Garden Theater

113-12 Jamaica Avenue,
Richmond Hill, NY 11421

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Showing 1 - 25 of 53 comments

Tinseltoes on August 13, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thanks for the correction! I have moved the 1913 article here: cinematreasures

robboehm on August 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

The article shows the Garden as being on Webster Av. The Garden referred to above shows Jamaica Av. I know a number of name changes occurred in Queens but I was not aware that Jamaica Av. was one of them. There was also a Garden in Springfield Gardens. But, I believe, there is a Webster Av. in the Bronx.

Tinseltoes on August 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I believe it’s this Garden Theatre, as Woodhaven and Richmond Hill are next to each other and boundaries have changed over the years.

Tinseltoes on September 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

Here’s a link to a photo and article: qchron

Bway on May 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

What year was the Garden torn down? Was it anything after it was a theater?

PeterKoch on February 24, 2009 at 7:04 am

Based on something Ed Norton said on “The Honeymooners” in February 1967, I thought Perth Amboy, NJ, was the sun and fun capital of the world.

johndereszewski on February 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I guess the Greenpoint Garden was so called to promote Greenpoint as the “Garden Spot of the World” – a term proudly touted by the local politicos that – during the time of this theater’s existence, and long after – would have required one’s tongue to be firmly placed in one’s cheek.

johndereszewski on February 23, 2009 at 7:02 am

Well I guess there were two Garden Theaters in Brooklyn. Here is the link to the one in Greenpoint.


Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 23, 2009 at 6:50 am

The Brooklyn Garden was on New Utrecht Ave., which also has an elevated subway. However, the description of the Brooklyn Garden makes it seem like it was considerably smaller than the Richmond Hill Garden: /theaters/5845/

johndereszewski on February 23, 2009 at 6:46 am

Bway, the Brooklyn Garden was situated on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, accross the street from the Meserole. It was strictly a silent era house that closed in the late 1920’s and became a catering hall. Since an elevated subway never existed on Manhattan Ave., this wasn’t the place depicted in the picture.

By the way, the Brooklyn Garden has a short Cinema Treasures page that is worth exploring.

Bway on February 23, 2009 at 4:57 am

What street was the Brooklyn Garden on?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

The photo is featured at “brooklynpix” as a “mystery theatre.” There was also a Garden Theatre in Brooklyn, but I don’t think it was this one. The Richmond Hill Garden was near enough to Brooklyn to have a photo mistakenly added to a Brooklyn collection. However, I think that the Brooklyn Garden was also under or near an elevated subway, so anything is possible.

Bway on February 22, 2009 at 9:42 am

It’s very possible. I see the el up ahead. There is a photo on that shows the upper part of the Garden:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 22, 2009 at 7:40 am

Could this be the Garden Theatre in its early years?
View link 346

PeterKoch on February 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Welcome, jgbohm, and thank you for posting here !

jgbohm on February 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm

If “philmem” is still available-

I lived in Richmond Hill from 1938 until 1950 on 108th st. My twin sister and I went to the Garden Theatre whenever my parents wanted to get rid of us for an afternoon…we were there a lot! $.05 was the admission then My grandmother lived just south of Jamaica Ave on the east side of 112th st, and, coincidentally, since childhood was best friends with Mrs Marx{Evie)who lived next door to you, and they had three boys.

PKoch on June 18, 2007 at 9:15 am

Thanks, Warren. Too bad about those opening night ticket refunds.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 13, 2007 at 7:48 am

The 1914 opening date given in the NY Daily News appears to be correct. In its issue of October 16th, 1914, the Richmond Hill Record reported that “The new Garden Theatre on Jamaica Avenue was thrown open to the public for the first time Saturday night, and the amusement loving public found themselves in as handsome a photo play house as there is to be found anywhere. There was a great rush for seats the first nights, and the management held up their hands in despair as, long after the 1,100 seats were occupied, crowds of people still clamored for admission. Hundreds who purchased their tickets of admission for the first performance became tired of waiting for the second performance and returned their tickets, their money being refunded. There is a change of bill daily at this beautiful theatre, which jumped into popularity in a single night. There are matinees daily at 2:30 and 4 o'clock, and the first evening performance is at 7 and the second at 8:45.” An ad in the same issue described the Garden as “The Handsomest Photo Play Theatre in America.” According to a Perpetual Calendar, the Saturday before October 16th, 1914 would have been October 10th, so the opening date of the Garden Theatre was almost certainly October 10th, 1914.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 4, 2007 at 7:58 am

A story in the NY Daily News of January 8, 1978, said that the Garden opened in 1914, which means that it might be the same Garden listed in the 1914-15 directory. The later story in the Queens Chronicle might have given an incorrect date. The 1924 illustration that I posted earlier reminds me of a theatre that would have been built before WWI, rather than after it. Due to its age, the Garden was probably renovated several times over the years.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 4, 2007 at 7:22 am

I don’t know the answer to that question Ken. Its possible that the article gave the wrong date. It wouldn’t be the first time that a newspaper article gave incorrect information. I have never come across a second Garden Theater for Jamaica Avenue so maybe the 1914-1915 Garden Theater is this one.

KenRoe on June 4, 2007 at 6:47 am

Warren; Regarding your above post on May 29, 2007, I have the Cedar/Richmond Hill Theatre listed earlier than 1921. In the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915 it is the Maple Theatre.

Lost Memory; Regarding your above post on June 25, 2005 in which the newspaper article states ‘the Garden Theatre was built in 1919’. In the American Motion Picture directory 1914-1915 there is a Garden Theatre listed on Jamaica Avenue (no number given). I wonder if there were two Garden Theatres or if that 1919 date is incorrect.

Warren; There is no Majestic Theatre listed in 1914-1915 so maybe it remained open after the Garden or the other Garden (if there was more than one) had opened?(well until at least 1921).

For the record here are the Richmond Hill theatres listed in 1914-1915:

Amus. Palace Theatre, 2818 Jamaica Avenue
Crescent Theatre, 2125 Jamaica Avenue
Dreamland Theatre, Oxford & Jamaica Avenues
Garden Theatre, Jamaica Avenue
Library Square Theatre, 304 Lefferts Avenue
Maple Theatre, 2923 Jamaica Avenue

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 4, 2007 at 5:37 am

Another early Richmond Hill theatre was the Majestic, which apparently fell victim to the more modern Garden Theatre, only a block away. This ad from January, 1921, is the last one that I’ve been able to find for the Majestic. Perhaps the “Engagement Extraordinary” of concert singer Miss Maybelle Nash was the final blow:

PKoch on May 29, 2007 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Warren.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 29, 2007 at 11:00 am

In January, 1921, there was a Richmond Hill Theatre at 2923 Jamaica Avenue, advertised as “The Playhouse of Perfect Pictures.” An ad says that the theatre was formerly known as the Cedar.

philmem on November 18, 2006 at 10:48 am

Hey gardenguy,
I too went to Holy Child fr0m 1932 to 1940 and I remember the Christian Science church and reading room as well as Woolworths. Memory fades on the fish store but I do remember an appliance store but not its name. They featured the early strange looking TV sets which disappeared when WW ll began. The tavern on the northwest corner (south side) of Jamaica and 111th had a set and we used to hover in the doorway and watch it. In 1940 we moved to Brooklyn for a year and then back to Woodhaven next door (almost) to the Wiiiard theater. In fact I was watching a movie in the Willard when Pearl Harbor was attacked. There was an announcement over the PA system for all military personnel to report to their bases but they never said why.
By the way I lived south of Jamaica and north of the Marx home. I think you mistakenly reversed the directions in your message.