Astor Plaza Theater Reopens as the Nokia Theatre
NEW YORK, NY — Well, I visited the “Astor Plaza” Theater last night, although of course it is now the Nokia Theatre. (I know it may hurt, but I believe in keeping with the policy of this website, the name may have to be changed on the site, and Unfortunately, “Astor Plaza” may now have to become the secondary name).
Well, last night was the second night of the new theater. (The Nokia Theater opened Saturday Oct 1, 2005 with Social Distortion playing in the new venue. The new marquee was beautiful. My visit there was sort of bittersweet, as it’s a shame that it is no longer the Astor Plaza…but it is attractive. “Social Distortion” was the first band to open up the new Nokia Theatre, and that’s who I went to see. (they are also playing Tuesday and Wed of this week there).
The escalators look similar to the way it always was, but that’s where it ends. Everything is new, and nothing really remains of the old Astor Plaza. At the bottom of the escalators, is a bar area. Once inside the auditorium, it has been completely redone. The seats have been completely ripped out, and the front two tiers now has hardwood floors. This concert was general admission, so those two tiers are standing room, like most of this type of concerts are.
The rear back tier still has all the seats, but it was closed off from the first two tiers with thick blaock draperies. The only thing I believe remains from the Astor Plaza are four huge round crystal chandeliers, and they were lit when we all came in, and during the breaks between the three bands that played there last night. They were out during the concert. There are also two VIP areas on either side of the stage, that are reached with two stairways on either side, from the second tier.
There is also another bar area down the hall, and a “concession area” selling stuff like chips and Snapple in another area. The hall is lined with attractive floral print carpet.
The place of course was fresh and brand new smelling, of course that was also muted a bit with the smell of alcohol. Strange seeing people walking around with alcohol and wave dancing in the middle of the Astor Plaza…
All told, again, it was sort of bittersweet being there last night, but must say the Nokia Theatre is attractive. At least it’s still some sort of theater, even if a concert venue. It’s better than being cut up into retail space. It’s in good hands, even if not the beloved Astor Plaza anymore.
[CT: For conceptual drawings of the theater, visit the official Nokia Theatre website.]