Parthenon Theatre

329 Wyckoff Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Parthenon Theatre

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Located in the Ridgewood section of Queens. The Parthenon Theatre was a neighborhood house a few blocks away from the RKO Madison Theatre. It opened around 1920 with seating for 1,700. In later years it played move-overs from the nearby Ridgewood Theatre and Madison Theatre, and mostly sub-run double bills.

For many years after closing it was occupied by a bingo hall and a supermarket. In 2012, renovations were carried out and it was converted into a gymnasium and a CVS.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 264 comments)

tapeshare
tapeshare on April 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Interesting updates. I’m wondering if anyone knows whether the Parthenon was built from scratch or if they renovated the brick trolley barn that sat in this location.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on April 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

Tapeshare, my guess is that the Parthenon was probably a new construction project that replaced the former buildings on this site. Certainly, the distinctive Greek arch could only have been constructed with the new theater’s name in mind. Still, situations did and do exist where the walls of the previous building are not demolished but are instead incorporated in the new design. So anything is poosible though, in this situation, rather deubtful. Bway and Peter, do you have anything to add on this subject? (And Peter, since the May 5 walking tour fell through, I’m sorry that I will not meet you at that time.)

Panzer65
Panzer65 on April 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hello everyone, been away from CT for awhile, I do recall reading from the old CT format that the answer to Peter’s question is that the bowling alley was short lived, the closing date was 1966. With all the configuration changes to this building, it is interesting to see if further alterations will uncover any architecture. Chances are the second floor ceiling has some.I believe a theater to gym conversion occurred in Brooklyn where the proscenium was dominant in the new design. I still wonder if anything exists currently, besides the brick facade under the siding.

Bway
Bway on April 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

In all likeliness, the theater was built as new construction on the site of the old Trolley barn. When seeing the original facade of the building, it screams “theater”. There is an old photo that shows the right most upper corner of the building was smashed off, probably when the el was built, and to facilitate the curve for the trains. So I am going to assume the building was built just before the el was placed in front of it. The el used to end at Wyckoff station, and then go down a ramp to ride on the surface to Metropolitan Ave. The el used to not turn right onto Palmetto St like it does now, it went anothe50 or 100 feet further onto Myrtle, and then turnaround a building that used to be at the corner of Myrtle and Palmetto (where the large brick building is now, where Koletti’s used to be). It then came down a ramp around the Ridgewood Grove site, before street running on Palmetto to Onderdonk Ave where it turned down it’s own ROW as the el does. In any event, when the el was extended through Ridgewood in 1914, that’s when the sharper turn was made to go around Palmetto as it does now. It is also quite possible the corner was knocked off even at a later date when they added the catwalk for workers to walk along the track, which isn’t original to the el.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on September 23, 2012 at 7:01 am

I just briefly passed by the Parthenon – on the “M” train – about a week or so ago. The renovation work is proceeding and at least some of the old brick work on the front has been exposed. Hopefully, the new uses will be smart enough to make use of this resourse – and not just cover it over again. So let’s hope.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Snap some pics and post them here!

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on March 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Just paased by the site today. The new gym is now operational but they have pretty much wrecked the theater’s old front in the process of doing this. The Parthenon’s roof, however, is still untouched.

While the new set up is quite attractive – a big improvement to the depressing old bingo parlor – the fact that no attempt was made to restore the old facade is unfortunate. But this could have been a lot worse.

Well – we atill have the old pictures.

Bway
Bway on August 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

There is also a CVS on the site now.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on December 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Ken, thanks for posting the picture of the current configuration. I guess the only thing that reminds one of the old Parthenon is the pointed roof that still – and barely – projects itself outward.

Still, this is an improvement over the dreary old bingo hall.

johndereszewski
johndereszewski on December 28, 2013 at 7:31 am

Recently, Ridgewood Ken posted a terrific ad telling us what the Parthenon was presenting during the week of June 7 1925 – or just shortly after the theater “moved” into Queens. Just go into the photo section and enjoy.

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