Supermarket May Be The Next Act At The Ridgewood Theatre
Moviehouse Sold To Jackson Heights Investors
The Times Newsweekly was informed on Wednesday morning, Nov. 24, that the former moviehouse on Myrtle Avenue between Madison Street and Putnam Avenue was recently purchased by a group of entrepreneurs based in Jackson Heights who plan to open an Associated supermarket at the location.
The exterior of the theater, located at 55-27 Myrtle Ave., was recently given landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. It closed in March 2009 after serving as a multiplex theater for many years.
While the façade and the marquee of the theater must remain as they are as a result of the landmark declaration, the new owners of the buildings may remodel the interior as they see fit, according to Paul Kerzner, incoming president of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association.
“I would dare say that they would have to level the floors inside the theater, otherwise everything would be on a 30-degree angle,” Kerzner told the Times Newsweekly in a phone interview. Local business and civic leaders with knowledge of the sale noted that they have yet to see any plans for what the new owners plan to do with the building.
Under existing zoning laws for the site, it was noted, a supermarket with up to 17,000 sq. ft. of retail space could be created within the theater.
Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, hoped that a deal could be struck with the new ownership to allow for the upper floors of the vacant theater to be used as a community exhibition space for artists. The idea was pitched originally by groups in Ridgewood and Bushwick during a walking tour of the former moviehouse in April and garnered some support among local leaders.
Overall, Kerzner expressed a favorable view of the purchase and potential development of an Associated supermarket at the Ridgewood Theatre.
“We could have done a hell of a lot worse in terms of what could have gone in there,” he said, noting that among the ideas presented and rejected for the site included a charter school, a drug treatment counseling facility and condominiums.
“This seems to be the best use. It’s actually helpful since there isn’t a large supermarket in that end of Ridgewood,” Kerzner added. “If they market it right, they can do very well.”
This paper attempted to contact the attorney representing the supermarket developers on Wednesday morning, but the lawyer was not available for comment before press time.
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