Showing 1 - 25 of 256 comments
The building is now completely closed, all businesses have moved out. The Rock gym moved across the street into the same building where TJ Maxx is. Asbestos abatement is over and the structure is being prepped for demolition.
I like the rendering that includes the original facade:
A buddy who lives near the RKO Flushing just told me the theater has been demolished. Or rather is undergoing demolition. I hope the ornate landmarked interiors were saved for reinstallation on site in the new structure.
Thanks, StevenJ! I’ll give it a try next photo post.
Any advice on how to post live links is appreciated. I just don’t know why it no longer happens, no matter which link I copy from photobucket.
Sorry I have no idea how to do live links here. They used to just appear live, no matter how I posted them, then a few years back they started posting only as text that had to be cut and pasted. Try:
I found these two photos of the RKO foyer and lobby online, they seem to be from slightly different angles than others I’ve seen. Part of the sky dome above the foyer appears to have collapsed:
Good lord I can’t believe I have not visited this site in over three years. Glad to see the comments and debates are still going on, and also glad to see Ed Solero and others still here! I have been exiled to red state hell and it sucks the big watoozi. I am going to check back here more regularly to still get the feeling I am living in my NYC hometown. Dang…I never got into the Keith’s to photograph! My loss.
John J. McNamara also designed the Beekman! Wow I did not know he also designed the Juliets, which was much smaller and less memorable. In fact I thought it was built into a pre-existing structure on site.
Here is a picture of the Gimbels East department store in 1971. This is the bland modern building that replaced the original RKO 86th movie palace, which was completely demolished in 1968/1969. The marquee lower left is the new smaller RKO theater that was supposed to make up for the loss of the original RKO on the site.
After Gimbels closed it stores, this East 86th location was stripped down to its steel skeleton and renovated as the current luxury apartment house. The theater became the Duane Reade that is there today. The marquee was finally removed in 2011.
The marquee is now gone. No sign anywhere that there were once theaters on this site. Very sad.
It wasn’t this theater. You may be remembering the small RKO replacement theater that is now Duane Reade. The original building at this site housing the RKO 86th Street was completely demolished in the late 1960s, then replaced by Gimbels East, which included a small RKO theater meant to replace the lost movie palace.
Just passed the Ziegfeld this morning and found the marquee empty and no posters up. I hope the theater is not closed. Can find no current showtimes for it at the Clearview site.
SWC please continue posting photos. The close-ups of the decorative elements are important. Maybe some day building theatres like this will become popular again and these photos will give designers in the future a guideline to re-creating the palaces. Anything is possible. Can you get me in there?? :)
Stripped down to its steel frame, It appears that the old marquee now used for Duane Reade is being renovated or demolished. This marquee was for the smaller RKO movie house that was built into the Gimbels East Ibuilding that replaced the original RKO 86th. If I recall correctly, this smaller theater was supposed to make up for the loss of the palace.
I fear no rodents but I am terrified of huge ugly juicy flying cockroaches.
Matt, if i go to the theater with a camera can I just walk in or is there a secret side entrance?
LOL Dang ya got me! :)
I would hope the dentist would have originally included a plaque with information about the fountain and its glorious origins, but since it might involve a criminal offense, any such plaque, if it ever existed, would no doubt have been removed by now!
I think the missing fountain referred to as being in a dentist’s office is not the large one from the center of the foyer which disappeared during the triplexing, but one of the smaller fountains from the wall, on the west side of the faux facade. A few posts back I pointed out the blank spot on the wall where a fountain was removed. Its colorful counterpart is still there, pictured in that Tribune link. Or it was still there recently.
Welcome back, Ed!
Can you get back into the theater with some of us who want to take some pictures of the interior? Could we get as far as the foyer and lobby without getting busted?
Here is an enlargement of the picture of the stairs:
Some of those pictures of the lobby above are from this web site: