Loew's Valencia Theatre
165-11 Jamaica Avenue,
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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 programs were shown at least a week ahead of all other theatres in the borough. It closed as a movie theatre May 26, 1977 with the movie “The Greatest” starring Ernest Borgnine, 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.
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