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I actually had a chance to attend a punk concert here back in the late 80s : the band set up right in front of the screen and pornos played in the backround- the Lyric was really run down by that point, but traces of it’s former beauty were evident in the (dark) painted plaster ceiling, and along the crumbling yet still grand lobby/entrance- the bathrooms were something else- signs warning against prostitution/drug dealing; toilets missing and no running water. It was a great concert, and me and my(underage) friends certainly appreciated being allowed into the verry same porn theater from Taxi Driver!
As a child of the late 70s/early 80s some of fondest memories are of attending the movies at ‘Keiths’. From Star Wars at age 8 through Runnning Scared at 15, I attended this decaying palace as often as my parents would allow- and quite often when I was forbidden ( the box office was pretty lax in enforcing the age restrictions on R rated movies). Even as a child, I was awed by the architecture – as a kid in working-class Queens you were not exposed to much of the exotic and to me the Keith’s was truly a magical place. Over the years I have watched the building slowly crumble, and to this day when I am visiting my parents in their old neighborhood I am saddened each time I pass Northern & Main. It was always my dream to win Lotto, and invest in the restoration of Keith’s as a community arts center/movie palace…complete with Saturday Matinees at affordable prices and a progressive schedule of foreign/art and hollywood films for the community to experience in a grand setting. It doesn’t look like this will ever happen, but it is fun to imagine.