RKO Madison Theatre

54-30 Myrtle Avenue,
Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: B.S. Moss Enterprises, Keith-Albee, RKO

Architects: Eugene DeRosa

Functions: Retail

Styles: Adam, Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: B.S. Moss' Madison Theatre

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News About This Theater

RKO Madison Theatre

Located in the Ridgewood section of Queens. The B.S. Moss' Madison Theatre was opened on November 24, 1927 presenting Keith-Albee vaudeville and a feature movie George Bancroft in “Underworld”. It was operated by B.S. Moss', an affiliate of Keith-Albee. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 15 ranks organ. It was a first run RKO theatre that had a huge stage that often ran live shows along with the film. From 1932 it screened double-bill programs of movies, dropping the live stage shows. I have seen advertisements from the 1960’s that show a lot of personal appearances here. By the 1970’s the Madison Theatre was on the AIP grind run, I remember seeing Don Scardino in “Squirm” and John Houston in “Tenticles” here right at the end. It was closed in early-1978.

The current retail space Liberty Department Store uses the lobby and inside the auditorium there is a false ceiling across at the underside of the balcony level.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 1,252 comments)

StBrigidkid on July 31, 2016 at 10:24 am

I was born on Madison Street a block away from the Madison Theatre and Ridgewood Theatre, cost 50 cents and I saw 2 movies, coming attractions and cartoons, they used to put cardboard posters outside, and there was always photos of the current movie to get us in, anyone remember that?

MarioManzini on November 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Mario Manzini here. I performed at the RKO Madison Theater on stage with my Escapology show on May, 1966. It was the first RKO Theater that I ever performed at. Many others followed. To promote my stage show there I did an escape from the old Ridgewood Court House Jail cell which made the Ridgewood Times and all NYC newspapers. Houdini’s brother Theo Hardeen had his stage show at the Madion Theater in 1946. Right after the show he was taken to the hospital where he died from Esophagus Cancer.

MarioManzini on November 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm


Texas2step on April 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm

The opening movie at the RKO Madison in 1927 was “Underworld” with George Bancroft.

davidcoppock on May 25, 2018 at 7:49 am

The Three stooges film was “The Three Stooges meet Hercules”(1962). Hercules was played by Samson Burke. The three stooges were Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Joe DeRita.

davidcoppock on May 25, 2018 at 7:51 am

The theatre building is now Liberty Department Store.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on November 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Long Island now has another Madison Theatre, located at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. News article here

Willburg145 on January 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

I went to Liberty yesterday (1/29/2020). Was the theatre gutted to the bricks or does anything survive of the old theatre?

stickball on January 21, 2024 at 10:03 am

I saw the movie Slave of the cannibal God there!!

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on January 24, 2024 at 10:42 am

I photographed what’s left of the Madison six years ago. RKO Madison Theatre at After the Final Curtain

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