Best Buy Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on May 16, 2007 at 9:54 am

Star Wars opened on Wed May 25. Actually all the Star Wars films opened on the 25th. The dates for Empire and Jedi are incorrect.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 16, 2007 at 9:41 am

Al’s right – what a crummy lineup. With a few exceptions, of course, such as “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “The Godfather” (1972). A sad state of affairs.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 16, 2007 at 8:38 am

This mostly dire nineties line-up makes one wonder not why the Astor Plaza closed, but rather, how it managed to stay open so long.

01/12/90 INTERNAL AFFAIRS
02/02/90 HEART CONDITION
03/02/90 HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, THE
05/04/90 TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
06/08/90 ANOTHER 48 HRS.
08/10/90 TWO JAKES
08/31/90 LEMON SISTERS, THE
09/14/90 DEATH WARRANT
09/28/90 KING OF NEW YORK, THE
10/26/90 GRAVEYARD SHIFT
11/16/90 ROCKY V
12/25/90 GODFATHER III, THE
02/14/91 SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
03/22/91 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II
05/03/91 RAGE IN HARLEM, A
06/07/91 CITY SLICKERS
07/12/91 BOYZ N' THE HOOD
08/23/91 DEAD AGAIN
09/27/91 NECESSARY ROUGHNESS
10/11/91 FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
11/22/91 ADDAMS FAMILY, THE
01/17/92 JUICE
02/14/92 WAYNE’S WORLD
03/27/92 LADYBUGS
04/10/92 SLEEPWALKERS
06/05/92 PATRIOT GAMES
07/10/92 COOL WORLD
07/24/92 MO' MONEY
08/28/92 PET SEMATARY TWO
10/09/92 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE
10/30/92 RAMPAGE
11/13/92 BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
12/18/92 LEAP OF FAITH
01/15/93 NOWHERE TO RUN
02/12/93 TEMP, THE
03/12/93 FIRE IN THE SKY
04/07/93 INDECENT PROPOSAL
05/21/93 SLIVER
06/30/93 FIRM, THE
08/27/93 NEEDFUL THINGS
09/17/93 STRIKING DISTANCE
11/05/93 FLESH AND BONE
11/19/93 ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
01/21/94 INTERSECTION
02/18/94 BLUE CHIPS
03/18/94 NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT
04/22/94 BRAINSCAN
05/25/94 BEVERLY HILLS COP III
07/06/94 FORREST GUMP
08/03/94 CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
09/28/94 JASON’S LYRIC
10/28/94 DROP SQUAD
11/18/94 PROFESSIONAL, THE
12/16/94 DROP ZONE
02/03/95 IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS
03/03/95 MANGLER, THE
03/17/95 CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH
03/31/95 TOMMY BOY
04/19/95 NEW JERSEY DRIVE
04/28/95 PANTHER
06/09/95 CONGO
07/07/95 SPECIES
08/04/95 VIRTUOSITY
09/01/95 PROPHECY, THE
09/29/95 closed?
10/13/95 JADE
11/22/95 NICK OF TIME
12/15/95 SABRINA
01/12/96 EYE FOR AN EYE
02/02/96 BLACK SHEEP
02/23/96 BRAVEHEART
03/08/96 HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE
04/03/96 PRIMAL FEAR
05/17/96 HEAVEN’S PRISONERS
05/31/96 ARRIVAL, THE
06/07/96 PHANTOM, THE
06/21/96 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE
07/26/96 KINGPIN
08/09/96 ESCAPE FROM L.A.
08/23/96 ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, THE
09/06/96 closed?
10/11/96 GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, THE
11/22/96 STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT
12/20/96 SCREAM
01/29/97 GRIDLOCK'D
02/21/97 BLOOD AND WINE
03/07/97 PRIVATE PARTS
03/21/97 GODFATHER, THE
04/11/97 ANACONDA
05/02/97 BREAKDOWN
06/20/97 BATMAN AND ROBIN
07/11/97 CONTACT
08/01/97 SPAWN
08/15/97 EVENT HORIZON
08/27/97 HOODLUM
09/12/97 GAME, THE
10/03/97 KISS THE GIRLS
10/17/97 DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, THE
11/21/97 JOHN GRISHAM’S THE RAINMAKER
12/19/97 TITANIC
04/03/98 LOST IN SPACE
04/24/98 BIG HIT, THE
05/08/98 DEEP IMPACT
06/05/98 TRUMAN SHOW, THE
07/10/98 LETHAL WEAPON 4
08/05/98 HALLOWEEN: H20
08/14/98 HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK
08/28/98 54
09/18/98 RUSH HOUR
10/16/98 PRACTICAL MAGIC
11/06/98 WIZARD OF OZ, THE
11/20/98 CELEBRITY
12/11/98 STAR TREK: INSURRECTION
12/25/98 THE FACULTY
01/15/99 VIRUS
02/05/99 PAYBACK
03/12/99 THE CORRUPTOR
04/02/99 THE MATRIX
05/07/99 THE MUMMY
06/18/99 THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER
07/02/99 WILD WILD WEST
07/16/99 EYES WIDE SHUT
07/30/99 RUNAWAY BRIDE
08/20/99 MICKEY BLUE EYES
09/10/99 STIGMATA
09/24/99 DOUBLE JEOPARDY
10/22/99 BRINGING OUT THE DEAD
11/19/99 THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
12/10/99 THE GREEN MILE

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 14, 2007 at 9:33 am

Thanks, Al. Before I saw your lists, I’d forgotten just how many movies I’d seen at the Astor Plaza. Everyone remembers the Star Wars movies, but I’m talking about things like “Serial” and “Psycho III”. Thanks again!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 14, 2007 at 3:22 am

You will notice all of 1977 was Wednesdays. Where I have exact dates I have used them but I did not compile these with exact dates and many are off by two to three days.

02/08/80 HERO AT LARGE
02/29/80 AMERICAN GIGOLO
03/07/80 THE BLACK MARBLE
03/28/80 SERIAL
05/09/80 FRIDAY THE 13TH
05/23/80 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
10/10/80 ORDINARY PEOPLE
12/12/80 THE SHINING
12/25/80 ALTERED STATES
04/03/81 HOLY TERROR
04/17/81 THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
04/24/81 HEAVEN’S GATE
05/08/81 SQUEEZE PLAY
05/15/81 LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT/HOUSE ON THE LAKE
05/22/81 THE FOUR SEASONS
06/12/81 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
11/20/81 TIME BANDITS
12/04/81 REDS
03/12/82 RICHARD PRYOR ON SUNSET STRIP
04/30/82 WRONG IS RIGHT
05/21/82 ANNIE
07/30/82 AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN
12/17/82 THE DARK CRYSTAL
02/11/83 LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER
03/25/83 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
04/15/83 FLASHDANCE
05/27/83 RETURN OF THE JEDI
10/21/83 UNDER FIRE
11/25/83 TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
03/09/84 THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE
04/06/84 MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON
05/18/84 closed?
05/23/84 INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
10/05/84 TEACHERS
10/19/84 CRIMES OF PASSION
11/16/84 JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
11/23/84 INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
12/07/84 2010
02/08/85 WITNESS
05/24/85 A VIEW TO A KILL
07/12/85 EXPLORERS
08/02/85 WEIRD SCIENCE
08/16/85 YEAR OF THE DRAGON
09/27/85 THE STUFF
10/18/85 CEASE FIRE
11/01/85 TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.
12/04/85 YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES
01/31/86 YOUNGBLOOD
02/14/86 OUT OF AFRICA
02/28/86 PRETTY IN PINK
03/26/86 THE MONEY PIT
04/18/86 LEGEND
05/16/86 TOP GUN
07/02/86 PSYCHO III
08/01/86 HOWARD THE DUCK
08/22/86 NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
09/26/86 CROCODILE DUNDEE
11/21/86 AN AMERICAN TAIL
12/19/86 PLATOON
04/24/87 EXTREME PREJUDICE
05/20/87 BEVERY HILLS COP II
07/31/87 THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
08/28/87 HAMBURGER HILL
09/25/87 BEST SELLER
10/30/87 FATAL BEAUTY
11/25/87 PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
01/15/88 THE COUCH TRIP
02/05/88 COP
02/26/88 APPRENTICE TO MURDER
03/11/88 VICE VERSA
04/01/88 BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY
04/15/88 COLORS
05/13/88 FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD
05/25/88 CROCODILE DUNDEE II
06/29/88 COMING TO AMERICA
08/19/88 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER
09/16/88 TOUGHER THAN LEATHER
09/30/88 ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK
11/04/88 US RATTLE AND HUM
11/23/88 SCROOGED
01/13/89 I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA
02/17/89 THE MIGHTY QUINN
03/03/89 FAREWELL TO THE KING
03/17/89 LEVIATHON
04/07/89 MAJOR LEAGUE
04/21/89 PET SEMATARY
05/24/89 INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
07/14/89 LICENCE TO KILL
08/11/89 THE NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD
08/30/89 RELENTLESS
09/22/89 BLACK RAIN
11/03/89 STEPFATHER II
11/17/89 HARLEM NIGHTS

Coate
Coate on May 13, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Then why did you list “Star Wars” with a Wednesday date? (The 25th of May in ‘77 was a Wednesday.)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 13, 2007 at 11:03 am

They are Friday to Thursday weeks as is traditional in the industry.

Coate
Coate on May 13, 2007 at 8:13 am

Then what is the point of citing a specific date if they are merely approximate? Maybe a disclaimer at the head of the list would’ve been appropriate?

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 13, 2007 at 7:02 am

Michael, these are all within a week.

Coate
Coate on May 12, 2007 at 8:58 pm

LOGAN’S RUN opened 06/23/76

Coate
Coate on May 12, 2007 at 8:54 pm

A couple of minor release date corrections:

SUPERMAN opened 12/15/78
STAR WARS re-issue opened 08/15/79

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 12, 2007 at 7:49 pm

06/26/74 FOR PETE’S SAKE
07/26/74 DEATH WISH
11/22/74 THE KLANSMAN
12/20/74 MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
01/31/75 YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
03/14/75 ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
05/02/75 TEN LITTLE INDIANS
05/23/75 BREAKOUT
07/18/75 ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH
08/22/75 RUSSIAN ROULETTE
09/12/75 MITCHELL!
09/19/75 PAPILLON
09/26/75 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR
12/19/75 THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
02/20/76 I WILL, I WILL … FOR NOW
03/05/76 MAN FRIDAY
03/26/76 GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY!
04/02/76 ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE/ DELIVERANCE
04/09/76 ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN
06/25/76 LOGAN’S RUN
08/13/76 THE SHOOTIST
09/17/76 closed?
10/22/76 MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH
10/29/76 THE OUTER SPACE CONNECTION
11/12/76 TWO-MINUTE WARNING
12/24/76 VOTAGE OF THE DAMNED
02/11/77 THE CASSANDRA CROSSING
03/04/77 TAXI DRIVER
03/18/77 JAWS OF DEATH
03/25/77 THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
04/15/77 ISLANDS IN THE STREAM
04/29/77 PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN/RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER
05/06/77 closed?
05/25/77 STAR WARS
07/28/78 NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE
11/03/78 THE WIZ
12/22/78 SUPERMAN
04/06/79 THE CHAMP
06/15/79 PROPHECY
07/13/79 THE WANDERERS
08/10/79 MEATBALLS
08/17/79 STAR WARS
09/14/79 CITY ON FIRE
09/21/79 A TOUCH OF CLASS/ I WILL, I WILL…FOR NOW
09/28/79 A MAN, A WOMAN AND A BANK
10/05/79 TOURIST TRAP
10/12/79 THE GRATEFUL DEAD
10/19/79 METEOR
11/09/79 FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
12/07/79 AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
12/21/79 THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN

efriedmann
efriedmann on May 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm

This was one of the largest movie screens in Manhattan! Truly a shame that they closed it down!

I think the only new release I ever saw there was the remake of KING KONG in 1976. I saw several revivals there, including THE GODFATHER, APOCOLYPSE NOW REDUX and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

I’ve been to the Nokia Theatre only once last summer, to see the four original members of the rock band ASIA. They were also the first concert I ever saw back in 1983.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 1, 2007 at 11:03 am

A photo of the marquee as the THE READE can be found in a NY times article January 1, 1973 (Subway noise Threatens Read Theatre Opebing). THE READE never opened and Walter Reade theatres walked away when the subway noise problem proved impossible to solve.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 20, 2006 at 12:59 am

Doesn’t matter, Ed – you made them available in the best possible place. I never would have found the French website, most likely.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 20, 2006 at 12:17 am

I can’t lay claim to taking those interior shots, guys. I lifted them from the following French website that has something to do with a tour of US cinemas accompanying the THSA:

http://www.silverscreens.com/thsa.php

The only shot that’s truly mine is of the Nokia marquee from November of 2005.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on June 19, 2006 at 9:09 pm

Thanks Ed – thought I’d never see the old Astor Plaza again …

Bway
Bway on June 19, 2006 at 1:05 pm

Great photos Ed.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 9, 2006 at 1:04 am

I’m re-posting my photo from December 6th here as I had to reorganize my photobucket account and break the original link.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 11, 2005 at 8:41 am

I saw the nokia theatre on tv last night during ESPN’s telecast of the heisman trophy award show and boy, it looks like a great place to see a concert or an awards show.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 6, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Here’s a nighttime shot of the enormous all-digital Nokia marquee taken just a few nights ago. It is much larger than the old Astor Plaza marquee – starting over the entrance at about the same spot but extending almost all the way to the corner of Broadway and 44th.

View link

The shot is taken from the opposite perspective from the photo that appears with the theater description above.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 7, 2005 at 1:53 pm

I think the last movie I saw at the Astor Plaza was “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992. There really was nothing all that special about this place from an architectural perspective (same can be said of the Ziegfeld Theater), but at least it was a big single-screen house where presentation seemed to matter. This should be a top notch venue for musical performances. I look forward to the opportunity to see a show here. It’s sad to say goodbye to the movie theater, but as some of the posts here have been saying, better a concert hall than a parking lot or retail space.

Bway
Bway on October 4, 2005 at 12:23 pm

Yeah, I didn’t remember the chandeliers either. They looked “older”, but I guess they were added now then. They are in the main auditorium. I used the word “chandelier” as I don’t know what else to call them. They are HUGE, round light fixtures, surrounded in crystal. Again, they didn’t look “new”, but don’t know if they are from the Aster Plaza days or not.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on October 4, 2005 at 2:36 am

The crystal chandeliers have to be new – there were never any chandeliers when it was Loews, other than a few suspended tin-can fixtures above the box office counter.

Vito
Vito on October 3, 2005 at 2:49 pm

What a great post! I have wondered what the end result of the conversion was, it does not sound too bad. As you said, better than a retail space, at least it’s still an entertaimnment venue. Thanks again for keeping us posted.