Ridgewood Theatre

55-27 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Showing 126 - 150 of 2,832 comments

Bloop on March 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

I stayed up till 5:24 Am reading this entire thread! I do not remember the Ridgewood at all (I’m from Bensonhurst) , but love reading “the memories or others” nonetheless. There is an site called “My Brooklyn” which is pretty much all about memories of the “old days” and serves as the “message in a bottle” social-retro-networking (in example: “Hi. my name is and I lived at from 1966 to 1975, does anyone remember ______?”…….Maybe there is a site like this for Queens as well?).
I still have yet to see a photo of the 1969 Ridgewood snow fallen marquee sign—did I miss it on here?
I seriously smell a screenplay within all the stories on here especially with the inclusion of the infamous murder in the Ridgewood (did anyone post a news article on it? Did I miss that as well?)—and what did you imply when you said “inside job” ? ? Finally; although John’s Bargain Store is mentioned here without detail; I’ll add a few things: was John’s the first “chain” discount store? What I mean by that is that it was more of a “$1.00 store” like we have today— but back then a dollar had more value so the prices were like 19 cents to 99 cents….Here is a question for PKoch because his memory is Smithsonian worthy-**When did John’s Bargain Store come and then go out of business???? I’m guessing; gone by 1972/1973? Am I wrong?? There was one in Bensonhurst and aside from dish towels, clothes pins and flip flops-the toy section carried the accessory sets for the Gilbert line of James Bond/Honey West/Man from UNCLE dolls (not yet called “action figures”, you guys!). So yeah, no dolls-just the little accessory cards that featured Honey West’s lipstick, guns, grenades, etc. probably for 49 cents each! Discuss………….

NativeForestHiller on March 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

P.S. I hope your dream to attend the Academy For Film & TV comes true, and I am see you are quite a film buff. I hope your name appears in the credits of an award-winning film someday. Never cease to pursue your dream. Always pursue what’s in your heart.

I see a parallel. As you grew up in Ridgewood and frequented Myrtle Ave, I grew up in Forest Hills and marveled at the neighborhood’s entertainment destinations i.e. the Trylon Theater and the Hollywood Lanes Bowling Alley. Now they are a case of history going under. Sometimes it takes a preservation travesty for people to come to a realization of what was at loss, but it grants a lesson as to how we can bond together, and think of creative methods of preserving and creatively reusing such establishments.

NativeForestHiller on March 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Hi Laura, We should be in touch via e-mail. I feel your “headache.” I admire how you are one of the younger members of the community and of Cinema Treasures who understands the value of historic theaters, and the role they can continue to play for all generations of our communities. They were designed as architectural and cultural treasures, and should still be treated as such. My passion for preservation and especially in regard to sparing historic theaters, first emerged when I witnessed the jackhammering of the Trylon Theater’s Art Deco mosaic ticket booth in 2005. That was one of the last sites which depicted the Trylon Monument of the 1939 World’s Fair, which was one of the most important cultural events in our nation (alongside the ‘64 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park).

Hurrah to being a senior! I appreciate it that you are willing to speak with your principal & post flyers around I.S. 93 if it’s ok with the staff, as well as help acquire signatures to preserve the entire Ridgewood Theatre. Please e-mail me at

  • Michael Perlman, Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair &
    Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, Queens VP
PeterKoch on March 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for your response, Laura.

Lolalovescookies on March 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Actually, dear friends, my name is Laura but I usually go by Lola. Anyways, I would love to sign this petition to help reopen something that is near and dear to my heart. I am planning to get into Academy for Film and Television and film has always been such a great part of my life. Clockwork Orange, Any Woody Allen film, you name I’ve seen it:) I actually stumbled upon this troubled theatre a few nights ago when I was curious to find something about the arts in Ridgewood. I remember when I saw some kid movies Cars ect and I believe I saw The Science of Sleep or The Devil Wears Prada but nonetheless having a theatre near home is just fantastic. I miss walking around myrtle as a kid and just looking at the board and thinking maybe by some slim chance of luck I will have my film on there some day. Its a place that if renovated would make so many kids, teens, adults happy you name. By God, the city losing buy not having such historic entertainment facility. Which brings me to the point I want to make. I go to I.S.93, its my senior year, I am quite great friends with a lot of people there, its funny to say, but they are almost like my family (even the ones I hate), I would love to get that petition 1,000+ signitures. If it would be alright could I possibly put up fliers in my school or just talk with the principal and I’m sure that he would let me. And would sign for himself. I’m quite the argumentative brat so if you guys ever needed someone for convincing believe me I’m your girl. I think theatre is important and Atlas is pricy. I mean, I go there usually for borders but all in all that theatre doesnt have atmosphere. Its modern and you can’t cherish much about it. And also, the terrible films that are just there for the next box office hit.Anyways, please let me know if I could put this link all over my school, and believe me when I see such an injustice esspecially when it comes to the arts, I’m willing to act. Its funny I usually don’t do fundraisers or charities because I’m like any other lazy teen and some people maybe be surprised I am writing this because I’m just a kid. But I really got infuriated when I read this might become a supermarket. My head still aches.

PeterKoch on March 7, 2011 at 7:42 am

Welcome, Lola. Please help us re-open the Ridgewood Theatre.

“Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets …”

That’s a song from an old musical, “Damn Yankees”, which probably played at the Ridgewood about half a century ago.

You’re quite right. Ridgewood doesn’t need another food store, but the closest cinema to the Ridgewood is Atlas Park in Glendale, 3 ½ miles away to the east.

NativeForestHiller on March 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I assume your name is Lola, and I see you are new to CinemaTreasures. Welcome! You are one of the younger members, which is great to see. I am glad you understand the value of a historic theater, and a “landmark opportunity” we have in our hands. The community deserves something great for years to come. What were some movies that you saw in its historic walls?

Please consider joining Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre on Facebook, and check out our photo link on flickr: http://on.fb.me/RidgewoodTheatre

This is our petition. Please sign, comment, and forward it to your friends. The more signatures, the merrier! View link

Lolalovescookies on March 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Its so hard for me to comprehend why some people don’t understand the reason why everyone wants this theatre to reopen. I have read so many comments on other internet forums that explained the funny memories of people and their first dates, the movies they saw, the people they were with. The Ridgewood Theatre is a remarkable historic landmark that shouldn’t be torn and renovated into a crummy little supermarket. Does anyone even want another food chain to open? Fellow citizens of ridgewood, we have a food store on every fucking corner, we don’t need more. I haven’t lived here a long time, I’m only 14, I moved here when I was 9. But this theatre,although a filthy and quick alternative to a better kept theatre, was the only one anyone wanted to go to! You know why? Despite the filth and the uncomfortable chairs, and the sticky floors,and the peeling cieling, you had the entertainment of being in a historic place where you always wondered who sat in the chair you are in, what person in the 1940’s sat there as well. It would be a sad moment in my life to see another memorable place shut down. Honestly, we have nothing in ridgewood, you have to explore in order to find something special, some entertainment. Where is a record store when you need one? Or some other entertainment facility? We need this theatre in order to keep some memories alive, relive the good parts of ridgewood. Its not that hard to understand that we need this theatre to let people know there doesn’t always have to be a movie night at home, that this town, as ghetto and boring as it is, can be special too.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Wow. Those 1977 photos are something else. This theatre is much nicer than I figured it was. I guess it’s hard to tell when all you can see is half a dome painted black.

NativeForestHiller on February 20, 2011 at 2:51 am

Thank you very much for your kind words, Luis! If you have a chance, please sign, comment, & circulate the petition link above. It is open to all signers, and those from Ridgewood should prove additionally advantageous.

LuisV on February 19, 2011 at 5:52 am

Good luck NFH! I greatly admire your tenacity and dedication to saving this historic theater.

NativeForestHiller on February 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

This is the rundown… It was not a public hearing. Some members of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre met with staff members of Councilmember Diana Reyna’s office, to discuss our vision for the Ridgewood Theatre. We learned “the table is open,” and we are in the process of devising methods in which a restoration of the auditorium and lobby’s rare features could prove feasible, and be advantageous. The councilmember and owner is interested in hearing our ideas on funding opportunities, and we have an architect and The NY Landmarks Conservancy who is assisting us. We are putting our creativity to work, and hoping for a win-win for the owner, preservationists, and the entire community.

PeterKoch on February 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

“NativeForestHiller” can explain it.

Bway on February 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I didn’t know there was a public hearing about the theater the other day. I would have considered going, as I was in Ridgewood that day. And why wouldthey have it in Williamsburg? Shouldn’t they have had it in Ridgewood somewhere, or at least in Bushwick?

PeterKoch on February 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

You’re welcome, Panzer65. Unfortunately, I did not attend the public hearing about the Ridgewood Theatre in Williamsburg Bklyn this past Wednesday Feb 16th.

Panzer65 on February 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Thank you for your vigilance Peter.

PeterKoch on February 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

I walked by the Ridgewood Theater about 10:35 the morning of Friday February 11 2011. There was no change since I last walked by there on Friday January 14th 2011. The following is still on the western side of the marquee, facing west towards Madison Street :


I observed from the south (opposite) side of Myrtle Avenue this time and therefore saw no details of the inner lobby nor the box office.

NativeForestHiller on February 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

***Everyone: If you haven’t already done so, please SIGN & COMMENT on the petition to preserve the interior of the Ridgewood Theatre, designed by the famed Thomas Lamb in 1916. We lost too many historic theaters, & Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre and other groups are determined to do everything in our power to restore this theater. A revitalized historic theater = A community destination & jobs! The table is open, and timing is crucial to acquire funding for a restoration and potential creative reuse alongside adaptive reuse.

Please forward to EVERYONE that you know, and especially Ridgewood contacts:

View link

Thank you!

  • Michael Perlman
    Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
    Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP

    JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP: http://on.fb.me/RidgewoodTheatre
    PHOTOS (Paste into browser): View link
PeterKoch on January 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I walked by the Ridgewood Theater about 11:35 this morning, Friday January 14 2011. There was no change since I last walked by there on Friday December 17th 2010. The following is still on the western side of the marquee, facing west towards Madison Street :


There are still five or six mannequin heads with made-up faces and wigs on them in the box office, along with a book-page size poster for a film about Che Guavera.

PeterKoch on December 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

Tomorrow is the 94-year anniversary of the opening of the Ridgewood Theatre.

PeterKoch on December 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

Panzer65, no similarities come to mind quickly. The difference that comes to mind immediately was the Ridgewood’s beautiful elliptical balcony lobby, which I last saw on Tuesday June 17 1980. The Madison’s balcony lobby was larger, rectangular, or some combination of rectangles in an “L” shape.

I don’t remember the Ridgewood’s chandelier. I’ve only seen the Madison’s inner lobby chandelier in old photos. Its reflection in the large mirror on the wall at the mid-landing of the grand staircase to the balcony lobby was quite awesome-looking.

I don’t recall organs being operational at any time I was in the Ridgewood or Madison theatres, though they very well may have been there.

Panzer65 on December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Peter, if I remember correctly, Julius DeRosa, chief architect of the Madison, worked under renowned theater architect Thomas Lamb for some time. Besides the balustrades being similar, do you recall any other similarities in the Madison to the Ridgewood? DeRosa seemed to have a flair for the Romanesque design, which through only a few photos could I understand this. The one memory I have of Ridgewood in is one screen configuration is its huge chandelier, which I remember being afraid to sit under. Did Madison also have one? A prevoius post mentioned that Ridgewood also has an organ, and upon removing the partition walls, an organ was discovered
behind one of the decorative wall grilles. My reading also indicates Madison had an organ too, including an orchestra pit in front of the stage. Perhaps thats where Madison’s organ was. Was it operational when you were there as an active theater?

PeterKoch on December 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

Yes, Bway, the almighty dollar rules once again, sadly enough.

Is any of this posted on Bushwick Buddies yet ?

Thanks, Bway, for the links to the photos. I’m reminded of the Madison, especially the balcony’s marble balustrades.

You’re most welcome to the update, Michael. My pleasure.

Bway on December 19, 2010 at 5:01 am

Yes, an operating theater only two years ago is now “too far gone”. Uh HUH. It’s a scandal in the making at this point.
Obviously, people saying this don’t want to miss their chance at making a buck destroying the place. And others don’t want to have to spend the money carefully saving some of the features. Disgusting.
I hope we are wrong here, but all signs point to the sad fact.

NativeForestHiller on December 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

You are right on target, Panzer65! Those types of people only see one thing, and that is not the community or a historic treasure. It would be great seeing a photo of the chandelier.