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Image via Flickr: arincrumley

Every year, floods of sports enthusiasts travel to Flushing to catch a game at Citi Field or the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the U.S. Open. Beyond its sports stadium, however, the neighborhood stands as a cultural hub, home to various ethnic communities, killer food options and a wide array of commercial and retail shops. This is especially true of Downtown Flushing, which is centered around Main Street in Queens. It’s where you can find $1 dollar dumplings — and that alone should give you enough reason to go but there are plenty more secrets to uncover in this neighborhood.

10. You Can Find an Abandoned Theater in Flushing

rko_keiths_theater_NYC-Untapped-Cities1Photo via After the Final Curtain

We obviously have a thing for abandoned and rehabilitated movie theaters. One such building can be found on 135-35 Northern Boulevard. The 3000-seat RKO Keith’s Theater, originally called the Keith-Albee Theatre, opened Christmas Day, 1928 at 1:00 PM. Built by the famous theater architect Thomas Lamb in the “Mexican Baroque” style, the movie palace has one of the few surviving “atmospheric” theater designs with a blue painted ceiling containing electric lightbulbs for stars and projected clouds.

At its heyday, the theater served the neighborhood with a wide variety of entertainment including vaudeville, organ recitals, orchestras, magicians, comedians, and full-length feature films — all for only 25 cents. In the latest round of development news, the RKO Keith site will be developed into a 17-story residential tower which will preserve the landmarked lobby interiors.

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