RKO Columbia Theater

1014 Beach 20th Street,
Far Rockaway, NY 11691

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was a vaudeville house, and opened as the Columbia Theatre in 1913 as part of the B.S. Moss chain. Movies were screened as part of the program. It had turned to a movies only policy by 1926. By 1941, it was part of the RKO circuit.

Last operated by an independent operator as the Town Theatre for a short while from 1970. When the Mott Street area declined, so did the movie attendance here, and this theater shut its doors. The theater has been demolished.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

William on November 14, 2003 at 5:11 pm

The RKO Columbia Theatre seated 1350 people.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 8, 2004 at 8:47 am

The Columbia Theatre had Edgar T. Hovell as architect and first opened in July 1913 as a vaudeville house under B.S. Moss management, which explains how it eventually became part of the RKO Circuit. In its first decades, the Columbia also had an outdoor roof theatre seating 1,100. In 1970, an “indie” took over the Columbia and re-named it the Town, but the theatre closed several years after that and was demolished. Its address was 1014 Beach 20th Street. The only Far Rockaway theatre on Mott Avenue was the 585-seat Gem, at street number 1920.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 20, 2005 at 9:48 am

Here are two 1944 views of the Columbia, which was the lesser of the two RKO theatres in Far Rockaway. The double-feature programs usually originated on the Loew’s circuit. In this image, “Cover Girl” was supported by “The Whistler,” both Columbia releases. Unlike the larger RKO Strand, which was all on one floor with stadium seating at the rear, the Columbia had a conventional balcony:

Tinseltoes on September 27, 2012 at 7:24 am

This should be listed as the RKO Columbia. For much of its life as a cinema, it was a secondary house to the RKO Strand down the street.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater