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I attended a function there recently, and I was hard-pressed to think of its resemblance to its theater space. It has dropped ceilings and other finishes that strips it of its formerly Art Deco and modernistic interior appeal.
Thank you for updating the theater’s address on this thread, as well as the write-up.
Tinseltoes: Thank you for sharing this very impressive vintage image.
I searched on Proquest, and came across the NY Times article, “Deals On Long Island – New Theatre Is Planned For Jackson Heights” dated Jun 1, 1937, Page 38. It reads:
The Queens Seventy-third Street Corporation, Sam Minskoff, president, will erect a motion-picture theatre at the northeast corner of Seventy-third Street and Albemarle Terrace, in Jackson Heights, as a result of a lease for the proposed building made by the Brandt theatre circuit, headed by Harry Brandt and Dave Weinstock. The total rental under the lease is said to be about $250,000.
Plans for the new building are being prepared by John Eberson. It will seat about 600 persons. David Berk & J. Krumbold were the brokers in the deal.
This is the Eagle/Earle Theatre flickr photoset, which will be useful in the theater’s preservation campaign, and will be updated periodically:
Please e-mail Michael Perlman of the Four Borough Preservation Alliance and Queens Preservation Council at
Does anyone have leads on any historic resources for the Eagle Theatre, formerly known as the Earle Theatre?
Vintage photos have been provided courtesy of Warren Harris. Thank you!
This is the Drake Theatre photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council:
Please feel free to contact
Thank you for your update, Peter!
Has anyone received a response regarding any of the above historic Ridgewood Theatre items?
As a result of our 2-year cause, the theater has been declared an Individual Landmark on Jan 12, 2010. I know it would be nice for a personal collection. However, any historic findings that were original to the theater, Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre feels belong at the theater as part of a restoration &/or put on display, so the entire community and future generations can cherish a 1916 gem by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas W. Lamb. Please feel free to e-mail me at
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
This is the Ridgewood Theatre Individual Landmark Designation Report, courtesy of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission:
37-27 82nd St is the correct address. It is part of the Jackson Heights Historic District, and safeguarded by Landmark Laws. Can someone from the Cinema Treasures staff please correct it? Thank you!
Can someone please describe the original configuration of the auditorium? “Panzer65” and I would appreciate any interior photos, besides the more current theater lobby photos. It would be helpful for the Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre preservation cause. Contact me at
NY 1 Video, “Ridgewood Theatre Given Landmark Status” by CeFaan Kim: http://www.ny1.com/content/112136/story
Times Ledger, “City Landmarks Ridgewood Theatre, PS 66” by Philip Newman & Contributing Writer Jeremy Walsh: View link
Queens Chronicle, “Historic Building Gets Preservation Nod” by Michael Lanza: View link
Warren, can you please re-post your scan from Sept 4th?
Ed, can you re-post the photos from your 2006 postings? I am looking for other historic photos as well, from anyone else who may have some. Thank you!
I am unsure of the real estate price on leasing a theater such as the Jackson Triplex. I would need to do more research. I also suggest contacting the Jackson Heights Beautification Group to find out more specifics, and they will refer you to the necessary party/parties: http://www.jhbg.org/
What do you plan on using the theater for? A combination of films and performing arts?
For the long-term success of the theater, and its state of preservation and feasibility, I recommend consistently keeping in touch with experienced preservation non-profits including the Historic Districts Council, www.hdc.org (Exec. Dir. Simeon Bankoff), NY Landmarks Conservancy (Pres. Peg Breen or Community Outreach Manager Andrea Goldwyn, or Program Coordinator Karen Ansis), Four Borough Preservation Alliance (I am Queens VP of the Corp, and Raul Rothblatt is the Exec. Dir), National Trust For Historic Preservation, Theatre Historical Society of America (Pres. Karen Noonan, NYC Regional Rep Orlando Lopes). The NY Landmarks Conservancy has a number of grant programs for the facade and interior, which property owners can utilize at the Conservancy’s discretion: http://www.nylandmarks.org/ One such funding program that we should explore is the Queens Historic Properties Fund: View link
Another superb idea is as follows. If the property is proposed for the NY State Historic Preservation Office’s “State & Nat'l Register of Historic Places,” and is deemed eligible for listing by a professional SHPO regional surveyor, it would be your option to support it, and apply for tax credits &/or matching grants, which would be advantageous in restoring the facade and interior features, and upgrading the theater’s technical aspects, while respecting its overall historic integrity. You would likely save significant pocket money. It would also grant historic recognition. The website which includes links to various options is as follows. This link includes the nomination forms that can be downloaded: View link In this case, the SHPO regional representative is Virginia Bartos:
The League of Historic American Theatres can connect theater owners to rehabilitation experts, with a yearly membership: http://www.lhat.org/programs_services.asp The LHAT’s Exec. Dir. Fran Holden can be reached at (410) 659-9533 &
In the long run, significant pocket money can also be saved by seeking truly passionate volunteers to perform necessary work. Great models of success are:
A. Loew’s Jersey: http://www.loewsjersey.org/restore/index.php (Best example)
B. Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda: http://www.rivieratheatre.org/ (History link has success story)
C. Landmark Theatre in Syracuse: http://landmarktheatre.org/history.html
D. Capitol Theatre Center For Performing Arts in Rome, NY: http://www.romecapitol.com/restoration.html
If you would like to introduce an artistic platform to the theatre i.e. a performing arts space (besides the film aspect), then consulting with the Queens Council on the Arts may be advantageous. They mention related programs that may also be beneficial: http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on all of the above, as well as learning more about your vision. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at
The Q Note was established in February 2009, and does a superb job in capturing the fundamentals of Queens in a creative manner.
Reproduced with permission from webmaster & author Alia Akkam:
Â« The Quickie: (January 14 â€" 17)
How to Change History
The Ridgewood Theatre was once a cultural mecca. It may just get a new life. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Perlman
Michael Perlman was devastated when the Trylon Theater in his native Forest Hills shut down. The demise of this Art Deco treasure, with its mosaic ticket booth and terrazzo floor bearing a 3-D mirror image of the 1939 Worldâ€™s Fair monument of the same name, awakened his inner preservationist. With the Trylonâ€™s entrance pavilion jackhammered away in 2005, three years later Perlman made it his mission to ensure another of the boroughâ€™s ailing cultural institutions wouldnâ€™t meet the same fate.
Picture it: Itâ€™s Queens, circa 1916, and the sumptuous Ridgewood Theatre, a 2,500-seat palace devoted to vaudeville, built by the Levy Brothers and designed by Thomas White Lamb â€" who would go on to lend his savvy to Manhattanâ€™s Ziegfeld â€" arrives. The community laps up the entertainment, and continues to make it a regular hangout as it morphs into a cinema haven.
Like many of the cityâ€™s once glorious cultural bastions, the Ridgewood Theatre gradually decayed, until it suddenly shut down in March 2008. Perlman then established Friends of the Ridgewood Theatre, and for nearly two years found himself in the midst of a grassroots letter campaign and petition drive. Yesterday, crucial steps were taken to protect the iconic venue, deemed the longest continuously operated first-run neighborhood theater throughout the city â€" if not the country â€" thanks to Perlmanâ€™s efforts: The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission awarded the three-story venue individual landmark status for its glam faÃ§ade, chock full of geometric patterns, medallions, and a frieze.
â€œI admired the varied history of the Ridgewood Theatre, and most of all, the intricate and clever craftsmanship exhibited on the facade and in the theater lobby,â€ Perlman explains. â€œThe facade is ornate, and is comprised of glazed terracotta and Indiana limestone, and its Classical Revival style intrigued and communicated with me. It was â€˜a calling.â€™ Theaters of this caliber are few and far between today, although they are still very much cornerstones of Americana.â€
But whatâ€™s next for the building? Although City Council still needs to give the potential landmark its blessing, all is expected to fall into place. There are even whisperings that as early as summer of this year a renovated building may debut as a retail and movie hybrid. Perlmanâ€™s vision is more ambitious: â€œI wonder if the co-owners have considered creatively and adaptively reusing it as a performing arts venue and movie theater. I view this combination as an even more economically viable venture, and would be somewhat reflective of the origins of the Ridgewood Theatre.â€
Given the active efforts of local planning organizations and the construction of the Times Building condos, if the Ridgewood Theatre is revamped properly, Ridgewood may just become a budding Bushwick, its arts-obsessed Brooklyn neighbor.
Thank you “East Coast Rocker” & John for your kind words! Thank you for contributing to this noble preserve cause as well. CM Crowley was also present at the LPC Public Meeting yesterday, and vowed that she would guide the designation through City Council. I am confident with all the positivity, the other agencies will sign off as well, and Individual Landmark status will remain.
It is still of interest to designate the mostly intact theater lobby an Interior Landmark. The owners don’t plan on altering that in a negative way, but one can never be certain if it’s not landmarked, as what happened to the Elmwood and Trylon Theaters. By law, an Interior Landmark must be open to the public, and the LPC said they cannot survey it and calendar it for a public hearing, since the theater is not open at the time. Let’s have good faith in the Ridgewood Theatre owners, and help them in any way we can.
It would be an economic advantage to the owners if the Ridgewood Theatre was nominated and placed on the State & National Register of Historic Places, as it would be eligible for federal grants and tax credits for restoration work and historically-sensitive renovations; not to mention national prestige. I hope to hear everyone’s thoughts.
The Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre MySpace Page has been updated, with a slightly revised mission statement: www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre
Thank you very much! There is also a well-written article in The Epoch Times by Jack Phillips, titled “Historic Theater Kept For Preservation”
I came across a great RKO Keith’s postcard now up for auction on ebay. May the lucky soul win! I would normally place a bid on it, if it’s economical, but I already own one. Now is your chance!
Thank you for posting these unique aerial views, Bway!
Getting back to my December 24, 2009 posting, if anyone has any other vintage photos or blueprints, or ads that I have not posted, please e-mail me at
Once again, this is the photoset: View link
Hi Warren! If you can send me high-resolution photos of the ones you posted that are no longer available, as well as re-post them here for other members to appreciate, that would be great! Thanks!
I will soon post photos (wide angles and close-ups) in my flickr photoset for the Drake Theatre. If anyone would be interested in contributing some vintage photos or ads, or images from the “recent past,” please contact me at