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No, it was when the Astor Plaza closed. The largest is the Loews auditorium in Loews Lincoln Square at 62.5' The second biggest are all 62' and are as follows: Loews Kips Bay Auditorium 10, Loews Ewalk, Auditoriums 12 & 13. The Ziegfeld was the sixth largest at 52'. The magazine I am getting this info from does not say which ones are 3 & 4, but one of them has to be in the AMC Empire 25 and falls between 61' & 62'
Keep in mind that the Lincoln Square opened in 1994, Kips Bay & Ewalk in 1999 and the Empire in 2000, so before all these theatres were around the Astor Plaza was the biggest in NY.
The Loews Astor Plaza movie screen at 61' was the fifth biggest in New York City.
I spoke with the manager at the Astor Plaza that last weekend, he said yes indeed they were giving them some of the Astor Plaza’s seats, but not all of them, he looked very busy so I couldn’t ask any further questions.
Yes the Alpine still exists as a 7 screen theatre. It has two large auditoriums on the left side and 5 smaller ones on the right, they date back from the late 80’s. I don’t thing anything inside that was original remains, or it could be hidden by the ugly ceiling panels. The Alpine never had a balcony so they is no second level, only the projection room.
I did see in the photo of the 83rd St. that the condos on top of the 84th St had yet to be built, when they did start construction I wonder if people could hear it watching their movies.
Thanks dave-bronx, I always wondered why one was the 83rd and the other the 84th Street. Unfortunately these replacements could never match any of the original theatres. As we have all said, most of the time the property that theatres sat on was far more valuable than keeping the original theatre operating and open. In all of NYC does Loews Cineplex have any of their original theatres still operating? The Alpine in Brooklyn is the only one that seems to come to mind, and that one went thru some different chains before returning to the Loews chain.
There are 4 Loews theatres in Manhattan that are built on previous Loews locations, They are the State, Orpheum, 72nd Steet and 84th Street. I wonder when they were doing all this real estate selling, did Loews automatically include a provision in the contract that would allow them to replace the old existing theatre with a new one underneath whatever was being built on top like a condo or office building?
It must have cost Sony Theatres (Loews) quite a bundle to change all the signs from Loews to Sony and finally back to Loews on all of the Marquees. I think the last of the Sony Theatres were the Lincoln Square and the Metreon, and I heard Loews Cineplex owed Sony a lot of money for the use of the Sony Name, so they had to give up using it.
The Loew’s Oriental opened on October 13th, 1927 only about a month after Marcus Loew the chains founder passed away. The first feature to premiere at the Oriental was “Beau Geste” and the last three movies to play there were “Muriels Wedding, A Goofy Movie & Tommy Boy”
Hawthorne Amusement Corp. (A Loew’s Theatres Subsidiary) owned this theatre for much of its run. Abe Boritz was the projectionist at the time of its closing and had worked in this theatre for 26 years. The final ticket prices at the time of its closing in 1995 were $4.00 for a matinee show and $7.00 all other times.
J.F. & Broadway… thank you both for the photos!
Judging by these photos, It looks like you would enter the theatre and then have to turn left to be in the auditorim, I wonder if this theatre has a big lobby. The sunburst style Loew’s marquee was shared by the Alpine in Brooklyn and the Delancy in NYC.
I guess part of the reason the 175th Street still had the original one is because Rev Ike bought the theatre from Loew’s in the late 60’s. They started ripping out all the organs in the early 70’s. I could have sworn I saw an organ in the Valencia too, maybe I am confusing it with another theatre turned church.
I saw the documentary on the Kings and at the very start there is a gentleman playing a theatre organ, I wonder if that was the oringinal Kings organ. It sounded great!
Does anyone know what happened to the oringinal theatre organ that was once in the Loew’s Kings? I know the Jersey’s went to California and they are replacing it with the one fron the Paradise. Also do the 175th St. and Valencia still have there Wonder Organs?
Can’t wait to see this place in Sept. I’m sure it will be nothing short of spectacular.
They keep saying they will reopen it, that the building is not for sale, I guess they must have a lot of people asking to buy it and turn it into another drug store, just wht we don’t need! Consider the Alpine in Bay Ridge it doesn’t have parking near it either and it’s always packed on weekends. The unfortunate thing is the way this building has crumbled it’s going to take a lot of work to get it to even resemble the Midway.
UA was not known for the upkeep of their theatres, usually they would run them into the ground. I’ve been to this cinema and it wasn’t bad at all, but it is obsolete by modern Regal standards, and according to them it is due for an overhaul.
We spoke with the Regal Entertainment Group constrution Department, they are going to redevelop this property into a modern day multiplex. It is on the list of upcoming construction projects. This will most likely be completed in 2006. This Bensonhurst theatre will be back!!!!
It’s no suprise to me that they were ripping the place apart right after the 10:15 showing of the Village. When I was here Friday nignt I spoke with the manager, whom I remember from the Kips Bay, he said that they have to be totaly cleared out from this space by Thur. From what Shade said they were probably working all night to take out all the theatre equipment.
You guys are right the Loew’s Jersey is an terrific place to see movie, they turn 75 in September so I hope something special is planned.
Taken from the Loews Cineplex 1999 Annual Report: “1975 Funny Lady premiers at Loews Astor Plaza, Still the largest auditorium in New York City with over 1,400 seats”
Was there tonight to see “The Village” quite a turn out for the 9:15 Show.It was really something to be in that giant auditorium and see those huge red velvet drapes closed over the movie screen. I sat in the back balcony section to get the full effect of vast expanse of grey seats in front of me. The Village is in the flat screen format, so I didn’t get the full effect of the huge 61' sceen, but I stayed till the end of the credits to see the drapes close, it was a sad sight. I agree with you guys, its our hole in the ground. Farewell Loews Astor Plaza, some of us will really miss you!
Here is a quick Kingsway update: There is now a Jennifer Convertibles/Leather Store in the former backstage-stagehouse area of the Kingsway, directly behind the Walgreen’s Drug Store. Someone is also working on building something in the former upstairs theatre part as well, sheetrock walls are being put in.
Thanks William, this theatre will be celebrating it’s 75th Birthday in September, wonder what will be planned?
When you think of all the theatre chains in the NYC area that have come and gone such as: RKO, Fox Metropolitan, Century, Paramount, Skouras, Brandts, Interboro, Randforce, Golden, Stanley-Warner, I’m glad the name Loews still exists albeit as a very pale imitation of it’s former glorious past in the NYC metro area.
Sony Theatres was a silly name, when you think of the movies you think “LOEWS”. When I think of my tv set or walkman I think of Sony. I’m glad they got rid of the name Sony Theatres.
Back in 2000, when Loews Cineplex was still a publicly traded company they featured a vintage picture of the Loews Astor Plaza in their annual report. It was being used for the world premier of the film “Funny Lady” which came out in 1975, the theatre must have been around for a year at this point. The very front of the marquee said LOEWS Astor Plaza in big red letters. In what year did Loews drop the name Loew’s and start using just plain Loews?
Does anyone out there know is this theatre set up to do 70mm?
Your welcome Bill!
I was there for the 2001 reissue, It was something that all fans of huge 70mm roadshow films should get to experience. I still have my ticket tucked away someplace, gotta go find it. I plan on going there one last time to see the village, will any of you cinematreasures folks be there as well?
Your welcome Bill!
I was there for the 2001 reissue, It was something that all fans of huge 70mm roadshow fans should get to experience. I still have my ticket tucked away someplace, gotta go find it. I plan on going there one last time to see the village, will any of you cinematreasures folks be there as well?