Loew's Woodside Theatre

58-02 Roosevelt Avenue,
Woodside, NY 11377

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Loew's Inc.

Architects: Herbert J. Krapp

Functions: Church

Styles: Greek Revival

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Loew's Woodside

Loew’s Woodside Theatre was designed by Herbert J. Krapp, with all of its 2,000 seats on the ground floor and a shallow stage suited only for movies. It first opened on the night of September 27, 1926 with a pre-release screening of MGM’s Buster Keaton comedy, “Battling Butler”. The next day, the Woodside Theatre began its regular policy of a feature movie and shorts, changing three times a week. The programs were first-run for the Woodside section of Queens and the adjacent communities of Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, and Elmhurst. With the arrival of talkies, the Woodside Theatre switched to double features.

For several decades, it was on the third tier of the seven Loew’s theatres in Queens. The Valencia Theatre got the programs first, followed a week later by the Triboro Theatre. Then the Woodside Theatre, plus the Prospect Theatre, Plaza Theatre, Hillside Theatre and Willard Theatre. All of those third-tier theatres were eventually divested by Loew’s as part of the Federal anti-trust action against it.

The Woodside Theatre was the first to go, sold in 1952 to St. Sebastian’s Roman Catholic Church, which had outgrown its original chapel. The church demolished the theatre entrance and lobby to build a Romanesque bell tower, but kept the auditorium intact. In 1998, to celebrate the parish’s 100th anniversary, most of the original auditorium decor was beautifully restored, though probably not in the exact same color scheme. That included not only the domed ceiling, but 40 columns along the side walls that were returned to their original marble with gold leaf capitals.

The site is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Masses are held at 5 and 6PM on Saturdays and on Sunday mornings, as well as at other times. The phone number is 718-429-4442.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

johndereszewski on October 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Toward the end of the attached terrific exploration of the lost Woodside, there are several fine external pictures of the old Woodside Theatre and the new St. Salvadore’s. This was put together by Christina Wilkinson (the Queen of Queens), who has done wonderful work for many West Queens communities in many different ways. Please enjoy the entire attachment, which links pertinent “non-topic” items with the real cinematic thing.

Hope the link works.

View link

TLSLOEWS on December 31, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Good to see that the building is still there as a church.Nice history.

RickB on June 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Some June 2010 pictures of the former Loew’s Woodside are near the bottom of this page, as Forgotten New York revisits the neighborhood.

TLSLOEWS on June 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

Nice photo of the LOEWS WOODSIDE/CHURCH.RickB.

johndereszewski on February 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

Thank you so much TT for resurrecting – an apt religous term – this previously lost link that really establishes the connection of the old movie palace to its current religous use. This really represents one of the most successful re-uses of an old movie house than I am aware of.

PapaCat on June 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

As a long-time Woodside resident, and if my memory serves me correctly, the last movie that played in this theater was “Mr. Roberts.” After it was converted to a church, most of the kids in the neighborhood switched churches and went to mass here, as it was the first, and only church at that time, that had air-conditioning.

rivest266 on September 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Announcement http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2015/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Star/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Star%201926/Brooklyn%20NY%20Daily%20Star%201926%20-%202726.pdf#xml=http://fultonhistory.com/dtSearch/dtisapi6.dll?cmd=getpdfhits&u=ffffffffca235d3c&DocId=4880464&Index=Z%3a%5cIndex%20I%2dE&HitCount=4&hits=1f+20+2a+54+&SearchForm=C%3a%5cinetpub%5cwwwroot%5cFulton%5fNew%5fform%2ehtml&.pdf

CSWalczak on September 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Direct link to the announcement in .pdf form.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on October 20, 2019 at 12:37 pm

A selection of images as church can be viewed here

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 20, 2020 at 6:58 am

Who knew that this could ever happen here

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