From the Daily News:
A landmarked Queens movie theater that opened during World War I and became the longest continuously operated theater in the nation will be transformed into an Associated supermarket, the Daily News has learned.
The Ridgewood Theatre - shuttered since 2008 - will turn from film to food next year, changing its use for the first time since the Myrtle Ave. mainstay opened in 1916, sources said.
"Oy!" exclaimed Orlando Lopes of the Theatre Historical Society of America. "A part of history is lost, and that is really terribly sad."
The movie house earned city landmark status this year, protecting its ornate facade from alterations or demolition. Insiders insist its stage and grand staircase are beyond repair.
Still, the sale raises questions about the site's future.
Associated can't change the exterior without city approval, but it can wreck the largely intact lobby and other interior attributes of the two-story venue.
Harry Laufer, president of the Long Island-based chain, estimated the store will open in "maybe six months." But he said he did not know the renovation plans of franchisee Tony Guzman.
Guzman's attorney did not return calls seeking comment.