Posted by: Jeffsayyes | February 12, 2010

Eagle Theater – Dismemberment

Selfishly, I’ve held in the news of the Craigslist ad selling everything inside the Eagle Theater since Sunday. Hey, I wanted some theater seats.

I called the number and made the arrangement. My associate and I met the gatekeepers at Kebab King, who took us through a back entrance to the grand hall of the Eagle. We were not the first to express interest, but were the first to physically step inside for a look. In my vinyl record selling days, to be able to scour an abandoned business, with an owner who doesn’t care about the equipment, on a virgin collection is an incredible opportunity.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/for/1587953085.html

HI
UP FOR SALE ARE LIKE NEW IN MINT CONDITION ACCESORIES FOR THEATER/CINEMA IF SOMEONE IS INTERESTED THEN YOU CAN CONTACT US ON THE FOLLOWING PHONE # ??????????? ITS AN OPEN SALE YOUY CAN CHOOSE AND DECIDE THE PRICE BASED ON THE CONDITION MOST OF THEM ARE IN GOOD MINT CONDITION SPECIALLY THE CHAIRS THE PROJECTOR A VAULT, THE COUNTER FOR A SNACKS BAR SHANGLAIRS FOLDING CHAIS FOR PARTY HALLS AND AUDTITORIUMS IN COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS AND THERE IS A LOT OF STUFF WHICH CAN BE VERY USEFULL AT BEST PRICES AND THE LOCATION IS IN JACKSON HEIGHTS QUEENS NEWYORK
COMPLETE ADRESS IS 73-01 37TH RD JACKSON HEIGHTS NY 11372

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for almost 2 years. I didn’t grow up with the theater and I’ve never seen the heyday if there was one, so I have no emotional attachment. The fixtures are mostly wood and art deco inspired, with little crafstmanship or artistry involved. With the exception of some huge lights, older exit signs and the iron from 6-foot wide radiators, for me there wasn’t much to salvage. No one would concede this is the calibur of the RKO Keith or even the Ridgewood Theater, but still, it’s unfortunate to leave history. The fact remains that they didn’t do enough business and it’s time to move on. I’m not that upset to see it so. The Jackson Triplex is moreso a treasure which should be restored and operated.

I originally intentioned to get a set of 3 or 4 seats for my living room/bedroom/den/dining room studio, but for possibly the first time in it’s history, all the seats were sold out. Apparently it’s another theater’s time.

They are turning it into a shopping mall, centered on Indian stuffs. I tried to insinuate a food court, but it wasn’t picked up what I put down. They seemed proud to be moving on. I even asked to take some of the old signs, but the owner said they would be using it in the shopping mall. I liked that.


Save the projectionist’s quarters, we searched every hind leg of the theater. Checked the office with the heavy safe and the secret alleyway behind it where I found the missing A from the Eagle sign out front.




This popcorn machine was one of the things I had in mind, but it’s just too big for one man’s apartment. Besides that, it’s just a fiberglass box.


Behind the screen

And on my second trip there, midnight last night, it became known that there was still one seat unsold. It lied in the projectionist’s quarters. The owner tipped me to it, and after trekking up a narrow, unlit, metal stairway, one of the Kebab King workers and I found the room. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera, but it was basically strewn with movie reels, trailer reels, posters, a few motors, and a couple of circus-sized stuffed animals with an adjacent bathroom. The room with the stairwell had what looked like air ducts, but I can’t be sure because it was nearly pitch black. It’s a lonely space up there. Like a satellite of the theater. The room for the intrepid projectionist, playing god for those below. But he’s no longer needed. The last picture came without notice. And the gates are down. It no long has it’s function, and now the Eagle is only what was and what could have been.

above photo courtesy: Rego-Forest Preservation Council

Links:
My Eagle flickr set
My picture set of the Corona theater which is now fronted by a Walgreens, but operates as a church.


Responses

  1. Do you have the owner’s contact information?

    I hope as much of the theater’s Art Deco features will be preserve and reused in the name of our great movie theater history. Architect John Eberson was the designer, and a prominent architect of his time. Queens and Jackson Heights should feel honored to have the Eagle/Earle Theatre.

    As Queens VP of the Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp and Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, I hope to encourage the owner to apply for tax credits and grants to conduct historically-sensitive renovation and restoration work, to creatively reuse the space, if he would support State & National Register of Historic Places status. This would give his theater recognition and community support, while preserving our history . Creative and adaptive reuse has been proven countrywide. Most cases are financially viable.

    Please e-mail me at unlockthevault@hotmail.com as soon as you possibly can. It is crucial. Thank you!


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