PlayStation 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 and in November 2015 it was renamed PlayStation Theater.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 531 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 15, 2015 at 4:50 am

Jo, how do you get italics into your comment?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 15, 2015 at 6:21 am

I use HTML because I’m accustomed to it, but Cinema Treasures also supports Markdown code, which is much simpler. To italicize with Markdown simply put an asterisk * at the beginning of the first word you want italicized and another asterisk at the end of the last word you want italicized (or an asterisk at the beginning and end of a single word if that’s the only one you want in italics.) You can also use underscores _ the same way. Doubling either asterisks ** or underscores gives you bold type instead of italics. You can also use Markdown to make text hyperlinks, as described in this official post.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 15, 2015 at 6:40 am

Wow thanks a lot buddy

Mikeoaklandpark on November 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

I hate the new name. Why has this theater gone through so many name changes?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 16, 2015 at 11:51 pm

It’s money, Mikeoaklandpark, and the value of publicity. AEG in particular doesn’t like to leave so much as a penny on the table. They cash in on selling naming rights to companies that know every event advertisement, every review, every social media post that mentions the venue with their name on it is an advertisement for them and their products. Companies will bid each other up, and the one willing to pay the most gets its name on the venue.

Old time showmen like Marcus Lowe and William Fox built famous brands out of their own names, but modern promoters have realized they can make even more money by charging other companies for five-year piggyback rides. I believe five years is the most common term of a naming rights contract, so the names are apt to change that often unless the current contact holder is willing to pay for another five years, usually at a higher price. If some other company is willing to pay more, then it’s goodbye Best Buy Theatre and hello PlayStation Theatre.

Mikeoaklandpark on November 17, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Thanks Joe Vogel. The American Airlines Theater aka Selwyn has kept its name since becoming a legit theater.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 17, 2015 at 11:51 pm

The Selwyn Theatre was restored and renovated by the Roundabout Theatre company and re-opened on July 27, 2000 with a production of “The Man Who Came To Dinner” starring Nathan Lane. It was renamed for its generous benefactor, American Airlines.

RobertR on November 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm

This name just sounds so moronic to me, just my opinion

Movieholic on November 25, 2015 at 10:46 pm

I totally agree with you on the name RobertR. I can’t think of a more stupid name that reeks of greedy corporate synergy.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm

There is a Snapple Theater down the block

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