Plaza Theatre

42 East 58th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 76 - 100 of 159 comments

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…

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

dave-bronx™ on May 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

No I didn’t work for them, thanks be to God, but I was as close to them as you can get without working for them.

But you now make my point: he ignored the economic realities of the business by spending too much money (on the wrong things)and keeping too many single screens.

longislandmovies on May 27, 2008 at 12:33 pm

dave did you work for C/O?

Cineplex was sold like many of the other companys along the way.
Garths main downfall was he spent too much and kept to many single screens.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 27, 2008 at 7:28 am

Cineplex Odeon cared for theatres and kept many sites in good shape and open way past their profitable stage. They used their clout to book first runs films at sites that were no longer viable due to their location between zones. The Plaza was such a location.

Having stated that, they also booked all theatres the same with no care taken to audience profiles. As a result the Plaza often played horror and children’s films and wide release specialty titles such as DRIVING MISS DAISY might end up at the Kenmore in Brooklyn.

jay58 on May 27, 2008 at 5:35 am

Cinema V at 595 Madison Avenue (around the corner) was the last operator of the Plaza. President Don Rugoff was an interesting character.

dave-bronx™ on May 26, 2008 at 11:56 pm

“…the guy that new the bsns and cared for theaters….”
um, ok then – I guess that explains why they are such a vibrant, successful company today, right? Oh, and weren’t they listed in the most recent edition of the Fortune 500?

Sorry for the sarcasm, but I’m surprised you say that. Although I don’t know who you are, you have mentioned on other CT pages different people you know or worked for in NY. Several were people who actually did know the business and care for the theatres, but they also understood the economic realities of the business, something that His Arrogance The Grand Pooh-Bah never grasped. This guy was not anywhere near their league.

longislandmovies on May 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Say what you will….Garth was the guy that new the bsns and cared for theaters….

dave-bronx™ on May 26, 2008 at 9:05 pm

The decline of the Plaza began when that company from north of the border inflicted themselves on the New York market in about ‘86. They took over the combined RKO, Century and Cinema 5 (and later Walter Reade) theatre groups and totally ignored the established Manhattan booking patterns. One of their more stellar booking decisions they made for the Plaza was 'License to Drive’. His Arrogance, The Grand Pooh-Bah and all-around Mr. Know-It-All publicly stated that he was going to show the established NY area theatre circuits how to run theatres, and then proceeded to run the theatres he bought and built directly into the ground.