Plaza Theatre

42 East 58th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 1 - 25 of 157 comments

Astyanax
Astyanax on July 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

When the Plaza joined the Rugoff – Cinema 5 group, the roster of theatres also included the Murray Hill, the 5th Avenue Cinema, the Art & the 8th St. Playhouse. There was fierce competition with Walter Reade Sterling in the showcasing of the international “art house” films. As jay58 has mentioned in earlier posts, the Rugoff corporate offices were around the corner from the Plaza at 595 Madison Ave. Oh, what I would have given to have lived next door to the Plaza!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Hello-

I still say if you knew the address the Plaza wasn’t “hard to find” per se but you bring up an interesting point. considering the Plaza and Paris had similar names and were close by I can see people forgetting which theater a film was playing at if they hadn’t written it down.

its kind of like the late but great Ziegfeld. once it’s closing was verified a number of people posted that part of the problem was it was out of the way, or off the beaten path etc….. but when the Ziegfeld was still used by the studios for exclusive runs of their big releases people had no trouble finding it then so why should they have had trouble finding it now.

speaking of which. I recently posted a question for the late Crystal Hall on 14 St. if anyone knows the answer I bet you do. thanks in advance.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 25, 2016 at 6:53 am

I worked for Cineplex Odeon who once owned the Plaza and the Cinema 3. People were constanty going to the Paris and the Cinema 3 looking for the Plaza. Due to the long runs at all three theatres, even veteran New Yorkers couldn’t remember which was which. In the days of exclusive runs, cash tickets and long lines, believe me, it was a problem.

jay58
jay58 on July 25, 2016 at 5:14 am

I agree completely…the Plaza wasn’t “hard to find.” The marquee was visible from Madison and Park Avenues and my family always used it as a landmark when we told people how to find our building. “Next door to the Plaza Theatre,” we said. Never a problem!

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Hello-

I still say the description of the theater as “hard to find” is unwarranted. many of the films I saw there under the address said “between Madison and Park Aves.” I mean even a blind person could have found it.

captblood
captblood on July 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm

as I said, they were in the immediate area, meaning the same neighborhood, known as the Upper East Side.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Cinema 3 was not really near Cinema 1 & 11. The Plaza Hotel was two blocks away from the Plaza Theatre and the Sutton was not really quite on Sutton Place. But that is New York for you.

captblood
captblood on July 22, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Rugoff / Cinema V Theatres in the immediate area: Paris; Plaza; Sutton; Cinema I & II. Further downtown were the Beekman; Grammercy & Art.

captblood
captblood on July 22, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Cinema 3 was diagonally across from the Paris Theatre

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 19, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Many people went to the Plaza Hotel looking for it there.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 19, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Hello-

I frequently attended this theater. it often held the exclusive Manhattan engagements of many top American films and foreign films. it was not hard to find. i don’t know why the intro at top states so.

mharmon999
mharmon999 on June 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

It was a real unique theatre, 1st movie I saw there was Big Trouble in Little China on 7/3/86 which was the day the movie came out.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

Yes, Cinema 3 was indeed the brainchild of Donald Rugoff. Although I worked for C5Ltd in the post-Rugoff era, I don’t recall ever being in Cinema 3. Aside from its location and the fact that they took phone reservations I couldn’t tell you much more about it.

jay58
jay58 on January 27, 2015 at 8:14 am

Hi, dave-bronx: How do you remember this stuff? I think that Cinema 3 was also a Rugoff creation, no?

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on January 26, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Cinema 3 (with an Arabic 3, not Roman) was in the Plaza Hotel, in a former disco on the lower level in the northeast corner of the building. When the lease was up in the early 1990s the hotel had other plans for the space, I believe it became a health club, operated for the benefit of the hotel guests.

ralphebuoy
ralphebuoy on January 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm

my mother worked at the essex house hotel for many years. i remember seeing ‘darby o'gill and the little people’, i believe it was at the plaza, around 1959 or so. my mother was born in ireland so she was had a vested interest in taking me along. I have an unrelated question though . I am almost positive there is/was a small movie theater in the 59th corner of the plaza hotel but i can;t remember the name. does anyone remember that? or am i just delusional as i tried to google it to no avail

Jctorres
Jctorres on July 24, 2014 at 7:35 am

My name is Julio Torres and I also worked at the Plaza Cinema for Alexandra Jones. When I started working there, Diva was being shown followed by the Pasant due San Souci. I can’t remember every movie we had there but I do remember those I worked with. I would like to know of what happened to them. What happen to Ms. Jones, the old janitor who looked like he was 120 years old when I worked there. Tara Leigh Spitzef concession it’s along with me. Gary Smith Usher. There was once a beautiful cashier who was from Belize. Mr. Joyner who managed the DWGriffith. Any feed back would be appreciated. I am living in Florida and am a public school teacher.

jay58
jay58 on April 1, 2014 at 4:59 am

Thanks, Vinnep. I hadn’t seen the obit. Neighbor Eddie Eisner lived next door to the Plaza in the same building where I and my siblings were raised.

Vinniep
Vinniep on March 31, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I was sad to hear of the passing of Eddie Lawrence, the “Old Philosopher”. In the late 1960’s Eddie used to come by the Plaza and try out some of his new material on us. He was a kind and gentle man.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Uploaded the small grand opening ad in the photo section for this cinema.

jay58
jay58 on August 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I just uploaded some pictures that I think you will like.

jay58
jay58 on August 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

D-B: I was a shareholder and went to the meetings around the corner at 595 Madison and I don’t remember Alexandra. I think she came on board after my time.

jay58
jay58 on August 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

D-B: It’s a shame that you never saw the theatre. It was terrific. The reason that I asked about the basement is because Mr. Evans let me go down there a few times and, with flashlight in hand, I could readily see the old stonework that made up the corrals for the horses. It was amazing. Don Rugoff stored a lot of old Cinema V papers down there.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on August 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

jay58: I was never in the Plaza. By the time I came to Cinema 5 “The Queen” (aka Alexandra) was reigning there. OMG the stories about her! She claimed Mr. Rugoff gave her a lifetime contract to manage the Plaza. Ass’t mgrs had a shelf life of a week, new floor staff about a day. By all accounts she was a terror so I steered clear of the place because I was new and needed my job, although I really wanted to see the inside of it. She lived over near the Beekman somewhere, and she always had the armed Burns guard walk her home at night because she thought one or all of the ass’t mgrs or staff members that she fired would kill her on the street. An older woman usher at C I&II, a very nice pleasant lady who never had anything bad to say about anybody, was sent over there to be the assistant. After two days she came back boiling mad, slamming doors, and using some very colorful language to recount her adventure at the Plaza and exactly what she thought of Miss J. – we’d never seen her in such a state. needless to say, she did not return there.

jay58
jay58 on August 19, 2013 at 6:37 am

D-B: Indeed, I did know Mr. Shafron. He had a mighty, bony handshake. He used to comp me regularly on the nights he was at I and II because of our relationship at the Plaza. Are you sure that he was Austrian? We used to talk about European politics and I’m taxing my brain trying to remember his heritage. He had been with the Company a very long time. Yes, he did work at Saks. You have a very good memory. So, I sure would like to find out about Robbie, the Plaza’s Jamaican porter/handyman. What a lovely guy. I remembered a Plaza anecdote: Arthur marks couldn’t stand the Plaza’s little office. Literally. It was immediately to the right and was built under some steps or the balcony or something so that there was hardly any headroom. As tall as he was, he had to hunch down and that was hard for him. Did you ever look around with a flashlight in the Plaza basement?