Astor Theatre

1531 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 17, 2006 at 7:25 pm

The Duke at the Astor:
McHilarious! – Daily News 11/25/63

According to, this one opened in the UK in February, 1963, a full 9 months before coming to the States! A bit odd for a Wayne vehicle, wouldn’t you say?

irajoel on July 23, 2006 at 6:05 pm

You can view some nice images of movie material here. Most are souvnir programs and most are for sale. I have posted here a real nice photo of some man stanging under the astor sign for spellbound.

you can also view my entire inventory for sale at
email me at

SeanVQ on April 19, 2006 at 8:45 am

MGM movies showcased at the Astor:
11/27/1925 – ‘The Big Parade’ – John Gilbert & Renee Adoree
09/23/1927 – ‘The Student Prince’ – Ramon Novarro & Norma Shearer
12/30/1927 – ‘The Enemy’ – Lillian Gish & Ralph Forbes
03/23/1928 – ‘The Trail of 98’ – Dolores del Rio & Ralph Forbes
08/03/1928 – ‘White Shadows’ – Monte Blue & Raquel Torres
11/16/1928 – ‘Jimmy Valentine’ – William Haines & Leila Hyams
02/08/1929 – ‘The Broadway Melody’ – Bessie Love & Charles King
06/14/1929 – ‘The Hollywood Revue’ – All Star Revue
12/20/1929 – ‘Devil-May-Care’ – Ramon Novarro & Dorothy Jordan
01/24/1930 – ‘The Rogue Song’ – Lawrence Tibbett & Catherine Dale Owen
06/27/1930 – ‘The Big House’ – Chester Morris & Wallace Beery
10/24/1930 – ‘War Nurse’ – Robert Montgomery & June Walker
12/26/1930 – ‘New Moon’ – Lawrence Tibbett & Grace Moore
02/06/1931 – ‘Trader Horn’ – Edwina Booth & Harry Carey
06/05/1931 – ‘A Free Soul’ – Norma Shearer & Leslie Howard
09/11/1931 – ‘The Guardsman’ – Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne
11/15/1931 – ‘The Champ’ – Wallace Beery & Jackie Cooper
12/25/1931 – ‘Hell Divers’ – Clark Gable & Wallace Beery
04/15/1932 – ‘Grand Hotel’ – John Barrymore & Greta Garbo
09/02/1932 – ‘Strange Interlude’ – Norma Shearer & Clark Gable
11/11/1932 – ‘Payment Deferred’ – Charles Laughton
12/23/1932 – ‘Rasputin and the Empress’ – The Barrymores
03/17/1933 – ‘The White Sister’ – Helen Hayes & Clark Gable
04/28/1933 – ‘Hell Below’ – Robert Montgomery & Walter Huston
08/25/1933 – ‘Dinner At Eight’ – John Barrymore & Jean Harlow
11/17/1933 – ‘Eskimo’ – Travelogue
12/29/1933 – ‘Queen Christina’ – Greta Garbo & John Gilbert

CelluloidHero2 on March 3, 2006 at 10:50 am

I recently saw the TVM “It’s Good To Be Alive”,(Roy Campanella story) on the Fox Movie Channel and during the opening credits there is a great shot of the Astor Theatre. In the background you can see the Victoria. Another quick scene shows the Harlem Theater. The film was made in the early 70’s with Paul Witfield as Campy. A young Lou Gossett is also in the film. The real Campy bookends the story as he sits at a desk writing his life story. Also, in the opening credits are nice clips of Campy and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

VincentParisi on January 1, 2006 at 10:42 pm

In the new picture book on Dean there is a full page photo of the Astor marquee and billboard at the time of Eden.
Those individual billboards from the 30’s to the 50’s are wonderful but I remember as a boy seeing the block long billboard with The Bible, Dr Dolittle, Star and Krakatoa. They were pretty spectacular to me.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 21, 2005 at 3:02 pm

I recently found a Playbill from May of 1981 in my collection that includes the following Q & A about the Astor from it’s “Dear Playbill…” section:

Dear Playbill: While walking down B'way recently, I suddenly realized that the Astor Theater on the corner of 45th Street was gone. When did it disappear? Wasn’t it once a legitimate theatre?
—– Melvin G. Lustig, West New York, N.J.
A: Although the Astor Theatre building still stands, the space was converted to a Flea Market emporium a few years ago. Yes, the Astor opened on September 21, 1906 as a legitimate theater. It housed such hits as George M. Cohan’s “Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913), the first Pulitzer Prize Play "Why Marry?” (1917) and Fay Bainter in “East Is West” (1918). After 1925, it operated as a reserved seat, two-a-day movie house for the showing of prestigious films.

I also found a 1978 Playbill that lists in its Theater Guide productions playing at the Bijou, Morosco and Helen Hayes theaters – all of which were demolished in 1982 along with the Astor and Victoria movie theaters to make way for the Marriot Marquis Hotel. Some great reading material in these Playbills along with the ads for Pan-Am, TWA and long gone NYC restaurants and nightclubs (Hawaii Kai, Luchows, Mama Leone’s). I posted some other references from these Playbills on the pages for the Lyric Theater and the 42nd Street Apollo here on the site.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 16, 2005 at 4:02 pm

“On the Beach” was the first movie shown at the “new” Astor, and opened just before Christmas in 1959.

ERD on November 16, 2005 at 2:56 pm

I remember going with my friends to the Astor as a teenager when it was remodeled in the late 1950’s. I think I saw “ON THE BEACH” there.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on November 15, 2005 at 12:24 pm

In Stanley Kubrick’s 1955 film Killer’s Kiss available on a nice DVD, there are extended night scenes of the Times Square area and its theatres. One gets clear views of the Victoria with a large display for The Man Between, the Astor with Queen of Sheba, and the Embassy Newsreel Theatre. There are snippets of more. That part must have been shot around November of 1953.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 11, 2005 at 3:05 pm

New Year’s Eve, 1936. Loew’s State had Gable & Crawford in “Love on the Run” (a move-over from the Capitol) and vaudeville. The Gaiety was presenting Minsky’s burlesque:

BoxOfficeBill on November 10, 2005 at 8:10 pm

Splendid pix of the great old sign blazing with lights. The block-long newer version was a real disappointment with its harsh relected light. We can only wonder what colors the Ziegfeld and GWTW signs displayed, and what patterns of on-and-off blinking razzle-dazzle they sported.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 10, 2005 at 5:35 pm

The big one! The apparent smear across the movie’s title is actually a semi-transparent banner that said “All Seats Reserved”:

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 25, 2005 at 9:32 am

I didn’t know Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler (“The Ballad of the Green Berets”) ever made a movie. But there he is, in the cast of “Dayton’s Devils”.

RobertR on October 24, 2005 at 10:47 pm

Not one of the Astor’s shining moments :)
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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 18, 2005 at 1:44 pm

“Gone With the Wind” ended its original reserved-seat engagement at the Astor in October, 1940, after a run of 44 weeks and a reported attendance of 2.5 million people (which seems to me somewhat exaggerated). The next day, the Astor re-linked with the Capitol for Charles Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” with the Astor again with reserved seats and the Capitol running “grind.” In those days, the Capitol presented movies only, but stage shows would resume in 1943 after an eight-year blackout.

RobertR on October 18, 2005 at 10:28 am

March of 1955 “East of Eden"
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VincentParisi on September 26, 2005 at 1:09 pm

It would be nice as well to attach pictures of the Astor billboard with its various films. One of the all time greats of Times Square.
I would have loved to have seen the one for Queen Christina at night.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 25, 2005 at 10:51 am

THESE THEATRE ADS appeared in a program booklet “Stadium Concerts Review” for Lewisohn Stadium, College of the City of New York, for July 29 to August 4, 1936. The concerts were by the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra. The small ads tout what was playing at several New York movie theatres. One of them was the Astor, which was in its fifth month with The Great Ziegfeld.

spencerst on August 30, 2005 at 1:55 am

on the waterfront-1954
but look at the brodway plays
see all of them became movies
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spencerst on August 30, 2005 at 1:30 am

20,000 leagues under the sea-1954
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