Monday, May 5, 2014

Something's going on at the Keith's (but we're not sure what)

The Flushing Phantom sent these pics in of the RKO Keith's Theater on Northern Blvd.

DOB issued a permit for work in the landmarked foyer, but there's still a stop work order on the property. There's also a permit applied for on 4/4/14 but when you try to view the info, you get this message: "THIS JOB IS IN HUB SELF-SERVICE AND CANNOT BE VIEWED UNTIL ACCEPTED."



Anonymous said...

Job description:

Clearly, the proposed work is in the landmarked area. Why did the Landmark Commission issue a 'No Effect Letter'?

Anonymous said...

Bottomline, they should not be allowed to do ANYTHING until all the complaints and ECB violations are cleared.

Also, all fines that have accumulated should be REQUIRED to be PAID.

Anonymous said...

Sad what has happened to a once great theater. Lots of memories for me. Maybe they should just raze the whole thing and build a 50 story condo with 20% affordable rents and we can keep the memories.

Anonymous said...

Fools, this has been approved already! They were approved on a 400,000 SF variance.

Queens Crapper said...

Who are you calling fools? We know all about what was approved, I posted about it several times. The question is what is being done to the landmarked foyer? We thought the plan was restoration, not removal.

Anonymous said...

The removal they are likely talking about is a very ugly plywood tunnel (for lack of a better word) which runs from the center doors through the foyer and into the main theater space. It's basically a 3 sided scaffold that was built inside the foyer that blocks anyone coming in from the center door from actually seeing the foyer at all. It has some old show flyers pasted to the outside of it, so it was definitely put in place before the theater closed.

If the foyer is to be cleaned up and restored, this pile of plywood junk needs to be removed.

Queens Crapper said...

No, I'm concerned with the removal of the plaster ceiling in the landmarked foyer.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm not sure what they are planning with that - you'd think they'd be required to have some formal restoration plan if they're going to tamper with it. I don't recall the ceiling being significantly damaged.

The plywood has to go though. Do they even need a permit to haul out the other trash laying around?

georgetheatheist said...

Whatever happened to Jerry Rotondi?

Jerry, we haven't heard from you in a long time.

Anonymous said...

No doubt it's Wellington Chen's friends and I'm sure that Chuck Apelian knows what';s up!

Call CB#7!

Jerry Rotondi said...

I'm still around George
but have been working much more profitably--sub rosa.
Sorry--that's all for now folks.
Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Check out Kings USA website and see what's planned for the old Chilton Paint factory site in College Point by the kings of comedic development...ho, ho, ho...a luxury resort complete with boat slips for your yacht.


That's been a toxic dump from the get-go.

i guess that some unsuspecting overseas Chinese investors can be lured into pouring money in this laughable project based on a presentation of some computer generated architectural renderings.

Buyer beware!

Jerry Rotondi said...


The ceiling on the landmark grand foyer is a simple atmospheric blue painted dome--simulating an evening sky--without ornament.
The surrounding walls contain all the complex detail.

The ceiling might have suffered water damage causing the plaster to lose its key or grip on the supporting lath work.

If it is structurally weak the old plaster probably should have to be removed--lest it collapse causing difficult to repair damage.

However, IT MUST BE RESTORED in accordance with the landmark law which protects it! That's a relatively easy job.

The ticket lobby, which precedes the grand foyer, has an ornamented painted ceiling. I believe that this is not the portion that will be disturbed.

Call the LPC. Call Community board 7. Call Councilman Koo's office.

Let them also know you're out there--those of you who care.

Anonymous said...

"The removal they are likely talking about is a very ugly plywood tunnel "

I don't see any permit for installing this ugly plywood tunnel. The DOB should let them pay a civil penalty for work without permit before they remove it.

The Flushing Phantom said...

Actually that plywood tunnel was required (we believe) by the LPC to protect the landmark portions of the theater while debris removal and construction was going on with previous owners.

Jerry Rotondi said...

Responding to Flushing Phantom:

These landmarked parts--ticket lobby and grand foyer--were to be encased during demolition of the Keith's auditorium. This was proposed by the LPC way back when Tommy Huang was still the owner.

Other requirements were to instal monitoring devices to check building movements in order to ensure there wouldn't be any wall collapses.

In addition workers were required to be "fluent in the English language" so that there would be no misinterpretations which might allow mistakes to be made.

Go down to the LPC and read what I've called "The Bible"--a thick manual of safeguard measures to be employed--for yourselves.