More Photos of RKO Keith
/ Past Local Movie Theaters /
in Richmond Hill /
of Jamaica Ave.
RKO Keith's Movie House
This Theatre was built in the 1920's and is still located at the same
location on Hillside Avenue next to Jahn's Ice Cream Parlor. The movie
house no longer shows films but is now used as a bingo hall and flea market.
1939 Photo by Jamaica Studios
Courtesy Nancy Cataldi
It appears to be a "Grand" Opening celebration for the movie "Grand
Illusion", which was nominated by the Academy Awards for Best Picture
of the Year (1937) French Version,
"La Grande Illusion", and the
American Version came out in 1938. Although, from the look of the marquee,
the movie appears to have won Best Picture.
The people in military uniform are from the Richmond Hill Post American
Legion. This photo truly captures a moment in time in Richmond Hill when
the residents all shared a sense of unity due to the impact of this powerful
film, "Grand Illusion".
This "anti-war" film was directed by cinematic great Jean Renoir, son
of the famous impressionistic painter Pierre Auguste Renoir, which depicts
WWI as the "grand illusion" for the characters who are French prisoners
held captive in Germany by an aristocratic officer, played by Erich von
Stroheim. The master copy of this film was lost for many years when the
Nazis occupied France and later taken by the Russians. Not until recently
has the original film been released again.
In 1939, the film, "Wife, Husband and Friend" was released.
This romantic comedy starred Loretta Young, Warner Baxter, Cesar Romero,
and Binnie Barnes. Wife (Young) hopes to be a great singer and is encouraged
by her scheming teacher (Romero). After she flops her husband (Baxter),
encouraged by an amorous professional singer (Barnes) tries opera and also
flops. Through all this, wife and husband remain together finally realizing
their foolish adventure.
Thanks to Cezar Del Valle, Theatre Historian
from the New York Council for the Humanities, for the following Richmond
Hill Theatre History-
Do you remember these Richmond Hill Theaters?
From the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture
Amus Palace, 2818 Jamaica Avenue
Crescent Theater, 2125 Jamaica Avenue
Dreamland Theater, Oxford & Jamaica Avenue
Garden Theater, Jamaica Avenue
Liberty Square Theater, 304 Lefferts Avenue
From the Film Daily Yearbook 1941
(no address given, sc=seating capacity)
Casino sc. 1000
Garden sc. 980
Jerome sc. 887
Lefferts sc. 1613
RKO Keith sc. 2226
Willard sc. 2300
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