Comments from NativeForestHiller

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NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:07 am

P.S. On the NYC Department of Buildings website, the Ridgewood Theatre is no longer listed as C for calendared, but is now excitingly listed as L for Landmark!

View link

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Bellerose Theater on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

Does anyone have any vintage or recent past photos of the former Bellerose Theatre? The glazed terra cotta facade and whatever may remain of the interior merits preservation. Please e-mail me at

Thank you,

  • Michael Perlman,
    Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Brandon Cinemas 2 on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi! Thank you for posting the advertisement I came across!

This is my Continental Theatre, UA Brandon Cinemas, 70-20 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY flickr photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which I founded and chair:

View link

You can click the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and view them in a low, medium, high resolution, or original (maximum) resolution, as well as download them for future reference.

If anyone can contribute any vintage photos or ads to this photoset, I will be happy to give you credit. All images help preserve the spirit of “NY’s 1st split level theater,” and may contribute to other great preservation projects. The marquee, original terrazzo floor out front, and the reverse channel neon sign reading “Continental,” are some of the features that should be retained and appreciated. Let’s be proactive!

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Loew's Canal Theatre on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

Thank you for posting this forthcoming NY Post article! I always admired this theater from what I have seen in photos, although I am too young to have any memories of the theater. Let’s realize that the Loew’s Canal is indeed a hidden gem, which bears positive light in a time when the 1916 Ridgewood Theatre was designated an Individual Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (1/12/10). This was also designed by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas W Lamb. Let’s hope that all TWL theaters are restored as much as possible, and creatively and adaptively reused, not to mention numerous other theater marvels, which are few and far between today. I look forward to receiving updates on this theater. Good luck to the organization that is interested, as well as the owner for accommodating them!

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Forest Hills Theatre on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

Hi Everyone! This is my Forest Hills Theatre flickr photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which I founded and chair:

View link

You can click the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and view them in a low, medium, high resolution, or original (maximum) resolution, as well as download them for future reference.

If anyone can contribute any vintage photos or ads to this photoset, I will be happy to give you credit. All images help preserve the spirit of the former Forest Hills Theatre, and may contribute to other great preservation projects. Let’s be proactive!

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Elmwood Theatre on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

I second the well-phrased comments of Bway & Life’s Too Shaort. It was a shame how the Rock Church told the media the facade is being restored, and then went behind the public’s back and covered over and removed priceless ornate terra cotta detailing. The theater was “stuccotized.”

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Historic Ridgewood Theatre Received Landmark Hearing, But No Vote Taken - Call LPC! on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

THE RESULTS ARE IN………..

I attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 1/12/10 Public Meeting, and I am elated to report that the historic Ridgewood Theatre was unanimously voted by commissioners as an INDIVIDUAL LANDMARK!!!

My nearly 2-year effort under Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre as Chairman (since March 2008), in affiliation with various preservation and cultural groups, members of Cinema Treasures, and a mass audience, truly paid off! Now if only the LPC would change their position towards some other potential Queens landmarks, as well as that of other boroughs, in which properties clearly conform to the architectural and cultural provisions of the Landmarks Law, but they’re rejected without calendaring a property/properties for a most democreatic public hearing. Hopefully, the Ridgewood Theatre preservation/landmarking cause will set off a chain reaction of positivity.

I took some photos, which are as follows: View link
The last 5 photos are from the designation, and they are titled in case the order changes when I need to update the photoset. The Ridgewood Theatre cause can be perceived as a case study in landmarking, advocacy, and community bond. It took a while to achieve landmark status. This is another chapter in the Ridgewood Theatre’s long, varied, and distinctive history, considering that it was deemed the “longest continuously operating first-run theater countrywide” upon its closure.

Now we must make sure that it remains in a good state of preservation in the long-term. It is essential to continue to be proactive. Thank you very much, everyone, for your support to date! Let’s call it “a great beginning!”

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Historic Ridgewood Theatre may earn Landmark Status on Jan 12, 2010 at LPC Public Meeting‏ on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

Thank you for sharing this! A newer version of this NY 1 video featuring testimony is on TV, and will likely be posted online.

A Perspective on The Results………..

I attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 1/12/10 Public Meeting, and I am elated to report that the historic Ridgewood Theatre was unanimously voted by commissioners as an Individual Landmark!!! My nearly 2-year effort under Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre as Chairman (since March 2008), in affiliation with various preservation and cultural groups, members of Cinema Treasures, and a mass audience, truly paid off! Now if only the LPC would change their position towards some other potential Queens landmarks, as well as that of other boroughs, in which properties clearly conform to the architectural and cultural provisions of the Landmarks Law, but they’re rejected without calendaring a property/properties for a most democreatic public hearing. Hopefully the Ridgewood Theatre will set off a chain reaction of positivity.

I took some photos, which are as follows: View link
The last 5 photos are from the designation, and they are titled in case the order changes when I need to update the photoset. The Ridgewood Theatre cause can be perceived as a case study in landmarking, advocacy, and community bond. It took a while to achieve landmark status. This is another chapter in the Ridgewood Theatre’s long, varied, and distinctive history, considering that it was deemed the “longest continuously operating first-run theater countrywide” upon its closure.

Now we must make sure that it remains in a good state of preservation in the long-term. It is essential to continue to be proactive. Thank you very much, everyone, for your support to date! Let’s call it “a great beginning.”

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:14 am

Thank you for your message, Bway & Peter (I must have missed you).

THE RESULTS ARE IN………..

I attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 1/12/10 Public Meeting, and I am elated to report that the historic Ridgewood Theatre was unanimously voted by commissioners as an Individual Landmark!!! My nearly 2-year effort under Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre as Chairman (since March 2008), in affiliation with various preservation and cultural groups, members of Cinema Treasures, and a mass audience, truly paid off! Now if only the LPC would change their position towards some other potential Queens landmarks, as well as that of other boroughs, in which properties clearly conform to the architectural and cultural provisions of the Landmarks Law.

I took some photos, which are as follows: View link
The last 5 photos are from the designation, and they are titled in case the order changes when I need to update the photoset. The Ridgewood Theatre cause can be perceived as a case study in landmarking, advocacy, and community bond. It took a while to achieve landmark status. This is another chapter in the Ridgewood Theatre’s long, varied, and distinctive history, considering that it was deemed the “longest continuosuly operating first-run theater countrywide” upon its closure.

Now we must make sure that it remains in a good state of preservation in the long-term. It is essential to continue to be proactive. Thank you very much, everyone, for your support to date! Let’s call it “a great beginning.”

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jan 11, 2010 at 12:18 am

Thank you for your wishes and your help and support to date! I am still hoping to acquire vintage photos of the interior. If you would like to join me after the Jan 12th LPC Public Meeting for lunch at a great multicultural restaurant nearby, please let me know. I hope we can celebrate its landmarking victory. “Knock on wood!”

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

THE NEWS WE HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATING!!!… If you would like to join me at the LPC public meeting on Tues, Jan 12th, and for lunch afterwards at a great multicultural restaurant nearby, please e-mail me at

Nearly 2-Year Landmarking Cause In The Making, Boils Down To 1 Day:
Commissioners To Vote on Historic Ridgewood Theatre

RIDGEWOOD, NY (Jan 12, 2010) â€" Queensâ€\ historic Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave) closed its doors in March 2008 without warning, but patrons & preservationists are now elated that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Meeting, where Commissioners will vote whether to designate the theater as Queensâ€\ newest Individual Landmark (façade). The Public Meeting for the Ridgewood Theatre (Agenda Item #3, LP-2325) is set for Tues, January 12, 2010 from 10:15 AM â€" 10:25 AM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007: View link

A hearing was held on March 24, 2009 as a result of a Request For Evaluation form and research, a letter campaign, a petition drive, and a MySpace Group coordinated by Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, which was founded by Preservationist Michael Perlman after the theaterâ€\s closure in 2008. Testimony in support of Individual Landmark status was diverse and abundantly positive, and also included written testimony from Thomas A. Lamb, the great-grandson of Architect Thomas W. Lamb, who was tracked down by Chair Perlman. Co-owner Mario Saggese expressed his support for landmarking the façade, and also said the owners envision a historically-sensitive plan for the downstairs auditorium space consisting of retail to make it economically viable, with modern screens upstairs.

Opening its doors on December 23, 1916 and closing in March 2008, the Ridgewood Theatre was deemed “the longest continuously operating first-run neighborhood theater citywide, and potentially throughout the U.S.” It staged Vaudeville, silent films, saw the advent of photoplays, the first ‘100% All-Talkingâ€\ feature, Lights of New York (1928), & Technicolor. Its original seating capacity was 2,500, but currently contains 5 screens and seats 1,950.

Modeled after Times Squareâ€\s long-demolished Mark Strand Theatre (the Worldâ€\s 1st movie palace), the $250,000 Classical Revival gem was designed by Americaâ€\s foremost theater architect, Thomas White Lamb, & built by the Levy Brothers. The 3-story Indiana limestone & terra cotta façade is highly ornate, incorporating unique geometric patterns, medallions, a frieze, pilasters, and proudly boasts Ridgewood Theatre across the top. Interior murals originally depicted the history of Ridgewood.

Perlman explains: “Theaters are the ‘ultimate public institutionsâ€\ which bridge the generations, as they foster community growth and pride, harbor countless memories, and often exhibit the work of our countryâ€\s most skillful architects. Commissioned architects hoped to leave a long-lasting impression of grandeur, confidence, serenity, and comfort; a bold step away from the pressures of society.”

Perlman further explains “With the onset of DVDs, and vastly improved home entertainment centers, movie theaters with a minimal number of screens are a highly endangered species citywide. When sacrificed in the name of progress, their loss is most heartfelt. Local theaters with an unfortunate fate include the Oasis, Parthenon, Irving, & RKO Madison Theatre (retail), but the Ridgewood Theatre can be economically viable if preserved and adaptively reused for theater-related purposes. It would contribute to an up & coming neighborhood and a diverse borough.”

Historic & recent Ridgewood Theatre photos, courtesy of Chair Michael Perlman, Friends of Ridgewood Theatre: View link

Online Petition: View link

Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre MySpace Group: www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre

  • Preservationist Michael Perlman
    Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
    Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
    Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
    Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.
    Central Queens Historical Association, Bd of Dir
NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Trylon Theater on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm

This is a Trylon Theater photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, in affiliation with the Committee To Save The Trylon Theater, founded in 2005. The photoset below documents its historic 1939 World’s Fair-inspired Art Deco features, the theater’s closure, the unfortunate jackhammering of the Trylon-adorned ticket booth and cementing of the mosaic and terrazzo Trylon & chevron-patterned floor in the entrance pavilion, as well as the Art Deco facade and glass block projection tower, which remain intact. It also includes some interior features i.e. a “World of Tomorrow” ‘39 World’s Fair theme mural flanking the proscenium, a Trylon fountain in the standee area. Save The Trylon campaign artwork is included as well. Memorabilia includes the 1941 Theatre Catalog’s promotional piece on the Trylon Theater, and matchbook covers referencing the theater. This will consistently be updated.

Please feel free to contribute vintage photos or photos from the recent past, or any other items of interest. Please continue to support this noble cause. Hopefully, the concealed and lost features can be restored one day, so future generations can see first-hand what a significant theater this was to Queens, a unique Art Deco gem, and to the 1939 World’s Fair history and its impact upon future sites. Never abandon hope, and let’s remain proactive in every way possible. Thank you!

View link

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Ridgewood Theatre on Jan 2, 2010 at 4:04 am

Happy New Year!!! Thank you for the update, Peter, and thanks for your designation wishes, John! It would also be great if the LPC calendared a hearing for the mostly intact theater lobby. Individual Landmark status for the facade is the first priority. Anyway, the co-owner Mario Saggese said at the LPC hearing last March that they are committed towards preserving as much of the theater’s original features uncovered as possible. We must be proactive and on top of these preservation issues, but also feel somewhat relieved.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Granada Theatre on Dec 27, 2009 at 6:31 am

Patsy, can you do the contacting? You are more familiar with this theater than I am.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Granada Theatre on Dec 26, 2009 at 10:08 am

Demolishing this theater is a preservation travesty to all! The article references policians that doesn’t act on behalf of constituents and other theater preservationists and patrons. It is not at all beyond restorable.

Has City Council ever heard of acquiring grants after applying for State & National Register status? Landmark status? Working with the League of Historic American Theatres?

SHAME ON PA CITY COUNCIL!

  • Michael Perlman from NY
NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about UA Midway Stadium 9 on Dec 26, 2009 at 7:58 am

Hi Bway! Happy holidays!!! Do you have any photos from the time you patronized the Midway? It would be helpful, since I’d like to add as many noteworthy semi-vintage and vintage photos as possible, and give you and other parties credit on my Midway Theatre flickr photoset. I look forward to hearing from many other Cinema Treasures members on this thread. E-mail

I remember it being a quad theater as well, when I was younger. I am not sure if the screens were gutted completely in the late 90s. I assume that they took each of the 4 screens and divided them in half to bring us to 8 screens, and then was able to provide an additional screen by using a storage space, or carving one space of the quad into 3 rather. Thoughts, anyone?

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about UA Midway Stadium 9 on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:16 am

This is an updated photoset courtesy of Michael Perlman, Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge each photo, and choose the resolution/size you prefer to view them in. It consists of facade photos in day & night, detailed theater lobby/foyer images, vintage images, and vintage ads. It will be updated on a gradual basis. If you have any other vintage photos or blueprints, or ads that we may not already have, please e-mail

Enjoy the photoset: View link

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Dec 13, 2009 at 10:13 pm

They don’t care about our quality of life. They did it to line their pockets. The only way to restore the beautiful courtyard, would be to sell the building and have the future owner demolish the construction that lacks integrity. Shamefully, some of our neighbors are a disgrace. We must teach our children from early on, so they’ll be community-minded visionaries.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Dec 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Based on the above photo:

  1. Venator Capital destroyed its sense of history
  2. Exercised an anti-green policy
  3. Built new building with generic materials & a contradiction of style.

NOT what we envision for the RKO Keith’s Theatre!

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Jackson Heights, Queens, New York Theaters on Dec 10, 2009 at 6:35 am

Thank you for your comment! The demolition of the Polk Theatre was a shame, so let’s hope that history won’t repeat itself. Would you be able to reach out to the former owner of the theater you worked at, and ask for some photos of the following theaters below?

As part of a preservation and revitalize campaign, can some of my fellow theater enthusiasts assist me? I would appreciate high-quality exterior and interior photos, which illustrate the Italian Renaissance style of the Jackson Triplex, and Art Deco style of the Eagle/Earle Theatre. Photos of the streetscape which show them as a central unit of a commercial complex, and wide-angles and details of the facades would be great, as I’d like to feature them on flickr and give you credit.

Also, any historic photos and newspaper clippings, which would strengthen our preservation cause, would be much-appreciated. Please e-mail me at

Thank you,
Michael Perlman
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Eagle Theater on Dec 10, 2009 at 6:32 am

As part of a preservation and revitalize campaign, can some of my fellow theater enthusiasts assist me? I would appreciate high-quality exterior and interior photos, which illustrate the Italian Renaissance style of the Jackson Triplex, and Art Deco style of the Eagle/Earle Theatre. Photos of the streetscape which show them as a central unit of a commercial complex, and wide-angles and details of the facades would be great, as I’d like to feature them on flickr and give you credit.

Also, any historic photos and newspaper clippings, which would strengthen our preservation cause, would be much-appreciated. Please e-mail me at

Thank you,
Michael Perlman
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Jackson Heights Cinema on Dec 10, 2009 at 6:31 am

As part of a preservation and revitalize campaign, can some of my fellow theater enthusiasts assist me? I would appreciate high-quality exterior and interior photos, which illustrate the Italian Renaissance style of the Jackson Triplex, and Art Deco style of the Eagle/Earle Theatre. Photos of the streetscape which show them as a central unit of a commercial complex, and wide-angles and details of the facades would be great, as I’d like to feature them on flickr and give you credit.

Also, any historic photos and newspaper clippings, which would strengthen our preservation cause, would be much-appreciated. Please e-mail me at

Thank you,
Michael Perlman
Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about Eagle Theater on Dec 7, 2009 at 10:14 am

P.S. Does anyone have vintage photos of this theater?

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Dec 4, 2009 at 3:39 am

The same article by Reporter Weilun Soon appears in the Queens Tribune. This is a great piece that is preservation-friendly, rather than drowning the theater in what a minute fraction of people want; another oversized condo with a demolished historic site. Hats off to Weilun Soon!

http://www.queenstribune.com/news/RKOFuture.html

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller commented about RKO Keith's Theatre on Dec 4, 2009 at 12:50 am

Based upon Boymelgreen’s vision for an “Anytown USA” high-rise, and Suzuki not being more open with the public regarding his plans, should he take it over, it doesn’t sit well. Will they ever get it? Their reputation is drastically diminished by a diverse, extensive coalition. May the sensible citizens with a creative vision prevail! A performing arts center in a restored theater could symbolize a major economic boom. This is no ordinary theater. It was designed by one of the world’s greatest, and the memories within its walls are phenomenal.

Read the latest piece of coverage – “A Community Emerges To Preserve A Beloved Flushing Theatre” by Weilun Soon, Dec 1, 2009 of Queens Uncovered: View link