RKO Keith's Theater (Flushing, Queens)

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RKO Keith's Theater
RKO Keith Flushing jeh.JPG
RKO Keith Flushing, April 2009
RKO Keith's Theater (Flushing, Queens) is located in New York City
RKO Keith's Theater (Flushing, Queens)
Location 135-35 Northern Blvd., Queens, New York
Coordinates 40°45′48″N 73°49′57″W / 40.76333°N 73.83250°W / 40.76333; -73.83250Coordinates: 40°45′48″N 73°49′57″W / 40.76333°N 73.83250°W / 40.76333; -73.83250
Area less than one acre
Built 1928
Architect Lamb, Thomas
Architectural style Mission/Spanish Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #

82001260

[1]
Added to NRHP October 29, 1982

RKO Keith's Theater is a historic RKO Pictures movie theater located in the Flushing section of the New York City borough of Queens. It was designed by noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb (1871–1942) and built in 1928. It has a plain three story exterior facade, but the auditorium interior was once designed in a Spanish Baroque Revival style.[2]

The theater was closed in 1986 and then gutted illegally by the building's new owner Thomas Huang. Huang also dumped approximately 10,000 gallons of waste oil in the basement of the theater. He was indicted and plead guilty to two felony charges. He was sentenced to five years probation and a $5,000 fine and ordered by the court to remediate conditions in the theater in lieu of serving jail time. Huang ignored the order.[3]

The theater changed hands in 2004, 2010, and again in 2013, remaining vacant since its closure in 1984. In December 2013 the present owners announced plans are for the lobby to be restored as an entrance to a 17-story apartment building.[4]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1] In 1984, the theater's lobby was landmarked by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.[5]

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