RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

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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 1,250 comments)

bazookadave
bazookadave on June 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

I found these two photos of the RKO foyer and lobby online, they seem to be from slightly different angles than others I’ve seen. Part of the sky dome above the foyer appears to have collapsed:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/davebazooka/RKOgrandFoyer2014_zpsijl4oh4f.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/davebazooka/RKOticketlobby_zpsp5dyjowo.jpg

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 3, 2015 at 10:37 am

Neither link works.

bazookadave
bazookadave on June 3, 2015 at 11:43 am

Sorry I have no idea how to do live links here. They used to just appear live, no matter how I posted them, then a few years back they started posting only as text that had to be cut and pasted. Try:

[URL=http://s21.photobucket.com/user/davebazooka/media/RKOgrandFoyer2014_zpsijl4oh4f.jpg.html][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/davebazooka/RKOgrandFoyer2014_zpsijl4oh4f.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s21.photobucket.com/user/davebazooka/media/RKOticketlobby_zpsp5dyjowo.jpg.html][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/davebazooka/RKOticketlobby_zpsp5dyjowo.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

bazookadave
bazookadave on June 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

Any advice on how to post live links is appreciated. I just don’t know why it no longer happens, no matter which link I copy from photobucket.

stevenj
stevenj on June 4, 2015 at 8:29 am

bazookadave…

First copy the link. Then in the comment box here Title the link in brackets [title of link], paste link in parenthesis(paste here). Note there is no space between ](. When you click Add Comment it should turn into a live link.

bazookadave
bazookadave on June 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

Thanks, StevenJ! I’ll give it a try next photo post.

Metropolite
Metropolite on November 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

A last took at Keith’s from Queens Brownstoner.

http://queens.brownstoner.com/2014/12/one-last-look-inside-the-crumbling-rko-theater-in-flushing/

BobbyS
BobbyS on November 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Thanks for site. Very very sad to view…This theater keeps hanging on & on. Its almost like trying to survive!

nonsportsnut
nonsportsnut on December 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to verify a personal appearance of Howard, Fine & Howard (predecessors to the Three Stooges (Larry, Moe & Shemp) at the R.K.O. Keith’s, possibly on the 3rd week in May 1931 or the 1st week in June 1931, or any other appearance dates. My direct email is: . Thanks, Frank Reighter

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