Plaza Theatre

42 E. 58th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Plaza Theatre

The Plaza Theatre opened on January 20, 1930, and was designed in a Tudor style. This theatre later had a modern style that somewhat mirrored the Beekman Theatre with it’s rising balcony toward the back. It had a decent sized screen and sound. The curtains closed after every presentation. I saw “Crossing Delancey” there, and a year before it closed I saw the indie film “Straight Outta Brooklyn” there. It was on a side street and was hard to find. It’s amazing how that theatre stayed in business.

It closed in January 1996 and became some kind of tourist attraction showing films about New York like the old New York Experience used to do in Rockefeller Center. That later stopped and now it’s home to an Asian sushi restuarant named Tao.

Contributed by jamal p. Savage

Recent comments (view all 164 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 25, 2016 at 9:53 am

I worked for Cineplex Odeon who once owned the Plaza and the Cinema 3. People were constanty going to the Paris and the Cinema 3 looking for the Plaza. Due to the long runs at all three theatres, even veteran New Yorkers couldn’t remember which was which. In the days of exclusive runs, cash tickets and long lines, believe me, it was a problem.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Hello-

I still say if you knew the address the Plaza wasn’t “hard to find” per se but you bring up an interesting point. considering the Plaza and Paris had similar names and were close by I can see people forgetting which theater a film was playing at if they hadn’t written it down.

its kind of like the late but great Ziegfeld. once it’s closing was verified a number of people posted that part of the problem was it was out of the way, or off the beaten path etc….. but when the Ziegfeld was still used by the studios for exclusive runs of their big releases people had no trouble finding it then so why should they have had trouble finding it now.

speaking of which. I recently posted a question for the late Crystal Hall on 14 St. if anyone knows the answer I bet you do. thanks in advance.

Astyanax
Astyanax on July 30, 2016 at 6:47 pm

When the Plaza joined the Rugoff – Cinema 5 group, the roster of theatres also included the Murray Hill, the 5th Avenue Cinema, the Art & the 8th St. Playhouse. There was fierce competition with Walter Reade Sterling in the showcasing of the international “art house” films. As jay58 has mentioned in earlier posts, the Rugoff corporate offices were around the corner from the Plaza at 595 Madison Ave. Oh, what I would have given to have lived next door to the Plaza!

satchmo9
satchmo9 on August 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Came here in 1965 on my first date to New York City from lower Westchester at age 15! First to Reuben’s down the street for a meal, then over to the Plaza Theater on 58th St. We saw “The Knack” with Rita Tushingham. I am so blessed to have a good memory because I never want to forget any of it. There is no place like New York City.

jay58
jay58 on August 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

I just posted a fantastic 1929 photo of the Plaza! Have a look…amazing! Thank you, NYPL.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 12, 2019 at 7:25 pm

Hello-

i object to the statement in the intro that this theater
was “hard to find”. how in God’s name was it hard to find
when the address was clearly stated in the ads?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 12, 2019 at 9:10 pm

“Hard to find” is not really accurate. The problem was that patrons expected it to be at the Plaza Hotel and would show up at the Paris or Cinema 3 at showtime looking for the Plaza movie they wanted.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 14, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Hello-

to Al A. thanks for your seconding my thought that the
Plaza was by no means “hard to find” as stated in the intro.
again since the address was clearly stated in the ads for
whatever film anyone who could see should have had no trouble
finding it.

in tis last years of operation whenever I went it was always well attended. so why did it close? this is especially perplexing since they didn’t demolish the building.

also my fondest memory of the Plaza. I went to see the highly acclaimed film Hester Street and was sitting in the downstairs lobby which I am sure you agree was gorgeous waiting for the next showing to begin. I was chatting with an older couple in the few minutes I was waiting. when we went up after the previous audience and left I suddenly realized who the older gentleman was I had been chatting with- Richard Rodgers.

jay58
jay58 on July 15, 2019 at 12:48 pm

…almost 3 years later to the day and we’re still having the “hard-to-find” conversation! Funny.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 15, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Hello-

I admit I tend to repeat myself but for someone who might be reading the intro for the first time I just wanted to make the point the Plaza was never hard to find.

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