Sunday, March 30, 2008

Polk Theatre gone

A vintage movie theater dating back to the Great Depression has been torn down in Jackson Heights and the plans for a new mixed-used building to fill the vacant lot are in limbo.

The Polk Theatre, located at the corner of 93rd Street and 37th Avenue, had become an adult theater before closing in 2006.

The building was demolished sometime in February. Property owner Henry Zheng now hopes to construct a six-story, mixed-use building on the site, but his plans have been challenged by the city.

According to a Village Voice article published shortly before the Polk closed, the theater was run down, but many of its art deco features were intact.


Jax Heights' Polk Theatre razed

Photo from Forgotten NY

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

At least in its later days
as a porn venue, its patrons
were provided (ha, ha, ha)
the opportunity of becoming
"wrist athletes".

It served a sleazy
but a direct and honest purpose.

Now some Chinese 'developer"
is jerking us all off
with a much more lurid scheme!

Shades of Tommy Huang, I suspect!

john simonetti said...

What a shame. I lived on 93rd Street between 31st and 32nd Avenues from 1961 to 1972, and saw many good movies there. This place, along with the FAIR theater on Astoria Blvd. were places I saw so many of the films I still enjoy today.

Anonymous said...

I remember in the early 50s, 18 cents for admission, when you would see a main feature, a serial, a comedy short and a bunch of cartoons on Saturdays; about 5 hours for the whole show. People from the Polk would pass out diffeent colored flyers outside of Blessed Sacrament and PS 149 schools on Fridays. If your colored flyer was displayed in the box office, you got free admission.
The Polk would be packed with kids!!

J Mitchell said...

I remember going there in the late 40's and early 50's on Saturdays as a kid

I'd start with 15 cents, spend 3 cents for penny candy at the candy store next door or at the "Two Vets" candy store on the corner of 94th and 37th avenue and spend 12 cents on my movie ticket.

Usual fare was about 10 cartoons, a contest which was a comic horse race. (Same race every week but a different number won each week. I once won a ring toss game.) Then the latest chapter of a continuing exiting serial, (Purple Monster, Nyoka Queen of the Jungle, etc.) and finally two full length movies lots of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan and that ilk.

interesting tidbit: One of the original Cheetas live a few miles from me and is still thriving at about age 75!

Anonymous said...

lol as a kid in the mid 90's i thought that was always a porn theater everytime i passed it

Anonymous said...

THE POLK SHOWED XXX RATED MOVIES IN THE 1970'S. IN 1973 ME AND A FRIEND WENT THERE WITH WORKING PAPERS I HAD TAKEN FROM MY HIGH SCHOOL TO BE USED AS PROOF OF AGE. THIS WAS THE KIND OF PLACE WHERE IF YOU HAD $5 AND A FAKE ID THEY WOULD BE HAPPY TO SELL YOU A TICKET.
THE PLACE WAS ALMOST EMPTY AND THE MOVIES, WHICH I THOUGHT WOULD HAVE STORIES WITH NUDITY WERE FULL OUT FUCK SUCK MARATHONS. THE ACTRESSES WERE HIDEOUS SINCE IN THOSE DAYS PORN WAS A SMALL THING AND I GUESS THEY TOOK WHAT THEY COULD GET FOR CAST MEMBERS.
A FAT GUY WAS SITTING A FEW ROWS IN FRONT OF US AND ACTUALLY FELL ASLEEP AND WAS SNORING. I LEFT THAT DAY WITH LITTLE INTEREST IN SEX SINCE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE WAS MORE A TURN OFF THAN A TURN ON. YEARS LATER I LOOKED IN THE PHONE BOOK AND THE PLACE WAS STILL THERE, STILL SHOWING THOSE XXX MOVIES. HOPEFULLY BY THEN THEY HAD GOTTEN SOME BETTER LOOKING PEOPLE AND A LEAST A FEW LINES OF DIALOGUE BEFORE GETTING BUSY.