RKO Keith's Richmond Hill

117-09 Hillside Avenue,
Richmond Hill, NY 11418

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Article from Queens Tribune.

Located in the Richmond Hill section of Queens. The former RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill Theater opened in March 1929 with Radio-Keith-Orpheum Vaudeville on stage and the talkie movie “Strange Cargo”. It later showed second-run fare and double bills.

The RKO Keith’s Richmond Hill Theatre closed on June 25, 1968 with “Reflections in a Golden Eye”. Since then it has been used as a bingo hall and flea market.

Contributed by philipgoldberg

Recent comments (view all 422 comments)

Bway on March 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

What a shame the new owners of the building decided to take the historic RKO Keiths name off the marquee that was restored about 10 years ago.

LuisV on May 30, 2011 at 1:46 am

So it has been over a year since the last posting on this theater. It appears nothing has changed, which I guess is good as that means it is still there and maintaining itself as a flea market. The RKO Keiths, along with the Loew’s Canal in Manhattan have got to be the largest and most promising of the unrenovated theaters in Manhattan. Unfortunately, the location of the Keiths makes it unlikely that the money will be spent to properly restore it. Ironically, it is the location that has allowed it to last this long relatively undisturbed.

angekmk on September 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Has someone already mentioned the old days when stars came in support of their films? I remember seeing Judy Garland plugging “Gay Purree.” Jahn’s ice cream parlor next door was an added aatraction.

jimwhite on July 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I have been reading all the wonderful things you all have been saying about RH Keith’s and the surrounding neighborhood where I went to HS, 59-63. Unless I missed it I haven’t hear anyone mention the DELIGHT DINER on Jamaica Ave and Lefferts Blvd and Glenn’s Bar, directly across from the Keith’s and Salerno’s. I spent many a night in both!

LuisV on September 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I visited this theater in late August as I was in the area. Sad to say, it was incredibly depressing. The theater was hosting one of their Bingo sessions and the foyer leading from the front door to the auditorium reeked of cigarette smoke. The people were frightening. It literally looked like an SRO resident convention. None of these people looked like they should have any money to gamble on Bingo and yet here they were. Yes, the theater is still basically intact but I can’t imagine any situation where this ever gets restored. It simply is a rotten location for any performing arts use. I’m not even sure where these people came from since the area is basically a middle class neighborhood. Even more upsetting is that Salernos looks like its been long gone. The space is empty. Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlor (on the other side of the theater entrance) has been gutted and turned into some king of “club” but I couldn’t tell if even that hadn’t already gone out of business. The old Triangle Hoffbrau restaurant is also gone and gutted into medical offices. The beautiful Simonson Funeral Home was torn down and a strip mall is taking its place. Will likely be hideous. Next door to that, The Republican Club reflects its party. It has been completely hollowed out and is a shadow of its former stately self. Have no idea what’s happening there.

On a good note, the Olympic Diner on Myrtle is STILL there. Rubies Costume Shop is still on Jamaica Avenue. The Queens Public Library has been restored and it beautiful with loverly landscaping.

I have now sold my nearby investment apartment and will likely never be back to this area. I wish it all the best but I fear for the RKO Keiths. What a shame.

LugosiResearch on December 30, 2012 at 1:58 am

On Saturday 3 February 1951, Bela “Dracula” Lugosi presented his in person Horror and Magic Stage show at RKO Richmond Hill. Currently I am conducting research on all things Lugosi; if anyone out there actually saw this show and/or has memorabilia (poster, handbill, photos) related to this show, please contact Bill at Thanks in advance for any assistance!

robboehm on April 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Photo of the marquee in the day.

Bway on November 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

Unfortunately, the 1940’s tax photo of the Keiths is missing, but here is the adjoining building showing the marquee.


HomecrestGuy on January 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Picture added to gallery.

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