UA Astoria Sixplex

2860 Steinway Street,
Astoria, NY 11103

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Showing 51 - 75 of 92 comments

Bway on September 20, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I was by the Astoria yesterday, and the marque is still there, and has the Duane Reade name and the gym name on it. I think the name of the “center” is called “Astoria Plaza” on the top of the Marquee. What’s interesting is that there’s no doors under the marquee, just windows for the drug store.

PKoch on September 20, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Thanks, mp775. That salmon-pink GM Fishbowl bus looks like it’s seen better days !

mp775 on September 20, 2007 at 12:08 am

A slice of the Astoria’s marquee can be seen in this July, 1981 photo. Stripes, Escape from New York, For Your Eyes Only, and Superman II were playing.

PKoch on February 21, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Thanks, Warren. I used to have an e-mail acquaintance, who posted on this site as “Karl B” about several Cypress Hills, Bklyn theaters, such as the Adelphi, near Fulton and Crescent Sts., who delivered the Long Island Press as a boy in his home neighborhood of Cypress Hills in the latter 1940’s and early 1950’s. He remarked that, when the stores in Jamaica had sales, and ran ads in the Sunday press, it was as thick and heavy as the Sunday New York Times, and expressed wonder that he didn’t get a hernia delivering them !

PKoch on February 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Thanks, Warren. Was the LI Daily Star a predecessor of the Long Island Press ? How was the Astoria related (if at all) to the Queensboro / Elmwood once it had switched to films only in 1926 ?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 7, 2007 at 11:47 pm

And to answer Bway’s final question, it appears the building was completely gutted to its brick outer walls before being converted to retail & office space (also the fate of Lamb’s Bayside Theater on Bell Boulevard).

murray2362 on January 6, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Just to correct “Lost Memories” post of Dec. 16 2006. Steinway Ave. is now Steinway Street, which is the street the marque is on, and 30th Ave is the cross street, which was previously known as Grand Ave. The subway stop on the elevated line is still referred to as Grand Ave. By the way, when I graduated junior high school in 1968 the commencement exercises were held at the Astoria Theater.

PKoch on January 4, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Those are all good questions, Bway, and I hope you get answers to them, whether here or elsewhere, but unfortunately I know the answers to none of them.

Bway on January 4, 2007 at 12:17 pm

I drove by the Astoria yesterday, and instantly recognized it as a theater because of it’s distinctive traingle marquee, judging by photos here of the theater in it’s final days as a theater. The marquee has NY Sports Club on it, and Duane Reade. They punched windows into the side of the building, and the entire front has been transformed into glass, at least three stories of glass. The theater’s distinctive arched front no longer has windows, but is readily noticable.
Since I have never been in the Astoria, how were the 6 theaters cut up? 3 in the balcony and 3 downstairs? I am assuming it only had one balcony, but since it had just under 3000 seats perhaps it had two?
Also, does anyone know of any vintage photos of the interior? I didn’t see any linked here, unless I missed it.
Finally, I didn’t have time to stop inside the drug store, and I assume not…but are there any theater ornamentation or hints of the theater inside the drug store or the sports club upstairs?

Lostupstate on January 3, 2007 at 6:23 am

Hi I woke from a dream was lying in my bed recalling the time my brother and his friends broke in the back of theater i couldnt recall what I saw.I was very young so I found this site now I remember thank you.I was born in Astoria in 1973 I am the youngest of 7 5 girls 2 boys Astoria was a great place to be in my time alot has change since.I miss it all by the way ive been on the roof of the theater it was quite amazing but then again ive been on many roofs in astoria lol.I grew up at 30-17 34st.Astoria what a town.I was also and underage employee at the theater back when labamba was playing.The most recent picture doesnt show it but there used to be a huge fire scape leading to the roof on the side of the building.

mikemorano on December 15, 2006 at 5:05 pm

Very cool photo. Much better then the postcard above. Thanx for posting it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 15, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Thanks for posting that image, Lost. I prefer the black & white image, plus it’s not cropped.

AlexNYC on December 14, 2006 at 1:45 am

Wow, where do you come up with these classic images Warren? Except for the cars and people’s outfits, it was how I remembered Steinway & 30th Avenue intersection in the 1960s.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 11, 2006 at 5:07 pm

My error. In January of 1929, I suppose the boroughs would still be getting releases from late in the previous year.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 27, 2006 at 11:29 pm

Per release info on IMDB.COM that ad of Warren’s would date to 1928.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 27, 2006 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for the ad, Warren. With the recent closing of the Plaza, all 4 of these theaters are no more. At least the Woodside survives more or less intact both within and without and open to the public as St. Sebastian’s RC church. The Astoria is just a shell, having been completely gutted; the Plaza’s orchestra and most of the lobby converted to a chain drug store with the chopped up balcony vacantly awaiting its fate; and the Prospect long since pounded to dust.

PKoch on June 28, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for the correction, BklynJim, and for the link. Zacherle even said the character’s name out loud, when he hosted the film. “Uncredited” explains why he didn’t show up in the credits on the IMDb.

Thanks for the link.

BrooklynJim on June 27, 2006 at 8:52 pm

“Squeamy” Ellis, portrayed uncredited and on crutches by Marvin Ellis, was the one you remember getting tossed to his death from on high by “Butcher Benson” after his return from S.F. to L.A. It was right behind the old Hillcrest Hotel downtown and Angel’s Flight. Try this link for some great pix of the world’s shortest railway: html

PKoch on June 27, 2006 at 1:02 pm

I also recall a scene in “The Indestructible Man” in which Chaney grabs a guy named Hymie, who walked on crutches, and threw him down some steep street in Frisco.

PKoch on June 27, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Ah, yes, the ubiquitous Morris Ankrum. Up there with Maxie “Slapsy” Rosenbloom …

I saw “How To Make a Monster” on either the ABC or WOR 4:30 movie in the spring or summer of 1965. Here’s how “Famous Monsters Of Filmland” magazine put it :

“What’s up, ugly ?” (Teenage Frankenstein)

“Your life, Wolfie !” (Teenage Werewolf)

Typical teenage conversation.

Michael Landon once sang this on the Tonight Show :

“My girl’s real neat, she eats raw meat
"She’s got big claws on the end of her feet
"She’s my baby, whoo, she’s my werewolf baby …”

What impressed me most about “The Giant Claw” when I first saw it at age eight was its size. The legend of the Roc taken to the extreme of a huge extraterrestrial plucked turkey.

Thanks for the info on Robert Shayne.

I remember Lon Chaney Jr. as “The Indestructible Man” (1956) and how
Robert Shayne was the scientist who brought him back to “life”. Chaney played a similar role in “The Electric Man” (not the Con Ed guy who reads your meter !)

You’ve heard the shaggy dog story, the punch line of which is :

Abscess make the fart go Honda ?

Ever see the original Japanese release of “Godzilla” (Gojira) ?

BrooklynJim on June 27, 2006 at 12:33 am

NON-DVD BOMBS, Part 2 A.D. (After Dinner)

At some point or another, I think all of these played at the Astoria.

If you are ever brave enough to survive one additional viewing of “The Neanderthal Man,” pay close attention to the interior of Shayne’s house. Set high up in the beautiful Sierra, the exterior looks exactly as it should. The wall outside the basement lab, however, is made of brick. (BRICK!?!) Yep, brick. And I suspect it was borrowed from the Universal set for “Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” The dates of the two movies also indicate it may be one and the same brick wall.

Now if we could only be sure of who was responsible for finding that awful stock footage of the sabre-toothed tiger. (Gad, even “The Killer Shrews” had better fangs. Dogs playing 100-lb. rodents. Hmmmm. Could catch on. TV sitcom.)

Here’s an additional pair of duds which never reached DVD. Yet.

“How To Make a Monster” (‘58) – Featured another guy who was everywhere, Morris Ankrum, especially as an army general. (He’s the one who was tossed out of the hovering Harryhausen disc in “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.”)

“The Giant Claw” (‘57) – starring a hapless and lackluster Jeff Morrow. I told my daughter Kris after we watched the VHS version that the Claw was later painted a bright yellow and renamed Big Bird. She was young and gullible enough to buy it.

A final postscript (for now): Finally jotted down the director’s name for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Half Human” – Inoshiro Honda, forever immortalized as the name of one of their best-selling import cars…

BrooklynJim on June 26, 2006 at 9:23 pm

Shayne was also a doctor-up-to-no-good in “The Indestructible Man” (1956) who brought Butcher Benson (Lon Chaney, Jr.) back from the dead after he’d been executed. Met him once at the San Diego ComiCon back in the early ‘80s, perhaps 1984 or '85. He was wheelchair-bound, a former shell of the man we remember, and accompanied by his devoted wife. She told me privately that he spent his days at home signing as many 8x10 photos as he was able, knowing full well he wouldn’t be able to do it for fans once he crossed over to that Big Box Office in the Sky. Class guy.

As for the aforementioned female neanderthal, I thought my daughter (then age 11) would pass out from laughing so hard when she saw my bootleg tape. It was hysterical!

Holy land, indeed!

PKoch on June 26, 2006 at 8:40 pm

“The Incredible Shrinking Man” is one of my favorite all-time films, and Richard Matheson, one of my favorite authors.

I think “The Black Sleep” had John Carradine as a resurrected Crusader fanatic, shouting something about “The Holy Land” and “Kill !”

For me, the scariest part of “The Neanderthal Man” were those photos of the Neanderthal WOMAN happened on in the dark room. I think the film also contained a rape, expressed in carefully chosen words due to censorship.

I remember Robert Shayne well. He also played a scientist in the 1953 cult classic “Invaders From Mars”, ducking in his lab to avoid a gunshot from a Martian-possessed assassin.

“Colonel Fielding ! Colonel Fielding !”

BrooklynJim on June 26, 2006 at 5:51 pm

You can get “Blood Farmers” on DVD for Christmas, guys.

Couldn’t agree more with EdSolero as to its ranking in history. LMAO!

“Not of This Earth” – a diamond in the rough, Peter. Paul Birch and Beverly Garland, later to be re-made with former porn star Tracy Lords. I saw it originally at the Peerless in Brooklyn, never dreaming that one day I would actually own a marketed (gasp!) bootleg VHS copy of it.

So, an open question to all those entrepreneurs of schlockdom out there in CT Land:

When will we peasants ever get to purchase studio-issued DVD copies of…

“GOG” (‘54) co-starring his twin brother Magog, Richard Egan, Constance (“Fatass”) Dowling, Herbert Marshall, the spin test machine, the mirror in the desert, the frozen monkey, NOVAC and all this in blazing EastmanColor!)

“Dr. Cyclops” (‘40) – also in color

“The Neanderthal Man” (‘53) – with Robert Shayne (TV Superman’s Inspector Henderson)

“The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes” (‘53) – One of Roger Corman’s early cheapies, again with Paul Birch acting opposite the alien invader, played by none other than a coffee percolator!

“The Incredible Shrinking Man” (‘57 or '58)– Richard Matheson’s thoughtful script about “Short People,” predating Randy Newman’s song by 2 whole decades!

“The Black Sleep” (‘55) – with everyone from John Carradine to Tor Johnson (but Whit Bissell never managed to make the cut on this one!)

“The Mole People” (‘56) – with another ubiquitous guy, John Agar

“Half Human” (‘57) – Carradine takes on the Japanese stars of “Godzilla”


And with your help, many more titles to follow…

PKoch on June 26, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Thanks, EdSolero ! Tell me about them !