Loew's Triboro Theatre

2804 Steinway Street,
Astoria, NY 11103

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LOEW'S TRIBORO Theatre; Astoria, New York.

One of the last giant Loew’s movie palaces to be built in New York City, this classic Thomas Lamb theatre opened February 21, 1931 with Marie Dressler in “Reducing” and vaudeville on the stage. It welcomed visitors with a classic Mayan Revival exterior. Inside, its Italian Renaissance Atmospheric style auditorium and palatial interior delighted audiences who journeyed in from all over Queens.

Sadly, although the Triboro Theatre was one of the last to be built, it was also one of the first to go, closing in June 1974, and demolished later that year. Its demolition continues to leave a gaping wound in Queens' architectural history.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 91 comments)

aesop53
aesop53 on January 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

Although I lived in Brooklyn, on Saturday nights my parents would take us to the Triboro. My mother had a cousin who was a manager for Loews. He lived in Coney Island and did not drive. What ever Loews theater he worked at. 86th St(Manhattan),Alpine(Bay Ridge), Kings(Brooklyn), Pitkin(Brooklyn), my parents would go to the last show, see the movie for free, and give him a ride home.

I remember the ceiling of the Triboro had clouds that seemed to move. I could never figure out how they did that

michaelkaplan
michaelkaplan on December 31, 2016 at 1:02 pm

The Aaronson article (see Photos) mentions that the Triboro had 3800 seats, making it one of the largest of the “Wonder” theaters. I recall it being very wide, confirmed by the photo showing five sections in the orchestra (six aisles). And it was, indeed, an “atmospheric” theater, with a blue sky and twinkling stars. For a young kid, it was a memorable experience seeing a movie there.

WilliamMcQuade
WilliamMcQuade on March 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

The Triboro was never a wonder theater just a large neighborhood house.Hard to believe but the 5 wonder theaters are still standing

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

What a cool looking Theatre.

vindanpar
vindanpar on April 9, 2018 at 3:46 pm

As a neighborhood house it was magnificent and as large as some of the wonder theaters so it might as well have been one even if it wasn’t official. When you think about it all the ‘wonder’ theaters were neighborhood theaters.

Can’t believe it made it to ‘74 and was still torn down. If I had known it existed I would have made the daunting trip to Queens.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm

1939 photo added via Theo Tersteeg.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 12, 2020 at 6:41 am

Astoria’s Bel Aire Diner recently made news by erecting a temporary drive-in theatre in its parking area, starting with a screening of “Grease.” Video coverage can be viewed here

robboehm
robboehm on May 12, 2020 at 7:18 am

Cool idea. The virus may bring back the Drive-Ins. Unfortunately on Long Island all but one or two of the former footprints have now been developed.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 13, 2020 at 6:05 am

The drive-in theatre project at the Bel Aire Diner resumes tonight (5/13) with two screenings of “Dirty Dancing.” A news report and link to a new video can be found here

robboehm
robboehm on May 15, 2020 at 8:05 am

Everybody’s getting into the act. Town of North Hempstead announced a drive in night and there is one scheduled at a local country club on Long Island.

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