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Editorial: Worth saving

We wonder how many of the kids who pack the new multiplex theaters that now offer cappuccino to go with the $7 bag of popcorn drenched in simulated butter know that there was a time when the movie theater itself was a work of art? Grand chandeliers and ornate plaster molding have been replaced by stadium seating and the latest in cup-holder technology.

The RKO Keith’s on Hillside Avenue in Richmond Hill is a reminder of a time long gone when the theater itself was experience. Just try to find a multiplex with a marquee or a lobby that tells you that you have entered some place special. The new theaters are functional wonders and artistic blunders.

The people working to help the Keith’s make a comeback as a cultural center deserve a standing ovation. Bob Woolridge, a co-owner of the theater, and local preservationists are hoping to restore the theater, now used for bingo and flea markets, to its vaudevillian glory days.

More power to them and all who see the value of preserving the remarkable history of Queens.

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