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I am from NY, and I hear the cries of CT members and that of locals. A theater is a cornerstone of all communities, and some have statewide and national significance. Willing demolition due to a developer’s greed is bad enough, but it is additionally sad when it happens unexpectedly due to fire. It is truly indeed a sad day. I hope the cause is investigated, and a conclusion is made. When the timing is right, the theater owners should realize the pivotal role the theater played in the community, and in conjunction with elected officials, and community residents, rebuild a historic Art Deco gem; an endangered species countrywide.
I am from NY, and I hear your cries and that of locals. Willing demolition due to a developer’s greed is bad enough, but it is additionally sad when it happens unexpectedly due to fire. It is truly indeed a sad day. I hope the cause is investigated, and a conclusion is made. When the timing is right, the theater owners should realize the pivotal role the theater played in the community, and in conjunction with elected officials, and community residents, rebuild a historic Art Deco gem; an endangered species countrywide.
Hi Peter, Thank you! I look forward to hearing your findings.
I hope the 1939 Eagle/Earle Theatre (73-07 37th Road) and the 1924 Jackson Triplex (40-31 82nd Street) reopens as movie theaters, while any future owner would respect and restore their Art Deco and Italian Renaissance architectural features, respectively. They are a “diamond in the rough” with so many theaters demolished and shuttered today, and Queens cannot afford to lose anymore. We need someone with a creative vision, and has the community at heart.
Can someone please take a few up to date photos of the both theaters? I am seeking photos of the following:
I will give you a photo credit, since I may be interested in featuring them in a few places as part of a preservation & revitalization campaign.
Preservation-minded parties should contact me, and I will provide advice on how to restore the theaters (funding opportunities) and make it viable. This approach has been successful for numerous theaters countrywide. Thank you!
At the March 2009 Ridgewood Theatre Public Hearing, to determine its eligibility as an Individual Landmark (the facade), the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission said the commissioners will take a vote this fall, but the fall is almost over, and their calendar/agenda on their website does not indicate a date for the vote to be taken.
** The Ridgewood Theatre should NOT be amongst the “heard but not designated properties” list, where testimony was taken, but a vote and ultimately the property remained stagnant. Therefore, YOU CAN HELP by calling the Landmarks Commission and encouraging them to take a vote ASAP on the Ridgewood Theatre, so history shouldn’t repeat itself. Call &/or e-mail both LPC parties below, and post your findings here and e-mail Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre Chair Michael Perlman at
Director of Intergovernmental & Community Relations
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007
P: (212) 669-7923
F: (212) 669-7780
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007
P: (212) 669-7888
Lost Memory et al: There are programs such as the State & National Register of Historic Places, which is part of the NY State Historic Preservation Office, which would likely address such preservation-minded repairs, if the theater is nominated and determined eligible.
Can someone please take a few up to date photos of the theater? I am seeking photos of the following:
Please e-mail me at
I forgot to mention that the Eagle/Earle Theatre was designed by a well-know architect, responsible for at least 127 theaters throughout the country; some of which are demolished since no one with a sense of history, community, and a plan came forward. Do not let this happen here. This is an opportunity to grasp, if done right!
Daily News Nov 17, 2009 Article
Bollywood strike, rent hikes lead to loss of classic Jackson Heights movie houses
I hope the Eagle/Earle Theatre reopens as a movie theater, while the new owners respect and restore its Art Deco architectural features. It is a “diamond in the rough” with so many theaters demolished and shuttered today, and Queens cannot afford to lose anymore. Preservation-minded parties should contact Michael Perlman, Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp Queens VP at
I see your point. Thanks for the creative feedback, and for taking the time out! Perhaps Ed &/or Rick on behalf of Friends of The RKO Keith’s Flushing Theatre can read the article I posted, and come up with a consensus amongst members, and send it to City Council, City Planning, all assemblymembers, and mostly all forms of government that can play a role.
Read this story of an Atmospheric theater under restoration. Let’s relate it to the RKO Keith’s: View link What do you think Ed, Rick, Tom, & other CT fans?
I have sent a comprehensive press, preservation, and political list to all of your e-mails as an attachment, to guarantee receipt. Please let me know. I also included paragraph recommendations for the press release, since you started working on it. I look forward to doing all I can. Power to the people!
It wouldn’t make much sense circulating an additional press release, so it’s best on behalf of the Facebook and RKO Foundation. I was planning to do it and have the RKO Foundation approve it. I can e-mail it to you. It contains some great information on its history and current preservation status, which I am unsure you have. The ideas should be incorporated. Can I send it to you in draft mode, as well as my updated press and political contacts list consisting of hundreds? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
This is the direct link which contains commentary on the Queens Crap website:
As stated in my e-mail, I have experience appealing to community boards, local politicians, and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as writing a press release to further promote the fundraising aspect and preservation ethic. What are your thoughts? Would it be okay to include the Paypal link? I will not proceed without your approval. Your 2 feasibility study proposals has great potential.
This is my appeal dating back to 2006, where I featured my friend and preservation colleague, Thomas Stathes. It contains some history: http://cinematreasures.org/news/14058_0_1_0_C/
Hi John, Thank you very much for your detailed assessment of your correspondence with Jenny Fernandez of the LPC. It sounds forthcoming, so let’s continue to hope that all goes smoothly, and may we all be in the forefront.
This is a Midway Theatre photoset courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council. The photos can be viewed in various resolutions and downloaded for future reference: View link
I will update it with interior views shortly.
As a 1939 World’s Fair enthusiast and Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council (serving Rego Park & Forest Hills), this will be a commendable project. I am interested in learning more. I also left you a comment on ReactionGrid’s flickr profile.
I founded the Committee To Save The Trylon Theater in 2005. The upper streamlined Art Deco facade & glass block projection tower remains with a renovated marquee, but some of the most significant attributes are sacrificed in the name of progress (in the unideal sense). The Trylon-adorned mosaic ticket booth was jackhammered, the entrance pavilion’s mosaic floor with chevrons and a central terrazzo element of a 3D interpretation of the Trylon Monument was cemented over. There is now a faux marble wall with wooden doors out to the curb. I am confident that these alterations could be reversed in years to come. The Trylon fountain inside the lobby was either sheet rocked over or jackhammered, and the World of Tomorrow murals that graced the proscenium are rumored to be gone. This was all due to an unresponsive councilmember and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission that claimed they waited for her advanced opinion on the issue, which isn’t required as per the Landmarks Law.
Do you hope to rebuild the Trylon Theater in 3D based upon existing photos and any historic blueprints that may exist? Please let me know your plans. You can e-mail me at
Thank you for your update, John!
Hi Everyone! I hope you are having a pleasant Labor Day weekend. Sorry for my noticeable absence on the CT site, but I have been keeping a close eye on the theater’s fate. I called the following individual a few days back, and she said she will either e-mail me or call, and let me know when the theater facade is up for a vote by the commissioners, in order to decide whether it will be designated an Individual Landmark. According to media accounts with the LPC, the date will be in mid-September, but that was published a while back. I will let you know as soon as I receive any response. It would be of great help if you can call and question it as well, and encourage them to take a vote very shortly. Thank you!
Would you be interested in any theaters in NY’s 5 boroughs? I am a historic preservationist, who has brokered deals, resulting in the sparing and adaptive reuse of endangered sites. I might be able to assist you. I look forward to hearing some of your ideas. Please e-mail me at
The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing, which will determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark. The hearing is set for Tuesday, March 24, 2009 from 11:25 AM – 12:00 PM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007, and public testimony will be taken: View link
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please attend and provide testimony at the March 24th Public Hearing. Reference the Ridgewood Theatre’s architectural, cultural, historical significance, request Individual Landmark status, and include any personal sentiment toward the theater, and the need for more Queens landmarks and theater landmarks. Your testimony can be brief. Also, please forward this posting to other contacts, so we can achieve a landmark victory. Power to the people!
If you cannot attend the public hearing, please e-mail your testimony/support letter to the following addresses: Chairman Robert Tierney
History: 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 â€˜100% All-Talkingâ€\ feature, Lights of New York (1928), and 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 gem was designed by Americaâ€\s foremost theater architect, Thomas Lamb, & built by the Levy Brothers. The 3-story Indiana limestone and terra cotta faÃ§ade 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.
Economic status/Significance of theaters: Theaters are the â€˜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. When sacrificed in the name of progress, their loss is most heartfelt. Local theaters with an unfortunate fate include the Oasis, Parthenon, Irving, and 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 and coming neighborhood and a diverse borough, and would boost jobs.
Ridgewood Theatre “Then & Now” Photos: View link
Online Petition: View link
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre MySpace Group: www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre
Thank you for your support!
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Founder & Chair
4 Boro Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.
Central Queens Historical Association, Bd of Dir
Thank you! To ensure delivery to various LPC parties, please e-mail your testimony/support letter to the following addresses:
Chairman Robert Tierney:
Dir. of Research Mary Beth Betts:
Public hearing address:
Carbon copy Michael Perlman, Chair of Friends of Ridgewood Theatre:
GREAT NEWS!!! The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing for the Ridgewood Theatre, which will determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark. The hearing is set for Tues, March 24, 2009 from 11:25 AM – 12:00 PM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007, and public testimony will be taken: View link
Thank you very much for your help! Progress lies ahead.
P.S. Do you have any scans of the Ridgewood Theatre by Thomas Lamb?