PlayStation Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 201 - 225 of 548 comments

William on August 10, 2004 at 12:57 pm

Like what Theatrefan said “The land they were sitting on had much more value than the actual building”.

Thats why theatres in this city like the Roxy, Rivoli, Capital, Warner, Paramount were all razed or as in the case of the Paramount gutted for office use. They were just built too big for movie exhibition of today.

theatrefan on August 10, 2004 at 12:10 pm

Hi Mikeoaklandpark,
Yes the original Loew’s Orpheum was knocked down to make way for an apartment bulding with modern cinemas uderneath. The 3rd Avenue entrance to the theatre is gone. Since this theatre has opened they have redone the lobby, because the ticket booth area used to be outside. The inside of this theatre is like the other Loews of this era ala the 84th St, Village 7, and 19th Street East. The one unique feature is the marquee is sort of a throwback to the old fashioned ones of yesterday, it had a curved hump in the front.
Unfortunately like all other theatres the land they were sitting on had much more value than the actual building.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 10, 2004 at 12:00 pm

Hey TheaterFan. I was only in the Orpheum one time in 1982 to see Annie. Did they totally knock down the theater and rebuild it to make it 7 theaters? When I lived in NYC, it was 2 theaters. The balcony theater had it’s enterance on 3rd ave and at one point was called Loews Cine.

theatrefan on August 10, 2004 at 11:35 am

There is a magazine called “Scene” being give out at Loews theatres to celebrate the chain’s centenial 1904-2004. As soon as you open the front cover there is a picture of the Astor Plaza hosting the premiere for Funny Lady from 1975. I got my issue at the Loews Orpheum yesterday, you might want to check for it at your local Loews theatre. It also contains an interesting article and photos that chronicle the last 100 years of the Loews Theatre Chain.

theatrefan on August 7, 2004 at 2:14 am

I went by the Astor Plaza last night, everything that Loews could salvage they took, as you look into the lobby, all of the Poster Cases that used to hang on the walls are gone, all that remains is their outline on the wall and wires dangling loose. The boxoffice ticketing system and microphone are gone, as is the schedule for what the movie and showtimes are. The marquee still has the Village sign on it, but it is dark. It’s a sad sight indeed! If anyone wants a outdoor shot of the theatre now is the time to take it.

Also you might want to check this article out from Fridays Daily News:
View link

William on August 5, 2004 at 12:31 pm

That would be placed under Special Venue type theatres. Even if they show 35mm film sometimes.

mhvbear on August 5, 2004 at 11:44 am

The largest screen screen in NYC I would have thought woule be the IMAX at the Loew’s Lincoln Square.

mhvbear on August 5, 2004 at 11:43 am

The two largest auditoriums at the AMC Empire 25 are Theatres 1 & 6. I was told by the manager that the screens were the same size but not the size of them.

StephenJohansen on August 5, 2004 at 9:11 am

The screen at Radio City Music Hall which still is tucked above the procenium in front of the gridiron is the record at 70'

theatrefan on August 5, 2004 at 8:08 am

No, it was when the Astor Plaza closed. The largest is the Loews auditorium in Loews Lincoln Square at 62.5' The second biggest are all 62' and are as follows: Loews Kips Bay Auditorium 10, Loews Ewalk, Auditoriums 12 & 13. The Ziegfeld was the sixth largest at 52'. The magazine I am getting this info from does not say which ones are 3 & 4, but one of them has to be in the AMC Empire 25 and falls between 61' & 62'

Keep in mind that the Lincoln Square opened in 1994, Kips Bay & Ewalk in 1999 and the Empire in 2000, so before all these theatres were around the Astor Plaza was the biggest in NY.

VincentParisi on August 5, 2004 at 7:14 am

Do you mean when the theater opened? And could you give us the top 4?

theatrefan on August 5, 2004 at 6:31 am

The Loews Astor Plaza movie screen at 61' was the fifth biggest in New York City.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 3, 2004 at 1:56 pm

Longest run at the Astor Plaza: “Star Wars” – 65 weeks in 1977-78. “Grease” was supposed to open here but it had to change to the Loew’s State because of the ongoing popularity of “Star Wars”.

SethLewis on August 3, 2004 at 1:41 pm

Now that the Astor Plaza is sadly no more, can someone at Cinema Treasures please edit this page – separating out the true comments about the theatre…and the memories…shifting the gossip and the asides about 70mm to another page…This theatre deserves a concise updated history – key pictures opening here, long runs, and links to relevant news articles (maybe even some NY Times bits from the trouble pre-history as the Reade and then the opening as the Astor Plaza.


Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 3, 2004 at 1:24 pm

You can also get to the Lafayette by bus (Short Line) from Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan:

View link

theatrefan on August 3, 2004 at 12:15 pm

Can’t wait to see this place in Sept. I’m sure it will be nothing short of spectacular.

AndyT on August 3, 2004 at 11:13 am

PATH to Hoboken station, then NJT train to Suffern —– about four short blocks away from the Lafayette. An easy trip.

YMike on August 3, 2004 at 10:51 am

I have heard about this theatre. Is there anyway to get there using public transportation?

umbaba on August 3, 2004 at 6:18 am

RIP: Astor Plaza…It’s gone. The people at Loews didn’t do anything special because even though the people here made a big deal of the closing, they figured that as usual, it will all die down after the closing…and it will. I am so glas I went last week to see Spiderman2 there. We’re in a losing battle guys, and we lost this one. It’s time to say goodbye to a great theater. It’s just unfortunate that because of multiplexes and bad movies that make alot of money and stupid teens, that culture has to suffer.

I’ve never been to Loews jersey City, the showtimes never worked out for me but hope to….BUT….

A great theater does exist. THE LAFAYETTE THEATER, in Suffern NY…all this talk of 2001…on Sept. 12, 2004 they will be showing 2001 with an appearance (in-person) by both Kier Dullea AND Gary Lockwood…if that’s not enough, that same afternoon, they’re showing PLANET OF THE APES with an appearance by NOVA..Linda Harrison…it’s all part of their Sci-FI festival from Sept. 10-12, the next week begins the Big Screen Classic Series with …THE CAINE MUTINY…9/18

so, yes,, I too am bummed about the Astor Plaza but luckily, I have The Lafayette to have great films “experienced” as oppossed to viewed. I urge all here to go to The Lafayette and see what I’m talking about. For me, the theater has become a haven…see it on…

YMike on August 2, 2004 at 2:00 pm

You would think they could have booked something special if they were only going to be open for the weekend. Or at least announce that they were closing on Sunday. I had planned to go on Thursday even know I did not really want to see the “Village.” Lets hope the Ziegfeld stays open but I always felt the Astor was a better theatre.

theatrefan on August 2, 2004 at 1:53 pm

It’s no suprise to me that they were ripping the place apart right after the 10:15 showing of the Village. When I was here Friday nignt I spoke with the manager, whom I remember from the Kips Bay, he said that they have to be totaly cleared out from this space by Thur. From what Shade said they were probably working all night to take out all the theatre equipment.

You guys are right the Loew’s Jersey is an terrific place to see movie, they turn 75 in September so I hope something special is planned.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on August 2, 2004 at 12:45 pm

The Loew’s Jersey City shows classic movies about one weekend a month starting in September and ending in May (it has no air conditioning so it’s not open in summer). This year is their 75th anniversary, so I’m sure they’ll have something special planned when they reopen in the fall.

Thanks, Shade, for posting every detail (sad though they were) of the final night of the Astor Plaza. We can only hope that someday there will be a big single-screen theater in Times Square once again.

Mikeoaklandpark on August 2, 2004 at 12:10 pm

I wrote Loews and blasted them. I can’t beleive they tore the theater apart on the last night. Ialso didn’t know they were showing movies again at the Loews Jersey City.

Shade on August 2, 2004 at 12:04 pm

Sorry, those who didn’t know, I had posted this statement “I’ll be there Sunday, for the last show of The Village at 10:15 pm” on the 30th, but I guess that wasn’t enough time for it to be read.

I had heard August 5th from the theater itself, then when I went online I saw that they were closing on the 1st.

I also wanted to get there a little earlier to take some pictures. I did get a few, but didn’t do the ‘four corners’ thing I wanted to do showing the vast space and many seats.

We arrived via 44th so we could walk up to the large marquee one last time, bought our tickets, were given the coupon sheet for a free entry to 34th Street and a free upgrade to Reserved Seating at the 34th. This was ‘Loews’ gift' for 30 years of service.

The guy taking tickets was cool. He was talking with one of the people from the Cinemaniacs documentary and laughing and said, This is it! The last night!

Got some popcorn and a final hot dog, said hi to staff worker Noble who I had been talking to since I learned of the end, he mentioned he was moving over to the Loews State, and I went to sit down. There were a 150 people maybe. Took one pic and someone noticed my Cinerama shirt and it turned out to be some guy who works at Film Forum.

Watch the movie, and it was really dull. Completely boggles my mind that Loew’s would not only book a big opening film for only three days, have the studio make up brand-new marquee image tiles that will only fit this one marquee for three days, but that if they knew they were closing and didn’t want to just end the run with Spider-Man 2 (which really would’ve been a much more wonderful note to go out with), then why not rent some print like Titanic or some big event movie that people might actually clap at and let us have a go? They obviously knew people were upset enough to print up these coupons, even though they really just want us to completely bypass the 42nd Street Loews and head to 34th, which is bland bland bland bland. Nice, but bland.

Top of the screen had the same old projection problem they’ve had for years (just slightly fuzzy at the top and not completely full). I’ve been going to the Astor Plaza for 12 years and it’s always had that. A couple of times I actually went to other theaters just because I needed the better projection. Still, glad I saw Lord of the Rings 3 there on opening day, Christmas Day 2003, as it was completely and entirely sold out. So much fun!

So the Village is ending, I grab my video camera and go all the way to the last row in the center, just over that back exit, to shoot the final closing curtain. I almost wondered if they were going to do it. There were some workmen looking at the black masking cloth. The curtain closes, one guy up front stands up and claps and I do the same. There were only 12 people in the theater at this point. A few were walking around looking at the various vantage points, much as I’d been doing since I learned of the imminent demise of the space.

I saw each film here since I learned the news: Van Helsing, Shrek 2, Harry Potter 3, Spider-Man 2, the Village. I kinda wanted to catch Spider-Man 2 again on the big screen, but the week got busy.

The end was pretty awful. After the screen closed I panned the camera around, and they were reopening it. Then these burly gristly guys who drink beer started pulling at the black curtains. Then a guy was walking around with a flashlight. Then ladders and other tools and ropes came in. I asked one of the guys, Is it possible this space might be used for movies again? He said, Well, we’re taking the speakers now, so those will be gone. I’m cutting the screen open to get to the speakers in back. The projectors are going, so they’d have to replace those. So I don’t think they’re going to show movies here again.

I wanted to get a nice shot standing in front of the Broadway bulb overhead as you entered, and I did, but the guys are in the background on their ladder, already taking the place apart moments after the credits were over.

The theater staff just wanted us gone. As we were taking pics they kept telling us the theater was closing. I took a couple pics of the mammoth stairs, one of the eternally closed back exit where the theater manager had a little open-air ‘office,’ opened up the video camera for one last ride up that long escalator to the street, and exited out the front.

Had to walk down the long corridor hallway that also has the entrance for the Minskoff, just because it was always so fun to walk down that hallway to catch a flick in the Square.

And that’s it for the Astor Plaza, the last witness to Times Square’s over-the-top motion picture swelling. There’s one mute witness, waiting for a renter, but at one million a year it seems unlikely. The Loews State is a very dim memory, having a hey day for a few short years until the two megaplexes opened on 42nd. Once that dim light is extinguished, there will be nothing but memories of what movie-going was like in Times Square. Or that Times Square even had movie theaters.

VincentParisi on August 2, 2004 at 11:48 am

You guys get yourselves over to the Loew’s Jersey and prepare to be really awed. The movies are better too.