RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

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Showing 201 - 225 of 1,224 comments

JeffM55
JeffM55 on June 4, 2011 at 6:30 am

Interesting concept from the former BP: a “cancer” that, instead of growing, seems to continually shrink.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on June 4, 2011 at 3:42 am

The relief sculpture face is from the de-landmarked auditorium, actually one of many surviving details in a space advertised as having nothing left; a convenient thought if believe as the former BP does:“The RKO Keith’s has been like a cancer in downtown Flushing forever”.

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Tinseltoes, you are 100% right about the photo of the wall decoration. Also right about reading a book backwards! “You are right on the money”.

JeffM55
JeffM55 on June 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Actually, not a board game, but a game with which I am bored. Haven’t watched it in a while.

JeffM55
JeffM55 on June 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Tinseltoes, clearly you are not a fan of Jeopardy!

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I was in Ny last week and once again we flew over the remains of the Keiths. It looked grim. But I thought of all the beauty inside from all of your pictures just waiting to be brought back to life.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Yes I too jumped to conclusions, after only seeing the first page of the site (one gets used to only hearing bad news about the Keith’s). I thought Cinema Treasures was only going to have a first page – kind of like a cover sheet – that would be preserved, followed by 17 pages of real estate rental listings. In a parallel to the theatre itself I was assuming there could never possibly be anything of value by looking further.

JeffM55
JeffM55 on May 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Ed, you’re right — I take it back. If I scroll back far enough, there are photos… I thought there were photos more recently than that, so I didn’t see them. And it turns out the links ARE there, they just don’t appear in different color type the way they used to (at least, in Google Chrome) so I didn’t realize they were live links.

Change is sometimes hard to get used to for us old fogies. (OK, so I’M the old fogey.) Scrolling back multiple pages takes some getting used to…but I guess it’s a decent tradeoff for not having to wait forever for one whole endless page of comments and photos to load!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Jeff and SWC… have to agree with Bway. Appears that all the links are still working fine and the photos that were embedded in the comments are still visible as well. As Bway said, you have to view all comments and page through to find the older posts with embedded pics.

When I first read SWC’s comment, I thought maybe the new website design would not allow embedded photos (since they have always been against the site comment policy), but I can still view them same as before. Perhaps your browser requires updating for the site to load properly? Just a thought.

As for any other complaints or issues (such as no “new comment” box when viewing all comments), I think Patrick and Ross are open to suggestions for improving the new site. I may offer a few comments myself with regards to minor issues like that. The forum for that would probably be the “Cinema Treasures relaunch” article in the Blog section of the site.

JeffM55
JeffM55 on May 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Bway, not sure what you’re talking about. Even when I view all comments, I’m not seeing any of the photos or links. And I had to create a new identity to get in, because the site refuses to recognize my old one. (And my last comment stating this was deleted!)

Bway
Bway on May 31, 2011 at 8:36 am

SW, all the links and photos are fine, you just have to click “view all comments” now to see older comments. One quirk I did find though is that if you are reading comments on one of the pages that then comes up, there is no box at the bottom to make a new comment which is a bit odd. You have to go all the way back to the original page to make a comment.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on May 3, 2011 at 5:45 am

It was fully landmarked on 2/28/84
It was de-landmarked on 7/12/84 by the Board of Estimate at the behest of Donald Manes as a favor to Huang(in 1984 he was voted “Man of the Year” by the Queens Chamber of Commerce). The BOE was declared unconstitutional and dissolved in 1986, that same year the RKO was sold to Thomas Huang.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 2, 2011 at 5:30 am

Isn’t it remarkable that with all that stunning architecture still intact, and only a cheap wall down the middle downstairs and false stage in the balcony dividing the spaces (easily reversible), that this theatre was not awarded full interior and exterior landmark designation? Amazing how easily corruptible the system is and how easily strings can be pulled to determine the outcome of what would seem to be a no-brainer review and consideration. Absolutely criminal and tragic.

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on May 2, 2011 at 5:12 am

Views of the interior (January 1982) and exterior (April 1982} of the RKO from the New York Landmarks Conservancy files can be found at:
[url]http://www.oprhp.state.ny.us/hpimaging/hp_view.asp?GroupView=7409[/url]
In the last view you can see relief faces in the detail plaster work over each spiral column. In Matt’s photo of the same area you can see they have been specifically removed (absconded, crated and in the theatre somewhere?)

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on April 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

To quote the developer:
“It’s still a challenging marketplace for lending,”

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on April 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm

You’re right about one thing Luis: it’ll never happen as long as the current developer owns the property.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on April 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I agree

When Manes killed the Triboro. the stage was set for the Keiths. In NY, it is all about money. The theater was sold as the company that owned it saw a good deal. You can not fault them for that. The fault lies with Manes & the city for being lax. Our elected officials were worthless. The damage done to the theater is too massive. I loved the Keith but give it a decent burial & let it die in peace instead of keeping it on life support. Saving the Keiths is a nice dream but it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

LuisV
LuisV on April 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Jeffrey1955…It is no contradiction. It makes perfect sense. As gas prices continue to go up (and they will) people will want and need to live in areas that are close to mass transit and companies will want to locate in paces where employees can commute using mass transit. It is why NY continues to grow in population and why Flushing will become a new center for deveopment. (fyi, the new Fulton Road development in Flushing just broke ground on Thursday).

As for the Keiths, Flushing is not a separate city. The Financial District in Manhattan is the third largest commercial district in the country and also the fastest growing residential population in the city, yet it doesn’t have a single theater. It doesn’t stop it from being a fantastic neighborhood.

The Keiths is an amazing structure, but as I’ve said on many other pages, a theater needs to have the funding for renovation AND have a plan to support itself afterwards. The Keiths has neither. Every other successful renovation has had this. Some have been churches like the Loew’s Gates, Loew’s Valencia, Loews 175th Street, The Stanley, The Elmwood. Some have been private investors who have converted the theaters to live theater or other entertainment venues like The Apollo, Loew’s Paradise, The Hollywood, The New Amsterdam. The St. George. The Kings was a combination of City incentives and a private developer (ACE Theatricals) with a plan to host 200 + events a year. The Brooklyn Paramount was converted to a gym and miraculously is fairly intact and hopefully will be fully restored at some point.

We can'’t MAKE a private developer put up tens of millions of dollars for a restoration without providing a mechanism for them to make their money back. $8MM for a restoration of the lobby is not ideal. We can’t turn back the clock and undo the damage down by that criminal Huang. A true restoration of this theater would likely cost over $60MM. Who is going to pay for that? The Kings is costing $70MM and the cost is being borne by the city and ACE theatricals. That is the city’s theater good deed for the next couple of years. The Keiths cannot hope to get money from City Hall.

I would love to see the Ketih’s brought back but I am a realist. There simply is no credible plan.

Jeffrey1955
Jeffrey1955 on April 23, 2011 at 8:03 am

Somehow I got dropped from update notifications and have missed all of these great photos and comments from the past month!
LuisV, I don’t understand how you can declare that the city will have a major growth spurt, with many more people staying closer to home because of the high price of gasoline, and Flushing will become the 5th downtown…yet simultaneously declare the Keith’s a lost cause! What kind of “downtown” will it be without a theater? It seems to me that your argument makes it even MORE important that there be a revitalized Keith’s! And all the more reason to argue for building in the airspace over it without destroying the theater — so that once all that money starts flowing in, it will be feasible to do a complete restoration.
I mean, if you’re going to dream, dream big!

BobbyS
BobbyS on April 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

I hope you have a good life insurance policy. At least I hope your camera is insured especially climbing down fire escapes!!

SWCphotography
SWCphotography on April 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I saw no evidence of vermin when I was there, melting snow dripping through the ~6' dia. hole in the roof over the stage area was the only sound I heard. As William said: with a food source long gone… in 1986 maybe. I’d be more concerned with hooligans and the homeless. The best way in is to cross the Flushing Bay pedestrian bridge from Willets Point, then knock on the undulating glass door, after winding your way through 17,460 sq ft of retail space, find your way up to the third floor senior center, find a studio apartment occupied with several of the many “undocumented and uncounted by the census” people and ask to climb down their fire escape to the roof of an adjacent property, from there a short drop down will get you inside.

bazookadave
bazookadave on April 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I fear no rodents but I am terrified of huge ugly juicy flying cockroaches.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on April 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm

You would be surprised. With their food source long gone they might not be that big of a problem.

BobbyS
BobbyS on April 22, 2011 at 4:35 am

I would be on the lookout for rats if I were you. I bet they are really large and mean!

bazookadave
bazookadave on April 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Matt, if i go to the theater with a camera can I just walk in or is there a secret side entrance?