Plaza Theatre

42 East 58th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 51 - 75 of 141 comments

AlAlvarez on January 2, 2010 at 8:48 am

The waiter at TAO told me the kitchen is in the old basement lounge area.

johndereszewski on January 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

Just finished reading this marvelous thread, one of the most interesting and informative on this web site. I always knew there was something special about this place, but I had no idea of its rich history.

I visited the Plaza a number of times during the 70’s and 80’s. The one movie that I recall seeing was the Garden of the Finzi Contini.

While a few persons have already noted it, I need to say a word about the wonderful basement lounge, which was, at least in my experience, the most civilized place in which to wait for the next showing. I remember once becomming so comfortable reading my book there that I actually regretted the fact that the movie was about to start and that I had to leave this place!

My guess is that the old lounge area now hosts a separate dining room. While it probably has been totally re-designed, this might be the one area where some relic of the former theater may have survived. Who knows?

JimS1 on January 2, 2010 at 5:03 am

I saw STORY OF ADELE H. at the Plaza. Thanks for clearing that up about the basement theatre at the Plaza Hotel. For the life of me, I could not remember the name of that venue. I thought it was also called the Plaza.

dave-bronx™ on October 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm

That last sentence should read “…because she was AFRAID one or more of…”. sorry…

dave-bronx™ on October 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

When she put on her British accent, she was Alexandra Jones. She was holy terror to work for – at one point she was going through three assistant managers a week and had a revolving door for the staff, too. Had to have the armed security guard walk her home every night because she was one or more of the multitudes she fired would kill her.

vicboda on October 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm

This was the first theater in Manhattan to become totally smoke free. The manager was Avi Jones and when she quit smoking herself – she put the policy into works.

edblank on September 23, 2009 at 11:13 am

Very interesting, Vinnie. Please do share more memories of the Plaza.

By the way, Preminger’s response to which picture was his favorite or made him proudest, etc., was always, “My latest one.” When you’ve made “Laura,” “The Man With the Giolden Arm,” “Anatomy of a Murder” and “In Harm’s Way,” among others, you can’t pass off “Hurry Sundown” or “Skidoo” or “The Human Factor” as the answer to that question.

Vinniep on September 23, 2009 at 10:45 am

I worked my way through college from 1963-67 by working at the Plaza. I still have fond memories of my time there and the people I worked with. Polly, Mary, Mr. Evans and Mr. Marx were unforgettable characters. I got to meet several famous people while working there,especially when we hosted movie premiers. I talked to Otto Preminger when his move “Hurry Sundown” received poor reviews. He came to the Plaza about a week after the movie had opened. The theater was usually less than half full. He asked me “How is my movie doing ?” I responded, “Unfortunately no too well”. He looked at me and said, “Well I’ll make another one and maybe the people will like it better.” I was both surprised and amused by his response. I have several more experiences to relate, if anyone is interested.

edblank on March 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Apologies, but it’s necessary. The “replies to my comment” checkmark does not lock in unless I submit a comment, however brief. It’s a glitch I have not been able to circumvent by any other means. No intent to inconvenience anyone else.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

When you post 10 times in a row to renew a link, all it does is screw up the Recent Comments list for everyone else. If there was more than 10, it wouldn’t be an issue. If you absolutely HAVE to renew a link, try doing one at a time, every couple of hours.

Just my thought…

AlAlvarez on February 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm

BILL & TED and HOUSE OF CARDS both opened at the Plaza.

dave-bronx™ on February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Ed Blank is correct: “Maurice” was at the Paris, for months and months.

edblank on February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I don’t believe that in the modern era (1970s onward)any movies passed from the Paris to the Plaza, but Warren or one of the others would know better.

Kieranx on February 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Thanks, Ed. I didn’t wind up seeing Maurice in the theater, but I remember passing by the marquee a few times when I first moved to the city. I thought it was either the Paris or the Plaza. I do remember a marquee for Maurice covered by a lot of scaffolding, though. Is it possible that it moved over to the Plaza?

edblank on February 4, 2009 at 5:09 pm

“Maurice” made its Manhattan debut at the Paris, where I saw it, not the Plaza. “Bill & Ted” didn’t play at the Paris, though. Not sure where “House of Cards” opened.

Kieranx on February 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I’m racking my brain trying to picture this theater. Does anyone remember if Maurice played here in ‘87? If this is the place I’m thinking of, I saw Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Music Box here, and I think some Kathleen Turner movie called House of Cards.

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Current interior can be seen on the restaurant site:

jay58 on May 30, 2008 at 4:24 am

Astyanax, thanks for mentioning the Fine Arts which was on 58th between Park and Lex. I saw “The Producers” there, first-run.

longislandmovies on May 29, 2008 at 9:13 pm

As i was C/O point person on the rialto i can tell you we did spend money there.The theater did ok but C/O could not get the bookings in the times square area.

dave-bronx™ on May 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Al, wouldn’t you say that his ‘spending undue expense’ prevented those resources from being available to maintain the facilities that they already built or renovated? For example, wouldn’t the money they threw away on the Rialto, a theatre that even the porno operators didn’t want anymore and only lasted a couple years under CO, would have been better spent fixing the air conditioning at the B/C, or the escalator, or the roof? There were many Rialto’s that shouldn’t have been bothered with that caused the deterioration of many viable theatres like the B/C due to lack of resources.

AlAlvarez on May 28, 2008 at 6:08 am

Whatever one thinks of Cineplex and Garth to accuse him of spending undue expense in preserving, booking and keeping single screens open in major cities is hardly a crime profile on this site.

Astyanax on May 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Truth be told, the Plaza was never a conventional venue, and until coming under the Rugoff banner in the ‘60s, specialized in some imports but mostly revivals. Under the deft booking pattern of Cinema 5 it established a clear identity as a prime first run art house in league with the Paris to the west, and the Fine Arts to the east. After the exit of the specialized Rugoff bookings and advertising campaigns, it became just another screen in a marginal location.