Loew's Willard Theatre

96-01 Jamaica Avenue,
Woodhaven, NY 11421

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Showing 1 - 25 of 88 comments

robboehm on October 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Stairs are probably the original.

Willburg145 on June 3, 2011 at 2:10 am

Was the auditorium gutted prior to becoming a catering hall?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Pretty good history except for the TOR JOHNSON non-sense.

WoodhavenFrank on September 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

In regards to Warren’s post of Dec 2006 (yeah, yeah, I know but better late than never, I just found this site)
“I found yet another early Woodhaven cinema called the Parkway Motion Picture Theatre, which in 1916 was advertised as being at 1163 Jamaica Avenue, near Yarmouth Street. The building number is extinct, but Yarmouth is now called 85th Street. I wonder if the Parkway might be listed here under a later name and a "modern” number for 1163?
posted by Warren G. Harris on Dec 8, 2006 at 5:14am

I wonder if that might have been what I knew growing up as The Haven Theatre. The Haven was located at 80-19 on the south side of Jamaica Ave. one a very long block that had 80th St on the west and 85th St to the east. On the north side of the Ave, it was intersected by Forest Parkway (hence the name Parkway Motion Picture Theatre??) and The Haven was right at that intersection or within a few feet at least.

There were three movie houses in the neighborhood when I grew up. The Willard, later Le Cordon Bleu as we know. The Roosevelt at the corner of 88th St, later to become “the auditorium” and subsequently named Msgr. Mulz Hall, part of St Thomas the Apostle RC Church and The Haven near Forest Parkway. Basically we had a movie house at each end of the town and one in the middle. Saw many movies in all of them as a kid.

johndereszewski on June 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm

By the way, I have been informed that the old Cordon Bleu catering hall has, in fact, reopened at this location, though it now only occupies a smaller portion of the building.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 26, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Tisloews,not to show disrespect to our yankee friends,but I was told from another CT member that alot of guys just like to bitch up there.

johndereszewski on December 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Given its rather isolated location at the periphery of the Woodhaven and Richmond Hills communities, it is a little surprising that the Willard was the first Loews theater to open in Queens. One would have expected a more central location. This might have had something to do with its rather early cinematic demise.

Anyhow, while the Willard was history when I first discovered the site, I knew the Cordon Bleu very well and went to a number of functions there over the years. Since it always appeared to be busy, I’m surprised it closed.

While the catering hall made ample use of the Willard’s considerable space, I recall no remnants of a movie theater being retained in its interior.

One event I remember attending was a banquet sponsored by the Bushwick Salvation Army. (Many Brooklyn based groups held their events here.) While it was a very nice affair, the Army, unfortunately, rigidly enforced its “no alcohol” rule, making it a very long two and a half hours. Fortunately, a few good bars were – and still are – situated in the immediate vicinity.

TLSLOEWS on December 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

After reading most of the posts on the LOEWS WILLARD it seems most of the comments were about anything else except the theatre, personal attacks and just plain bitching,nothing wrong with getting off-topic now and then, this is a fun site lets try to keep it that way.No wonder there are no new posts on this site if you read through all the bull comments you would loose interest in what you were talking about.

PeterKoch on January 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

Thanks, Warren. It’s good to see the el in the picture, too.

Deaconjms on March 5, 2008 at 6:28 am

My big brother took me to the Willard to see Village of the Damned, when I was about 9 years old. It scared the @#% out of me, but I still remember it.

BabyBoomer on October 22, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Funny Robert R. mentioned that someone he knew saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Willard because that is one of the movies that stick in my mind.I remember that I didn’t go to see that movie but it was the second feature and the dance number at the barn raising stayed with me.About 35 years later it was playing at one of those revival movie theatres in Manhattan and I talked my wife into seeing it (for her first time)and she was knocked over by it.
The only other movie I remember seeing there is a movie where Spencer Tracy was a priest and he was trying to get off an island a volcano was erupting on with the help of a convict played by Frank Sinatra.(The Left Hand of the Devil?)

PKoch on October 22, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Thank you, BabyBoomer !

BabyBoomer on October 20, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Anyone who wants to find old friends,meet new friends or just remember what it was like growing up in Woodhaven we started a family friendly web site.You must join to get in however you can choose to have the messages sent to you or just access them from the site when you want.Simply go to the Yahoo home page and click on groups. Then type in “woodhaven-nyc” and you will access our group.If there isn’t anyone you know chances are someone will know where your friends are today.Check us out and Enjoy !!!

AntonyRoma on October 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm

LostMemory, I’ve uploaded 2 Fox display ads as jpgs to Photobucket. Check the Ridgewood page.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

PKoch on October 2, 2007 at 3:00 pm

I seem to recall BrooklynJim posting somewhere about having seen the 1957 Eugene Lourie-directed thriller “The Giant Behemoth” at the Willard when it had first come out. That must have been awesome ! I first saw this film in fall 1961 on “Million Dollar Movie” on TV Channel 9, but did not see it on a movie screen until I saw it at Film Forum in lower Manhattan, late summer 1987.

AntonyRoma on October 2, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Correction. the display ads and photos are bitmaps. I am able to copy and paste news articles, as stated three messages above.

AntonyRoma on October 2, 2007 at 2:02 pm

The info I’ve found is in bitmap format, and I can’t copy it or save it. Unless you have any ideas? I have to print it and then scan it. But my scanner is down.

AntonyRoma on October 2, 2007 at 2:35 am

That’s exactly what I’ve done LostMemory; ie- I have copied and pasted most of the information relevant to RT Short. It is included between “xx”, [[xx]], or <<xx>>, here or on the orher pages.

AntonyRoma on October 1, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Soryy, Lostmemory. You have to be a subscriber to Proquest. That’s why I’ve included a description of the articles I’ve posted here and on the Ridgewood and Madison pages.

I included the the link to the url as a reference and for any others on the list who may be subscribers.

Thanks for the lead to the Suffolk page.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

AntonyRoma on October 1, 2007 at 2:41 pm

The NYT of 2/8/1900 announced he won first prize for the design of model tenement houses. Harde and a colleague came in 2nd and 3rd.

Check the Ridgewood page for a few things I’ve uncovered.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

AntonyRoma on October 1, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Neither does an earlier NYT article

<<Except for their three bigger, and better known, apartment houses of 1906-1909, Harde & Short otherwise made little impact on apartment-house architecture in New York — except perhaps to convince developers to stick with tried-and-true formulas. Of the architects' other buildings, only Short’s castle-like police station at 134 West 30th Street (1906-1908) goes well beyond the typical.>>

It is not clear to me what was unique about their design or what a ‘pyrotechnic facade’ referred to in your reference means.

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

AntonyRoma on October 1, 2007 at 11:55 am

Thanks LostMemory.I’d call him a ‘local guy’ for all intents and purposes. No reference to his theater designs.

Sounds like the NYT didn’t hold his talents in too high regard:[[Short continued in architecture after leaving Harde, but his subsequent buildings – many in Brooklyn, where he continued to live – were unexceptional. The date of his death is not known.

No contemporary critic bothered to give Harde & Short more than a passing reference – more often than not just a swipe – and so it is likely that all we will know of them is their buildings. ]]

AntonyRoma on October 1, 2007 at 11:14 am

Warren, do you agree with CT’s designation that short designed ‘classic’ theatres?
How many of the 15 listed are you responsible for documenting?
I wasn’t able to get any bio info on him, albeit very limited effort

Shalom, ciao, and excelsior

PKoch on October 1, 2007 at 10:30 am

Therefore, what was once the Willard will be even less like a theater after this current transformation into stores and offices is completed.