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 515 comments)

BobbyS on August 8, 2013 at 9:52 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 2:53 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 3:10 pm

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

markp on November 6, 2014 at 7:58 am

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

moviebuff82 on November 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

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.

Movieholic on September 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm

The only movie I saw at this theater, when it was known as the Loews Astor Plaza, was “Jade.” I literally arrived right when it was starting and had no time check out the surroundings. I only remember the screen and auditorium being large. I wish I’d seen more films here.

HowardBHaas on September 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Unlike the Ziegfeld, there really weren’t any “surroundings” nor was the auditorium very notable in terms of visuals other than being large. It had great sightlines & great surround sound & used the curtain. It was a great presentation of movies.

HowardBHaas on September 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I will add that the auditorium was orange in color. My photos are linked but none of the auditorium as even its last days staff didn’t allow interior photos. My digital camera then wouldn’t likely have well captured the auditorium though my current camera would as evidenced by my photos of the Ziegfeld, Paris, and in other cities shared on this site.

theatrefan on September 17, 2015 at 9:31 am

I had the pleasure of seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey here during the 70mm reissue by Warner Brothers/Turner in Dec. 2001. While the auditorium and lobby were nothing special, the picture and sound quality were both excellent. The picture was bright, sharp & the soundtrack was crystal clear as well. In a bit of a funny irony I had also seen 2010: The Year We Make Contact in Dec. 84, seventeen years prior, no where even close to the original from 1968. I can only imagine what a breathtaking experience it must have been to see 2001 originally at the Loew’s Capitol in 68.

Mikeoaklandpark on September 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I saw several movies here when I lived in NYC. From what I remember, Star Wars, Altered States, Superman, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and the rest I can’t remember

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