10 March 2012

Eagle Theatre Marquee Torn Down

I walked by the old Eagle Theatre in Jackson Heights, Queens, not two weeks ago. I looked forlornly upon the old building with its beautiful marquee, and reflected on how long it had been since it ceased business as the city's only Indian-language movie house. It closed in May 2009 and never reopened. The only comfort I could draw form the sight was that the marquee was still there, so there was a chance it would live as a cinema again.

Today, a reader sent me this sorrowful picture of the marquee being destroyed. A huge piece of Jackson Height's cultural heritage is gone.

I hear, however, that it will be replace by a South Asian market and food court. Which does not sound bad. And seems right for the area.


Toni Kamins said...

It's name was the Earle, not the Eagle.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I was the Earle many years ago. In recent years, it flew under the named Eagle.

Toni Kamins said...

I stand corrected. I knew it as the Earle when I was growing up in Queens in the '50s and'60s.

mingusal said...

I live just a couple of blocks away and I couldn't believe it when I walked by there over the weekend and saw the sign gone. The building suddenly looked naked.

I mourn the loss of one of the city's few remaining single screen theaters, but I do understand that the availability of South Asian DVDs, and now streaming movies, make it a money-losing proposition to continue. It's actually pretty amazing that the nearby Jackson Theater continues to operate, albeit on a shoestring and cut up badly into smaller theaters.

So, I guess a South Asian food court, etc. is as good a use as can be expected for the old Earle/Eagle. At least they aren't going to tear the theater, with it's very nice art deco facade, down entirely. Still, I do very much wish that the marquee, with its wonderful 1930s deco style letters, had been retained.

oinonio said...

So, what became of the building?