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 475 comments)

Bway on July 21, 2013 at 11:07 am

Actually, the Tabernacle of Prayer was already in the Valencia BEFORE service on the eastern end of the Jamaica El closed…. See here for a photo. Notice the Tabernacle of Prayer cross is already up, and the Valencia Theater sign gone: Click here for link

BJK on July 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

That’s a great photo, with a peek of the marquee of the RKO Alden across the street in the lower right corner. I had forgotten that this theater was still open in ‘77. Forgotten NY has a collection of photos of the downtown Jamaica strip from a recent walking tour: http://forgotten-ny.com/2011/06/jamaica-avenue-queens/ Looks like the teardown of the Jamaica section of the El was finished by the end of 1978.

Bway on July 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

Yes, I didn’t realize the Alden was still open then yet too, and as a theater. In any event, while the removal of the Jamaica El was a fiasco for the Jamaica business district, it really only made a bad situation worse. It was in trouble even before the removal of the el. In any event, the removal of the el can’t be blamed as one of the reasons for the demise of the Valencia, as the Valencia had already closed BEFORE the el was removed.

LuisV on August 22, 2013 at 7:26 am

Free tours of the Valencia are being offered by the church on Saturday, September 21st by appointment only. More info here: http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=6862

Patsy on November 19, 2013 at 9:42 am


This is a link recently sent to me via Facebook with many amazing photos of this former theatre.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on May 9, 2014 at 7:04 am

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

theatrefan on February 12, 2015 at 6:55 am

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 on February 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

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 11:12 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 11:17 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.

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