Like Loew’s Paradise, RKO Keith’s was designed as an atmospheric theater in what was referred to as “Spanish Baroque” style. It enjoyed a 50-year run as the primary entertainment venue for Flushing and its surrounding neighborhoods. It began as a vaudeville-and-film theater, but like the Paradise, suffered with the decline of movie palaces.
The LPC designated the lobby and grand foyer in 1984, but a developer who aspired to build a shopping center on the site illegally destroyed part of the landmark. The building stood abandoned for 30 years. Now, a new owner, Flushing Square LLC, has begun has begun the process of restoring the interior as part of a new luxury residential building.
Photographs 1, 2 courtesy Alexander Severin / RAZUMMEDIA
Photographs 3, 4 courtesy of Theatre Historical Society of America