, garbage on the lobby floor and graffiti on the outer walls.

A volunteer for the incoming Bukharian community center, David Alishaev, said the center will try to preserve as much as possible, such as the balcony and stage, but that most of the theater, including the facade and marquee, will be completely changed in the next two months.

“It’s been an eyesore for six years,” Alishaev said. “There’s no way, no point, to keep it how it is. It will look so much better.”

But Michael Perlman, a local preservationist, said he realized the renovation had gone too far when he witnessed the demolition of the Art Deco mosaic tile on the ticket booth in July. What has followed, he said, is a boarded-up entrance pavilion and a gutted interior. Before its dismantling, the ticket booth featured the theater’s symbol — a marbleized trylon that paid tribute to the 610-foot high one at the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing.

“It was heartbreaking,” Perlman said. He has since joined the movement started last year to landmark the theater’s exterior and pavilion. That goal has not materialized, however, partly because Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), who has allocated more than $200,000 for the new center, is reluctant to give her approval.

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,” she said.

A spokeswoman at the city Landmarks Preservation Commission acknowledged that a building rarely gets landmarked without the local Council member’s blessing.

“So often the problem with restoring an old building properly is finding a use and funding,” said Grubler. “Here there is a use and plenty of funding to do it right. If the owner was at all enlightened he’d hire an architect who is sympathetic to the theater’s original features.”

br91975 on September 1, 2005 at 8:42 am

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