A Q’Stoner tipster was able to get into the construction site and see what’s gone down as of late. And here is their report:
The old RKO Keith’s is a beautiful wreck. The seats are long gone, and most of the stage is demolished, leaving a muddy, graffiti-covered hole. But plenty of intricate wooden details around the stage have survived, like carved scrolls, twisting columns and cherubs. As you go further into the building, most of the details have been stripped, salvaged or demolished.It looks like more of the interior has been demolished since Matt Lambros, the author of After the Final Curtain, took photos in 2011. But Jonathan Karlik assured us that none of the landmarked portion has been touched: “We have a landmark preservation consultant on board with us and we have spent significant time and money to ensure this. There has been no demolition to the landmark space whatsoever. Any work that has been done was done with a LPC approved soft demo permit to clean up and protect the area. We plan to restore the landmarked area to its original condition. We have over 100 crates of salvaged material in storage and plan to implement pieces into our final product.”
Little remains of the upper lobby except for a few arched doorways and some urinals, and a damaged but elegant balcony is the only interesting piece left in the rear mezzanine. Unfortunately, the landmarked part of the lobby was locked, so you can’t see what it looks like now.