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 1,372 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

SWC, I’m thankful that you’ve photographed surviving portions of the Keith’s interior, and that you’ve been kind enough to share them here. Please don’t withdraw any posts or photos based solely on the petty criticisms of others.

Tinseltoes on November 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

Here’s a link to an updated article on the “rogue developer” who is one of the chief villains in this still ongoing story: Qchron

BobbyS on November 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

How do these people stay out of jail? Imagine taking on the Keith’s and the Keith’s wins.

jarva on November 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

i went there today just recently and its in alot worse shape that it is from that picture it was vast full of graffiti and with alot rooms but the stairs and such are starting to give away but i was able to walk or climb fine. it was a nice and it was also dangrous manly because of the damage done to the structure. so it was a little bit scary.

markp on November 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

I too also love the pictures (although they make me sick) of the the theatre. With that said, does anyone have photos of this partially destroyed staircase that’s mentioned in the article or the above post?

LuisV on December 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

The saga continues. The site has been sold yet again to a developer who plans to build the approved plan which requires the preservation and restoration of the lobby but nothing else. http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/12/19/flushing_theater_has_new_owner_may_finally_be_developed.php

BobbyS on December 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for the update guys…I wonder if it will get off the ground this time. The “old gal” won’t give up"..

Jeffrey1955 on December 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm

So Patrick Thompson did nothing and made $10 million on the property. Maybe JK Equities can also do nothing and make $20 million?

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