Crescent Theatre

25-24 Astoria Boulevard,
Astoria, NY 11102

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 4, 2011 at 1:12 am

Here’s the “about us” page from the catering hall’s official website. If you scroll down, there is an image of the hall as it appeared in 1965. I was able to download a copy of this photo and will add it to this theater’s photo galery, along with a couple of shots I took about 5 or 6 years ago. Looks like the facade was redone in what was “contemporary” for 1965 (think of the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows), but it appears that the original marquee may still have been in use, albeit with a good re-dressing.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Here’s the current status of the site. I wonder what, if anything, remains of the original Crescent Theatre? http://www.awm-ny.com/index.html

TOMBOCHI
TOMBOCHI on July 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm

The photo of the Crescent Theater on Astoria Boulevard is indeed a treasure. Judging from its address from the above post on the holdup at the theater, it seems the theater entrance was located on the corner of 27th Street and Astoria Boulevard (27-18 Astoria Blvd.) If you look at the photo you can see that the left side of the entrance is a wall which is the corner of the street (at least it looks that way in the photo).
Thanks so much for that photo…I’d always wondered what the Crescent Theater looked like and now, for the first time, I get to see a photo of it! Fabulous!

danielrh1
danielrh1 on August 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

My name is Susan Daniell – born Millward. I am trying to find out any information about my great grandpa William Millward. I have been told by my aunt (his granddaughter) that he owned the Crescent and the Popular at some time or the other, also that he acted with Stan Laurel & George Roby and was involved or acted in the movie Her Benny. Apparently many of his films were burnt in a fire in London.
All my grandparents have passed away. Can anyone help me please??

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 22, 2008 at 1:55 am

Here is part of a 7/21/35 article from the NYT. I don’t think you can say thugs in a headline anymore. Not PC.

THUGS GET PAYROLL IN THEATRE HOLD-UP; 3 Flee With $400 in Astoria After Binding Manager and Boy and Cutting Wires.

Bandits held up Joseph Yovin of 32-50 Seventy-ninth Street, Jackson Heights, manager of the Crescent Theatre at 27-18 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, yesterday morning and escaped with a $400 payroll after tying Yovin and a 14-year-old boy in the office of the theatre.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm

New direct links to images previously posted above:
View link
View link
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 19, 2007 at 9:39 pm

The Crescent Theatre first opened on January 27th, 1928, and was designed by the architectural firm of Berlinger & Kaufman, according to an article in that day’s issue of the LI Daily Star. Music for the then silent film programs was provided by the Crescent Concert Orchestra and a Wurlitzer organ. Ironically, the title of the premiere feature was “The Opening Night,” a backstage melodrama starring Claire Windsor and John Bowers. On opening night, and for its first few weekends, the Granada supplemented its programs with “stage entertainers,” but the policy proved too expensive and was quickly dropped. Here are an opening ad and photo copied from microfilm. Compare the marquee to the 1941 photo that I posted above on 7/15/05. They are virtually the same, except that the marquee originally had the S&S logo on the front. The marquee is also nearly identical to the marquee for the S&S Corona that I posted at the listing for that theatre on 12/16/05.
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/crescent01.jpg
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/crescent02.jpg

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 12, 2006 at 1:28 am

Here’s a new link to the photos I posted back in September. The old links no longer work.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 10, 2005 at 12:22 pm

Thanks, Warren. I should have read your introduction a bit more carefully before I posted that comment. Re-reading it now, it seems quite clear.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 4, 2005 at 1:10 pm

The introduction above (which I wrote) says that the original catering hall closed in the 1990s, not the theatre. The Crescent Theatre closed in the early 1950s in the wake of the arrival of home TV. It was vacant for a long time before being converted into a catering hall, which has opened and closed several times under different owners.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 4, 2005 at 12:21 pm

If you go to the “about us” page on the catering hall’s web site (see the link below) you’ll find an exterior photo of the hall in 1965 as well as a current 2005 photo. In the older photo, it appears that the catering hall was built right up against and to the left of the old theater and that the new sign over the entrance was built right over the old marquee (or at least on it’s frame).

http://www.awm-ny.com/about.html

The introduction above should be corrected to indicate that the theater closed in the 1960’s, not the 1990’s.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 7, 2005 at 12:28 pm

You can get a “Virtual Tour” of the main rooms at www.awm-ny.com
The Grand Ballroom might have been part of the auditorium, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Looks can be deceiving. The site has been undergoing periodic renovations since the 1960s, so it’s possible that only that peaked roof remains of the Crescent.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 7, 2005 at 9:46 am

Here’s a current view of the catering hall that was built around the remains of the Crescent taken just a couple of weeks back. In the 2nd photo you can see the roofline of the old auditorium just above the glass terrace (I took this from the small adjacent parking lot):

View link

View link

I’ll try to get back there soon when it’s open and see if I can persuade management to let me snap a few photos of the inerior space of the former theater – assuming there is anything of interest there to shoot.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 15, 2005 at 3:32 pm

Here’s a 1941 image of the exterior. The Crescent was the lowliest of the five Skouras theatres in Astoria, and the first to close (in the wake of the arrival of home TV). A portion of the auditorium was incorporated into a much larger catering complex that now occupies the site:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/125-2598_IMG.jpg

hardbop
hardbop on April 11, 2005 at 6:26 pm

I never would have guessed that this catering hall was at one time a movie house. I’ve walked by numerous times over the years. That means at one time there were three movie houses west of the subway line/31st Street, the Meriden Square, the Strand and the Crescent. The Strand is the only building that obviously was at one time a movie theatre.

There isn’t much retail business west of the subway line, particularly the further west you walk. There is quite a bit of construction of large apartment buildings on 21st Street from Broadway to Newtown Road/Astoria Blvd. and along Astoria Blvd. right around where the Crescent was once situated.

kenberger
kenberger on February 12, 2005 at 7:21 pm

Warren,

It has been many years since I’ve been to Astoria but I must agree with Barbara. Where I remember the moving/storage company to be the building (at that time) had big glass double doors similar to a movie theater. I also remember looking in through the glass as a kid & asking my parents if this was a theater at one time. I also seem to recall that as a kid I remember the marque was still attached above the doors but removed soon afterwards. (I think the theater closed a few years after my birth). Is it possible that the theater was subdivided into 2 separate parts after it closed?

Ken

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 9, 2005 at 3:31 pm

I’ve seen the moving/storage building and I doubt that it was ever a theatre. It looks purpose designed for storage. The Meriden was a small theatre of 500 seats or less, which is consistent with the current auto repair shop.

Barbara50
Barbara50 on February 9, 2005 at 2:30 pm

This is interesting. There is a moving/storage company on Newtown Ave, and my Mom (who remembers) told me that this was the location of the old Meriden. Other people who remember have also told me the same thing. The building where the auto repair shop is located looks too small to have been a theatre. Is it possible that there were two theatres on Newtown Ave?

kenberger
kenberger on February 9, 2005 at 11:22 am

Thanks Len & Warren!

Ken

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 9, 2005 at 12:06 am

I should have added that the catering hall on the site of the Crescent is back in operation, but I don’t think it’s accesible except when a function is being held. The original roof of the auditorium is still visible, but I don’t know if anything beneath from theatre days remains. It seems possible that it could be used as a ballroom or convention center. The theatre entrance and lobby were demolished and replaced by a modern steel-and-glass structure.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on February 8, 2005 at 11:56 pm

The Meriden/Square has a listing here. The site is currently an auto repair shop. I spoke to the manager by phone and he said that some of the theatre’s interior decor is still there. He invited me to come over to look, but I haven’t had time yet. If anyone does go, it’s best during the week, as they’re closed part of Saturday and all of Sunday and holidays.

Len
Len on February 8, 2005 at 8:45 pm

Ken, The name of that theatre was The Meriden, and also known as The Square Theatre due to its location at Astoria Square (21st St., Astoria Blvd., and Newtown Ave.) The theatre was actually on Newtown Ave. near Chappy’s. In the 40’s and 50’s, we all called it the itch along with other derogatory names, yet we went there almost every Saturday other then the summer. Two features, newsreels, a serial, and at least twenty cartoons. I can remember the price being 17 cents. My older sister and brother remember when it cost 12 cents. My Dad referred to it as the Rock Seat. It was very popular in those days.
Len

Len

kenberger
kenberger on November 14, 2004 at 10:50 pm

There was a theater back in the 1940s- very early 1950s off 21 street at Astoria Blvd. It was located next to Chappy’s restaurant. It later was used as a moving/storage company building. Unofficially, it was called the Itch. Officially, I don’t know it’s name (maybe the Square for Astoria Square). Anybody know it’s name?

Ken

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 14, 2004 at 9:55 pm

If you stand across the street, you can still still the original roof of the auditorium. It would be interesting to know if any of the auditorium’s interior remains, or whether it was totally gutted. The old theatre entrance and lobby no longer exist, replaced by an ultra-modern structure of steel and glass.