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Wow, seems like yesterday, I, a 14 year old boy ventured with my younger brother to this theater for the first time unsupervised by adults.
At least 2 bus transfers from eastern Queens in 1980 to see, The Empire Strikes Back."
I remember the year because on screen in the pre movie ads, was a commercial for the new Camaro. There was no '81 model coming at all and it looked like it would be discontinued.
Such a drastic change to an iconic car.
The theater was old then, but what I remembered and like about it at the time is each row was so much higher than the one before.Completely unobstructed views from people in front of you.
I know it's been barren for some years but to see it now listed as a new development really hits home.
sorry fo rthe grammar
"liked about it at the time was" each row.........
Looks like the Landmarks Preservation Commission dropped the ball on this one. The interior ceiling of blue skies reminds me of the old Lowe's Paradise. Gee, I wonder if that's gone too?
I remember this palce well but I don't remember ever being there when it was just one theater.
Thanks for flash back.
Nice find Falco, ha it makes me feel like the old lady in Titanic.
I wish 30yrs was still around here, im sure as he once mentioned the Steak Loft in Whitestone, Im sure he'd have an RKO Keith comment worth reading.
Bill, you know at 14, you like and want everything new.
Coming to this theater was probably the first time I appreciated something "old."
Here's the apparant story of the demise;
My recollection is that the Chinese developer mutilated the interior so that it would not be land-marked and that the mutilation was so severe it would never be possible to restore. It's a shame, it was an interesting theater, but other than fine the guy severely enough that there would be no profit in his venture(which I doubt the fine accomplished) I don't see what more can be done. There are bigger problems in the world.
If the theatre had been restored way back when it was supposed to be, just think of what it would have done for the neighborhood. Now there is a proposed plan to replace it with a structure that looks like a Bose radio. Very sad indeed.
Theater's are going the way of the dinosaur. They would've needed to convert the structure to another use at this point and one that could make money. Maybe they could've converted the place to a community theater that does live productions or something. Thought it was sad back when the destruction occured,but doubt it would've survived to now if it had been left alone.
Maybe there is a curse
"Rumors have been swirling in Flushing that the historic RKO Keith’s theater, which has sat vacant for more than 20 years, could change hands for the third time in a decade. There was also talk of a potential buyer already in contract to buy the theater less than two years after developer Patrick Thompson purchased the Northern Boulevard property."
“RKO Keith’s has been sold more times than the Brooklyn Bridge,” said State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing).
I just passed by recently and they were putting up the scaffolding at the theatre. It looks like they will start the construction soon.