6. Ittadi Garden & Grill used to be a theater

Secrets of Jackson Heights Ittadi Garden
Ittadi Garden & Grill began as an Art Deco theater.

Before Jackson Heights became the extremely diverse neighborhood it is today, it was a white middle-class neighborhood. During this era, architect John Eberson constructed The Earle Theater, along with more than 50 other theaters across the country. This Art Deco cinema showed legitimate films like The Lives of a Bengal Lancer for decades but transitioned to show adult films in the 1970s. The Art Deco style remains in the rising symmetrical roof above the building.

By the 1980s, the theater became the Eagle. Here, the theater showed Bollywood Films, as there was a growing Indian community in Jackson Heights. The Eagle closed in 2009 following an Indian actors’ strike. To this day, a South Asian food court remains called Ittadi Garden & Grill, serving specialties such as samosas, momos, and chicken wings.