Loew's Valencia Theatre

165-11 Jamaica Avenue,
Jamaica, NY 11432

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Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on May 9, 2014 at 3:04 am

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on November 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

Here’s an activated link to the original post by “Cybermoz” last January: Scoutingny

Patsy
Patsy on November 19, 2013 at 6:42 am

http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=6288

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 23, 2013 at 4:31 am

In the Photos Section, I’ve posted a 9/53 ad which shows the status of technological improvements on the Loew’s Greater New York circuit. All theatres with two checks before their names have wide screens and stereophonic sound. One check means wide screen only. Zero checks, no changes yet.

LuisV
LuisV on August 22, 2013 at 3:26 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

Bway
Bway on July 22, 2013 at 4:52 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.

BJK
BJK on July 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

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
Bway on July 21, 2013 at 7:07 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
BJK on July 19, 2013 at 10:32 am

“paktype: I heard that this theater’s patronage suffered with the closing of the Jamaica elevated in the mid 1970’s.” Ironically, the demolition of ‘The El’ was trumpeted as the key to a ‘revitalized Jamaica’. When the Jamaica portion was taken down in 1977, the two main dept stores, Gertz and Macy’s closed almost immediately after. This was a huge blow to the downtown Jamaica Ave commercial strip, an area that was in decline for almost a decade by that point. As pointed out by others, by the time the Valencia closed, it had long since stopped showing ‘first-run’ movies. I remember only ‘Blaxploitation’ and B horror/slasher flicks at that point. I was a child in the ‘60’s, and my fondest memories were of shopping on the Ave, and our mother taking my sister and me to a Disney matinee on a Sat afternoon.
However, as stated here, the Tabernacle of Prayer for All People pentacostal church has done a beautiful job of restoration and maintenance: it is well worth a visit if you happen to be in this area on a Sunday.

LuisV
LuisV on February 15, 2013 at 4:20 am

I just came across this on a site called Scouting New York:

Just a quick note on the incredible Valencia Movie Palace in Queens. For those who would like to see this work of art in person, the Tabernacle of Prayer Church has generously set-up visiting time every Sunday from 11:00-11:45am, when services will not be in session. Just walk right in the lobby – they’ll be expecting you! Please try to come during these times, as the church will otherwise be conducting services and programs in the theater throughout the day.

The address is 165-11 Jamaica Ave, with F, E, J, and Z service just a few blocks away. Needless to say, I highly recommend the trip.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 28, 2013 at 6:45 am

Those lurid colors and gaudy chandelier in the auditorium will bring tears to the eyes of anyone who visited while the Valencia was still a cinema. If you look at the recent photos in Black & White, you will get a better impression of what it was really like.

cybermoz
cybermoz on January 28, 2013 at 6:25 am

The Queens Movie Theater You Will Not Believe – http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=6288

robboehm
robboehm on October 19, 2012 at 3:38 am

I saw her appear in Let it Ride on Broadway. Also it’s interesting to note that she is buried in Farmingdale, as are a number of other celebrities.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 19, 2012 at 3:17 am

Hollywood bombshell Barbara Nichols, a onetime Queens resident who was one of the winners of the annual “Miss Loew’s Valencia” beauty contest, is fondly remembered here: qchron

Soapking1965
Soapking1965 on September 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

That is partially true. The last film I saw there was ‘MAHOGANY’ with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams in 1976.

paktype
paktype on June 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I heard that this theater’s patronage suffered with the closing of the Jamaica elevated in the mid 1970’s.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 22, 2012 at 6:06 am

Loew’s Valencia was among theatres mentioned in this 1935 trade ad for “Screeno,” an audience-participation game designed to boost attendance during the Depression era: boxofficemagazine

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on May 29, 2012 at 2:57 am

The address ribbon across the top of the listing has one Jamaica too many. It should read “New York>Jamaica>Loew’s Valencia Theatre.” Also, the list of nearby theatres should include the Merrick Theatre. The Main Street Cinemas could be deleted because it’s in Flushing, not Jamaica.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on May 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

Click here for an exterior view of the Loew’s Valencia Theatre in 1930.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on February 6, 2012 at 5:32 am

“lynnjav,” I’m sorry to hear of your personal connection to the tragedy. It was reported in the press at the time, but I don’t recall which paper. But I’m sure it was correct about the downstairs “lounge,” which was two flights of stairs below ground level. The “loge” was the plush section of seats at the front of the balcony. If a gun had gone off in the loge, it would have been heard immediately all over the auditorium. If I can find the news report, I’ll send it to you.

lynnjav
lynnjav on February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

That suicide-committing patron was my grandmother (the gun owner was my dad). I was told that she’d shot herself in the Loge. Tinseltoes, what is the source of your information?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on January 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

The address ribbon at the top of the introduction has one “Jamaica” too many. The first is all that’s needed. Doesn’t anyone in authority ever proofread these listings?

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 30, 2011 at 6:44 am

At least one patron committed suicide at Loew’s Valencia during its cinema history. On April 2nd, 1943, a 70-year-old widow from Bellaire, Queens, killed herself with a pistol in the downstairs ladies' lounge. Apparently, no one heard the shot. The body was discovered by two young women when they went down to the lounge around 5:00pm. The Jamaica police traced ownership of the gun to the victim’s son, who said that his mother had been despondent since the death of her husband two years ago. The Valencia was then in the second day of a week’s engagement of “The Crystal Ball” (Paulette Goodard-Ray Milland) and “Silver Queen” (Priscilla Lane-George Brent).

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

Marcus Loew was born on this date in 1870.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks again Tinesletoes!