Loew's Triboro Theatre

2804 Steinway Street,
Astoria, NY 11103

Unfavorite 10 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 100 of 122 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 25, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Here are two images of the auditorium, which was similar to Lamb’s earlier Pitkin in Brooklyn, but less extravagant. The arrival of the Depression caused Loew’s to cut the Triboro’s budget:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/128-2851_IMG.jpg

RobertR
RobertR on July 8, 2005 at 6:11 pm

Nobody has added the Manhattan Roosevelt on 145 St see the ad I have posted on the 125 St Apollo and Cinerama site.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 8, 2005 at 6:08 pm

Thanks Ken. I thought I found another theater to add.

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on July 8, 2005 at 5:50 pm

That’s a great photo of today’s Steinway and 28th Street. I recently circumnavigated the neighborhood looking for the great Titan Greek Supermarket, all the while wondering where the Triboro had once stood. This block of rowhouses would never have occured to me as the location.

KenRoe
KenRoe on July 8, 2005 at 5:15 pm

The Triboro Theatre located on 125th Street, Harlem was known as the Gotham Theatre, already listed here http://cinematreasures.org/theatre/6523/

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 8, 2005 at 3:57 pm

I read that there was a Triboro Theater on 125th St in Manhattan? Was it a movie theater? I was reading an article about a 1950’s singing group called the Fiestas' and how they were “discovered” singing in the bathroom of the Triboro Theater. This is the part of the article that concerns the Triboro:

“They were signed to Old Town by owner Hy Weiss in 1959 after he heard the group singing "So Fine” in the bathroom next to his office (which was run out of the cloak room of the Triboro Theatre on 125th Street and Third Avenue in Harlem). The single shot onto the charts immediately".

br91975
br91975 on July 8, 2005 at 3:40 pm

The Triboro (which I’m too young to have attended) was torn down for THOSE?!? What… a… disgrace…

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 8, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Here’s an opening ad for Loew’s Triboro from a Queens newspaper. Interestingly, the atmospheric auditorium shown at the top belongs to Loew’s Paradise! Perhaps Loew’s felt that the public wouldn’t know the difference, even though the two theatres are by different architects:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/123-2360_IMG.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 6, 2005 at 9:47 pm

Here is a photo of the awe-inspiring buildings that replaced Loew’s Triboro. Gratitude should be given to Queens borough president Donald Mannes, who, thankfully, committed suicide in the wake of the scandal that followed:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/108-0888_IMG.jpg

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 6, 2005 at 9:43 pm

Here is a photo of the awe-inspiring buildings that replaced Loew’s Triboro. Gratitude should be given to Queens borough president Donald Mannes, who, thankfully, committed suicide in the wake of the scandal that followed:
[url=http://www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/108-0888_IMG.jpg]

RobertR
RobertR on May 20, 2005 at 5:53 pm

Here is a shot of the marquee at night.

frankdev
frankdev on May 4, 2005 at 10:43 pm

I grew up in the triboro. it was beautiful, fun place to see a movie. not only did i see movies there but my graduation form bryant
high school was held in the triboro. i still miss it.

hardbop
hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 10:25 pm

Ah, that answers the question. The Broadway is the cinemas that was on Broadway between 31st and 32nd Streets just east of the subway stop. The Strand at one time was I believe some sort of studio, like Kaufman/Astoria Studios. What they filmed, or still film, there I don’t know; I never went in there. There were (and are) retail stores in the building that must have been the Strand. There was also a bowling alley at one time in the same complex I believe that was in the basement and that closed some time since I moved to Astoria in the 1970s.

How can I find out when the Strand and Broadway closed?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2005 at 10:11 pm

The only theatres on Broadway in Astoria were the Broadway, which is near the Broadway elevated subway station and now a catering hall, and the Strand, which is several blocks west of the el station. I don’t know what the Strand is used for, if anything. The entrance was converted to retail.

hardbop
hardbop on March 31, 2005 at 10:01 pm

I have lived in Astoria since ‘87 and didn’t know there were four theatres on Steinway! Only the dreadful Astoria six-'plex was open when I moved here and now that is closed.

I noticed that the theatre on Crescent & Broadway was mentioned. That was the Strand.

I take it that the Triboro was on the northwest corner of Steinway & 28th Avenue. Those apartments are the pits, though there is nice coffee shop/bar on the corner.

What block was the Steinway? I don’t recall a Brothers store off the top of my head, but the building on the southwest corner of 30th Avenue and Steinway looks like it could have been a theatre at one time.

Then there was the Olympia on Steinway & 25th Street. That must be just south of the Grand Central on the same block where the Triboro used to be.

Where was the fourth Steinway Street Cinema located?

And there must have been a cinema on the corner of 32nd Street and Broadway, now the site of a bank. The building looks like it was a cinema at one time.

Benjamin
Benjamin on March 23, 2005 at 9:27 pm

BoxOfficeBill: Thanks for the Mickey Rooney suggestions. I looked up “Quicksand” on Amazon, and it doesn’t seem to be the movie I’m thinking of. I wonder if I’ve mixed up Mickey Rooney with another actor? Or perhaps it wasn’t a carnival or circus, but something else that seemed to me — a kid — to be a carnival or circus side show? (Maybe it was a horse racing stable?)

It’s funny how memories are, though. In my mind it is a relatively vivid image (I can see them in some kind of hayloft), and I distinctly remember being none too pleased with the fact that my father seemed to be laughing so much and so thoroughly enjoying this scene in the movie (as though he was putting all kids — including me — into the same category as the kid on the screen).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 22, 2005 at 10:31 pm

The Grand is probably the theatre mentioned by Benjamin. It was operated by the Skouras circuit for almost all of its theatrical life. The Ditmars was not far away, but a much smaller “indie” theatre. Both theatres were close to the Ditmars Boulevard station, which is the first/last stop on the elevated BMT subway (current N and W trains).

BoxOfficeBill
BoxOfficeBill on March 22, 2005 at 10:17 pm

Benjamin— here’s M. Rooney’s filmography for ‘53-'57: “Off Limits” (a Bob Hope service comedy), “Drive a Crooked Road” (M as race-car driver), “Atomic Kid” (M filled-up with uranium), “Bridges at Toko-Ri,” “Bold and the Brave” (war action), “Francis in the Haunted House,” “Operation Mad Ball” (Jack Lemmon service comedy),“Baby Face Nelson” (gangster bio). None of these fits your description. In 1950, Rooney acted in “Quicksand” as a hapless car mechanic needled by Peter Lorree, who runs a penny arcade. I don’t know whether the arcade bursts into flame at the end, or whether there’s a child actor involved.

Benjamin
Benjamin on March 22, 2005 at 8:59 pm

Ken: From reading that webpage, the “Grand” seems to be the theater I’m thinking of (e.g., 2,178 seats seems about the right level of grandeur).

Sorry, that was my mistake regarding the addresses. Although I grew up in Queens, the street numbering system has always given me a problem, and with my map being cut in half, I read the map wrong.

Looking at the map again, Ditmars seems to be the equivalent of a 22nd Ave., and the next street to the south is 23rd Ave. I think the hyphenated addres works as follows: the first number reflects the number of the cross street at the north end of the block, and the number after the hypen relfects how far that building is from the northern end of the block (with odd numbers being on the eastern side of the street).

So, if I’m reading the map correctly this time, an address for the “Grand” at 22-15 (closer to 22nd St. and on the eastern side of 31st St.) and for the “Ditmars” at 22-68 (further away from 22nd St. and on the western side of 31st St.) would seem about right. (Although I don’t have any personal recollection of the “Ditmars” at all.)

Thanks again for your help! It seemed so strange that such a large theater (which was so bustling and full of life in my memory of it in the mid-1950s) was so much “under the radar.” But since it apparently closed in the mid-1950s, one can see how it more or less fell off the map. But I guess it’s the same as the Jamaica Theater west of Parsons Blvd. on Jamaica Ave. — except that that one closed before I ever saw it in operation.

KenRoe
KenRoe on March 22, 2005 at 7:34 pm

Benjamin;
Try looking at the Grand Theatre /theaters/630/

I was just about to add the Ditmars Theatre but have now held back. My F.D.R. actually gives an address as 22-68 31st Ave but thats quite a way from Ditmars Blvd so I thought it could be a mis-print? Reading what you have just posted here and whats said about the Ditmars on the Grand Theatre page, i’m not so sure now. Maybe as a local you will know better than me and post a correct entry for the Ditmars.

Benjamin
Benjamin on March 22, 2005 at 7:21 pm

P.S. — I haven’t been to that area in ages, but looking at the Hagstom, the particular block that I’m thinking about seems to be a double-sized block. (For some reason, 32nd St. discontinues at 23rd Ave. and then starts up again at Ditmars.)

Benjamin
Benjamin on March 22, 2005 at 7:17 pm

Ken:

Looking at my Hagstrom, I get the impression that 22-68 31st St. would be approximately one subway stop further to the south from where I think the movie theater I’m talking about was. (It’s hard for me to read this particular map in my Hagstrom atlas because, wouldn’t you know it, the area is interrupted by the book’s spiral binding.)

It’s funny, and I may be way off, but in my recollection this theater is a “major” movie theater with a big marquee (in my mind, it is just one step below the Triboro in grandeur) and just about at the end of the line of the “elevated” along 31st St. (which even as a kid seemed too “delicious” for a disaster movie scene — with the “el” trains shooting off the end of the elevated structure).

In my memory the theater is on the corner, with the big marquee facing the elevated on 31st St. and the left side of the auditorium running along Ditmars. I think there was a “tunnel” foyer/lobby running east-west, until it hit a north-south “real” lobby running across the back of the orchestra level.

2) The Mickey Rooney movie (if there was one, and I haven’t mixed different movies/TV shows together in my mind) would have been around 1954, 1955 or 1956. (I once tried looking it up on Imdb, but it was very difficult to do — it might have been an earlier movie of his that was re-released or on a double-bill?)

KenRoe
KenRoe on March 22, 2005 at 6:45 pm

Benjamin;

  1. The closest I can get to your 31st St and Ditmars Boulevard address is in my 1950 Film Daily Yearbook, the Ditmars Theatre, 22-68 31st Street which had 597 seats listed. This is not currently listed on Cinema Treasures.

  2. Approx what year was the Mickey Rooney movie?

Benjamin
Benjamin on March 22, 2005 at 5:52 pm

Thanks (yet again!) Warren and BoxOfficeBill for the helpful info.

Since I’m not sure where else to place these questions, the Triboro site seems as good a place as any:

1) Does anyone know the name of the movie theater in Astoria on, I believe, 31st St. and Ditmars? I remember being taken there in the mid-1950s by some older neighborhood kids to see some kiddie matinee movie — maybe even “Our Gang” comedies.

2) Does anyone remember a Mickey Rooney movie where he plays a guardian of a young boy. The boy is rebellious (sp?) and uncooperative. But the kid becomes cooperative all of a sudden when they go to some kind of carnival or circus and get caught in a fire.

Thanks in advance for any info anyone has!

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 22, 2005 at 4:37 pm

This was in an article from the Queens Gazette:

“If you preferred to catch a movie at the Triboro in Astoria, October 1935 was a good month for the cinema. Local residents could see Clark Gable and Loretta Young in "Call of the Wild,” Gary Cooper in “The Virginian,” Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in “Top Hat,” Frederic March and Merle Oberon in “Dark Angel,” Paul Robeson in “Sanders of the River,” and Maureen O'Sullivan in “The Bishop Misbehaves.

Later in the month Bette Davis was starring in the movie “Special Agent,” which promised to show you how “Uncle Sam’s T-Men mop up the Moneyed Mobsters!” The gangland movie proved to be almost too popular. On October 28 it was reported, “Yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock, at the RKO Keith Theatre in Flushing, where the current screen attraction is ‘Special Agent’ with George Brent and Bette Davis, a ‘special agent’ (name unknownâ€"as is usual with special agents) mounted on a fiery steed, entered the lobby of the theatre but in view of the fact that he was mounted and had tickets for neither himself nor the horse, Richard King, the amiable doorman, refused them admission.

It seems that the gentleman, who would not give his name, decided to spend his Sunday afternoon horseback riding, and happened on Main Street, which is a pretty busy thoroughfare on any afternoon, even in those days. The horse became frightened and unmanageable and ran away with his rider. He stopped only when halted in the lobby of the theatre when Mr. King demanded admission. Neither the horse nor the rider would purchase tickets to see the picture and went on their way".