Forest Hills Theatre

107-16 Continental Avenue,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Bway on July 10, 2013 at 10:43 am

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

Metropolite on July 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm 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.

paktype on June 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for posting, kurt. I remember seeing Radio Days here during your time as manager. A few years earlier, I did see a more conventional (and sort of goofy) fantasy/adventure flick here called The Beastmaster. Last movie I caught here was Trainspotting, upstairs in the summer of 1996. I miss this theater. Enjoyed watching films in both auditoriums, but really liked the raked seating of the balcony room.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

This photo of the Forest Hills is dated 1940, which the titles on the marquee bear out. Thanks to Tinseltoes, who introduced me to this website (for The New York City Organ Project) by linking out to pictures on other theater pages.

NativeForestHiller on January 13, 2010 at 1:43 am

Hi Everyone! This is my Forest Hills Theatre flickr photoset, courtesy of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, which I founded and chair:

View link

You can click the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and view them in a low, medium, high resolution, or original (maximum) resolution, as well as download them for future reference.

If anyone can contribute any vintage photos or ads to this photoset, I will be happy to give you credit. All images help preserve the spirit of the former Forest Hills Theatre, and may contribute to other great preservation projects. Let’s be proactive!

Bway on April 6, 2009 at 7:24 am

Does the lobby part of the building exist, or just the exterior facade?

abw on August 12, 2008 at 10:08 am

I meant if anyone else remembers seeing the Time Machine at the Forest Hills Theatre. I don’t have the time right now to check newspaper ads from 1960.

abw on August 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

I seem to remember seeing The Time Machine at the Forest Hills Theatre in 1960. Can anyone verify this?

Bway on May 19, 2008 at 8:57 am

Has the theater really been demolished behind the facade? It appears the roof has been changed, but have the other walls been completely taken down? I don’t really know if this could be called “demolished”, as while yes, parts of the building have been removed, it “hasn’t” been completely demolished. I think that calling it “demolished” is incorrect. Is it intact? No. But it’s not “demolished” either, and that is misleading.
By the way, you can see the different aerial views of the building on

NativeForestHiller on May 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Hi Warren,

Please let me know if you received my e-mail on this theater & follow-up on the Midway.

As apparent from the following work permits, the structure was gutted and partly demolished in the late 90s. Work was coordinated under an alteration permit, rather than a demolition permit:

View link

NativeForestHiller on March 26, 2008 at 9:28 pm

It is unfortunate that the Forest Hills Theatre was gutted for a typical Duane Reade and Staples, but I am thankful that the facade is still present for passersby and theater buffs to cherish. I recall seeing many movies in that theater growing up, and remember marveling over its architecture even at a young age. The marble staircase was great. Here’s a link I came across for all of you to enjoy. It contains a brief history, a photo, and interesting information on its organ installation:

View link

Bway on February 16, 2008 at 10:43 am

I lived in Ridgewood, and by the time my friends and I were old enough to take the subway on our own, we stopped going to the Ridgewood Theater, and often began taking the subway to the Forest Hills Theaters….The Midway, Continental (at the time), Trylon….although I never visited the Forest Hills Theater.
Of course in our case we had to take the L train to Lorimer ST for the G to Forest Hills.

johndereszewski on February 16, 2008 at 7:23 am

By the time I reached my mid-twenties, practically all the movie theaters in Greenpoint, where I lived, had closed. So, instead of trekking into Manhattan, I started to take the G train to Continental Ave. – and less often, Steinway St. – to catch a show. By the mid-1970’s most of the first run movies were being shown throughout the City upon their release, so it really did not make a difference where I went. In this way, I got to discover the Continental/Austin district which, besides hosting a bevy of movie theaters, was – and still is – the center of a lovely neighborhood. I now make it my home. The only downside is that I can no longer visit the Forest Hills Theatre, unless I want to fill a prescription!

Of all the theaters in the area that I frequented – unfortunately, I never made it to the Trylon – the Forest Hills was the most impressive and the one that I most enjoyed visiting.

I was just wondering if any other former or current Greenpoint residents also took the G to Forest Hills after the local options had cease to exist. I doubt that I was the only one doing this.

rlevin on September 22, 2007 at 9:32 pm

I was walking along Continental Ave. on a sunny afternoon and was stopped outside the theater and offered free ticketd to a new movie being screened there that evening. I managed to get four tickets to the unknown movie and returned later that evening with my girlfriend, her sister and her boyfriend. The movie was E.T.! I have fond memories of the Forest Hills and it is sad that it is gone. I was there watching the Wizard of Oz, the last performance, the night it closed.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on December 22, 2006 at 1:25 am

In her autobiography Limelight and After, actress Claire Bloom wrote about the WWII years after having left England to live in the U.S. With her mother she lived in Forest Hills on 113th Street for a time. She wrote of going to the movies at a theatre on Continental Avenue, which sounds like it might have been the Forest Hills Theatre. Quoting:
“We read Screen Romances and Movie Life, and when the money was found, rushed to the movie house on Continental Avenue to see the wonderful South Sea Island films with Jon Hall and Dorothy Lamour—–Volcano, Tornado, Hurricane. Hibiscus flowers and mountains of lava. Blue grottoes and mysterious idols. Total escape and immeasurable joy.” (page 32)

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 5:54 am

Yes, I think it was 2 screens when it closed.

RobertR on May 22, 2006 at 3:30 pm

A pair of Troy Donahue re-issues.
View link

Bway on May 2, 2006 at 2:24 pm

Wow, what a nice classic marquee the Forest Hills had!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 11, 2005 at 5:19 am

I also caught “Trainspotting” in the upstairs theater. I remember the bathrooms were located upstairs in the front of the building and had windows facing the street (clearly visible in the stills of the front facade provided here) above the marquee.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 6, 2005 at 11:59 am

I saw a couple of films here in the ‘80’s. I recall seeing The Beastmaster in the upstairs theater in the summer of 1982. I had met a friend for dinner on Austin Ave (any locals remember the French restaurant Le Crepe?) and found myself walking towards the subway when I decided it was too early to go home and ducked inside to catch the 9 o'clock showing. I distinctly remember hearing the faint but recognizable hook from the song “Abacab” ringing in the distance as the band Genesis was playing an open air concert at the nearby Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (actually the “West Side Tennis Club” as locals will correct me).

Bway on July 26, 2005 at 5:44 pm

I only mentioned the RKO Bushwick, because if they were able to save that building, which sat derilict for decades, and I can’t imagine that the Forest Hills theater, that was being used for movies just the year prior would be in such bad condition that they couldn’t use the shell.
However, perhaps, construction costs to convert would have been higher to convert as opposed to demolish and rebuild, so I guess that;s why they did it that way.