RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

Unfavorite 45 people favorited this theater

RKO Keith's Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Once one of the most celebrated movie palaces of New York City, the RKO Keith’s Theatre in the Flushing section of Queens, is only a ghost of its former self.

Opened as the Keith-Albee Theatre on December 25, 1928 with Clara Bow in “Three Week Ends” on the screen and Keith-Albee vaudeville on stage. By the 1970’s, the theatre had been tripled, and as legend has it, in 1986, after almost sixty years of showing movies, the theatre was closed and sold. Soon after, its owner attempted to demolish it before a hearing could be held to decide its fate.

Having already damaged its famous facade and with work commencing to gut the theatre, the demolition was halted by the city. The owner soon forfeited the property, and the damaged and stripped RKO Keith’s Theatre has sat and waited for its final demolition for almost 30 years.

Several plans have come and gone to convert the building into apartments, but it sits to this day.

Contributed by Ross Melnick, William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 1,230 comments)

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

William, SWC has done quite a bit. He constantly breaks into the theater to take photographs so he can post them on the Keith’s Facebook page he started. What have you done lately?

SWCphotography on July 16, 2014 at 10:37 am

Not “break in” – no signs posted and the front door was left open between developer #3 and developer #4. All help is welcome.

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

You don’t need to lie to us. It’s obvious you break into the theater on a regular basis. I mean, you run out of images on your Keith’s Facebook page then you post one of the exterior with the date, and the next day you have more interiors.

WilliamMcQuade on July 16, 2014 at 11:23 am

To James D

I have a life and breaking into derelict theaters does not do it for me. As a theater historian and someone who has been in hundreds of theaters across the country, I do not have to explain myself to anyone including you. Where were you when the Triboro came down or when we were fighting to save an intact RKO? You apparently got faith very late in the game.

Jeffrey1955 on July 16, 2014 at 11:27 am

I think JamesD was referring to SWC, not to you.

JamesD on July 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

William – I was not referring to you, and I was 7 years old when the Triboro was demolished. I wish I was older and could have helped you try to save it.

SWCphotography on July 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

Nope all my shots were taken on the same day. Now the billboard sized graffiti on the exterior was done by individuals who break in on a regular basis.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 18, 2014 at 10:18 am

Boys, boys, you’re both pretty.

Now why don’t you each take the high road and delete most of your own recent posts.

Thanks in advance!

WilliamMcQuade on July 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Don’t hold your breath Mikey.

I also think you meant petty and not pretty.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater