RKO Keith's Theatre

135-35 Northern Boulevard,
Flushing, NY 11354

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WilliamMcQuade on November 24, 2017 at 10:27 am

It was de designated at the behest of than Borough President Donald Manes. He voted against upholding designation of the Loews Triboro . He was very anti preservationist. He was a subject of a corruption probe and later committed suicide

Jeffrey1955 on November 24, 2017 at 10:19 am

“The entire interior of the movie palace used to be a city landmark. However, parts of it were later de-designated by the city’s Board of Estimates, a body that no longer exists, leaving only parts of it — including the grand foyer and ticket lobby — with the status.” Is this accurate? I don’t recall the entire interior ever being designated, and then most of it de-designated. In fact, I don’t remember that ever being mentioned here before. (BTW, it’s “Board of Estimate”)

BobbyS on October 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

Now if this company has any vision they would put their project into the RKO and retain and use the lobby in a grand fashion. Maybe put condos & apartments on top for extra income in case the movie house flops.

optimist008 on October 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Is their “Screen X” three sided screen similar to the USA Barco screens???

BobbyS on October 19, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Probably two screens for these films and the rest of the same from Hollywood that all the other bland chains show every week. Wonder if will have dine-in options and recliners like seems to be the norm today?. I was at one once and never again. People chewing and talking and sending back the food because it wasn’t warm enough and ordering drinks. Would make Marcus Loew shed a tear!

Jeffrey1955 on October 18, 2017 at 3:04 pm

It’s a Korean company. And, of course… “When we discovered the opportunity to be an integral part of Tangram, we knew being in this economically vibrant and evolving neighborhood was where our first East Coast movie theater had to be,” said Paul Richardson, COO of CJ CGV. Yep — economically vibrant and evolving neighborhood. Just can’t possibly support refurbishing the Keith’s. Only a new building a couple of blocks away will do. Sad.

BobbyS on October 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

What is new about this concept? Cinerama & theater seats shaking have all been done before 30+ years ago. I knew there was an audience out there in Flushing. It has to be a foreign company to realize it I guess.

WilliamMcQuade on October 18, 2017 at 11:19 am

Comparing a functioning RKO to this is like comparing a Cadillac with a Kia.

NoUserNameUsed on September 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm

The RKO Keith’s movie theater was my favorite movie theater, I always looked forward to seeing movies there. And I always looked forward to possibly seeing a ghost in the upper balcony. I know you are going to say I’m a nut, but if you sat in the middle of the largest theater (after they split the theater up to show multiple movies at a time) anyway back to the ghosts, if you sat in the middle about half way up sometimes you would see movement only out of the corner of your eye in the upper right side balcony, but as soon as you turned your head to look they would be gone there was usually more then one person sitting in the balcony it was strange and thought I was seeing things especially since the upper balcony was closed off to the public. I asked a friend to verify what I was seeing and they said that I was crazy but the next that we went to see a movie, they too saw the ghosts as well. So believe it or not that’s one of the reasons that I loved going to the RKO Keith’s movie theater as well as the plush velvet seats ant old world movie theater experience. I MISS THAT WONDERFUL MOVIE THEATER. Michael

DavidZornig on August 29, 2017 at 7:11 pm

April 19, 1936 photo added credit Percy Loomis Sperr. RKO Keith’s with roof top sign on the right.

Jeffrey1955 on July 6, 2017 at 1:40 am

Glad to hear it, BobbyS! Now we just need several million dollars…

BobbyS on July 6, 2017 at 12:40 am

I’m with you Jeffrey1955!!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Ahem, I’m back…

Signed, Loew’s Kings

WilliamMcQuade on June 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Last word. If it has not been done in 30 plus years it is not happening. If you want to continue to hold onto it please do.I am moving on. I will see the restored lobby when the building is finished. I want to see the restored Brooklyn Paramount which should be great

Jeffrey1955 on June 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Of course the building is unsafe — in its current condition. Of course it would require a huge investment. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible or that there’s nothing left to save. Building a condo/office complex utilizing the air rights rather than demolishing what’s there is not beyond comprehension. Neither is an indoor concert venue in a densely populated area with access to mass transit that currently has none. Pipe dreams simply require someone with imagination to pay for the pipe.

WilliamMcQuade on June 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Look at the photo on this page. Are you kidding? I have been in hundreds of theaters over the years as a historian. Many were derelict and some were in better condition than the Keith’s. They all had one thing in common and that is they never reopened . If you think this could ever be brought back as a functioning theater you do indeed believe in pipe dreams.No one in their right mind would sink money into it even if their was interest in it.The building itself may be unsafe . I was in it years ago and you could see that.

Jeffrey1955 on June 13, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Also, “there is nothing left to save” is disproved by all the photos that have been posted here.

BobbyS on June 12, 2017 at 11:49 pm

I like pipe dreams..The community may not care for it, but could it not remain as a multiplex in some form. Maybe not fully restored, but in a modern type cinema? Movies are still very popular and it is in a dense area from what I see from the airplane above.

WilliamMcQuade on June 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm

The community does not care about it. The politicians also do not give a hoot.More importantly there is nothing left to save. I worked on saving it during the 80’s . Save what you can as trying to restore the theater as it was is a pipe dream.

BobbyS on June 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

And the saga goes on & on……I will believe it when the ball & crane comes in. Still say the apartments should be built above the theater which could be restored. People need more than the tv or personal screens for entertainment!

WilliamMcQuade on May 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Whatever is in the auditorium will go down when they demolish it. Doubt anything will be saved

Jeffrey1955 on May 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

At least the plan to use the landmarked lobby as the entryway makes more sense than the original plan, which was for the lobby to be encased in glass. (Given that the lobby would really only be visible from within, that made no sense at all. What would anybody have seen — the back side of the walls enclosing it?) However, as anyone who has seen all the photos of the surviving auditorium posted here knows, the fact that the rest of the building will be demolished is tragic. “According to the current estimated project schedule, removal of historic material will begin next month and the demolition of the non-landmarked surrounding building will begin in late October.” I assume that the “historic material” to which they refer is limited to the pieces of the lobby that need restoration — not all the artwork and architectural details that remain in the rest of the building.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

The Queens Courier of 5/25/17 reported that the removal of “historical material” will begin in June, and the demolition of the non-landmarked surrounding building will start in late October. The new building will start construction in April 2018, and is expected to be completed two years later (2020). Full article and sketch of entrance to new building can be found here: http://qns.com/story/2017/05/17/photos-luxury-condos-built-atop-flushings-landmarked-rko-keiths-theater/

robboehm on May 25, 2017 at 11:07 pm

That and the LIRR into Grand Central and the completion of the Second Avenue Subway.