UA Forest Hills Twin Theatre

107-16 Continental Avenue,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Small-Strausberg Circuit, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: John J. McNamara, Kenneth M. Murchison

Functions: Drugstore

Previous Names: Forest Hills Theatre

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News About This Theater

UA Forest Hills Twin Theatre

Opened on February 5, 1922, the large Forest Hills Theatre is located around the corner from the more famous (and still operating) Midway Theatre in the Queens, New York neighborhood of Forest Hills. It was designed by architect Kenneth M. Murchison. It was equipped with a Smith 4 manual 17 ranks organ (the largest instrument manufactured by Smith Organ company). The Forest Hills Theatre was remodeled in 1937. It was renovated in 1961 to the plans of architect John J. McNamara. It was twinned on December 18, 1981.

After seven decades of showing movies, the theatre was closed on November 18, 1998 and was sold, along with the Midway Theatre, by United Artists to a local developer.

On August 28, 1999, the Duane Reade opened, with the theatre’s façade restored. The original building beyond the façade was demolished for construction of the Duane Reade drugstore. In July 2015 a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant opened in the upper section of the front of the building. That closed down on October 31, 2020.

The project was given a local design award – ostensibly for the meticulously preserved exterior. The interior, however, is now part of Forest Hills' history.

Recent comments (view all 57 comments)

paktype
paktype on June 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I saw Blade Runner here in 1982. The biggest problem with this theater, as with the Midway, was parking.

Metropolite
Metropolite on July 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

DNAInfo.com is reporting …

Buffalo Wild Wings, the popular barbecue chain, is slated to open a massive location at the former Forest Hills Theatre soon.

The new location, at 107-16 71st Ave. — between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard — will measure around 10,000 square feet, which is about 40 percent larger than a typical Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, said James Bitzonis, president of Four M Capital, LLC, the group launching the restaurant.

The restaurant will not interfere with the building’s classic features, Bitzonis said, and it “will pay homage to the theater and Forest Hills” by displaying memorabilia, including photos and jerseys representing local sports teams.

The company is in the process of receiving a number of historical photos showing the building and the neighborhood. “We are enlarging them and framing them,” he said.

Overall, there will be about 100 pieces of memorabilia displayed at the restaurant.

The scheduled opening is July 15.

Bway
Bway on July 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I think only the facade remains? Wasn’t the entire theater destroyed and the building rebuilt?
Was even the lobby retained?

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 7, 2019 at 2:57 pm

The Forest Hills had a prior modernization in 1937, when it was closed for the entire summer. Photo of gala re-opening ceremonies and new marquee can be viewed here

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on October 27, 2020 at 5:34 pm

I was in the Buffalo Wild Wings. They are ceasing operations at that location this week. They cancelled their lease.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on October 29, 2020 at 5:06 am

Please correct, it was a twin theatre. The balcony was theatre 2 and the orchestra was theatre 1 with Dolby. Don’t know when UA twin the theatre, it was probaly in the 1970’s When closed it was the UA Forest Hills Twin

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on June 4, 2021 at 10:47 pm

The theater closed in the latter part of 1998.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on June 12, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Ridethectrain: One of the last movies was “Dance With Me” featuring Vanessa Williams & Maria Torres, which was released in August 1998. The theater closed shortly after. I attended and have proof.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on June 13, 2021 at 7:08 pm

Please update, the theatre became a twin on December 18, 1981 with Taps and Pennies From Heaven, no grand opening ad and theatre closed on November 19, 1998. Last pictures Meet Joe Black and The Wizard of Oz. Location closed the day before the Midway reopen. United Artists did not advertise this theatre and the Continental Twin and 3 in the UA Display ad in the New York Newsday Editions. Final films posted in photos section. Sorry NativeForestHiller, was looking at UA Display ads, didn’t think UA didn’t want to advertise their locations.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on December 26, 2021 at 5:24 am

In the Forest Hills Theatre description, please include its original architect, Kenneth M. Murchison, who was a foremost public buildings architect. He also designed Forest Hills Stadium (first tennis stadium countrywide as of 1923), Baltimore’s Penn Station, Jamaica Station, Hoboken Terminal, and the Beaux-Arts Apartments. I would also like to mention that the theater opened on December 5, 1922. Architect John J. McNamara performed renovations later on.

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