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.



4 comments:

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.