Astor Theatre

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Astor Theatre
Astor Theatre, Broadway, 1936.jpg
Astor Theatre in 1936
Address 1537 Broadway
Manhattan, New York City
United States
Coordinates 40°45′29″N 73°59′08″W / 40.758001°N 73.98564°W / 40.758001; -73.98564Coordinates: 40°45′29″N 73°59′08″W / 40.758001°N 73.98564°W / 40.758001; -73.98564
Type Broadway
Opened September 21, 1906
Closed 1972
Demolished 1982
Years active 1906-25 (live theater)
1925-72 (movie theater)
Architect George Keister

The Astor Theatre was located at 1537 Broadway, at West 45th Street in Times Square in New York City. It opened September 21, 1906 with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream[1] and continued to operate as a Broadway theatre until 1925. From 1925 until it closed in 1972 it was a first-run movie theater. The theater was designed by architect George W. Keister.[2] It was demolished in 1982 to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The Astor was first managed by Lincoln A. Wagenhals and Collin Kemper, then by George M. Cohan and Sam Harris, and later by the Shubert Organization. Among the plays that debuted at the Astor were Cohan's Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913) and Why Marry? (1917) by Jesse Lynch Williams, the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In 1925 Loew's Theatres bought the Astor and converted it into a movie house in order to have a Times Square "road show" showcase for first-run films from the MGM film studio. The Big Parade (1925) was the first film shown at the Astor where it ran for a continuous 96-week engagement.[3] Other films to make their Times Square debuts at the Astor include The Broadway Melody (1929), Grand Hotel (1932), The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Gone With the Wind (1939) for MGM; and Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) and The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night (1964) for United Artists.

External links[edit]


  • Morrison, Andrew Craig (2006). "Astor Theatre, 1537 Broadway, New York, New York". Theaters. New York: W. W. Norton. Pages 157–58 and photographs 4-039, 4-040, and 4-041. ISBN 0-393-73108-1.  (Google Books url is preview only.)


  1. ^ "Astor Theatre Opens With Lovely Spectacle". The New York Times. September 22, 1906. 
  2. ^ Morrison, p. 157
  3. ^ Bennett, Carl (February 15, 2016). "'The Big Parade'". Silent Era. Archived from the original on April 27, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2017.