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RKO Keith's Movie Theater (former)

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Elegant neighborhood movie palace

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Flushing
Theater, Performance

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Cinema Treasures

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Irene Goldsmith

The Keith's, located on Northern Boulevard & Main Street in Flushing, Queens, NY was one of the last vestiges of classic movie theaters. It was a neighborhood theater with all the elegance of a theater on Broadway. It was famous for its wide staircase and Moorish-design interior. The RKO Keiths had a wonderfully large marquee. According to a recent article in the Queens Courier, the Keith's opened in 1928 and, in its heydey, had hosted entertainers such as Bob Hope.

Prior to receiving landmark status, much of the theater had been destroyed by developer Tommy Huang who had purchased the property. He destroyed the entire facade and much of the interior of the building which he then left to rot and become an eyesore to the community. A new architect has recently purchased the property and hopes to restore the lobby of the theater as part of his overall design concept for the building and surrounding property. Perhaps a renovated theater will be part of future plans to revitalize the area. (February, 2011)


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