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 159 comments)

captblood on July 22, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Rugoff / Cinema V Theatres in the immediate area: Paris; Plaza; Sutton; Cinema I & II. Further downtown were the Beekman; Grammercy & Art.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Cinema 3 was not really near Cinema 1 & 11. The Plaza Hotel was two blocks away from the Plaza Theatre and the Sutton was not really quite on Sutton Place. But that is New York for you.

captblood on July 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm

as I said, they were in the immediate area, meaning the same neighborhood, known as the Upper East Side.

bigjoe59 on July 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm


I still say the description of the theater as “hard to find” is unwarranted. many of the films I saw there under the address said “between Madison and Park Aves.” I mean even a blind person could have found it.

jay58 on July 25, 2016 at 5:14 am

I agree completely…the Plaza wasn’t “hard to find.” The marquee was visible from Madison and Park Avenues and my family always used it as a landmark when we told people how to find our building. “Next door to the Plaza Theatre,” we said. Never a problem!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 25, 2016 at 6:53 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 on July 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm


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 on July 30, 2016 at 3:47 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 on August 2, 2016 at 6:40 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 on August 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

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

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