RadTheater

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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RadTheater

New York’s Astor Plaza housed one of the largest screens in the city and originally opened with 1,440 seats.

Opened on June 26, 1974 in Times Square (just west of Broadway), this enormous single screen theatre was actually built entirely underground, three stories beneath the Minskoff Theatre. Moviegoers entered the theatre from an entrance on 44th Street, taking an especially long escalator down to the theatre 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 theatre’s escalator was lined with posters of its most successful films. The Astor Plaza Theatre was closed on August 1, 2004 with Sigourney Weaver in “The Village”.

It was converted to the plans of architect David Rockwell 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 and in November 2015 it was renamed PlayStation Theater. It was closed in late-2019. It reopened in spring of 2020 as the RadTheater.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 567 comments)

classictheaters
classictheaters on April 13, 2020 at 11:40 pm

Great large space! EASY TO GET TO location right in Times Square. Watching for the next ‘sponsor’ to take over since PlayStation did not continue the lease…..How about “The Manhattan Arena” …..sounds like a great idea!

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on April 16, 2020 at 10:09 am

If the movie industry get operational again I would love to see this reopen as a movie theater. Many happy memories there

classictheaters
classictheaters on May 7, 2020 at 11:30 pm

New long lease just signed for this great space. RAD THEATER coming later this fall – winter 2020.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on May 8, 2020 at 12:43 am

Here is the updated website for the venue under it’s new name. Appears to be remain a concert and event venue.

https://radtheater.com/

Website also includes some photos.

markp
markp on May 8, 2020 at 7:02 am

Oh my goodness, what they have done to that beautiful theatre. Never gonna see movies played there again.

zoetmb
zoetmb on June 13, 2020 at 10:51 am

@mikeoaklandpark No matter what happens to the movie industry, you will never see a theater of that size again open. There simply isn’t the business for it. AMC is the largest chain and they averaged (before COVID19) sales of just 92 tickets per day, per screen. That’s about 23 tickets per show. That’s why all the new and renovated theaters being built have so few seats in each screen. That’s quite unfortunate and I think it hurts the movie experience, but that’s the reality. Theatrical attendance is becoming a specialty market.

Back in the day, the Ziegfeld (1150 seats 52' screen), the Astor Plaza (1440 seats 61' screen) and the Loews Orpheum (1025 seats downstairs theater, 599 upstairs theater) were my screens of choice, but we’ll never see the likes of those again.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on June 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm

The new theater website photos continue to show the Astor Theatre’s raised section of seats. Is RAD simply a local entity? not part of a national concert promoter?

Also, Zoetmb do you have a source for the 61 foot size of the Astor Plaza? I had read it was about the size of the Ziegfeld, though it did look large.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on October 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm

It should be called Loews Astor Plaza, that was the name as a very popular movie theatre

robboehm
robboehm on October 7, 2020 at 7:09 am

ridethetrain the stated policy of CT is that the listing is under the last name. There have been exceptions. It can still be accessed by entering Loew’s Astor Plaza.

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