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The Chopin was Burger King for a while too before it became the Starbucks.
Not sure, the post said demolition, but perhaps the person who posted it was mistaken.
So sorry for the confusion, but I meant Irving and DeKalb, not Knickerbocker. I can’t find the post anymore, but here’s a google streetview of the old theater building:
John, on the if you lived in Ridgewood Facebook page, there’s a current photo of the theater at DeKalb and Knickerbocker being torn down, April 22, This building once housed Robert Hall. Do you remember what the name of that theater was, I can’t find it or remember.
Wow, if you click on street view above, you can get a fairly recent image of what it looks like. Nice job!
Very interesting John, have to check it out one day. As for the replacement bricks, the old ones were probably in not too good shape. If you look at my photo from 10 years ago, which is the main photo currently, the right hand side of the facade also seems to have been tampered with even way back then. Probably repair for damage brickwork.
The Sunshine Square shopping center was built about 1987, and opened as Sunshine Mall, and I remember it was a farm before that. I am familiar with the shopping center and there was never a theater in there.
When it opened the anchor store was a Finast Supermarket (then Edwards now Stop and Shop). The supermarket was originally where Savers and the Gym are now. Where Stop N Shop is now were just smaller typical stores, which they tore down completely in the middle to make the Stop N Shop. At the other end what is Ruby Tuesday was originally a Fuddruckers Restaurant, and then a few short lived small bars before becoming Ruby Tuesday about 10-15 years ago. The Rite Aide was always a drug store, Genovese before it.
The rest of the shopping center were always typical smaller stores as they are now…..no theater.
Well if they couldn’t save the Ridgewood for performing arts center, don’t see how they could this.
That said, the RKO Madison (now the Liberty Department Store), the old balcony is fully intact, and in pretty good condition. Plaster walls, plaster ceiling, and the top of the old Proscenium arch is all still there above the drop ceiling of the store. It would probably be possible to restore the balcony for theatrical use, they would just have to put a solid ceiling/floor in place of the fake drop ceiling over the store the theater currently has. I have seen other theaters where the orchastra level was converted to retail with the old balcony still used for theater purposes.
Astyanax, that is incorrect. There is an apartment building where the Rainbow lobby used to be on Graham. If you type the address into google maps, and look at the street view, you can view various years of google images of street view, dating back a few years to when the building used to be there. The Rainbow Clothes shop next door to the former lobby entrance is the vacant “gaping hole”.
The same can be said of the Meserole side of the building where the auditorium once stood. Completely built on.
Orlando is correct. There are plenty (unfortunately more than we can count) theaters which are gutted inside (converted to some other use, etc), yet the exterior remains. They are not demolished either, even if gutted and not a theater anymore. That said, this really was a theater that was fully restorable. A shame.
Was in Cooperstown the other day, and went into the Souvenir store that is now in the theater. I just added a photo of the Proscenium, and it’s the only interior feature I could find still intact in the theater. They built sort of a second floor in front of what was once the stage and Proscenium.
Out front however, interestingly, they use the old box office for an ice cream stand window.
Wow, so sad to see!
John, I can’t believe they didn’t even keep the lobby intact, or at least attempt to keep the beautiful plaster in the lobby and retrofit it to whatever they will be doing with that space. It’s a real shame.
Presumably, the next step (considering that scaffolding and dust collection cloth has been draped around the theater on the Cypress and Madison sides of the building), will be the process of punching window holes all along and into the side of the Ridgewood.
The Ridgewood couldn’t have had a worse fate other than total demolition. Less remains of it now than even the RKO Bushwick which sat in shambles for 30 years. It’s really unbelievable.
I was walking down Madison St (on the other side of the street) yesterday, when I noticed the Cypress and madison sides of the theater completely draped in scaffolding and black cloth to catch debris, when I noticed the old Madison St emergency doors open with workers going in and out, so I rushed across the street to attempt to get a glimpse of the inside. It reminded me of a time about 10 years ago when I did the same walk, and the same doors were open when the theater was still operating, and workers were fixing the hinges on the doors, and saw what was then the inside of the old left of stage orchestra level theater (one of 5 at the time). But this time it wasn’t the nostalgic feeling I had 10 years ago looking in those same doors….this time it was complete horror as I looked inside and saw nothing inside but the exposed brick walls, and in the distance the lobby doors to Myrtle Ave….the balcony completely eliminated and removed, exposing the windows on the second floor facing Myrtle.
I was so horrified I just kept walking till I hit Myrtle Ave, and then walked back and snapped this photo quick.
Yes Peter, nothing changed on the Myrtle side, the marquee is untouched as of yet, the facade (which is landmarked) is untouched, and it even still says that odd “Bushwick Twin” where they used to put the movies that were playing. But I was horrified when I peaked inside the Madison St side doors which happened to be open when I walked by.
I just added a photo of the Ridgewood Theater auditorium taken yesterday to the photo section.
The Ridgewood Theater is completely gutted inside to the bricks. The Balcony is completely removed. Even the beautiful lobby has been gutted. I took this photo yesterday. This photo is taken from the Madison St exit doors which were originally to the left of the stage towards lobby. The light and doors you see in the distance in the background are the old lobby doors to Myrtle Ave. Girders for a second floor have been placed through the space the auditorium once held. NOTHING remains, the walls are bare brick. The Ridgewood which puttered on for so long, and once was the oldest continupusly operating theater in New York State is now completely gutted. Less remains of it that of it’s neighbor down the street, the RKO Madison, which closed in 1977, and while the orchestra level is gutted, the Balcony level and ceiling are completely intact.
It is a sad day indeed.
Here’s a link to the photo:
Renting out theaters to church groups on Sunday morning is a good business decision, not a sign of desperation at all. It’s not like Sunday morning a big “go to the movie” time for people to go to a theater to see a movie, so it’s not like they are doing that instead of movies. It’s a win for all involved.
Save the Cinemart!!!!!
Yes, the theater was in fact multiplexed before closing. I had seen photos of it online, when they were taking the walls down before the restoration, but unfortunately, that was a long while ago, and don’t know where. If you scroll through all the comments, it may have been a link here on this site, and perhaps the link still works.
It seems the last movies played in this theater were Disney’s Frozen and Hunger Games, as the names are still on the marquee.
The theater is now called United Palace of Cultural Arts, and should probably be changed in the main heading above:
That may explain the extra seating that John described.
We have to remember that the theater also had been altered to become a store for at least 20 years. I don’t know what they did to convert it to a store, whether it used the theater ornamentation on the walls, and just took out the seats, or if it was gutted when it became a store already, to be rebuilt decades later when the church bought it.
Great photos! It seems to be in a little worse shape than Loews 46th St, but even so, looks repairable. A lot of the plaster seems to have been lost on the right side, as well as part of the Proscenium due to water I assume.
But it’s remarkably clean….the floors of the balcony and inner lobby appear to have been swept clean!
It looks restorable.
Yes, that’s when Friedrich’s moved in. It was there in the 70’s. Don’t know when it moved in however.