Historic Ridgewood Theatre Received Landmark Hearing, But No Vote Taken - Call LPC!

posted by NativeForestHiller on November 25, 2009 at 10:40 am

RIDGEWOOD, NY — In March 2009, the shuttered Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave) was granted a public hearing by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, to determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmak (facade): http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/press/09-03_lpc_to_hear_5_designation_proposals.pdf Patrons, preservation & cultural groups, and residents citywide were delighted. Testimony was diverse and positive, and also included written testimony from the Thomas A. Lamb, the great-grandson of America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas W. Lamb, who designed the Ridgewood Theatre in 1916 in the Classical Revival style. The Ridgewood Theatre was boasted as “America’s longest continuously operating first-run theater” when it closed suddenly in March 2008. Shortly after, Michael Perlman, Queens VP of the Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp, organized the Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre group, serving as Chairman.

After the Landmarks Hearing, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission said the commissioners will take a vote this fall, but the fall is almost over. It has been 8 months since the hearing, and their online calendar/agenda does not indicate a date for the vote to be taken. Is this is a forgotten preservation issue?

** The Ridgewood Theatre should NOT be amongst the “heard but not designated properties” list, which means testimony was taken, but a vote and ultimately the property remains stagnant. Therefore, YOU CAN HELP by calling the Landmarks Commission and encouraging them to take a vote ASAP on the Ridgewood Theatre, to designate and preserve this gem of an endangered species! Call &/or e-mail both LPC parties below, and post your findings here and e-mail Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre Chair Michael Perlman at


Jenny Fernández
Director of Intergovernmental & Community Relations
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007
P: (212) 669-7923
F: (212) 669-7780

Robert Tierney
LPC Chairman
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North
New York, NY 10007
P: (212) 669-7888

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Comments (2)

NativeForestHiller on January 13, 2010 at 4:25 am


I attended the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 1/12/10 Public Meeting, and I am elated to report that the historic Ridgewood Theatre was unanimously voted by commissioners as an INDIVIDUAL LANDMARK!!!

My nearly 2-year effort under Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre as Chairman (since March 2008), in affiliation with various preservation and cultural groups, members of Cinema Treasures, and a mass audience, truly paid off! Now if only the LPC would change their position towards some other potential Queens landmarks, as well as that of other boroughs, in which properties clearly conform to the architectural and cultural provisions of the Landmarks Law, but they’re rejected without calendaring a property/properties for a most democreatic public hearing. Hopefully, the Ridgewood Theatre preservation/landmarking cause will set off a chain reaction of positivity.

I took some photos, which are as follows: View link
The last 5 photos are from the designation, and they are titled in case the order changes when I need to update the photoset. The Ridgewood Theatre cause can be perceived as a case study in landmarking, advocacy, and community bond. It took a while to achieve landmark status. This is another chapter in the Ridgewood Theatre’s long, varied, and distinctive history, considering that it was deemed the “longest continuously operating first-run theater countrywide” upon its closure.

Now we must make sure that it remains in a good state of preservation in the long-term. It is essential to continue to be proactive. Thank you very much, everyone, for your support to date! Let’s call it “a great beginning!”

opelske on January 17, 2010 at 1:06 am

This is wonderful! Too bad the Astoria Theatre on Steinway Street, in Astoria, NY couldn’t be saved years ago. It wasn’t demolished but has since turned into a gym with retail stores. I was visiting Astoria a few months ago and all I can say it is disgusting looking. I think it was built as a movie house but also had vaudeville. However, I’m not sure the exact date it was built. In the 1970’s it became a multi theatre. I guess no one cared, or perhaps, like me, were not aware of historic preservation societies.

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