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 483 comments)

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on February 12, 2015 at 10:12 am

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 on February 12, 2015 at 10:17 am

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 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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 on April 10, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Color photo from the balcony uploaded.

robboehm on April 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

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

HowardBHaas on July 21, 2015 at 4:57 am

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

theatrefan on July 21, 2015 at 5:12 am

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?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 4, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Can anyone tell me if the chandelier shown in the Gothamist photo set is original to the auditorium? I’ve never seen an atmospheric design with a chandelier hanging from the “sky” before.

Chris1982 on September 5, 2015 at 12:05 am

There is no chandelier in any of the 1929 photos of the auditorium.

JAlex on September 5, 2015 at 8:49 am

Simply put: the chandelier was an addition by the church.

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