2101 Church Avenue,
11 people favorited this theater
Architects: Eugene DeRosa
Previous Names: Keith-Albee Kenmore Theatre, B.F. Keith's Kenmore Theatre, RKO Kenmore Theatre
Opened as the Keith-Albee Kenmore Theatre on 17th September 1928, this cavernous 3,025-seat movie house. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 17 ranks organ. The auditorium ceiling had a 60ft wide dome. Murals on the side-walls were by artist Willy Pogany, who also painted the murals in the Beacon Theatre, Manhattan. It played a mix of vaudeville & movies until 1932 when it went over to an all movies policy. It later became the RKO Kenmore Theatre and was chopped up into four screens in mid-1978. The Wurlitzer organ was removed to a private dwelling in Babylon, NY, and later to another private dwelling in Erie, PA. In 2011 it was purchased by the Paramount Theatre Cedar Rapids, Iowa to replace their Wurlitzer organ which has been damaged in 2008 floods.
The Kenmore Theatre was a popular place for films like “Superman”, “Star Wars”, and “Flash Gordon”, and was renovated in the late-1980’s/early-1990’s.
Despite the work, the theatre rapidly deteriorated and became the scene of a violent gang shooting in an argument over a seat.
The theatre was shuttered by the N.Y.P.D. in 1999 after a screening of “The Matrix” (or “Life”). It was put up for sale after a year of sitting dormant.
The interior is now completely gutted and the stores that bordered the theatre building have also been hollowed out. The theatre became Modell’s sports clothing store. By 2022 it was a Target store.
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