Astor Theatre

1531 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 76 - 100 of 246 comments

RobertR on November 21, 2008 at 6:41 am

My prayers are with you.

dodgerg on November 21, 2008 at 6:36 am

To all — I just got diagnosed with acute leukemia, so I won’t be around too much longer. But I didn’t want to just disappear without thanking you all for all of the hard work you have put into this wonderful site. As some of you know I actually worked at the Astor in 1955, so these pics and your memories are invaluable to me. Please know that your diligent research is appreciated more than I can say.
Roger W. Gardner (Dodger)

KingBiscuits on November 21, 2008 at 6:23 am

The theatre’s marquee (in archive footage) recently had a small appearance in The Express. The film showing was a reissue of Stalag 17 (the scene takes place in 1961).

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm

Here is a February 1954 photo, from the Life collection:

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 9:44 pm

This November 1944 photo from Life magazine shows more detail of the photo posted by Bryan Krefft on 6/21/05:

roybarry on October 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm


I was working that day at the Victoria theater. My twin was at the Astor that day. Remember it as though it was yesterday. Sad to see the Astor Hotel. As I keep saying…“great times!”

dodgerg on August 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Hi Leroy. We’ve talked before. No, unfortunately I didn’t come to work there until about two months after that premier, but East of Eden was showing while I was there. I believe I mentioned that I still have a pay envelope from there dated May 1955.

roybarry on August 25, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I was the doorman for the world premiere of that film. I was only 17 and was chosen for that position becaise of my height. Dodger (Roger C) did you work that premiere? I remember Ronnie Greewald, Tommy Walsh and Marilyn Fried. I have a Pathe news reel of that premiere and the ABC telecast of the premiere. Television was sure in it’s infancy! I opened the door for Marilyn Monroe'e limo. She sure was a beauty! i was surprised that she was relatively short…I think 5' 6". Great time!

I changed my posting name from leroyelliston to roybarry.

dodgerg on August 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Here’s an article of mine on this subject.

dodgerg on August 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Wow. Thank you Robert R. what a great picture.
As I mentioned in an earlier conversation I worked there during East of Eden as an usher. That photo means a lot to me. thanks.
Roger G.

RobertR on August 22, 2008 at 7:27 am

New York Premiere of East of Eden
View link

SethLewis on August 3, 2008 at 9:31 am

The Gaiety East was one of the great delis of my growing up on the Upper East Side…it was still there albeit in decline in 1973 having dined and dated there before The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

roybarry on August 3, 2008 at 8:48 am

Great shot! In the 50’s where the “Maxwell Coffee” stood became a “Cardinal Tie” store, popular for reasonably priced ties. In between “Cardinal” and the “Astor” was “Tyson’s Ticket Agency” for all events in Manhattan. Around the corner from “Minsky’s Gaety” theater, later to come the “Victoria Theater”, was a famous deli called the “Gaety Deli” that supplied the greatest sadwiches in NYC. Better than the “Stage Deli"or the "Carnegie Deli”! They were more or less tourist places. The “in crowd” favored the “Gaety”. Most of the Broadway actors would patronize the Gaety plus a few “Damon Runyon” characters. I remember being in there with Ben Gazarra, Shelley Winters, Elia Kazan and Bob Fosse.

The “Astor” had almost a secret entrance to the “Bijou Theater” around the corner on 45th Street from the Astor’s 3rd balcony. By being a part of this website has brought back a lot of memories! And I must say very enjoyable memories at that! I cannot express the excitement of that period. Maybe my youth saw things from a youthful perspective but I am sure it was in reality a wonderful period. I also want to thank all of you for all your great input. Thanks!

jflundy on August 2, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Here is a night view, the feature is “Boulder Dam”. Circa 1936.
View link
It is an E-bay sale image and may not be at this URL for long.

roybarry on July 29, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Thanks! I don’t remember that “A Star was Born” was at the Paramount.

Behind the screen at the Victoria were signs that said; Gaety Theater. What was interesting about the Astor and Victoria was that the General Manager’s office was between both theaters. Managers shared the managing of both theaters. John Cusack was the GM, Wally Schaffer, Leonard Bloom, Charles Whitney; we had the Chief of Ushers, Bart Gallagher, Captain of Ushers; Adelle Camarda. All were related in someway to politics (Kennedy’s) and theater (playwright, television…etc) Interseting group of people. I have an outline of a play I was beginning to write based on this unique group of individuals. It’s somewhere in the attic turning brown I guess! Maybe someday!

roybarry on July 29, 2008 at 5:11 am

Does anyone know why films like “On the Waterfront” and “A Star is Born” were put into smaller theaters like the Astor and Victoria and not in a larger theater like the Capital…Paramount? Warner Brothers showed “Battle Cry” at the Paramount and I believe “ A Star is Born” was a Warner picture also! Those two films had huge audiences.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on July 28, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Keep the sniping off these pages. Thank you.

dodgerg on July 28, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Hey guys. Back on track — the pic was great, and your combined knowledge of this subject is truly impressive. Thank you all.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 28, 2008 at 5:45 pm

My mistake. I got my education reading fabricated dead star biographies written by hack writers who plagiarized gossip columns and then sold the info as their own at discount book racks.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 28, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Wow. You can determine the sexual inclinations of men from just looking at an 85 year old photograph? Fabulous gaydar!

My guess is that they are studio heads and members of the press who were mostly men at the time. As for their sexual habits, I’ll leave that to more talented contributors.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 26, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Since QUEEN CHRISTINA premiered on December 26 and that photo shows a Roll Royce in front, this is most likely a shot of the World Premier crowd and hardly representative of the the average movie-goer in 1933.

roybarry on July 24, 2008 at 2:14 pm

We are a casual pedestrian society without a sense of protocol or should I say a sense of regalia? I can remember going to the Capital Theater to see “From Here to Eternity” with my date and sitting upstairs in a packed lodge/balcony and never once did I feel unconforatble. No one selfishly in tune with their own agenda, and on top of it, most of us were clean and well dresssd for the occasion.

I remember not letting people in sleevless T-Shirts at the Astor and Victoria theaters. The ushers would continuously monitor their
section every few minutes just to make sure nothing disruptive is happening. Again…another era. I still enjoy the day even if it is not like it was.

I was at the “Actor’s Studio” recently and one of the Studio’s teacher/director/coach was there. We worked together at the Astor theater in 1954 to 1956. We both ended up with careers in theater/film/television. We discussed our experiences and it seem sensorily that it was just yesterday. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be there at that time.

dodgerg on July 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm

That’s right Warren. I remember my parents and I dressing up to go to movies in the forties. Most people did. It was a big event, similar perhaps today to going to a Broadway show — although, nowadays people don’t even dress up for that all the time, do they?

dodgerg on July 23, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory. That was nice of you.