25 March 2009

Ridgewood Theatre Takes Step Toward Landmark Status

The outside half of the endangered Ridgewood Theatre may soon be a protected piece of work. The Landmarks Commission heard arguments on March 24 in favor of protecting the 1916 structure. Present was diner-saver-and-shipper-outer Michael Perlman who has made the former vaudeville house his latest cause. Perlman himself testified "on behalf of Friends of The Ridgewood Theatre as Chairman, and as Queens VP of the Four Borough Preservation Alliance Corp."

The man is nothing if not industrious. Perlman actually tracked down Tom Lamb, the great-grandson of Ridgewood Theatre architect, Thomas W. Lamb, and got him to provide testimony. Perlman also said that "The LPC claimed that if not for my role in submitting a Request For Evaluation form & accompanying research in March 2008, they wouldn't have known of the theater's existence," which is a little hard to believe. But you never know. When it comes to LPC incompetence, there is no bottom.

A vote on the matter is expected in late spring. The theater may reopen in July as a mixed-use films venue and retail establishment.

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