Deluxe Theater

62-02 Roosevelt Avenue,
Woodside, NY 11377

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 22, 2008 at 4:10 pm

This photo taken today from the elevated subway station above Roosevelt Avenue proves that at least the shell of the Deluxe’s auditorium still exists. You can see the roof and how it suddenly narrows at the junction with the entrance and lobby, which are now used by the Top of the World Buffet. Although I went into the restaurant, I found the floor plan very confusing. I don’t think that the dining area occupies any part of the auditorium, which might be where they do all the cooking, dishwashing, storage, etcetera. The train in the background of the first photo belongs to the LIRR, which has its Woodside station at that spot.
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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 21, 2008 at 10:05 am

I’m pretty sure that the auditorium still exists. It was connected to Rossevelt Avenue by a fairly long lobby. Anything currently operating on Roosevelt Avenue with that address is probably using only the former entrance and lobby area. The auditorium area might even be bricked off and entered from a side street or through an adjoining building. The size suggests use as a factory or warehouse.

kencmcintyre on June 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm

It looks like the space is now a Chinese restaurant called Top of the World Buffet.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 19, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Hey Warren…. When I visited the restaurant I photographed on the site of the old Deluxe back in September, 2005, the interior was layed out in an L formation, much as I suspect the theater might have been. Perhaps a “flag” shape is more accurate, with a narrow corridor leading back from the street and then opening up on the left into a larger and deeper space. I believe this was most of the interior (if not all) of the old Deluxe. I could be mistaken. While the address ceratinly matches that of the old theater, the facade of the building is utterly non-descript and betrays no signs of a former theater – other than the layout I just described.

Next time you’re in that area, try taking a look at the building from the LIRR platform – which might afford a closer look, if not as high an overview as the IRT platform does. Due to the steep grade of the streets running behind the old theater, what is a two story structure on Roosevelt Avenue is actually quite low-lying on the back end. The LIRR platform is practically at street-level behind the theater block. My train passes through Woodside Station every day on the way to and from work.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 9, 2007 at 8:04 am

I believe that the auditorium portion of the Deluxe still exists, but it can’t be seen from street level due to other buildings that surround it. But I could see it yesterday from the platform of the elevated subway station that is just above it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, so I’ll have to return some day to take some snaps. I suspect that the interior of the auditorium has been gutted and might be used as a storage warehouse. It’s only about half the height of the premises shown in Ed Solero’s photograph of 9/20/06, which apparently added a story to what had been the original entrance and lobby for the theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 27, 2006 at 1:06 pm

The Deluxe (originally spelled as De Luxe) took three months to build and first opened on April 18, 1933, with a late-run double feature of “Silver Dollar” & “Tonight Is Ours.” A story in that day’s Daily Star said that “The new De Luxe Theatre, built from plans and ideas of Charles J. Oppenheim, of Invincible Playhouses, Inc., is constructed in the most modern manner, with lighting effects and color scheme of original design. Indirect lighting throughout the auditorium shades all but exit lights from the eyes of the patrons, and makes visibility of the screen restful, yet complete. Six hundred patrons can be seated, and the policy will give a change of program three times weekly, with double features daily.” An ad for the De Luxe described it as “Long Island’s most intimate playhouse offering the biggest show for the smallest admission prices.” The scale was 10 cents for adults for weekday matinees, and 20 cents at all other times. Children’s tickets were always 10 cents.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 20, 2006 at 6:10 pm

Never realized the above comment was broken… so here’s a fix.

Here’s a new link to the recent photo I posted in September. The old one no longer works.

RobertR on September 20, 2006 at 5:58 pm

This 1968 childrens matinee was originally released in 1954
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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 11, 2006 at 8:34 pm

[/url=]Here’s a new link[/url] to the recent photo I posted in September. The old one no longer works.

meghanzenz on December 18, 2005 at 5:18 pm

i would like to get a photo or poster of the theater if anyone has one

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 1:36 pm

Took a quick photo of the old place just a couple of weekends ago. I grew up in Elmhurst in the 70’s and had an Aunt who lived in Woodside. I also remember taking the 7 train to the 61st Street station located above the theater for transfers to the LIRR station that ran in a trench below street level. I have a vague recollection that there was a movie theater here, but I never gave it much notice. The building that stands there now doesn’t look anything like a movie theater, and I’m not convinced it is the original structure at all. However, the Mexican restaurant that occupies the spot seems to follow the old footprint of the theater. I walked inside and could envision the narrow lobby going back off the street at a fairly obvious angle (which is noticeable if you look at the exposed interior wall on the left in the photo below). The restaurant then opens up on the left side and is quite roomy with a dance floor towards the rear that opens up yet again towards the street. If you can imagine a long and wide corridor (the width of the entrance you see in the photo) and then a big, open “L” shaped space off to the left of the corridor about 20 or so feet from the entrance… that’s the basic layout.

Anyway… here’s the photo:

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 14, 2004 at 9:38 am

Many neighborhood theatres used these colored circulars to boost attendance at Saturday matinees. The week before, if you were smart, you would examine a pile of them and try to get one of the color that seemed to have the smallest quantity. That always turned out to be the next week’s winner.

PeterRossi on May 14, 2004 at 3:07 am

I spent many Saturday afternoons in the Delux Theater watching 2nd & 3rd run double features from 1958-64 with the bevy of Woodsiders viewing the matinee. Does anyone remember the varied colored flyers that would be distributed throughout the neighborhood the week prior to the show? When one went to the matinee there would be one colored flyer displayed in the ticket both, and if you were fortunate enough to have had that color flyer you would gain free entrance to the screening that afternoon.

William on November 14, 2003 at 8:23 pm

The Deluxe Theatre is located at 62-02 Roosevelt Ave., during the 50’s it seated 562 people.