Palladium Times Square

1515 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 176 - 200 of 573 comments

br91975 on May 17, 2005 at 10:35 am

Some remembrances of the Astor Plaza – and some movie theatres of Times Square past and present, along with a few inaccuracies (the Crowne Plaza, which is one block north, being noted as having replaced the Warner Twin/Strand; the current Roxy Delicatessen is actually located a couple of doors down on Broadway between 46th/47th from the one located in the former lobby of the since-demolished Movieland): The flaws in the piece notwithstanding, it’s a nice overall tribute.

br91975 on April 25, 2005 at 2:12 pm

Given how Loews operates its theatres, that wouldn’t have been a shock… ;–)

jbels on April 25, 2005 at 2:05 pm

Managed to get into one of the early shows of Titanic during the first day of its run. After that, it was a very tough ticket at this theatre, as they could only show a few a day with its running length. Also saw an early show of Bringing Out The Dead, and there were only a handful of people for that. When the film flips upside down (intentionally) I thought there was something wrong with the projection

ErikH on April 15, 2005 at 7:34 am

I also caught “Eyes Wide Shut” at the Astor Plaza. I went to a screening during the opening weekend, before the bad word of mouth had begun to circulate. The Times Square crowd was clearly expecting something of a more titillating nature—-starting at about the 30 minute mark, people in the audience began yelling at the screen (“What the *&# is this?” etc.). One of my more memorable moviegoing experiences.

dave-bronx™ on April 15, 2005 at 4:22 am

Ahh – the old bathroom question – Theatres designed by office building architects have that problem – they don’t recognize there is a different usage pattern in a theatre and use the standard office building formula for determining the configuration of the restrooms. If the client isn’t on the ball, or doesn’t consider the ‘facilities’ a priority (or if the client isn’t the operator of the theatre), you end up with what the Astor and Ziegfeld had/has. The old time architects like Lamb, Eberson, the Rapp brothers, specialized in theatres and understood these things – those old palaces always had plenty of potties.

hardbop on April 14, 2005 at 11:43 am

I patronized the Astor Plaza and remember catching Coppolla’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” here and remember people clapping after the movie.

Also, Warner Brothers quietly released (dumped) Kubrick’s 2001 into theatres in 2001 (I heard they were contractually obligated to re-release it in ‘01) and I caught it here. That was a treat to see it in a “movie palace” or what passed for a movie place in NYC in '01.

And when they re-released Friedkin’s director’s cut of “The Exorcist” it played at the Astor Plaza.

I also caught Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” here the day it opened.

Also caught “Platoon” here the day after it opened to Canby’s rave review in the Times. I remember going to the first show on Saturday and then there was a huge crowd in the lobby waiting to get into the second show. A real vibe in the theatre that day.

One problem with the Astor Plaza (and the Ziegfeld)is the fact that there was only one bathroom in a theatre of that size. What were they thinking when they designed these theatres?

theatrefan on April 6, 2005 at 6:07 am

In the Star Wars Trilogy Bonus Material DVD, there is a documentary called: “The Force is With Them – The Legacy of Star Wars. In this documentary is a shot of the Loews Astor Plaza Marquee with a huge line of people waiting to see the first Star Wars film. The Marquee shows the name "LOEWS” all in caps on top, with the original Star Wars logo underneath. It must have been an awesome experience for the folks waiting on this line in 1977. It’s a shame we won’t have the same pleasure of seeing Episode III Revenge of the Sith at the Loews Astor Plaza.

Vito on March 28, 2005 at 7:08 am

dave, that was the practice for a long time. Films were rarely shot in 65/70mm, the cost was just too much. However a 70mm blow up is still better than no 70mm at all, I suppose.

dave-bronx™ on March 28, 2005 at 6:56 am

70mm was worth going out of your way to see only if the film was actually shot in 70mm. In the mid-80s we played a couple of films at Cinema I, the titles of which escape me at this moment, that although we had a 70mm print, it was shot in 35mm. The studios objective was to take advantage of the 6-track mag soundtrack in the pre-digital days. The projected image of this type of print was, to me anyway, always a little grainy.

Vito on March 28, 2005 at 5:42 am

Michael, With the exception of IMAX, 70mm is dead, there have not been any prints available, other than a short run of “Playtime” in 2004. We have had a few 70mm prints such as “A Space Odyssey” in 2001 and the DTS re-issue of “Lawrence of Arabia” in 2002, but no movie has had a wide 70mm release since 1997. The most recent releases have not been Dolby encoded, the sound has been DTS which does not have a magnetic track, but a CD Rom which plays with a time code printed on the print. I know of no new theatre built in the New York area that has installed 70mm since the mid 1990s. It is a shame, since watching a film in 70mm is magnificent way to see a movie. However, with the added cost of the prints and maintenance of the projection equipment 70mm struggled for some time. Multiplex operators did not want 70mm because after a few weeks, when the grosses on a new film begin to drop, they move it to a smaller auditorium and make room in the bigger houses for the new incoming movies, with 70mm usually installed in only one of 10-12 auditoriums, that could not be done. Then along came Dolby Digital which became the last nail in the coffin for 70mm. DTS manufactured a sound reproducer for 70mm, Dolby did not.

Coate on March 27, 2005 at 10:35 pm

QUOTE: “70mm Dolby-encoded prints were around untill the late 80s.”

70mm Dolby-encoded prints are still being made. I think you meant to write: “70mm NON-Dolby-encoded prints were around until the late 80s.”

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on March 26, 2005 at 3:39 pm

Passed by the Nokia Theatre on Thursday, and right by the front doors, the old Loews Theatres carpet is still there.

Vito on March 18, 2005 at 5:28 am

70mm Dolby-encoded prints were around untill the late 80s. I can remember working in at a theatre that did not have a Dolby processor, Universal shipped us a 70mm non-Dolby 6-track mag print of “E.T”.

Coate on March 18, 2005 at 2:13 am

“Longest run at the Astor Plaza: "Star Wars” – 65 weeks in 1977-78.“

Minor correction: the “Star Wars” engagement was sixty-ONE weeks.

View link


Coate on March 18, 2005 at 2:09 am

“Logan’s Run” played the Astor Plaza in 70mm during summer 1976. Some of the film’s batch of 70mm prints were Dolby-encoded (as a test?). The Los Angeles run (and I think also Boston and Toronto) advertised the engagement as 70mm and Dolby Stereo. The ads I’ve seen for the NY run, however, did not include any references to Dolby, suggesting the NY area 70mm prints were of the non-Dolby variety common for that era.

I guess my point is that it’s possible the Astor Plaza ran “Logan’s Run” in 70mm-Dolby Stereo and if so, this predated the Ziegfeld’s 70mm-Dolby run of “A Star Is Born.”

dave-bronx™ on March 16, 2005 at 2:45 pm

How are they going to squeeze another eight-hundred seats in there? Even with the old Griggs seats, which were much narrower than the Irwins that were there at the end, it was only another hundred. Are they going to hang seats from the ceiling??

William on March 16, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Warbled sound would only happen if it was running in analog Dolby SR, not digital. It sounds more like a mistreading in the projector.

YMike on March 16, 2005 at 12:48 pm

I saw “Titanic” at the Astor the last night it played there. I would guess the problems Bobt had with the sound were corrected by then.

RobertEndres on March 16, 2005 at 11:33 am

The Ziegfeld ran “A Star Is Born” in 70mm with 6 Dolby A encoded magnetic tracks. I was working there as a relief projectionist at the time.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 16, 2005 at 11:19 am

I livd in NYC from 76-81 and the first film I remember that opened in Dolby Stero was A Star Is Born at the Ziegfeld.

RobertEndres on March 16, 2005 at 9:28 am

Dolby used Radio City as a test site for their single channel Dolby A decoder and equalizer in 1974. Our Christmas film that year was “The Little Prince” which was three track mag, Dolby A encoded, using three of the mono units. Later we borrowed three more so that we would have the E.Q. section available when we ran 70mm, even though the tracks weren’t encoded. Our first stereo/optical film was “Mr. Billion” which Fox may have done as a warm-up to “Star Wars” in 1977 — it did precede the “Star Wars” opening at the Astor Plaza. The Ziegfeld also had 6 track Dolby equipment installed for “Close Encounters” and “Apocalypse Now” in 1977. Ioan Allen of Dolby says there were some split surround 70mm prints of “Superman” made in 70mm but none were played that way in cinemas, probably making “Apocalypse” the first wide release in 70mm with the reconfigured 6 track layout with split surrounds and only three channels behind the screen.

Coate on March 16, 2005 at 2:11 am

The first post in this thread includes a claim that the Astor Plaza was Manhattan’s first Dolby Stereo-equipped theatre. I believe both Radio City Music Hall and the Ziegfeld installed Dolby prior to the Astor Plaza, though the Astor Plaza was certainly among the first couple of dozen theatres anywhere to have it installed.

To help answer some of the questions posed in this thread, here’s a link to an article on “Star Wars” that includes details on the early years of Dolby Stereo and a reference to the Astor Plaza.

View link

Vito on March 1, 2005 at 2:03 pm

Myron, Someone may want to correct me here, but as I remember it, the first Dolby stereo optical film released was “Lisztomania” in 1975. The 1976 remake of “A Star is Born” along with a limited number of others followed. But it was “Star Wars” in 1977 that really generated a lot of interest in Dolby Stereo and theatre owners started installing Dolby all over the country.

YMike on March 1, 2005 at 7:05 am

“Independence Day” opened at the Ziegfeld. “Titanic” was at the Astor Plaza. The sound for “Titanic” was better at the Astor then any other theatre I saw it at.

Myron on March 1, 2005 at 6:50 am

Please help refresh my memory. I think I saw “Independence Day” with Will Smith and then “Titanic” at the Loew’s Astor Plaza, but I am not sure. I know I saw “Star Wars” there; as I saw it several times. I was intrigued by the Dolby Stereo. We actually heard tinkles,engines roar, groans,etc from different sides of the theatre. Was “Star Wars” the first movie in Dolby? I wonder. Thanks.