Loew's Willard Theatre

96-01 Jamaica Avenue,
Woodhaven, NY 11421

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 113 comments

robboehm on October 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

Stairs are probably the original.

Tinseltoes on October 2, 2013 at 8:10 am

The catering hall has returned to life as Woodhaven Manor. Some interior views can be glimpsed here: Eventective

Willburg145 on June 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Was the auditorium gutted prior to becoming a catering hall?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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

Tinseltoes on October 27, 2010 at 8:40 am

On this night in 1942 (which happened to be a Tuesday), comedian Joey Adams hosted a “Stars of Tomorrow” revue with 10 acts on the stage of Loew’s Willard. On screen were two “B” programmers, “Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen” and “All American Co-Ed.”

WoodhavenFrank on September 1, 2010 at 4:20 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 4:29 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 6:25 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 6:42 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 10:36 am

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 7:19 am

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 4, 2009 at 7:16 am

A 2004 view of the Willard as catering hall can be found here: View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 19, 2008 at 8:17 am

Here’s a new direct link to an opening ad for Loew’s Willard:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 5, 2008 at 7:04 am

And the Willard was in the Adam style, with R. Thomas Short as architect. Please see my comments above of June 13th, 2007. Since posting them, I’ve also discovered that the Willard was actually built and owned by A.H. Schwartz (head of the future Century circuit), who sold the operating lease to Loew’s prior to opening.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

The introduction needs to be updated. The catering hall closed. The building is being renovated and turned into stores and offices. Please see my posts above dated October 1, 2007 for details and photographs.

Deaconjms on March 5, 2008 at 3:28 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.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 23, 2007 at 7:11 am

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” was the “main” feature at the Willard. Perhaps when you attended, you arrived when the supporting feature, “Go, Man, Go,” a “B” melodrama with the Harlem Globetrotters, was starting. So “Seven Brides” would have been the second feature that you saw that day, but it was the main attraction. The musical was making its neighborhood circuit after a highly successful engagement at Radio City Music Hall.

BabyBoomer on October 22, 2007 at 5:58 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 9:00 am

Thank you, BabyBoomer !

BabyBoomer on October 20, 2007 at 7:46 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 2:00 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 12:00 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 11:06 am

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 11:02 am

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.