RKO Keith's Theatre
135-35 Northern Boulevard,
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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. It was closed on March 15, 1975 for conversion into a triple-screen theatre. It reopened with one screen operating on February 11, 1976 and opened with three-screens on April 27, 1976. One of the screens was showing Robert De Nero in “Taxi Driver”. 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 façade 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.
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