Landmark Battle II

March 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Preservationist Michael Perlman
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, Chair
4 Boro Preservation Alliance Corp, Queens VP
Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Chair
Queens Preservation Council, Bd. of Dir.
Central Queens Historical Association, Bd of Dir
(917) 446-7775, unlockthevault@hotmail.com

Historic Ridgewood Theatre To See The Light of Public Hearing: May Be Queens’ Newest Individual Landmark!

RIDGEWOOD, NY (March 15, 2009) – Queens’ historic Ridgewood Theatre (55-27 Myrtle Ave) closed its doors one year ago without warning, but patrons & preservationists are now elated that the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a Public Hearing, which will determine its eligibility as a NYC Individual Landmark. The hearing is set for Tues, March 24, 2009 from 11:25 AM – 12:00 PM at the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 9th Floor North, NY, NY 10007, and public testimony will be taken: http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/calendar/03_24_09.pdf

The hearing is the result of a year-long effort coordinated by Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre, founded by Preservationist Michael Perlman. For any hearing-related questions, please contact Public Information Officer Emily Rich at (212) 669-7817.

Opening its doors on December 23, 1916 and closing in March 2008, the Ridgewood Theatre was deemed the longest continuously operating first-run neighborhood theater citywide, and potentially throughout the U.S. It staged Vaudeville, silent films, saw the advent of photoplays, the first “100% All-Talking” feature, Lights of New York (1928), & Technicolor. Its original seating capacity was 2,500, but currently contains 5 screens and seats 1,950.

Modeled after Times Square’s long-demolished Mark Strand Theatre (the World’s 1st movie palace), the $250,000 gem was designed by America’s foremost theater architect, Thomas Lamb, & built by the Levy Brothers. The 3-story Indiana limestone & terra cotta façade is highly ornate, incorporating unique geometric patterns, medallions, a frieze, pilasters, and proudly boasts Ridgewood Theatre across the top. Interior murals originally depicted the history of Ridgewood.

Perlman explains: “Theaters are the ‘ultimate public institutions’ which bridge the generations, as they foster community growth and pride, harbor countless memories, and often exhibit the work of our country’s most skillful architects. Commissioned architects hoped to leave a long-lasting impression of grandeur, confidence, serenity, and comfort; a bold step away from the pressures of society.”

Perlman further explains “With the onset of DVDs, and vastly improved home entertainment centers, movie theaters with a minimal number of screens are a highly endangered species citywide. When sacrificed in the name of progress, their loss is most heartfelt. Local theaters with an unfortunate fate include the Oasis, Parthenon, Irving, & RKO Madison Theatre (retail), but the Ridgewood Theatre can be economically viable if preserved and adaptively reused for theater-related purposes. It would contribute to an up & coming neighborhood and a diverse borough.”

Historic & recent Ridgewood Theatre photos, courtesy of Chair Michael Perlman, Friends of Ridgewood Theatre: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8095451@N08/sets/72157606443928732/

Online Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/RTheatre/petition.html
Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre MySpace Group: http://www.myspace.com/ridgewoodtheatre

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Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

Topaz Arts Landmark Battle I

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