UA Astoria Sixplex

2860 Steinway Street,
Astoria, NY 11103

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Showing 26 - 50 of 92 comments

Bway on August 7, 2008 at 7:43 am

Well I guess the Ridgewood and Astoria do have something else in common…the Ridgewood’s marquee fell to the street too back in the 60’s during a snowstorm. Luckily no one was under it at the time….

GerardC on August 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Peter. K.– No apologies needed (but thanks) When I made my statement “5 million people remember..” I was not directing my (little bit ) of sarcasm to any body who grew up in Ridgewood ..just on the lack of attention of what I thought was a once great place.
But.. I think I was right in my thoughts that nobody here remembers this movie house. I mentioned that the Marquee fell to steinway street and got no responce. not bad or good but I guess Iam the only guy here who was born/grew up in astoria, and remembers that. It made the local papers (queens gazette / tribune) with photos.!! But myself like a dumb ass threw away a lot I had saved as a child. If I still had those headlines i would show them here (of course!)

PeterKoch on August 4, 2008 at 11:26 am

My apologies to you, GerardC : I never meant to be sarcastic.

No, I never attended the Astoria, but, fortunately, I can read your childhood recollections of it here. Thanks for posting them here on this page.

It looks like Greenpoint, hardbop, Lost Memory and BrooklynJim remember the Astoria as well.

Bway on August 4, 2008 at 10:08 am

I agree, and you are right….but….they were never really in competition for the same customers, so I don’t really see a rivalry between the two theaters. And of course now it would be moot anyway, as the Astoria is all but gone, as it’s gutted, and could never be used for a theater again. The Ridgewood may find the same fate, unless it is somehow saved in the final hours. The Ridgewood WAS still showing movies as recently as this past March. That’s only 4 months ago, and to my knowledge nothing has changed inside….yet…but it certainly is at a dangerous crossroads as we speak.

Bway on August 2, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I didn’t think there was “competition” between the pages of two theaters. Both closed by the way. The Astoria now in no chance of ever being used as a theater again, and the Ridgewood recently closed and awaiting it’s fate.
So, no, there’s no rivalry, and wasn’t between the two until Gerard brought it up.
The last few comments are ludicrous here to even suggest there is some rivalry between the two theaters, as the two have really little if anything to do with eachother, other than it’s architect.

GerardC on August 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Hey Peter K I have been a member here since 2003 and have contributed to this site ..colony, astoria grand, ditmars and the cameo/olimpia.But have been silent… but recently wanted to speak up about MY childhood love the ASTORIA>.. Dont like your sarcasm..
“SOMEONE BESIDES YOURSELF AND WARREN MUST REMEMBER THE ASTORIA” nope dont like your sarcasm one bit. I dont know “Warren” same as I dont know you. I just grew up in astoria and loved the Astoria Theatre. thats it. Do not group me with ANY individual. If you do not like him.. Like I said I dont care. but I can say for certain.. I have been to the astoria one thousand times and there were OTHER people there as well … If “Warren” was one of them I would not know.If YOU never went there that is your loss.

GerardC on August 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm

The ONLY REASON Astoria closed was that Regal; which opened a multiplex on 38st and 35aves.(AFEW YEARS BEFORE.) folded- and then UA bought it. Before this the old girl was fighting the competion quite well. Just because UA now owned a multiplex and an old theatre, they gave Astoria the boot. I live in Astoria, couple of blocks away from the movie house.. I can say up till the last it drew crouds / made money. It was just (another) example of corporates making a decision.

PeterKoch on August 1, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Thanks, RobertR. I’ve done a little reading about him on the Internet.

RobertR on July 31, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Grover Whalen was president of the first New York Worlds Fair in 1939-40

PeterKoch on July 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Yes, but the Ridgewood opened 3 years and 11 months earlier, and lasted six years, two months and two weeks longer than the Astoria did.

PeterKoch on July 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Link to wikipedia page for Grover Whalen :

As Grover Whalen was known as “Mr. New York”, however much I might like to think of myself as “Mr. Ridgewood”, or “Mr. Ridgewood Theatre”, I don’t think I would ever be granted, nor could I accept, such an honor.

PeterKoch on July 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, Bway !

And thanks for the compliment, Warren ! It’s no clique. You’re welcome to join us any time. In the words of Tropicana’s Jim Dooley :

“Come on in ! The bilge is fine !”

And please don’t continue to discriminate against Lost Memory, Bway, once upon a time, zitch, and Panzer65 by failing to indict them as well !

Bway on July 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Ahhhh, time to pull out the popcorn and watch the show!

PeterKoch on July 31, 2008 at 10:50 am

I don’t think it’s 5 million, GerardC, but why do you think that is ?
Someone besides Warren and yourself MUST remember the Astoria ?

GerardC on July 30, 2008 at 11:59 pm

5 million people grew up in ridgewood to talk about the ridgewood and madision.. but no one remembers the Astoria?

GerardC on July 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Oh One more thing I forgot to add… the marquee you see today is NOT the original. the original came crashing to the ground in the early 80’s If you look in the photo posted above you will see a typical sqaure marquee.. this fell and was replaced with the triangular one that exists to today. One more thing the Astoria had a SECOND marquee on 30 ave. (flat like paradise in the bronx) THis was not original but was added sometime in my life time. (70’s/80’s)R.I.P astoria – 1920 – 2001

GerardC on July 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

This was my local childhood theatre that after a while got me interested in the arcitecture and the whole “mystic” of movie houses.I remember the Triboro a block over but more so this theatre. The Triboro was atmospheric.. while the Astoria was a coat of flat black paint!..but it was huge inside and always packed (in the 70’s) I remember going to a show as a kid and having to line up around the block(30th ave) sometimes on 38st.(behind the theatre.) while I remember this theatre as a single screen.. my memory is clearer as a “quad.” If you were viewing a film downstairs (theatres 1 +2) you would look up and see plaster details (you were below the former balcony) that would end-a change in the ceiling kinda close to the screen. (where the original balcony ended) If you were seeing a film in # 3 or 4 you were in the balcony. More plaster details to be seen in the ceiling (but hard- like I said everything flat black) I remember when they made this into a “sixplex” what they did was use the stage/back stage areas. (would love to have gone back tehre before this!!)This is what they did.. made a new hallway (wall off the right side aisle if you are looking toward the screen. (making downstairs theatre 2 a little smaller.) You would be in the lobby and go to your right and walk down a very long hallway painted mauve? (spelled correctly? ugly 80’s color) till you were in back of the building. now you had 3 choices. continue sraight which would be the original fire door to 38 st. or go left into theatre “5” or go up a flight of stairs to theatre “6”. This whole area of course was the original “backstage” area of the building. It waspretty interesting the way they did the conversion. when you entered you entered close to the screen and had to walk back to your seat. (this would be sideways..screen was facing north. The original theatre the screeen was west projection booth east(steinway street side.)What is very interesting is.. one time I was seeing a movie at the end of the night and the ushers opened the back “emergency"exits of these theatres.. (which faced SOUTH 30th ave) When I went out the door of this modern screening room i was faced with a very old green painted halllway with cast iron stairs that brought you to the 30 ave outdoor fire escapes. Apparently when they gutted the back stage dressing rooms they left the old back stage hallways intact to use again. Does anyone out there have any interior photos of the once "grand” Astoria? I think I would die happy if I could see those!(just kidding)

PKoch on December 11, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Thanks, mp775 and br91975.

br91975, that is sad news indeed about the complete gutting of the Astoria’s former theatre space.

br91975 on December 11, 2007 at 5:52 pm

The former theatre space was completely gutted; nothing of it remains. I passed by one afternoon during the summer of 2002 and, peering in through an open door on 30th Avenue, could see the trace of the removed balcony on the right interior wall.

mp775 on November 19, 2007 at 9:28 am

Crain’s New York reports that the Astoria Theatre was purchased by Skyline Developers. Manhattan-based Skyline, which typically acquires sites for big-box retailers, has no immediate plans to redevlop the site evict the current tenants, but Crain’s predicts there are some plans for the future.

Bway on September 20, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I believe it was at the corner.

PKoch on September 20, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Interesting that the Astoria, slightly larger than the RKO Madison, was multiplexed, but, even so, could not survive as such, and ended up being a store, anyway. Perhaps that also would have happened to the Madison had it been multiplexed. As it was, the Madison avoided the “intermediate” state of being multiplexed, and, for better or worse (I would think most of us would say the latter)went “directly” to becoming a store.

PKoch on September 20, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Thanks, Bway. Where’s the entrance to the drug store, if not under the marquee ?

Anything left of the theater inside ?