Newtown Theatre

91-11 Corona Avenue,
Elmhurst, NY 11373

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Showing 6 comments

RickB on October 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

Ya gotta love the “TELEVISION” sign right across from the theater in the 1948/9 shot. Holy foreshadowing, Batman!

johndereszewski on October 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

TT, you are right, and I did get my “woods” mixed up. Clearly, it makes a lot more sense to look at Woodhaven Blvd. – rather than the more remote Woodside community – as the sourse of the Elmwood’s name. For some reason, I just blanked out this from my mind when I wrote my last post. Anyway, thanks for correcting this one point.

johndereszewski on October 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

That’s a really great shot of the old movie house. Since both “That Magnificent Urge” and “Belle Starr’s Daughter” premiered in November 1948, the picture probably dates to the Spring of 1949, when both films probably reached this second run theater.

Regarding the source of the theater’s name, I would guess that the Newtown took the name of the community that became Elmhurst a little over 100 years ago. As the story goes, real estate magnate Cord Meyer, who was developing this community, thought that the name Newtown would be unfavorably associated with the already severely polluted Newtown Creek. And wallah, Elmhurst was born. This was somewhat of a pity since Newtown was one of Queens' original towns and had once included much of the western portion of the borough. Remnants of old Newtown, including an old church yard, can be found only a few blocks from the theater, and groups like the Newtown Historical Society keep the history of the old town alive.

Finally, TT is absolutely right that Queens has never hosted a neighborhood called Elmwood. The Elmwood theater was, I believe, named after the very seperate communities of Elmhurst and Woodside.

Rollingrck on October 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

A shot of the theatre in 1948 from ebay

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tedchang on January 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

A current picture of the theater is available at:
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