Malboe Theatre

117-16 Sutphin Boulevard,
South Jamaica, NY 11434

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Opened in around 1928, the Malboe Theatre was a so-called “Negro Theatre” that operated for several decades in South Jamaica, Queens.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

mauriceski
mauriceski on September 27, 2005 at 5:51 am

i went to this very small theater in the late 1940s (1949)this section of jamaica was called basiley park section and it was a white area

mauriceski
mauriceski on September 28, 2005 at 11:37 am

this is the theater i called the marlboro in a previous comment.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 31, 2006 at 3:36 pm

This imperfect image is the first photo I’ve ever seen of the Malboe. It was apparently snapped on opening day, whenever that was but likely during the silent era. I found the photo in a 1932 publication showing buildings in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, which suggests that the Malboe was in one of those communities and not in South Jamaica. The adress given was Sutphin Boulevard & 117th Avenue:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/malboe2.jpg

mauriceski
mauriceski on June 1, 2006 at 2:18 am

Supthin Blvd begins at Hillside Ave and goes due south to Rockaway Blvd where it ends. Meaning that it is only in Jamaica and South Jamaica. The address given above is definitely in South Jamaica.Richmond Hill is west of the Van Wyck (WIKE) Expressway.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 1, 2006 at 12:27 pm

That photo was published 74 years ago. Community boundary lines might have changed since then. Perhaps the name “South Jamaica” wasn’t even used in those days. The page of pictures also included the Baisley Park Jewish Center at Sutphin Boulevard & 116th Road, which must have been near the Malboe. So maybe the Malboe should be listed as being in Baisley Park?

mauriceski
mauriceski on June 1, 2006 at 2:12 pm

South Jamaica,had sections such as Cedar Manor,Dunton,Bricktown and Basiley Park.Also Jamaica Racetrack was on Basiley Blvd.So was Basiley Pond Park also Woodrow Wilson High School.All of this area was and still is South Jamaica.So saying that something is in Basiley Park and not Jamaica is like saying Shea Stadium is in Flushing and not Queens.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 11, 2006 at 12:57 pm

The theatre was apparently built by a real estate developer and then leased to an independent operator. On July 8, 1928, The New York Times reported the chartering of a new corporation, Malboe Theatre, Inc., with P.J. McGrath as president and capitalization of $10,000. A month later, on August 4, 1928, the NYT reported that “the recently organized Malboe Theatre, Inc. has leased with an option to purchase from the Boemal Realty Corporation, Fred Boening president, the motion picture theatre on Sutphin Blvd. and 117th Avenue (Foch Boulevard), Jamaica, Queens, occupying a plot 60 feet on Sutphin Blvd. by 174 feet in depth and having a seating capacity of 600.” The
name “Malboe” was apparently a re-arrangement of “Boemal,” and seems in both cases to recognize the involvement of Mr. Boening. Neither report mentions when the theatre was built or first opened, but I would guess in that same year of 1928.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on June 11, 2006 at 6:46 pm

The name “Boemal” apparently came first, and the operating company that leased the theatre made an anagram of it. Malboe Theatre, Inc. had its business office in Manhattan at 151 West 40th Street, which suggests that it might have been part of a circuit. Many theatre circuits set up subsidiary companies for each of their holdings. I will try to look in the Film Daily Year Books of 1928 and 1929 to see if their are any circuits with HQ at 151 West 40th Street.

mauriceski
mauriceski on October 6, 2009 at 8:24 am

THE PEOPLE OF QUEENS, AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER,NEVER REFER TO THEMSELVES AS QUEENSITES.WE IDENTIFIED WITH THE COMMUNITIES.SUCH AS CORONA,FLUSHING,BAYSIDE,GLENRIDGE,RICHMOND HILL,QUEENS VILLAGE HOLLIS EAST ELMHURST,WHITESTONE,JAMAICA,ECT. THE REST OF THE FIVE BOROUGHS REFER TO THE BOROUGH INSTEAD OF THE SECTION THEY LIVE IN.JUST ONE OF THE PERCULARITIES OF QUEENSITES.I THINK THIS ONE THE REASONS PEOPLE CONFUSE LONG ISLAND WITH QUEENS

robboehm
robboehm on February 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

To mauriceski long after the fact, when I came onboard CT there was a lot of confusion of the manner in which Queens theaters were listed. To that end I contacted the powers that be and made sure only community names appeared and that the word “Queens” was only acceptable for Queens Village.

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