Polk Theater

93-09 37th Avenue,
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Unfavorite 8 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Island Theater Circuit

Architects: Charles A. Sandblom

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Polk Avenue Theater

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Vintage Polk Theater Photo

I don’t know anything about this theater’s history, but it was located on the north side of 37th Avenue just west of Junction Boulevard on the Corona/Jackson Heights border in Queens. By 1941 the Polk Avenue Theatre was operated by the Island Theater Circuit.

It operated until its closure as an adult theater and had been so for as long as I can remember (more than 25 years), but I presume it was once a small neighborhood house that looks to date from the 1930’s or 1940’s. The name of the theater was displayed in large red-neon block letters on either side of the marquee.

The Polk Theater was closed in February 2006 and was demolished in February 2008.

Contributed by EdSolero

Recent comments (view all 143 comments)

Jeffrey1955 on July 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Not only does the status need to be changed to Demolished, the description should be amended. While the name was displayed in “large red-neon block letters” in more recent decades, historical photos posted previously show the original marquee, later hidden beneath that shiny metal covering, had gloriously sleek art deco neon lettering stretched across its entire length.

techman707 on July 28, 2011 at 8:11 am

I’m not sure what you’re saying about the neon letters on top. Way back in the early 50’s, I recall the Marquee showing the theatre name as POLK AVENUE, however, the neon letters saying POLK have been there since at least 1964 that I recall.

Jeffrey1955 on July 29, 2011 at 2:59 am

Yes, I’m referring to that original POLK AVE marquee. The first picture on the photo page shows it (apparently in 1938, since Little Miss Roughneck was released in January 1938 and Squadron of Honor in June 1938) and that lettering looks absolutely gorgeous. The more modern block neon was okay, but nowhere near as evocative as what I suspect was hidden under the metal sheathing. Wish I’d been able to find out if it was, indeed, under there when they tore it all down.

techman707 on July 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Jeffrey1955- Yes, the Polk Ave was underneath, however, they removed the neon tubing. All the small light bulb sockets were also underneath. I remember when the sequencer broke and the last owner was too cheap to fix it, so he used “random flasher buttons” until he had the underside covered also.

michaelkaplan on February 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

went to the Polk many times as a kid. They had a good Saturday kid’s matinee, as did the Boulevard and Fair. I think the last time I went to the Polk, it had already been converted into a porn house, the third theater in Jackson Heights so transformed (along with the Earle and Fair). On the next block, also on 37th Avenue, was the fabulous Dragon Seed Restaurant, which had one of the first stereophonic music systems in the city. On Mondays, when the restaurant was closed, the owner opened it to neighborhood audiophiles. Great neighborhood!

techman707 on February 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Michael Kaplan-I’ve worked as a projectionist at ALL the theatres you’ve mentioned. I used to eat at the Dragon Seed all the time. You didn’t mention the Jackson and Colony theatres on 82nd ST. I was at the Jackson after it was renovated by Skouras in 1965. It was the nicest single in the area….until it was turned into a triplex.

michaelkaplan on October 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Techman, I watched many movies at the Jackson and Colony as well as the three mentioned. If I recall, I saw both Kiss Me, Kate, and Dial M for Murder in 3D at the Jackson. The Colony screened more ‘art’ fare; I know I saw at least one Ingmar Bergman film there (in a mostly empty room). Used to eat lunch next door at the Woolworth’s.

techman707 on October 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

michaelkaplan-I’m SURE that we must have crossed paths at some point.-lol When I worked at the Jackson I ate at the Colony Deli a few doors down from the Jackson. It was owned by a friend of my family. I don’t recognize Jackson Heights today.

techman707 on November 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Matthew Prigge – The owner is a friend of mine and I serviced the video projector a few times before it closed. Back in the 60’s I worked there on Wednesdays.

mschiff6 on September 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm

techman707 – I have a question for you on the Gusseins I would like to ask you offline. My email is

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.