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“The entire interior of the movie palace used to be a city landmark. However, parts of it were later de-designated by the city’s Board of Estimates, a body that no longer exists, leaving only parts of it — including the grand foyer and ticket lobby — with the status.” Is this accurate? I don’t recall the entire interior ever being designated, and then most of it de-designated. In fact, I don’t remember that ever being mentioned here before. (BTW, it’s “Board of Estimate”)
It’s a Korean company. And, of course…
“When we discovered the opportunity to be an integral part of Tangram, we knew being in this economically vibrant and evolving neighborhood was where our first East Coast movie theater had to be,” said Paul Richardson, COO of CJ CGV.
Yep — economically vibrant and evolving neighborhood. Just can’t possibly support refurbishing the Keith’s. Only a new building a couple of blocks away will do.
Glad to hear it, BobbyS!
Now we just need several million dollars…
Gone, gone, gone…and they don’t even bother mentioning it anymore.
Of course the building is unsafe — in its current condition. Of course it would require a huge investment. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible or that there’s nothing left to save. Building a condo/office complex utilizing the air rights rather than demolishing what’s there is not beyond comprehension. Neither is an indoor concert venue in a densely populated area with access to mass transit that currently has none. Pipe dreams simply require someone with imagination to pay for the pipe.
Also, “there is nothing left to save” is disproved by all the photos that have been posted here.
At least the plan to use the landmarked lobby as the entryway makes more sense than the original plan, which was for the lobby to be encased in glass. (Given that the lobby would really only be visible from within, that made no sense at all. What would anybody have seen — the back side of the walls enclosing it?) However, as anyone who has seen all the photos of the surviving auditorium posted here knows, the fact that the rest of the building will be demolished is tragic. “According to the current estimated project schedule, removal of historic material will begin next month and the demolition of the non-landmarked surrounding building will begin in late October.” I assume that the “historic material” to which they refer is limited to the pieces of the lobby that need restoration — not all the artwork and architectural details that remain in the rest of the building.
I’ve heard that before too! lol
I thought they gave the OK to that plan years ago. The plan is unchanged, and still makes no sense. As for “finally coming to fruition”…have heard that before. Over and over and over again.
I hadn’t noticed this here before. That is a beautiful tribute.
The main problem with Flushing has been that the primarily Asian community (it was mostly Korean for a while, but that may have shifted) consists of people who have no memory of the theater or any connection with its heritage. (At this point, that would probably be the case no matter what the ethnic makeup of the area.) There is no community support for preserving or rehabilitating the Keith’s because as far as they know, it’s been a boarded-up, vacant, out-of-context hulk sitting in their midst for as long as anyone can remember. And all the ownership changes and redevelopment plans that have focused on high-end apartments and/or condos have essentially been irrelevant to them as well.
I didn’t even know there were still prints. Thought everything was digital now.
My recollection too, though that seems like it was several owners ago. It was a silly plan to “preserve” a portion of the lobby behind glass, while destroying all the remaining artifacts of the remainder of the entryway, lobby and auditorium.
I’m not going to try scrolling back through the comments, but I’m pretty sure we’ve been through “proceeding according to plan” and “starting imminently” on here alone for at least a dozen years…
The property changed hands; demolition permit still in effect but nothing has happened. From an article in Queens Chronicle, Sept. 1, 2016, by Christopher Barca:
But while one block begins to blossom, the one that houses the former Abbracciamento’s Restaurant a short walk up Woodhaven Boulevard still sits dormant.
Shortly after eatery owner John Abbracciamento closed the restaurant and sold the building — which included a handful of small businesses — for $9 million more than two years ago, plans to demolish the block and build a new apartment building in its place were filed.
However, the site was sold again for $10.85 million in February 2015, just a few months before a permit allowing for the teardown was approved by the city.
The only noticeable action taken since has been the removal of the building’s marquee, which remained after the site’s conversion from a movie theater into a restaurant.
Graffiti has continued to accumulate on the sides of the structure and on the permanently closed window gates.
However, city records show the demolition permit was issued to the owner, 62-98 Realty LLC, on Aug. 23.
A Department of Buildings spokesman said it isn’t unusual for such a long time to elapse between permit approval and demolition beginning.
“Most permits last about a year once they are pulled,” the spokesperson said. “Some developers wait until they are ready to do the work before they actually pull the permit.”
It makes me crazy when I see how they’ve restored the Kings in Brooklyn and now they’re going to restore the Brooklyn Paramount as well. Perhaps I should be hopeful that the tide is turning and perhaps there’s a chance for the Keith’s as well, but with the complete lack of neighborhood interest and the fact that it’s QUEENS after all, I’m not going to hold my breath.
? LuisV’s comment is not cut off on my computer. It says:
Here is a great link to some incredible photographs of the fully restored Loew’s Kings Theatre! FREE Tours to the public will be offered on Saturday, February 7th from 12:00 – 4:00 PM! I can’t wait to see it for myself! http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/01/26/behold_brooklyns_magnificently_restored_kings_theatre.php#more
So Cinema 3 is like watching a movie in your living room – only a lot more expensive.
This theater is now known as The Prospector, after having been demolished and rebuilt to look (front facade, at least) like the original Ridgefield Playhouse. All future information about the new version will be posted under The Prospector.
The Prospector had its Grand Opening on Nov. 20th and is now showing movies.
Ridgefield Press pre-opening story:
The similarity of facade design between the Cinema I/II building and Lincoln Center is obvious, and the fact they were built around the same time makes it seem more than a coincidence. So the question is, was there an actual plan to have these Cinemas be the East Side film showcase for Lincoln Center, or was it simply an attempt to capitalize on the publicity around Lincoln Center’s opening?
I think JamesD was referring to SWC, not to you.
Shhhhh! You’re imagining that!