Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ridgewood Theatre ends 92 year run

From Lost City:

Ridgewood Theatre goes dark

Guess this one won't make it to LPC's Queens landmarks list.


verdi said...

What a beautiful terra cotta facade.

I suppose this wont meet LPC's "criteria" !
(Submit an RFE anyway).

One thing that's clear, however,
their "criteria" indicates "preferences"
for designating any piss poor ugly Manhattan site
over anything that's far more deserving in Queens.

Houses of worship and theaters, unfortunately,
are two of the most endangered categories
of architecture in NYC !

What is the inside of this theater like?
Are there any photos anywhere?

Anonymous said...

If you really wanted to save the theatre maybe you could have watched a couple movies there after 1987.

Queens Crapper said...

Landmarking has nothing to do with whether someone patronizes the business operating out of it, but I used to watch movies there from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Here goes another RKO Keith's fiasco in the making !

Watch out that Huang doesn't get his hands on it !

georgetheatheist said...

From Lost City: "In its early years, it hosted vaudeville as well as movies."

If I'm not mistaken, didn't Jackie Gleason get his start here?

Anonymous said...

Landmarking has everything to do with patronizing a business.
If they would landmark the theatre now, no one would ever purchase it.
It is smack in the middle of a ghetto (yes a ghetto!!).
It is going out of business because no one patronized the theatre so whom is going to buy a landmarked theatre in which they cannot make alterations to in a ghetto neighborhood where no one goes to the movies?

Anonymous said...

The purpose of landmarking
is to preserve a unique site.

It doesn't have to remain a theater.

Ever hear of creative re-use of a structure dumb ass?

Union Station in Washington D.C.
was preserved and re-used for another purpose.

Too many mouth breathers with no brains.....
that's the problem here!

-Joe said...

Jackie Gleason Yes
I had my JHS93 graduation there, It has a big dome ceiling upstairs below the projection booth. The inside looked very much like The Beacon theatre in Manhatten. There was an old organ there with the pipes, drums, and things behind the wall with a separate air pump room.
(very much like the Beacon)
I remember seeing "The Warriors" "Blazing Saddles"
It was a great old theatre I guess it will be another Paki-Isreali flea market whats happening to NYC's gems is just terrible.

I was in Ridgewood last fall and noted most the London plain trees are GONE, Myrtle ave looks like a corperate strip Mall I was in shock when I saw Pizza Hut.


Anonymous said...

Creative re-sue of a structure. Tell me one thing you can "creativly re-use" that structure for besides a movie theatre without altering it if it became a landmark?

Queens Crapper said...

You can use it for just about anything because only the exteriors of buildings are designated as individual landmarks. Interiors are landmarked separately and in very rare circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I guess this anonymous bozo is proving our point that LPC favors only wealthy neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

To Queens Crapper: Can you send the Landmarks Commission a landmarking request? Record your responses on this site. ok?

Anonymous said...

So what would you use it for?

CntrySigns said...

The theater like most of Myrtle Avenue is losing its charm and small businesses because the people who live there don't shop there. They would rather pay $2 each way to go to Target and pay a few cents less for something than walk their own neighborhood to get it. More and more small businesses are leaving and being replaced by Banks or other crap and the only people to blame are ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting, what would you use a landmarked 92 year old theatre for?
Mind the fact that you only have to keep the facade. What would you use it for?

Queens Crapper said...

A senior center
A catering hall
A bingo hall
A meeting space
A dance club
Retail space

Many possibilities. So many theaters in NYC have been converted for these uses.

Anonymous said...

A religious congregation

Anonymous said...

None of those are attractive for a main shopping are.
If any of those that you pointed out were to take the place of the Ridgewood theatre, it would be just another example of the economic blight of the community.
Not to mention the fact that NO ONE would purchase that property to open one of those afore mentioned. Its not profitable (not even close.)
Lets see....

A senior center : That would have to be purchased or run by the city since no organized center (Cardella) would ever think of opening up a senior center there. especially when there is one three blocks away on Gates near the Myrtle Wycoff train station.

A catering hall: To cater to whom? This is a low income area, there are not too many parties to cater and their already is a long established catering hall a block and a half away (fleur di lis)that caters to any parties needed in the neighborhood.

A bingo hall: Are you kidding? Who in their right mind would want a bingo hall smack in the middle of a shopping district, not to mention in that neighborhood it would not attract many and what it would attract would be the lowest of the low. Most importantly, what businessman would invest money to renovate a building like that, in that neighborhood into a bingo hall? Would you?

A meeting place: Grasping for straws are we not?

A dance hall: There is already one two blocks down on Wycoff that is the site of many shootings and the like (unless it has already closed down) Again what kind of money do you think a dance club makes that it could afford those renovations.
Most importnantly the people on this blog would be the first to oppose a dance club.

Retail space: What retailer would pay to renovate that space ( a few) and insure the upkeep of the facade if it becomes a landmark ( a big fat zero). None.

And to the second poster who noted a religious congregation. That is most likely what it will become but it by no means furthers the economic development of the community but it definatly does keep the neighborhood from going south and I look forward to seeing a congregation take root there but the renovation costs will not be cheap so it may take a very long time.

In the end not one of these would invest the money to keep the facade if it becamed landmarked except for maybe the religious congregation but the costs of the renovation may deter them.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a well thought out argument for why this shouldn't be a landmark. NOT.

You get grants and tax writeoffs for owning and maintaining a landmarked structure. Cost of maintaining the exterior will not be a factor. As for the interior, hundreds of theaters throughout the city have been converted into something else and have thrived.

Anonymous said...

Hello, you don't have to limit the space to one or the other, you can subdivide the interior which is what's been done with most other out-of-business theaters. For example, the old Maspeth Theater is now multiple retail units, offices and a bingo hall.

Anonymous said...

This is not in Maspeth, this is in Ridgewood - two blocks away from the Bushwick border.
You are not considering the fact that this is a community that has very little money. It can barely support the established stores that are there.
It is the economic status of the area that keeps it from becoming landmarked. If that theatre became landmarked, it would sit abandoned for years.
If it were in Maspeth or Middle Village it would be an entirely diffent story but its not.
When was the last time any of the posters on this blog (other than myself) went shopping below Cypress Hills street?

What, is that crickets I hear?

A religious congregation is your only option and all those tax write offs and grants will not help them with the renovations which would easily reach a million dollars if not much more.

Anonymous said...

This theater is near a major transportation hub and they say Ridgewood is the next Williamsburg, so I don't buy your arguments. They are looking to landmark the Mathews houses all throughout the neighborhood. I guess those will all sit abandoned too.

Anonymous said...

Community Board 5 should move into this building. They need a larger space.

Anonymous said...

No, Bushwick is the next Williamsburg. Ridgewood will then become the next Bushwick.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if a church moves in? At least the building will be taken care of.

Anonymous said...

This troll is really making no sense. The EXTERIOR of the building would be all that's landmarked, not the interior. So it doesn't matter what the purpose is inside. I think you're looking at a chain drug store, personally. And they can afford both the landmarking and the interior renovations.

Jason in Kew Gardens said...

Once while I was waiting for the Q55 on Myrtle and Hillside, the old Richmond Hill RKO Keith's, now used as a bingo hall (flea market on the weekend) let out and a good 80% of the folks flocked to the bus stop. Most of them got out not far from this theatre, so I wouldn't be surprised if a bingo hall did well in this spot.

However, the previous commenter with his lowest of the low statement is dead on.