Best Buy Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 201 - 225 of 510 comments

William
William on July 29, 2004 at 1:15 pm

It’s not MTV thats taking over the theatre. And Viacom does not own the building, they are just a tenant.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 12:55 pm

When you think of all the theatre chains in the NYC area that have come and gone such as: RKO, Fox Metropolitan, Century, Paramount, Skouras, Brandts, Interboro, Randforce, Golden, Stanley-Warner, I’m glad the name Loews still exists albeit as a very pale imitation of it’s former glorious past in the NYC metro area.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 12:43 pm

I agree. I thought Sony was also a stupid name for a theater chain.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 12:40 pm

Sony Theatres was a silly name, when you think of the movies you think “LOEWS”. When I think of my tv set or walkman I think of Sony. I’m glad they got rid of the name Sony Theatres.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 12:34 pm

The first time I ever went to NYC was in 1975. Funny LAdy was playing at Loews State than in theater one and theater 2 had Dillinger. In the early 90’s Sony purchased Lowes and ran all the theaters under Sony. Even when the State reopen it was known as Sony State. I htink when they merged with Cineplex Odeon, they went back to using the Loews name. Loews also operated The Festival on 57th St breifly and the Paris. When they took over the PAris they changed the name to Loews Fine Arts. I don’t knoiw hwwat happened, but they didn’t run the theater very long.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 12:30 pm

Back in 2000, when Loews Cineplex was still a publicly traded company they featured a vintage picture of the Loews Astor Plaza in their annual report. It was being used for the world premier of the film “Funny Lady” which came out in 1975, the theatre must have been around for a year at this point. The very front of the marquee said LOEWS Astor Plaza in big red letters. In what year did Loews drop the name Loew’s and start using just plain Loews?

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 29, 2004 at 12:20 pm

If the picture won’t open, try this:

http://www.malcolmmcdowell.net/

Go to Kubrick Media Mentions, then click on Pictures, then click on 2001 in 2001.

Another tribute to the Astor Plaza: I could be wrong, but I think the Astor Plaza has more comments on its page than any other theater in Cinema Treasures, even more than Radio City Music Hall! Here’s one more …

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 29, 2004 at 12:17 pm

Excerpt from the Reuters article:

>>Worth noting, too: In the 1940s, several of today’s legit houses were used exclusively as first-run movie houses, including the Palace with 1,700 seats, the Lunt-Fontanne, then known as the Globe, with 1,500 seats, the Broadway, the Winter Garden and the Ambassador.

Maybe we can convince the Messrs. Shubert and Nederlander (and Jujamcyn) to return one of these houses for exclusive first fun movies and premieres.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 12:07 pm

Bill
I can’t access the web site.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 29, 2004 at 12:02 pm

One Astor Plaza memory that just came to mind: during the first showing on the first day of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a small section of the ceiling fell in. No one was hurt, fortunately. I guess they had their great sound system turned up a little too loud :)

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 11:53 am

Your welcome Bill!
I was there for the 2001 reissue, It was something that all fans of huge 70mm roadshow films should get to experience. I still have my ticket tucked away someplace, gotta go find it. I plan on going there one last time to see the village, will any of you cinematreasures folks be there as well?

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 11:52 am

Your welcome Bill!
I was there for the 2001 reissue, It was something that all fans of huge 70mm roadshow fans should get to experience. I still have my ticket tucked away someplace, gotta go find it. I plan on going there one last time to see the village, will any of you cinematreasures folks be there as well?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 29, 2004 at 11:50 am

I like the 34th Street. Close to transit, big auditorium with big screens and great sound, nice views out the lobby windows. Lots of old-style movie posters and memorabilia.

On Thursdays at 7pm they have a classic film series; tonight 7/29/04 is The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Grant. It’s always nice to see this on a big screen.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 11:46 am

Plus the AMC Empire 25 & Loews Ewalk 13 are only eight blocks away, I agree it was not the best location for a movie theatre.
Now back to the Astor Plaza, anyone have any memories they would like to share? I’ll always remember seeing Apocalypse Now, 2001 & 2010, Indiana Jones & Titanic in the Astor Plaza, It will be cherished memories I will never forget. It’s just not the same seeing movies in a shoebox cookie cutter multiplex nowadays!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 29, 2004 at 11:46 am

Thanks, Theatrefan, for posting Loews' farewell to the Astor Plaza. I guess it’s better than nothing, but instead of shilling for popcorn and plugging The Village it sure would’ve been nice to see Star Wars there one more time.

Here’s a picture of the last real glory days of the Astor Plaza, almost 3 years ago, when they showed their final 70mm film:

View link

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 11:33 am

What made Loews think the new theater on 34ths St would make it. They had the beautiful 34th St Showplace on the east side when I lived in NYC which along with Cineplex Odeon 34th St East have closed in recent years. I use to work on 34th and 8th at Bowery Sasvings bank in the late 70’s and that area was not the greatest area to be after regular business hours.

William
William on July 29, 2004 at 9:44 am

Loew’s has been trying to drum up business for the 34th Street plex for over a year and since it opened. Last year they did the buy one and get your next visit at half price. They have a lower admission price. But still I don’t go to that theatre. I found the 34th Street Theatre a somewhat of a nice design. But not a winner of a theatre in my book.

Theatrefan
Theatrefan on July 29, 2004 at 9:00 am

Apparently Loews Cineplex is trying to increase patronage for the Astor Plaza on its last weekend as a movie theatre. I received this in an email from them:

Our Gift To You for Three Decades of Movie Magic At Loews Theatres Astor Plaza 1. Visit Astor Plaza 1 in Manhattan at 1515 Broadway during its closing weekend (July 30 – August 1, 2004) and you will receive a handout with three coupons valid for Loews Theatres 34th St.:
– Buy One, Get One Free Mid-Week Ticket
– One Upgrade to Reserved Seating

– $1.00 Off A Super Value Bucket
In addition, Loews will conduct a raffle for an Annual Pass. The Astor Plaza 1 will be screening the highly anticipated new blockbuster from M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”), “The Village”, starring Joaquin Pheonix.
See Coupon for details

Is this the best they could do for a 70’s era deluxe movie palace? Try to drum up business for the 34th Street. Sheesh!!! What about a Film retrospective for the true fans of the Astor Plaza?

William
William on July 29, 2004 at 7:48 am

In the last two posts about the Astor Plaza, rhett and saps sat in a 1500 seat theatre with only 15/50 people in the auditorium. Even with big films like “Spiderman 2” the theatre can only pull in less then 50 people for a show. In the 80’s-90’s in Los Angeles. Some theatre chains would keep historic theatres open as long as they could by off setting profits from other profit plexes in the company. But the american movie going public loves those mega-plexes that the chains have built. And the true Event movie is now on 3000 plus screens, so why travel from your local plex. This year we loss the Astor Plaza in New York, earlier this year Los Angeles lost the Century Plaza Theatre. Both 70’s style modern palaces for the new generation of movie going, which only seems to have lasted 30 or so years. In today’s operation costs the Roxy and the Capitol could never have survived, because of the real size of the auditoriums.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 29, 2004 at 6:40 am

I was there recently, too, at a matinee with about 50 other people. I sat in five different locations to get their different perspectives, including the last row. It was thrilling to see that vast expanse of seats, dozens of rows cascading down to the giant screen, curtained in red. The slow, graceful sweep of that curved curtain closing at the end of the feature brought a lump to my throat, knowing that it will soon be stilled. When the houselights came on, I took one last long look and left through the exit at the opposite side, so I could walk one last time around the back behind the auditorium, passing (and peeking in) the rear balcony exit, going across the lobby, up the escalator and out to the street.

I know it’s not the Roxy or the Capitol but it was the only one I had and I am going to miss it.

umbaba
umbaba on July 28, 2004 at 5:52 am

Well, I did my part for the group, left my dwelling in rainsoaked NJ and ventured into NYC to the Astor Plaza possibly for the final time (unless I go to The Village next week) to see Spiderman 2. There was about 15 people in the audience and 2 people working. The person who tore my ticket was blank and unfriendly and didn’t even say “thank you enjoy the show”…but I guess I understand as she will be without a job as of next week.

I have to say the presentation (of the movie) was great. Good projection, excellent digital sound, large screen. I actually liked the movie, but it took me a long while before I got into it as I kept reminicsing about previous films and picturing the ones I never saw there (star wars etc).

My digital camera crapped out on me but maybe I’ll go again next week, maybe not. It’s a good theatre. The line outside was for MTV’s TRL show featuring some rapper. I’m sure the Astor Plaza will now guarantee tha tall the teens will get a seat now.

The Astor Plaza is going going gone. Time to say goodbye. In a few years there will be practically no single screen theaters left in the east Coast, save a few. We all have to savor our memories. Thank god (for me at least) for the Lafayette Theater in Suffern NY. In Sept. They’re having a Sci-Fi fest. (Them, 2001, Planet of Apes etc) and then they start the new series(Caine Mutiny,Gunga Din, Sting etc.) Single screen, Wurlitzer organ, curtains, a good expereince all. A theater like that can be saved, but the Astor Plaza owned by a corporation must face it’s end to please the teens. At least it didn’t go out with Catwoman.

William
William on July 27, 2004 at 12:21 pm

And on Broadway. If Loew’s and AMC had not built those large plexes on 42nd Street. The Times Square Theatres like the Astor Plaza and Criterion and the Embassy Tri-plex would have had a chance to survive for a few more years.

mhvbear
mhvbear on July 27, 2004 at 11:21 am

Ziegfeld is still open. The article deals with theaters in the Time Square area.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 27, 2004 at 11:08 am

To close the theater how about a festival of movies from the grammatically challenged Spike Lee?

Fountainhead
Fountainhead on July 27, 2004 at 11:03 am

Dave-Bronx,

Where did you get the information about the seats?

That is interesting.. the Astor has great seats…