Colony Theatre

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 35 comments

DavidZornig on March 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Just added a 1955 photo.

JHGuy on May 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

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.

cblog on November 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

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

cblog on November 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

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.

robboehm on September 7, 2012 at 8:15 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!!!

michaelkaplan on February 6, 2012 at 9:06 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.

Bway on June 20, 2011 at 11:44 am

Someone incorrectly clicked update street view at the Payless Shoe Source store. The theater was about two more clicks to the left, where the Duane Reade Drug Store is.

NativeForestHiller on February 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Thank you for updating the theater’s address on this thread, as well as the write-up.

Tinseltoes: Thank you for sharing this very impressive vintage image.

NativeForestHiller on January 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm

37-27 82nd St is the correct address. It is part of the Jackson Heights Historic District, and safeguarded by Landmark Laws. Can someone from the Cinema Treasures staff please correct it? Thank you!

captmovie on March 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I had been to the Colony many times, the first time was to see the double Feature of “West Side Story” and “In The Heat Of The Night”. What i remember most of that first time was that inside the theater by the refreshment stand in the lobby was a second marquee which told us the upcoming attractions at the theater. I also the Frank Sinatra film “Dirsty Dingus Magree” there with an advance preview of Billy Wilder’s “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”. I also saw the third Sidney Poitier Virgil Tibbs film “The Organization” with an advance preview of the george Segal drug film, “Born To Win”. Later on on saw the second Dirty Harry film, “Magnum Force” with “The Last Of Sheila”.

kencmcintyre on December 5, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Lost Memory mentioned an address of 37-27 82nd Street back in September 2006. That’s the listing for the theater in the 1959 yellow pages. It looks like the current occupant at 37-27 is a women’s clothing store.

dellwebb on May 25, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Ed:July 4, 1986 movie clock was from NY Daily News, not NY Post. Grew up a couple of blocks from this theatre, so was there many times, along with the Jackson and Boulevard. Can’t remember a lot of movies seen there however, only 2 come to mind: Posse with Kirk Douglas comes to mind, also Burt Reynolds in “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing”.

KurtM on November 14, 2006 at 7:18 am

I guess I was wrong. When I moved to Jackson Hts. in 1971 it was a funeral home. I seem to recall reading some years ago that it was a theater and it looks like a small nabe, at least when you can’t see the roof.
Eighty first St. at that location was never Shelton Ave. It was cut through around 1911 and was originally called 24th St.
Kurt M.

dave-bronx™ on October 27, 2006 at 12:37 am

Warren is correct the theatre entrance was under the window. When it was first converted the store occupying the lobby area was “Parade of Shoes”, which has now apparently moved out. In the second photo, next to the ABC store is a $5 Store. The back of that store was knocked through into the former Colony auditorium. Between the ABC and $5 store is an alleyway, where the fire exits from the theatre were.

GaryMuttley on October 26, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Knowing the area fairly well, I really think that the theater was on the opposite side of the street from the photos posted. There was a Dunkin Donuts a few doors down from the theater, closer to Roosevelt. I am pretty sure I saw Aladdin at this theater in ‘92, though I may be mixing it up with the theater on the other side of Roosevelt.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 25, 2006 at 7:21 am

The address of the property that Kurt M references is 80-20 Roosevelt Avenue and was a funeral parlor and mortuary since as far back as 1956 when the C/O for same was issued. The C/O indicates the alteration of an existing building – and the timing is certainly right for the closure and conversion of a former nabe. The “bin” for this lot on NYC’s Building Department website also contains a C/O for a dwelling and store issued in 1931, but it seems to be referencing a Shelton Ave in the address. Was this an archaic name for 81st Street? This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve run across an errant C/O in the wrong property bin on that website. And I see no newer C/O converting from funeral home to restaurant.

I can’t get a good view of the front facade from due to the elevated IRT tracks, but the building profile from the air does not seem to indicate that the structure was built as a cinema. While the structure may be big enough to have once contained a small theater, the two story structure features a flat roof with parapet wall, rather than the usual peaked roof seen in most purpose-built auditoriums. KurtM… how did you come to understand that this was ever a theater?

KurtM on October 23, 2006 at 7:39 am

At the moment I am upstate and can’t check. The building is on the south west corner of Roosevelt Ave and Eighty First St. There is a Latino restaurnt there now, formerly called Gus' Chicken.
Kurt M.

KurtM on October 22, 2006 at 3:38 pm

The theater I mentioned in answer to Ed Solero was actually on eighty first Street and not Eightieth as I first wrote. I went their very recently and noted my error.
Kurt M.

KurtM on October 22, 2006 at 3:35 pm

Warren your photos are absolutely correct as far as I remember. My photos are, I think from a slightly better angle but show exactly the same thing.
Kurt M.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 28, 2006 at 6:14 pm

This Post Movie Clock from December 11, 1980 shows the Colony (way down in the lower right corner) showing late run double features as a single screen.

By March 10th, 1982 the Colony – still a single screen – seems to be listing a Spanish language film. Judging by showtimes, it appears this was a double bill as well.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 28, 2006 at 6:06 pm

I think you uncovered another false address on CT, Lost… Since the Colony was closer to 37th Avenue than it was to Roosevelt, I’d say that’s a very good bet. Leading to address confusion over in that area is the fact that the Avenues that cross 82nd Street skip some numbers in the sequence so that going south on 82nd from Northern Blvd you’d cross 34th Avenue and then 35th Avenue as you would expect, but then the next cross street jumps to 37th, then Roosevelt, then 41st Ave.

The address provided above probably places the building considerably closer to Roosevelt Ave (if not on the other side) than it actually is. Additionally, I have clippings from newspapers in the ‘80’s that confirm this theater was eventually twinned.

Here’s a NY Post movie clock from July 4th 1986 featuring a number of Queens (and Brooklyn) theaters that are no longer in existence.

KurtM on September 28, 2006 at 9:19 am

I have no idea when the above mentioned theater closed or what it was called.
Kurt M.

KurtM on September 28, 2006 at 9:17 am

I took a photo of the building that was the Colony and will post it as soon as photos can be uploaded again.
In answer to Ed Solero there was never a theater opposite the Jackson. There was, however, a neighborhood house on the southwest corner of Roosevelt Ave. and eightieth St which was a funeral parlor when I moved to Jackson Hts. in 1971. It is now occupied by a Latino restaurant.
Kurt M.