Ridgewood Theatre

55-27 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Ridgewood Theatre

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The Ridgewood Theatre is located on Myrtle Avenue in the Ridgewood section of Queens. It first opened on December 23rd 1916.

It was last operated as a five-screen multiplex by the same people who run the Jackson Theatre and ran the now-closed Loew’s Plaza Corona Theatre.

Sadly in early-March 2008, the Ridgewood Theatre was suddenly closed without any warning. Banners went up on the marquee advertising the building was ‘available for retail use’. The Ridgewood Theatre remained a first-run theatre to the end.

The owner announced in March 2009 that the theatre would reopen with a three screen cinema on the upper level and a mix of shops on the first floor. The Ridgewood Theatre was given Landmark status on January 12, 2010. Despite support to save the building, it was gutted in November 2014.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 2,835 comments)

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm

RKO Keith Richmond Hill may still operate as a bingo hall, but the benefit is that anyone can walk into it from the street and see the inside, and see that it was once a movie theater.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

I’m going to have to check out the RKO Keith Richmond Hill link in person. Thanks for the tip.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

You’re most welcome, Mike. Last time I was inside RKO Keith Richmond Hill, summer 2006, most of the theater stuff was still inside, except for the orchestra level seats.

LuisV
LuisV on November 5, 2014 at 8:37 pm

You should see it Mike, but check the schedule to see when it is open. I think there may be a flea market on weekends as well. The location of this theater is the very reason it is still with us. It’s not in a trendy ‘hood, not a great shopping area. And certainly not a big movie going area. The nearest theater is the outstanding Austin on Lefferts Blvd in neighboring Kew Gardens which has done very well as an art house cinema. It is less than a mile away from the Keith’s, but a world apart. It would not work well as a performance space, nor I’m afraid as a theater, so I’m not sure how long this building is for this world but it has been a bingo hall since it stopped showing movies in the late 60’s (I think). The Keith’s is one of New York’s hidden gems hiding in plain sight.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm

The former Austin is now the Kew Gardens Cinemas. The Keith Richmond Hill is not in a trendy hood, at least not since it lost Jahn’s ice cream parlor, and the Hofbrau and Salerno restaurants, but is still at a major transportation hub and crossroads, and is still downtown Richmond Hill.

LuisV
LuisV on November 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

It’s pretty desolate from a retail standpoint. As you said, all the things that made this former hub something are now gone! Jahns, Hofbrau and Salerno’s. That’s no accident. Oh, and the crowd that comes to play bingo doesn’t help matters at all. Likely contributed to the loss of the others.

LuisV
LuisV on November 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm

With the loss of the Ridgewood, the last and best remaining unrenovated theater in Queens is the RKO Keith’s in Richmond Hill. I went over to the RKO Ketih’s Richmond Hill page and here is my post after my last visit in 2012:

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.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I can well relate. The last time I was in Jahn’s, it was so dark and quiet, I have literally been in funeral homes that were more cheerful. Add to all of the above the closing of the Richmond Hill LIRR station in early March 1998.

Bway
Bway on November 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm

This is certainly sad news about the Ridgewood Theater. Something that we all have been preparing for for some time, so it’s not a shock, but still very sad to hear. RIP Ridgewood Theater, we still have the memories.

PeterKoch
PeterKoch on November 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Indeed we do, Bway, many of which I have posted on this page.

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