Astor Theatre

1531 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 226 - 250 of 320 comments

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on January 1, 2006 at 12:42 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 5:02 am

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 6:02 am

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

ERD
ERD on November 16, 2005 at 4:56 am

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 2:24 am

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 5:05 am

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:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/lloyds.jpg

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on November 10, 2005 at 10:10 am

Warren—
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 7:35 am

The big one! The apparent smear across the movie’s title is actually a semi-transparent banner that said “All Seats Reserved”:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/biggie.jpg

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 24, 2005 at 10:32 pm

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
RobertR on October 24, 2005 at 11:47 am

Not one of the Astor’s shining moments :)
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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 18, 2005 at 2:44 am

“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
RobertR on October 17, 2005 at 11:28 pm

March of 1955 “East of Eden"
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VincentParisi
VincentParisi on September 26, 2005 at 2:09 am

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 24, 2005 at 11:51 pm

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
spencerst on August 29, 2005 at 2:55 pm

on the waterfront-1954
but look at the brodway plays
see all of them became movies
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spencerst
spencerst on August 29, 2005 at 2:30 pm

20,000 leagues under the sea-1954
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spencerst
spencerst on August 29, 2005 at 2:19 pm

the story of will rogers-1952
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spencerst
spencerst on August 29, 2005 at 1:59 pm

miracle of our lady of fatima=1952
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spencerst
spencerst on August 29, 2005 at 1:55 pm

miracle of our lady of fatima=1952
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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 29, 2005 at 2:44 am

During the Christmas holidays of 1950, both the Astor and the adjacent Victoria had the NYC premiere engagements of long-awaited film versions of Broadway stage hits. The Astor had Universal’s “Harvey,” with James Stewart replacing stage star Frank Fay, and the Victoria presented Columbia’s “Born Yesterday,” with Judy Holliday re-creating her original role (and going on to winning an ‘Oscar’). On the stage, Holliday had been a last-minute replacement for Jean Arthur, who developed “cold feet” during the Boston tryout.