Colony Theatre

37-27 82nd Street,
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

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1955 photo courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Colony Theatre opened on August 8, 1935 as part of the Brandt chain.

Today the building is part of the Jackson Heights Historic District, and the facade is safeguarded by NYC Landmark Laws.

Contributed by SteveSmith

Recent comments (view all 44 comments)

Tinseltoes on June 21, 2011 at 3:43 am

The entrance and marquee of the Colony Theatre were just to the right of the Game Stop store in the Google Maps view. The space is occupied in the Google Maps view by Foot Locker and a small jewelry store. The auditorium ran parallel to 82nd Street, but had stores in front of the 82nd Street wall.

Tinseltoes on June 21, 2011 at 5:27 am

There’s an historic view here: nypl

michaelkaplan on February 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I grew up in Jackson Heights in the 1950s and saw a few movies at the Colony, including High Noon, Disney’s The Living Desert, and at least one of Ingmar Bergman’s films. The Colony was one of two “art houses” in the neighborhood, the other being the Earle on 74th Street.

Tinseltoes on September 7, 2012 at 5:52 am

The address ribbon across the top of the page needs correcting. One “Jackson Heights” is sufficient. The second “Jackson Heights” is just redundant…Also, “Nearby Theatres” fails to mention the Jackson Theatre, which was a block away and the Colony’s closest competition.

robboehm on September 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

And per my comment on the Jackson this is an ongoing problem. And just look at the nearby theatres listed. The Cameo was on Steinway Street in Astoria!!!

Tinseltoes on September 8, 2012 at 3:53 am

Maybe the “Nearby Theaters” feature should be suspended until someone figures out a system for keeping it accurate. The one for the Colony omits the Jackson, Polk, Boulevard, and Fair, all within Jackson Heights.

cblog on November 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

In the 60s, I went to the Colony the most. One event was showing epic ‘Gone with the Wind’ across two afternoons. Mom said I had to see this on the big screen (same with ‘Wizard of Oz’ at the Midway). Mom told me as a teenager she used to ‘fish’ for people’s hats from the Colony’s balcony with string and gum. Other stores on 82st were Danow’s card shop (1, then 2 locations!), Jamaica Saving Bank (moved from 81st when Field’s expanded into their space), Household Finance and Beneficial Finance, Burger Nest, Kresge’s, Drs Rosenkrans and Adler (oral surgeons), Barricini candy.

cblog on November 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I forgot to note that across the street there was a Schrafft’s. Ice cream, and alot of soused old ladies!

JHGuy on May 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

I went to ask around and look around today at the former location of this theater, and here’s what I found.

  1. On Google Maps, the satellite view shows a large rectangle roof higher than the stores in the front, pretty good evidence of where the theater stood. (Take a look here: I was curious if the stores went all the way back or if there was a possibility of a stock room or something being used that still had original detail from the theater.

  2. I started on the south end and went into $5 Shoe store. ( From the street, this looks very small but it opens up into an enormous double-height space. It’s a big L-shaped space, and it goes behind the next two stores—Beverly Boutique and Cohen’s fashion optical. It’s finished in drop ceiling tiles and I did manage to see some original trim or something where one tile was missing. But other than that, there is no indication that it was a movie house.

  3. There is a Foot Locker where the entrance once stood. A staff member allowed me to look into the stock room, where I could see the ceiling was not only double-height, but there were still large chunks of the original walls and plaster from the theater. They were painted a greenish color. I managed to spot at least one brass or gold-painted torch-shaped sconce intact from the theater. The wall dividing the back of the store on the right is just bare sheetrock. On the other side of the wall is the $5 shoe store. So the dimensions of the original movie house are intact, if not anything else.

  4. The Foot Locker opened up only about 6 or 7 years ago, and I don’t recall what was there prior to that. They have a very low drop ceiling in the front of their store so it’s possible that something original detail is still there, but I sincerely doubt it.

DavidZornig on March 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Just added a 1955 photo.

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