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Historic Theater Celebrates 70th Birthday With Hitchcock Flick

By Nigel Chiwaya | September 19, 2012 3:44pm

FOREST HILLS — It's been a Forest Hills staple for over a half-century, and on Sept. 24 the Midway Theater will celebrate its birthday in style.

The movie palace, located at 108-22 Queens Blvd., will mark its 70th anniversary with a screening of "Rear Window," the a classic Alfred Hitchcock film that starred Forest Hills actress Thelma Ritter.

"It a wonderful endeavor to commemorate history," said Michael Perlman, the head of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, a group that works to preserve historic and noteworthy buildings in the neighborhood.

Midway, which opened in 1942, was built by renowned architect Thomas White Lamb. White Lamb built over 300 theaters as well as the third Madison Square Garden. The Midway was his final project and White Lamb died in 1942, right in the midst of the theater's construction.

Midway, which was named after the World War II battle, opened later that year as a single-screen 1,933-seat theater, but it was converted to a nine-screen multiplex when United Artists took control of the building in 1998.

Despite the change, Perlman says that the theater has been well maintained, as building's facade has still resembles its original look.

"That's building has good bones," Perlman said.

The anniversary screening will be shown at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 and proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer's Association.