From the Times Ledger:
Jerry Rotondi, president of the Committee to Save the RKO Keith’s Theatre, a group that advocates for preservation of the beloved theater, has raised concerns that the building at 137-25 Northern Blvd. is not fully secured.
Rotondi said two acquaintances told him they saw youths throwing bottles from the theater’s roof at about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 and he worries that such intruders could start a fire at the aging building or damage its crumbling landmarked lobby.
“I went to the theater after the kids were seen throwing bottles from the roof, and if you go around to the back of the building, there’s an opening you could get into. So we’re requesting an immediate inspection of the property by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure the building is properly secured,” Rotondi said Monday. “The building should be sealed.”
Rotondi sent a letter Aug. 7 to Mark Silberman, an attorney for the city Landmarks Commission, requesting such an inspection and forwarded it to local leaders.
An inspection has yet to take place, according to Rotondi, and Thompson contends that there is no need for one to be undertaken.
“The building is totally secured,” Thompson said Tuesday morning. “There’s no story here.”
But a quick walk around the theater Monday night indicated otherwise as a door frame sat open and unhindered behind a fence atop a structure attached to the back of the main building. Two below-ground-level openings were visible from a parking lot behind the theater, suggesting that a crafty person could gain entrance to the structure.
Koo and his chief of staff, James McClelland, took a walk around the building Tuesday morning and saw the openings, prompting Koo to contact Thompson.
“The councilman and I visited the site today, and upon seeing three access points demanded that the developer immediately secure the area,” McClelland said.