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Queens Chronicle

Midway movie theater bought by investors

Cinema will remain, for now at least

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:56 am, Thu Oct 3, 2013.

The Midway Theater in Forest Hills was recently purchased by a group of investors.

Lloyd Goldman of BLDG Management, Eric Roth of Brick Capital and Brian Ezratty of Eastern Ezratty, all New York City-based real estate investors, bought the property for $20.5 million, according to Brick Capital’s website.

The two-story property at 108-22 Queens Blvd. is home to a United Artists Regal Cinema multiscreen movie theater that was originally built in 1940 as a 1,933-seat single theater. It also houses a restaurant and beauty school.

As the tenants have long-term leases, the investors reportedly plan to keep the status quo for now, but the building may eventually become a development opportunity, according to the Real Deal.

Federal Realty Investment Trust, a company that specializes in retail and mixed-use properties, sold the property.

Neither Goldman, Roth nor Ezratty could be reached for comment, but Roth told the Real Deal that the space has a “tremendous opportunity for future growth as the longer-term leases expire and there is 65,000 square feet of available development rights.”

Forest Hills residents were split on the idea of the theater building — an iconic but unofficial landmark in the community — under new ownership.

“I don’t know, maybe I’m too sentimental and should just keep up with the times but I don’t want to see this place go,” Jane Grier said. “These investors may come in wanting to keep the theater but who’s to say they won’t change their mind?”

Roger Thomas said fresh investors could bring something exciting to the neighborhood.

“We have the movie theater for now and maybe they’ll keep part of it and put some kind of bookstore or health food store or something that the neighborhood can enjoy together,” Thomas said. “I’d say a restaurant or clothing store but we have enough of those already. A Barnes and Noble would be awesome right here.”

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