Polk Theater

93-09 37th Avenue,
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

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Showing 126 - 142 of 142 comments

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 8, 2005 at 2:37 pm

Well I took the #7 Line to 74th & Broadway and caught a bus. You could also take the #7 Line to Junction Blvd, then walk back 4 blocks and across.

I did it on my own, and I am from the UK, but then I can sniff out a theatre if I am pointed in the right direction! lol

faberfranz
faberfranz on October 8, 2005 at 1:52 pm

I have all these same questions, plus one more:

“Hi Warren. In the main auditorium they show ‘legit’ movies…In the back of the theater is where they show the gay and straight porn. They also have small booths where you can, well you get the picture. I think they change the program every Sunday and Wednesday. But that might be for the porn movies…"
[posted by cypress on Nov 18, 2004 at 5:24pm]

“Cypress….I’m confused. In your 3:42 entry yesterday, you said that the Polk did not have a balcony and that the theater needs a good cleaning. Yet at 5:42 you claim that there is a balcony, which is closed off…"
[posted by ErwinM on Nov 19, 2004 at 1:53pm]

“We are an English couple visiting New York in October and are looking to find an adult cinema where we can “play” and be watched. Would this be possible in this movie theater and is it clean and safe?
Can anyone recommend any adult movie theaters in Manhattan? Our email is "
[posted by Shirley&Mark on Aug 24, 2005 at 6:01am]]

One more question: how may one reach it by subway from Manhattan?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 11:09 am

There was someone there behind the counter when I was poking around, definitely a woman, but I didn’t take too long of a peak (and the glass in the booth was a bit, shall we say, opaque). Nice to see the old booth was actually still in operation, however… cluttered as it appeared to be. And did you notice that (as with the Fair) there were faded posters in the display cases with the current feature attractions advertised only by a handwritten piece of looseleaf paper scotch-taped on the glass? At least the posters here at the Polk were for porn flicks. Over at the Fair, the poster is for a mid-70’s Lee Marvin action flick – of the variety you’d find playing at one of the 42nd Street grind houses!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 7:08 am

Hey Warren… were we following each other around Queens with our cameras? Here are a few shots I took:

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That last one is the rear of the theater on the side street (93rd Street). I plan on returning one evening to get a shot of the marquee lit up.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on September 7, 2005 at 7:01 am

I wonder when the “Polk Ave.” lost that wonderful marquee and became the “Polk”? “Little Miss Roughneck” opened in ‘38, so we know it happened after that. In my neck of the island in B'klyn, several theaters underwent facelifts in the pre-Scope post-war years ca.'48-'52. McCourt’s “Queer Street” captures the Polk of that era (the paragraphs on “Don’t Bother to Knock” are exemplary) without calling the theater “Polk Ave.” or mentioning its elegant marquee. That book goes into some detail about the custodian’s hilarious hanky-panky at the time.

NyTrip
NyTrip on August 24, 2005 at 3:01 am

Hi

We are an English couple visiting New York in October and are looking to find an adult cinema where we can “play” and be watched. Would this be possible in this movie theater and is it clean and safe?

Can anyone recommend any adult movie theaters in Manhattan?

Our email is

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on August 7, 2005 at 8:04 pm

The Brandts' must have had money in that picture – with a few exceptions all the theatres playing it are Brandt!

RobertR
RobertR on August 7, 2005 at 4:00 pm

In 1968 the Polk was part of this adults only showcase
View link

Scholes188
Scholes188 on July 31, 2005 at 12:54 pm

I must have been buzzed if/when I wrote that the Polk was in good condition. The place is okay but it isn’t as well maintained as the Fair Theater on Astoria Blvd. I was able to see the old projectors and the owner offered to sell them to me. But I don’t have the money for that.

Scholes188
Scholes188 on July 31, 2005 at 12:54 pm

I must have been buzzed if/when I wrote that the Polk was in good condition. The place is okay but it isn’t as well maintained as the Fair Theater on Astoria Blvd. I was able to see the old projectors and the owner offered to sell them to me. But I don’t have the money for that.

br91975
br91975 on July 14, 2005 at 3:13 am

The Polk Theater received a mention in this week’s (July 18th) issue of New York magazine, as the second of 50 unique-to-Queens sites to consider checking out before the borough (inevitably) becomes gentrified.

EMarkisch
EMarkisch on November 19, 2004 at 10:53 am

Cypress….I’m confused. In your 3:42 entry yesterday, you said that the Polk did not have a balcony and that the theater needs a good cleaning. Yet at 5:42 you claim that there is a balcony, which is closed off and that the theater is well maintained. It almost seems that you are talking about two different theaters. Please clarify.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on November 19, 2004 at 9:54 am

There are some wicked descriptions of teen-age, um, activities at the Polk Theater in the widely praised memoir about pre-Stonewall gay life, James McCourt’s “Queer Street” (Norton, 2003). The author grew up on 94 Street in the 40s-50s.

Scholes188
Scholes188 on November 18, 2004 at 2:24 pm

Hi Warren. In the main auditorium they show ‘legit’ movies. This Monday they were playing THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW with Dennis Quaid. In the back of the theater is where they show the gay and straight porn. They also have small booths where you can, well you get the picture. I think they change the program every Sunday and Wednesday. But that might be for the porn movies. In the main room they show a lot of old movies. The theater is well maintained and it is a relaxed atmosphere. They have the balcony but that is closed off. I would love to see the projection room. I bet the old projectors are still intact. Do you know if there was a stage?

Scholes188
Scholes188 on November 18, 2004 at 12:42 pm

I stopped by to see if this theater was still running. It is still open. I went there on 11/15/04. There was this old woman selling ‘tickets’ in the box office. The tickets are threaded through the old ticket machine, but unlike the old days, she doesn’t push a button to dispense them. The place has a musty smell. The small lobby is still intact. It is smaller than most theaters. Once inside I gave the ticket to an ‘usher’. Next to the door on the left is the old ticket collection box. I don’t know what it is actually called. There are still the old concession stand display cases. There are stairs that lead to the restrooms. There is no balcony. There is old paneling on the walls that no doubt hide the original walls. It would be interesting to peel them off. Upstairs is an old phone booth minus the pay phone. The bathrooms are okay. There are also to old scales that don’t work but are probably worth something. The theater looks as if suspended in time. It needs a good cleaning. I once had the opportunity to see the projection room. The projectors are still in place and probably work.

RobertR
RobertR on February 18, 2004 at 8:17 am

I know the owner of this theatre who has had it since the early 60’s. Except from years of being run down as a porno house, all of its art deco elements are still there. I saw the theatre with the porters cleaning lights on, and if it was painted and had new seats, screen and carpet wold be a mini gem almost as nice as the Loews Trylon. The marquee is so 1940’s it should have landmark status.

RobertR
RobertR on January 9, 2004 at 11:38 am

The owner of this theatre has had it since the early 60’s. It used to play second run double bills. In the late eightys he attempted to play porno by day and second run at night but never cleaned up the place or gave it a chance.