PlayStation Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 501 - 525 of 535 comments

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 28, 2004 at 7:01 am

In his April 26th comment Vincent states: “ It is stupefying when you see how arrogant these architects are and how much money they make and they come up with buildings without an ounce of imagination or style(see what they’re doing to Paris.)” I think most here would like to know more of why such depredations are happening, and there is no better explanation than in the book: FROM BAUHAUS TO OUR HOUSE by Tom Wolfe, available at most libraries or via such as from this page: View link where you will also find my own review of this witty diatribe that skewers the pretensions of the modern day architecture as no one else can. For those unwilling to read even this short book, there are audio cassettes and downloads of it available there. Thank goodness our beloved theatres were mostly unaffected by the mad, headlong dash into modernism which indirectly has spelled the end of a number of theatres, especially in NYC, where property values are so inflated that any building more than 30 years old is considered passe, and something more profitable is eagerly sought by the money mad. This is the real reason so many theatres were demolished there: they couldn’t bring in as much money, and the power of influential people to desire and then clear a lot to build their own money-makers is awesome if not disgusting. As God’s word, the Bible, says: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” (1st Timothy 6:10) [many Bibles translate this as ‘the root of all evil’, but our English word ‘evil’ is much more limited than the broad scope of the original Koine Greek word here.]

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 6:50 am

The sound at the Warner Cinerama and Rivoli was the old 6 track magnetic and it had a superb warmth and depth that was never quite the same after Dolby came in or is my memory playing tricks on me?

delamare
delamare on April 28, 2004 at 6:26 am

I remenber an evening performance of “Raiders of the lost arch” in 1981 the sound was absolutely perfect and the auditorium with confortable seats was giving such a quality never found in the movie theatres of Paris of these days only the tobacco smoke was unusual for us.During my last trip to New York four years ago i was surprised to see the Astor Plaza still runnig due to the development of multiplex in the city.
But the closing of such places is a loss and without nostalgy the end of a kind of pleasure to go to the movies never found in multiplex.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 28, 2004 at 6:23 am

Well not at all. I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie there and Gladiator. Two movies which I like enormously and two different types which would show off a large single screen house to best advantage. I wouldn’t avoid it but then I wouldn’t make a point to see a movie there either like I would have at some of the old houses and which I do now at the Loew’s Jersey. Come on over everyone!

umbaba
umbaba on April 28, 2004 at 3:54 am

Vincent. I think you need to take a trip to Astor Plaza again. You need to see the screen there. You seem to have a bad vibe about the Astor, did you have a bad experience there?

William
William on April 27, 2004 at 8:27 am

Remember the Mayfair/DeMille/Embassy 2,3,4 has not been used since 1998. A lot of things can happen in 6 years. And how well did the company that operated it keep it up?? The Times Square Theatre on 42nd Street is also rotting away too. To equip the theatre for three panel Cinerama you would have to install a wide curved screen. One problem with that. There is only two films available in three-panel Cinerama format.
Fox recently re-stuck new 70MM prints of “Hello Dolly”, “Patton” for Special Venue screenings. Many of those 70MM Roadshow prints are no longer around. Because the studios only made a select amount of them during their original releases. And over the years they got used and damaged or faded and they were destroyed. Because now a new 70MM print of one those Roadshow titles can cost well past $50,000 a print.
The downfall was when studios found they could make more money if they opened wide with 2000-3000 prints. During the 70’s, you only had a lot of singles & twin houses here. In Los Angeles the First Run areas were first Downtown Los Angeles, then Hollywood, then Beverly Hills. Then it was Hollywood and Beverly Hills. After Beverly Hills died out it moved to Westwood and Hollywood.

RobertR
RobertR on April 27, 2004 at 6:47 am

When I see pictures of the displays that they used to put up on those giant billboards with neon and three dimensional objects it shows just how much things have changed. I guess the downfall all started with the showcase runs and the way movies open and close in a few weeks.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 27, 2004 at 6:18 am

The Mayfair/DeMille, at least the last time I looked, is at the corner of 47th St and 7th Av. It was triplexed and is now boarded up. It has the wraparound billboard still in use which when it was a reserved seat house had the amoung the best displays for movies I’ve ever seen. I was a child so maybe that had some thing to do with it.

People keep telling me how big the screen is at the Astor Plaza and for wome reason I was never impressed by it. Anybody know the dimensions for this and the one at the Ziegfeld?

umbaba
umbaba on April 27, 2004 at 4:26 am

Where is the Mayfair/DeMille located? address.. what’s there now? I agree, the ASTOR is not a design masterpiece of old theater like the Ziegfeld or the Lafayette in Suffern NY. But, it has one of the largest screens I’ve ever seen and I have good memories of seeing flicks there. It IS a great theater.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 10:52 am

Remember everybody that the Mayfair/Demille still stands. The only real cinema left in the Square. Anybody have the money to restore it back to when it was a 70mm house? Come on Scorcese this is where we can have our own Cinemateque and a better one than they have in LA.
How about everything from silents to cinemascope to Todd AO to 3 strip cinerama(for this a 100 ft screen anyone?) There have got to be enough rich cinemaphiles in NY to make this happen.

YMike
YMike on April 26, 2004 at 10:27 am

Its a shame that this theatre will be closed. There is nothing like seeing a film in a large single-screen theatre. When the Astor and The State are closed there will be no movie theatres on Broadway in the Times Square area. Very Sad.

RobertR
RobertR on April 26, 2004 at 9:32 am

Of all the theatres mentioned I always felt the old Loews State was twinned without destroying the theatre. By building the seperate screen totally under the balcony the entire theatre was still seen from the seating of the old loge and balcony looking at the original screen. Am I remebering correctly?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 26, 2004 at 6:33 am

It is stupefying when you see how arrogant these architects are and how much money they make and they come up with buildings without an ounce of imagination or style(see what they’re doing to Paris.)
I agree with you about the splitting up of the theaters but I always hoped they would restore the Criterion and the Rivoli. And the original theaters of the Strand and the Loew’s State were probalby there intact underneath all the modernizations waiting to be discovered. I’d like to know about all the payoffs that go from the real estate developers to the Landmarks Comission to keep them from landmarking these priceless architectural jewels. The history of this in NY must be staggering.

jays
jays on April 25, 2004 at 8:18 am

Oh and Vincent I’m definatley in agreement of razing that monstosity of a building next door that definatley has no historical/architectual value. yes they can get rid of that too the replace a lot of grand old theatres with hotels, and condos these days as if New York needs that much more residential space.

jays
jays on April 25, 2004 at 8:12 am

Vincent. I’ve been to all of those theatres you’ve mentioned with the exception of the above mentioned Astor HOtel. and yes granted it is a modern building with no historical and definely no architectual value but in an age of the impersonal and unattractive multiplexes that are springing up all over the city it’s a treasure to have at least one or two singled screened cinemas that are kept up nice to see event films without another films sound leaking into your auditorium.So yes one less singled screen is a tradgedy for me even if they twin or multiplex this theatre like they did the Rivoli,Strand,Criterion even the State as early as 1968 is as good as a theatre being razed because sometimes you desroy the intregrity of a theatre building.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on April 21, 2004 at 8:14 am

I can’t believe these comments about this oversized bunker. This only opened in the 70’s and replaced one of the truly great buildings of New York, The Astor Hotel. This theater has absolutely no historical or architectural value. I guess these people were never in the Strand, Criterion or Rivoli. May the entire monstrosity of a building be razed along with the Mariott(5 theaters lost) next door(whose only contribution to New York is an atrium sadly convenient for suicides.)

umbaba
umbaba on April 21, 2004 at 6:24 am

Savage, I found it. Thanks so much. The pictures on the site are great. I’ve taken my own pictures of the Ziefeld, Film Forum but haven’t got any of Astor, and in the event I don’t get there before it closes. I still can’t believe it. Wouldn’t it be great if The Astor had a farewell film festival, featuring Big Screen Classics like Star Wars, Ben-Hur, River Kwai, etc. When that theater goes, so does a piece of classic cinema culture. I feel as if the multiplexes are the enemy. Thanks again.

jays
jays on April 20, 2004 at 11:57 pm

Rhet, when you go on that site again and see the menu, click the french version at the top above the american flag and then click New York it’s definatley there try it and let me know if it doesn’t work i’ll walk you through it you just gotta see these pictures.

umbaba
umbaba on April 14, 2004 at 5:50 am

Savage, where are the pictures of the Astor located. I went on the site but could not find anything? BTW…I think the Astor closing is a blight on NY. It is one of the best theaters I ever went to. I saw Apocalypse Now, 2001, The Godfather there. I hate the feeling of multiplexes.

RobertR
RobertR on April 7, 2004 at 7:00 am

That should make Michael happy.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on April 4, 2004 at 10:34 am

In response to above comment. The Worldwide Cinemas as reported by Variety is to become legitimate stages.brucec

br91975
br91975 on April 4, 2004 at 9:50 am

What I’m not clear on – besides MTV being cold and corporate – is why their management doesn’t instead target the former Worldwide Cinemas on 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Granted, it’s not in the heart of Times Square, but the space within that structure – 6 medium- to large-sized auditoriums – would seem to immediately lend itself better to studio space. (Besides, there was word a couple of years ago – the theater itself ceased operations in February of 2001 when Loews Cineplex immediately divested itself of several properties throughout North America when its bankruptcy at the time became official – that another company was interested in doing the same within that space; on a common-sense basis, if it was good for those individuals or that company, why wouldn’t it be good enough for MTV?)

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 1, 2004 at 8:34 am

Could someone who knows the closing date of this theater please post it here? I’d like to go back one more time. Thanks.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 30, 2004 at 11:48 am

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”.

jays
jays on March 13, 2004 at 7:34 am

I forgot to mention because I was so excited at what I found that site is called “Silver Screens.com” and that they also have interior photos of the new 34th street cinemas on the west side. check it out if you are a true fan of cinemas like my self.