Loew's Valencia Theatre

165-11 Jamaica Avenue,
Jamaica, NY 11432

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Loew's Valencia Theatre opening program

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Jamaica section of Queens. Opened on January 12, 1929 with Monte Blue in “White Shadows in the South Seas” plus vaudeville on stage. The Loew’s Valencia Theatre was the first of the five Loew’s ‘Wonder’ Theatre’s to open. It was equipped with a Robert Morton ‘Wonder’ organ of 4 Manuals / 23 Ranks.

The auditorium is in Atmospheric style, decorated in a mix of Spanish Colonial and pre-Columbian styles. Seating was provided for 3,554 in orchestra and balcony levels.

Early in 1935, stage shows were dropped and replaced by double features. Until the 1960’s, the Loew’s Valencia Theatre was the most successful movie theatre in Queens, due partly to its location in Jamaica, then the shopping hub of Queens and Long Island, and because programms were shown at least a week ahead of all other theatres in the borough. It closed as a movie theatre in May 1977 with the movie “The Greatest”, and has since served as the Tabernacle of Prayer for All People church.

The Robert Morton ‘Wonder’ organ has found a new home in the Balbao Theatre, San Diego, California, where in 2008 it was installed and refurbished at a cost of $1 million. It debuted at the Balbao Theatre in February 2009.

The Loew’s Valencia Theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Contributed by Jason R, Bryan Krefft, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 480 comments)

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on May 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I recently photographed the Loew’s Valencia. Check out some of the images and a short write up at After the Final Curtain

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Does anyone know what the status is of the projection booth is? Is there still any equipment left up there by Loew’s, that they did not take with them when they left in 1977.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Auditorium #5 in the Sony/Loews Theatres Lincoln Square complex on New York’s Upper West Side is named in honor of this former Loew’s Motion Picture Palace.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on February 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm

I’m not 100% sure but I seem to recall our tour guide mentioning that the projection room was stripped of all projection equipment.

theatrefan
theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Thanks Matt, Loew’s seemed to do the same thing in the Jersey, stripping out all equipment before they left. The 175th Street however was left intact when Rev. Ike took it over in 1969. I wonder if the original screen is still in the Valencia.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 8, 2015 at 1:22 am

I know this is late notice, but tonight, April 7th, at 8:30, WNYE-TV channel 25 will be airing an episode of their Blueprint NYC series devoted to the Loew’s Wonder Theaters. If you miss it, you may be able to watch the episode at their website after it has aired.

robboehm
robboehm on April 10, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Color photo from the balcony uploaded.

robboehm
robboehm on April 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm

For amazing color photos of the Valencia go to ScoutingNY.com

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on July 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

new set of great photos here http://gothamist.com/2015/07/20/tabernacle_queens_movie_palace.php#photo-1

theatrefan
theatrefan on July 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

They also did a tour, sorry I missed it. In looking at the photo’s it looks like the original projection windows have been covered up and there is an air conditioner in one of them. I wonder what the former projection room is used for currently by the church?

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