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The Queens Ledger-/Forest Hills Times features “Midway Theatre 70th Anniversary Benefits Alzheimer’s” by Michael Perlman: http://www.foresthillstimes.com/view/full_story/20349385/article-Midway-Theatre-70th-Anniversary-Benefits-Alzheimer-s
On 9/24, patrons saw Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (1954) & the proceeds benefited the Alzheimer’s Association (NYC Chapter). The Midway opened in 1942 & was named after WWII’s Battle of Midway. It was designed in the Art Moderne style by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas W. Lamb. Please share & feel free to post a comment on the article link.
“Coming Attractions: Legendary Midway Theatre To Turn 70” in the Forest Hills Times/Queens Ledger by Michael Perlman.
Mark your calendar for a 70th anniversary celebration, likely on September 24, 2012. Let’s preserve & commemorate our Art Moderne theater designed by the great Thomas Lamb, & named after WWII’s Battle of Midway.
If you would like to share your theater memories or experiences or any comment, please feel free to post on the article link:
A thank you to all who contributed to my article’s interviews.
P.S. The theater can always be incorporated into a residential development above. The loss of the remaining ornate features would be detrimental. If the owner cares about his/her reputation, they will work with us.
Does anyone know the owner’s name? Maybe some of us can call for a meeting with the owner & the councilmember. Thoughts?
I agree. SWC deserves an award for his prominent role in documenting and publicizing this theater. We have proof of the great extent of architectural details in the auditorium, lounges, & other areas, which remain by the foremost theater architect Thomas W. Lamb. Don’t believe anything about what the politicians & developer(s) say.
Thank you for sharing this article. Let’s hope that performing arts center plans gain momentum, and no remaining interior detail is sacrificed, but rather restored and revitalized.
Thank you, Jim. I wonder what the DOB would classify as “debris.” Hmm…
Those were some of the last films to play at the theater before its sudden closure in March 2008. You are welcome to visit Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre on our Facebook. I founded a group dedicated towards preserving & creatively reusing this 1916 gem designed by Thomas Lamb. The facade is now landmarked, but now we are focusing on preserving the interior and finding a historically-sensitive tenant, perhaps involved in performing arts: http://on.fb.me/RidgewoodTheatre
Thank you, Jim! I appreciate your help and the progress report. I visited the DOB link you posted, and I am happy that it is deemed a priority A case. Let’s hope it isn’t what we think.
I appreciate everyone’s concerns & updates. There are no active permits on the DOB site as of this writing.
This is the complaint I found on the website:
NYC Department of Buildings
Overview for Complaint #:4490907 = ACTIVE
Complaint at: 5527 MYRTLE AVENUE BIN: 4082442 Borough: QUEENS ZIP: 11385
Re: ILLEGAL GUT RENOVATION OF AN OLD MOVIE THREATR
Category Code: 05 PERMIT – NONE (BUILDING/ PA/ DEMO ETC.)
DOB District: N/A
Assigned To: QUEENS BOROUGH OFFICE Priority: BReceived: 08/11/2011 15:26 Block: 3451 Lot: 7 Community Board: 405Owner: 55-27 MYRTLE AVE REALTY GROUP,
Last Inspection: 11/30/2011 – – BY BADGE # 2188
Disposition: 12/09/2011 – C1 – INSPECTOR UNABLE TO GAIN ACCESS – 1ST ATTEMPT –
Comments: FRONT GATE IS PADLOCKED. LS-4 POSTED
In addition to the historic interior being at risk, safety is at stake with no permits, let alone when permits are in place. The facade is now landmarked, & much of any interior work could effect the landmarked portion, and should be brought to the attention of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Dept of Buildings website:
There are no permits on the DOB site. In addition to the historic interior being at risk, safety is at stake with no permits, let alone when permits are in place. Have you inquired with 311? The facade is now landmarked, & much of any interior work could effect the landmarked portion, and should be brought to the attention of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Dept of Buildings website:
The people who favor this site’s extensive history need more say in the process. We are already overpopulated. We don’t need more dagger-style condos, but a creatively reused historic theater as a performing arts center, with community spaces. Enough of the “de-landmarked” auditorium exists to salvage and restore it for ALL to enjoy; not some mere condo owners. If we let every developer & politician to proceed (without applying our rights as constituents), then we might as well become a superhighway with skyscrapers on Queens land that can’t bear it.
Thank you for your site visit details. I think the plaster dust and some trash that is visible is the result of the removal of the multiplexing in 2009-2010. All seems to be at a standstill. We are doing what we can, in regard to outreach to the appropriate parties, in order for this cherished theater to have a future in our communities.
This is my flickr photoset for the St. George Theatre for all to enjoy. It is courtesy of Michael Perlman of the Four Borough Neighborhood Presrvation Alliance:
Do you have any pictures to share? Please send them to me at
What is the latest status of this Art Deco gem? I hope to see this theater preserved. You may e-mail me at
Thank you,Michael PerlmanFour Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance
As usual, it tells the story of shameful Queens politics. A typical retail establishment could have opened anyplace else. Why here, when the owner has the power to do something creative? Our borough keeps on losing its distinctive culture, only to be predictable and homogenized. Can you please take a few photos, and share them with us? My email is
When accessing the above Landmarks Designation Report, I was pretty certain that landmarking covers the facade, since it is noted as an Individual Landmark.
I also checked the Dept of Building website, and noticed no active job filings or permits. You may wish to call 311 & report your observation anonymously, as many other people do throughout the city. This is a direct link to the DOB for other members' reference:
This is a great, but bittersweet compilation of many historic theaters that are left abandoned throughout the US. Everyone, please take a few moments to examine the above photos (link), & visualize the time it took to produce such craftsmanship, & the generations-worth who were entertained. If only walls could talk! Hopefully someone will purchase & restore them all over time. Nothing is impossible. We need visionaries!
Thank you for sharing these images of the facade & interior, Ed. Too bad the facade has that tacky aluminum siding. I hope the owners see our correspondence, and restore the theater. A restored facade = A greater entrance, which is better for business. I love envisioning what it would be like to peel back the layers.
Typo… I meant LolaLovesCookies as your username.
To Laura a.k.a. LauraLovesCookies: I responded to your posting above, and I would like to correspond via email to discuss your ideas further. My e-mail is
P.S. I hope your dream to attend the Academy For Film & TV comes true, and I am see you are quite a film buff. I hope your name appears in the credits of an award-winning film someday. Never cease to pursue your dream. Always pursue what’s in your heart.
I see a parallel. As you grew up in Ridgewood and frequented Myrtle Ave, I grew up in Forest Hills and marveled at the neighborhood’s entertainment destinations i.e. the Trylon Theater and the Hollywood Lanes Bowling Alley. Now they are a case of history going under. Sometimes it takes a preservation travesty for people to come to a realization of what was at loss, but it grants a lesson as to how we can bond together, and think of creative methods of preserving and creatively reusing such establishments.
Hi Laura, We should be in touch via e-mail. I feel your “headache.” I admire how you are one of the younger members of the community and of Cinema Treasures who understands the value of historic theaters, and the role they can continue to play for all generations of our communities. They were designed as architectural and cultural treasures, and should still be treated as such. My passion for preservation and especially in regard to sparing historic theaters, first emerged when I witnessed the jackhammering of the Trylon Theater’s Art Deco mosaic ticket booth in 2005. That was one of the last sites which depicted the Trylon Monument of the 1939 World’s Fair, which was one of the most important cultural events in our nation (alongside the ‘64 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park).
Hurrah to being a senior! I appreciate it that you are willing to speak with your principal & post flyers around I.S. 93 if it’s ok with the staff, as well as help acquire signatures to preserve the entire Ridgewood Theatre. Please e-mail me at
I assume your name is Lola, and I see you are new to CinemaTreasures. Welcome! You are one of the younger members, which is great to see. I am glad you understand the value of a historic theater, and a “landmark opportunity” we have in our hands. The community deserves something great for years to come. What were some movies that you saw in its historic walls?
Please consider joining Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre on Facebook, and check out our photo link on flickr: http://on.fb.me/RidgewoodTheatre
This is our petition. Please sign, comment, and forward it to your friends. The more signatures, the merrier! View link