Flushing Square Theatre—Private

Flushing, NY

The Flushing Square Theatre, located in the downtown area of Flushing, Queens, was opened in 1928 as the RKO Keith’s Theatre. It was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, in a Spanish Baroque Rival style. The interior design was greatly influenced by the the “atmospheric” theatre aesthetics pioneered by architect John Eberson. A hallmark of painted decoration in atmospheric theatres is the use of bright, primary colors applied using dry brush techniques to textured and ornamental surfaces. The grandiose, Spanish revival  ornament of the walls was offset by a bright blue ceiling, evoking the evening sky.

In 1984, the theater’s ticket lobby and grand foyer were designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1986 the RKO Keith closed its doors and has remained uninhabited since. It changed hands several times and suffered severe vandalism until its most recent purchase in 2016.

The owners planned to demolish this historic movie palace to build luxury condos and retail space. However, the Landmarks Preservation Commission required them to salvage elements from the landmarked foyer and lobby for re-installation in the planned High Rise. The property was sold to Global Real Estate Ventures Group (GREVG) before the site could be developed.

Our team was called in to meticulously salvage the historic architectural elements, including; ornamental plaster, marble, wood, and metal components. Large wall sections and architectural elements were safely removed, organized, packed, cataloged, expertly repaired, stored. All elements will be reinstalled and incorporated into the new building in 2022. (This has yet to happen 2.29.2024)