Astor Theatre

1531 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 101 - 125 of 324 comments

br91975 on November 21, 2008 at 8:19 am

I’m sending good thoughts your way as well, Roger. Take care and all the best…

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).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 21, 2008 at 6:19 am

He whose memory got lost, I don’t recall you ever thanking the scrapbook owners whose hard work you perpetually post links to. And I sincerely doubt that you have the courtesy to first ask their permission to do so.

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 7, 2008 at 7:04 am

Some wonderful photos of the Astor’s exterior signs can be found in the Second Quarter 2008 issue of Marquee, published by Theatre Historical Society of America. Among the spectacular displays shown are those for “On the Waterfront,” “Quo Vadis,” “Melody Time,” “Outcast of the Islands,” “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima,” “Here Comes the Groom,” and “Valentino.” There’s also a view of the block-wide sign that the Astor shared with the Victoria for “The Vikings.” A subscription to Marquee is part of annual membership in THSA. Details can be found at

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

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 3, 2008 at 8:59 am

I believe that the deli was called “Gaiety,” but I agree that it had the best (and biggest) sandwiches in NYC at the time. It was so tiny that much of its business was take-out and delivery. Unfortunately, the owners got greedy and decided to build a new and much larger Gaiety on West 47th, along with a Gaiety East on Lexington Avenue near 55th or 56th Street. Both went bust within a few years.

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!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 29, 2008 at 6:22 am

“A Star Is Born” opened originally at both the Paramount and Victoria, and continued at the Victoria after the Paramount engagement ended. The Astor was considered a “prestige” house, and much sought after for movies with artistic pretensions. If you had a movie that might win Oscars and other awards, you would try to open it at the Astor. If you couldn’t get the Astor, you might settle for the Victoria, which had fewer seats and a less distinguished history. Under previous names, it had been home to burlesque, “laffmovies,” and other things.

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.