Forest Hills Theatre

107-16 Continental Avenue,
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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Showing 1 - 25 of 73 comments

Bway
Bway on July 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

The building has no “classic features” except the Austin Street façade of the mostly demolished Forest Hills Theatre.

Metropolite
Metropolite on July 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

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.

paktype
paktype on June 25, 2012 at 12:00 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 10:42 am

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 3:34 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
NativeForestHiller on January 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm

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!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 5, 2009 at 5:54 am

The Forest Hills Theatre can be seen at left in this vintage photo of the intersection of Continental Avenue and Ausin Street. The image comes from historian Ron Marzlock, who recently opened an art gallery in Kew Gardens that specializes in Queens memorabilia. Starting December 11, he will be having a special show of material covering Middle Village and Maspeth. Marzlock is probably best known for his weekly “I Have Often Walked” feature in the Queens Chronicle:
http://qgardensgallery.com/index.html

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 12, 2009 at 10:17 am

This should settle any doubts about the demolition of the Forest Hills Theatre. Only the facade was retained, with a new building constructed behind it: View link

Bway
Bway on April 6, 2009 at 4:24 am

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 12, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Neglected to mention that “The Time Machine” had its NYC premiere engagement at the midtown Warner (ex-Strand) Theatre, where it opened on August 17th, 1960. By that time, the Warner was no longer a showcase for Cinerama roadshows.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

Since 1960 was prior to the introduction of the “Premiere Showcase” concept, I’d be willing to bet that “The Time Machine” played at the Forest Hills Theatre, which ran the double bills that were packaged for the Loew’s circuit (the Midway showed the RKO circuit programs). The second feature with “The Time Machine” was “Battle in Outer Space.” I suspect that the Forest Hills booking was in the first week of October.

abw
abw on August 12, 2008 at 7:08 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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 12, 2008 at 6:31 am

Verify what? That “The Time Machine” played at the Forest Hills Theatre, or that you saw the movie there? If you check newspaper advertising for that year, you should be able to find if “Time Machine” played there. I don’t know how you would verify your attendance unless someone else remembers it or you were photographed entering or leaving the theatre.

abw
abw on August 12, 2008 at 6:21 am

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

Bway
Bway on May 19, 2008 at 5:57 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 http://www.historicaerials.com/

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2008 at 4:09 am

The introductory information needs to be changed. The Forest Hills Theatre no longer exists, so it “was” located around the corner from the Midway (not “is”). Also, the Forest Hill was at least twenty years old by the time that the Midway opened, so there was no theatre “around the corner” until 1942.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 16, 2008 at 4:03 am

Here are new links to two exterior images, the first from the 1920s and the second from the 1940s:
View link
View link

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on May 13, 2008 at 12:26 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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 13, 2008 at 10:31 am

Are you sure that the Forest Hills Theatre was gutted? I’ve been told that only the front wall was retained, and that everything behind it is an entirely new building.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on March 26, 2008 at 6:28 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
Bway on February 16, 2008 at 8:43 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
johndereszewski on February 16, 2008 at 5:23 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.