Info on Flushing theater

posted by GinoColbert on April 24, 2008 at 7:52 am

There’s an abandoned old theatre in Flushing, Queens, NY, completely boarded up with only the frame of the marquee giving it away. It’s on Northern Blvd. & Main St., just blocks away from the YMCA.

Would anyone know the history or name of this massive-looking house and have any stories to share?


Comments (8)

ahollis on April 24, 2008 at 8:35 am

I think it is the old UA Quartet in Flushing, but could be off base and I know very little about it except that UA operated it and four-plexed the big single in the 70’s.

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on April 24, 2008 at 9:08 am

You’re referring to the RKO Keith’s Flushing. There’s a link to that theater in the main database. You’ll be astonished at the size and scope of the entries, as well as the extraordinary history of this very important building and the forces that have prevented its rehabilitation.

GinoColbert on April 24, 2008 at 10:59 am

It’s the RKO Keith I was inquiring about. After seeing the pic, that’s definitely it. Must have been some beauty in its heyday. The front still looks the same as does that curved marquee. Thank you for answering my question. The bldg. reminds me of the Baltimore Hippodrome, of which exteriors were used in John Waters' film “Cecil B. Demented,” and is now a performing arts center. No reason why the RKO Keith can’t be turned into the same.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Well, sadly, there are several reasons. For one the building has been devastated. For another the political and social climate of the surrounding area seems to voice prefererence for turning the property into something else.

markp on April 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hey Life, by devastated, do you mean gutted and stripped to the walls on the inside?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on April 25, 2008 at 5:18 am

Not quite that bad. But partial demolition has taken place, and there has been significant damage related to the fact that it has been sitting without maintenance for so many years.

There is enough of the interior left for restoration to conceivably occur. But it would be an unbelievably expensive undertaking.

The impression I get from eye-witness accounts is that the lobby (which has landmark status) is in much better shape than the auditorium.

newyorkmcgee on April 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

actually that was part of the problem. The lobby was granted landmark status, but the owner went in and destroyed the staircases and other fixtures in the lobby, and was ordered to stop after the demolition took place…and i believe it’s been boarded up since. That happened i think when i was in high school which was 91-95 ish,

Panzer65 on September 27, 2008 at 4:48 pm

A good reason is that its in a part of New York City called Queens, which does not have historical landmark status granted as easily as does Manhattan.We at Cinema treasures are running a petition to save the 1916 Ridgewood Theater, which was one of the longest consecutive operating theaters in New York. It abruptly closed in March of this year and its future is in jeopardy.

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