Astor Plaza to Close Soon?

posted by Patrick Crowley on February 3, 2004 at 9:26 am

NEW YORK, NY — Cinema Treasures superfan William sent in this potentially tragic news about the Astor Plaza

“Times Square will be losing another theatre later this year, when Loew’s Astor Plaza Theatre closes. Plans call for the theater to be turned into MTV studio space.

The information came from the company that has a contract for servicing of projection equipment for the Loew’s company in the city. And most of the tenants on the ground floor at the 1515 Viacom building closed and moved out as of last week. Also the Loew’s State Theatre (4plex) in the Virgin Megastore is going to be dropped too.

My office is just down the street and in the last week a lot of things have changed in that building. Because Viacom has MTV and Comedy Central, they want some more high profile studio space in Times Square."

Theaters in this post

Comments (66)

RobertR
RobertR on February 3, 2004 at 10:24 am

This is sin but I am not suprised Loews is getting like United Artists running theatres into the ground and then closing them. Has anyone seen the condition of the 2 multiplexes in Fresh Meadows?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 3, 2004 at 6:56 pm

This means that the only movie theater left in Times Square is the Mayfair(later DeMille and then triplexed)which sits unoccupied and waiting to be torn down on the northeast corner of 7th av and 47th street.

William
William on February 3, 2004 at 8:12 pm

There are four other Times Square area former movie theatres that are enjoying lives as Broadway venues and a church.
The RKO Palace, The Broadway (opened Cinerama), The Winter Garden are enjoying their lives as Broadway Theatres and The Times Square Church (Warner’s Hollywood, Mark Hellinger Theatre). Over on 42nd Street there is the Times Square Theatre sitting waiting for a new use.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 3, 2004 at 11:01 pm

There are 2 theatres that are near Times Square that are used, The Loews E-Walk and the AMC Empire 25

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 3, 2004 at 11:01 pm

There are 2 theatres that are near Times Square that are used, The Loews E-Walk and the AMC Empire 25

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on February 4, 2004 at 12:18 pm

Near but not in. The Mayfair is in Times Square(well I guess you could say 42nd and 8th Av would be considered Times Square but let’s not split hairs.) And the first 3 theaters mentioned by Michael started as legitimate houses and have been primarily been just that.I don’t know if the Broadway opened with another name but a theater opening in the first part of the 20th Century with the name Cinerama would have been pretty strange. The Mark Hellinger(a stunning mini movie palace) has been wasted for too many years now and I’m afraid if things continue as they are might be heading for the wrecking ball as well. Think Henry Miller.

William
William on February 4, 2004 at 2:46 pm

The Broadway Theatre opened 1924 as the Colony Theatre and converted to movies in 1930. It played “Fantasia” in FantaSound and in the early 50’s it opened “This is Cinerama”.
http:cinematreasures.org/theater/2250/

The Warner Hollywood Theatre opened in 1930 and was one of the last palaces to open in the Times Square area.

The Winter Garden Theatre was operated by Warner during the 30’s. You can see pictures of the theatre on the Criterion DVD “The Killers” from 1946. It shows many pictures of the marquee and front of house area.
http://cinemtreasures.org/theater/839/

The Loew’s E-Walk 42nd Street Theatre and the AMC Empire 25 Theatres are modern multi-plex theatres. The only thing that the Empire has going for it, is that they used the former auditorium as their downstairs ticketing area.

William
William on February 4, 2004 at 2:49 pm

The Broadway link is

/theaters/2250/

The Winter Garden link is

/theaters/839/

DavidWallick
DavidWallick on February 5, 2004 at 2:31 pm

It is a shame that NYC will be losing it’s largest movie venue. With the Astor Plaza gone, the only large theater left will be the Ziegfield with 1200 seats, though it will still be 300 seats less than the Astor Plaza. Personally, I hate to see a movie in a tiny theater, though there isn’t much choice left these days.

Greenpoint
Greenpoint on February 7, 2004 at 4:36 pm

I am a vendor for Reese- owners of Tads steaks. Tads closed out of this location about 2 weeks ago. We picked up our beverage dispenser and said goodbye to a very lucrative cutomer…I had no idea about MTV being the culprit here, a VP over at Reese told me that they were “letting the lease lapse”. I was under the impression that the lack of the tourist dollar led to the demise of TAD-255 at 1515 BWAY.

1515 BWAY needs another studio for TRL like I need another hole in my head. What is happenning here?

I seen Rocky V in 1990,The Godfather Twenty-fifth anniversary re-release in 1997 and The X-files Movie in 1998 at this theatre. This was a great theatre. You would have to take a few escalators to get down to the theatre level.

I am saddenned by the loss.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 30, 2004 at 2:47 pm

One more reason to dislike MTV.

I’ll never forget going to the Astor Plaza almost every weekend in the summer of 1977 and finding a seat as close to the screen as I could get to see “Star Wars”.

ducklips
ducklips on June 12, 2004 at 9:26 am

I formerly worked at MTV, and I am not sure if they are at fault at this one. I left there in Feb. and we all heard that a bank was taking over the space. There was an inquiry about taking over some of the other space, (plus since CBS early is getting pushed around over at their location, thought they might come to 1515 broadway)

also, since SL GREEN purchased the building over a year ago they have been making many cuts (fired almost all security staff) and increased rents, as is typical w/ new owners. seems to be the same situation here.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Another LOEWS gone.

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