Best Buy Theater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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The Village at Astor Plaza, last movie

Viewing: Photo | Street View

New York’s Astor Plaza housed one of the largest screens in the city.

Opened on June 26, 1974 in Times Square (just west of Broadway), this enormous single screen theater was actually built entirely underground, three stories beneath the Minskoff Theatre. Moviegoers entered the theater from an entrance on 44th Street, taking an especially long escalator down to the theater and concession area.

Astor Plaza Theatre was known as THE place to see event films (like “Star Wars” or “The Matrix”). Because of its large size, the Astor Plaza Theatre drew large, opening night crowds—crowds who really knew how to enjoy a movie.

The Astor Plaza Theatre was home to a number of box office hits; including “Superman”, the remake of “King Kong”, and “When Harry Met Sally”. As a tribute to this fact, the theater’s escalator was lined with posters of its most successful films.

The Astor Plaza Theatre was closed on August 1, 2004 with “Spiderman 2”. It was converted into a 2,100-seat concert venue, the Nokia Theatre Times Square, which opened in October 2005. In September 2010, it was renamed Best Buy Theater.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 510 comments)

Bway on November 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm

By the way, the search feature on the site searches current AND former names. If you search “Astor Plaza” for this theater in the search box above….one theater comes up. The Best Buy Theater. So if you are searching theaters by their “most famous name”, even if the name is now some other name, the theater will come up in search.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

There are some odd wrinkles here and there, however, Bway. You can still find the old Rivoli Theatre under its original name, rather than the awful and generic “UA Twin,” as the grand old theater was known in its final years. And thank heaven for that!

robboehm on November 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Unfortunately there are a number of listings set up as, for example, UA Twin,without a clue as to where they are. But current CT logic gives you many ways of tracking down a theatre/theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I think the policy is that if a theater is currently in operation, even if it has been converted into a live venue and isn’t showing movies, it will be listed by its current name, and have its movie house names as AKAs.

In the case of theaters that are gone, such as the Rivoli, if they operated under one name for most of their history and under a later name for a fairly short time, it makes sense to use the name by which the greatest number of people visiting the site would probably remember it.

Incidentally, if you want to find the Rivoli under its final name, you have to search CT with the full name United Artists Twin. Nine other currently listed houses called UA Twin can be found only under the abbreviated name. Wikipedia-style redirects would be useful.

Bway on November 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Yes, I believe that is because the UA Twin is no longer in operation, so the best known name is used. If however the Rivoli was currently open, it would be titled the UA Twin.

BobbyS on August 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Thanks Tinseltoes for your BOXOFFICE. LOEWS Astor was a great place to see a picture…Nothing that large left in Chicago at present. I fear for the Zeigfeld in NY..

SAMMY5858 on September 13, 2013 at 1:53 am

I remembering when i was 21` i went on a double date to see Star Wars in July of 1977 with my brother at the Astor Plaza Theater it was a hot summer night we waited on that long line with our dates it was a very good movie for its time, the Astor Plaza was a nice movie theater, this movie was talked about for so long we had to go see it, those was the good old days and 1977 was a wild year a lot of things happen that year the black out in all big movies came out that year

marklyons on November 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Would always go here for the big films, one of my favorites..

markp on November 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

its a bit over 10 years since this large single screen theatre bit the dust.

moviebuff82 on November 6, 2014 at 11:17 am

To many sci fi fans this was the theater to see the original Star Wars movie trilogy in Manhattan on one big screen. I always seen this theater on TV. Imagine if it still showed movies rather than be converted into a live venue for concerts and special events. Happy belated 40th to this theater and 10th for its reincarnation as its current form next year.

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