Drake Theatre

62-90 Woodhaven Boulevard,
Rego Park, NY 11374

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Drake Theatre

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Located on Woodhaven Boulevard at 63rd Avenue, in the Middle Village/Rego Park district of Queens. The Drake Theatre opened in 1935. Most of it’s life was a second run double bill house. There were times it played first run, porno and spent the 1980’s with a very popular dollar policy. “Caligula” played here for a year exclusive in Queens in the early-1980’s. After closing in the early 1990’s it became the Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant which closed in January 2014.

It was demolished in October 2016.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 66 comments)

corlando52 on July 8, 2010 at 7:21 am

I was born and raised in Forest Hills. My memory of the Drake, besides passing it on the way to the “M” train right next to Christ the King High School, was going to see The Deadly Spawn, a “B” horror film produced by a friend of mine. I actually worked on the movie and had one of the little creatures with me. During one of the bloodier scenes, I put it on the shoulder of a girl who was sitting in front of me. Man, did she SCREAM!
BTW, RobertR, I used to sneak into the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium to watch the concerts, too. I did get to see the Helicopter with The Beatles, but didn’t have tickets so I went home (69th Avenue between Olcott Street and Metropolitan Avenue) and could hear the girls screaming while I sat on my stoop!
I WAS there for the Monkees when Jimi Hendrics played and the crowd chanted “We want Davey…” and he stormed off the stage in his neon orange boots.

Jeffrey1955 on January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

The restaurant that expanded into the theater space is closing. You can see the former marquee in the photo. http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/abbracciamento-s-closing-its-doors/article_516a1076-d460-5218-8f4d-fec1f045f13e.html#.UthaC3UVM4g

johndereszewski on January 17, 2014 at 11:15 am

Very interesting news Jeff. I guess the now “old” catering places are being supplanted by more trendy establishments. The same has apparently occurred with the Polonaise Terrace in Greenpoint, which also replaced a location previously occupied by a movie theater.

By the way, the map at the top of this page sites the Drake at a location far to the south where it actually was. The correct location is situated a few blocks north of St. Johns Cemetary while the map locates it at the cemetary’s south point, at Cooper Avenue. This is wrong and schould be corrected.

cybermoz on April 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm

The former Drake building will be demo;ished to build condos. http://www.qchron.com/editions/central/demolition-on-the-menu-for-abbracciamento-s/article_1e8fbe82-727b-5248-a79a-c92bd9607b9b.html

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Ironic, and sad back to back comments – one with the text of an article announcing the construction of the Drake, the other a link to an article about it’s demolition.

Jeffrey1955 on April 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm

And so it goes…

robboehm on April 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Demolished yet? Status is still closed. Uploaded a photo during it’s post theater life.

areacode212 on May 11, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I was in a livery cab this afternoon that drove past the now-closed Abbracciamento Restaurant, and I thought it looked like an old movie theater. It hasn’t been demolished yet, but everything was boarded up.

Jeffrey1955 on September 1, 2016 at 2:51 pm

The property changed hands; demolition permit still in effect but nothing has happened. From an article in Queens Chronicle, Sept. 1, 2016, by Christopher Barca:

But while one block begins to blossom, the one that houses the former Abbracciamento’s Restaurant a short walk up Woodhaven Boulevard still sits dormant. Shortly after eatery owner John Abbracciamento closed the restaurant and sold the building — which included a handful of small businesses — for $9 million more than two years ago, plans to demolish the block and build a new apartment building in its place were filed. However, the site was sold again for $10.85 million in February 2015, just a few months before a permit allowing for the teardown was approved by the city. The only noticeable action taken since has been the removal of the building’s marquee, which remained after the site’s conversion from a movie theater into a restaurant. Graffiti has continued to accumulate on the sides of the structure and on the permanently closed window gates. However, city records show the demolition permit was issued to the owner, 62-98 Realty LLC, on Aug. 23. A Department of Buildings spokesman said it isn’t unusual for such a long time to elapse between permit approval and demolition beginning. “Most permits last about a year once they are pulled,” the spokesperson said. “Some developers wait until they are ready to do the work before they actually pull the permit.”

Kurt48 on October 18, 2016 at 6:02 am

The Drake has been demolished. pic here: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RkwJz1iYW1o/WAW5Mz8KdBI/AAAAAAABAL0/O6QgjB4t9foiHVWTzehLX1qOnvmpvvKFQCLcB/s1600/carmen2.jpg

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