Times Square of Yesteryear – Part 1

Once upon a time Times Square was not just the center of the theater district it was also the center for the great majestic movie palaces with magical names like The Roxy, The Strand, The Astor, The Capitol and The Rivoli, all with huge billboard advertising the latest cinematic spectacle.   Today there are no movie theaters on Times Square. All that is left are two cinemaplexes on 42nd street. Here is what it used to look like when movie theaters ruled.

Times  Square -1955 – that is the  Criterion Theater underneath the Pepsi sign.1955timessqnorthview

Times  Square 1958 – Loew’s State


Times Square – 1962

Ben-Hur is playing at the Loew’s State. On the left at the Astor Theater is Inherit the Wind  


Loew’s State


Astor Theater 




Astor and Victoria Theaters


Victoria Theater


Paramount Theater  – The Paramount was one of the premiere theaters of its time. Frank Sinatra had thousands of young bobby soxers screaming in the ailes in the 1940’s. parafrank

In 1956, Elvis Presley’s  first movie “Love Me Tender” premiered at the Paramount where a new generation of young girls were screaming.   paramount-theatre-love-me-tender-premierev168341

Rivoli Theater   – Roadshow engagements were common back then. Big attractions  like “West Side Story”  played for more than  one year. Two shows daily at 2pm and 8pm. 



Loew’s Capitol



Mayfair Theater  (Many theaters changed names over the year’s. The Mayfair became the Loew’s Mayfair and then The DeMille and eventually the Embassy 123 before closing its doors for good.   



9 comments on “Times Square of Yesteryear – Part 1

  1. Sam Juliano says:

    What it comes to this kind of thing, John, your are peerless. I really appreciated all this photos from yesteryear. I can barely remember that long ago time.


  2. Judy says:

    Great collection of photos, John!


  3. Wow! Must have been a really nostalgic experience for you compiling and posting those images.


    • John Greco says:

      Yes,it was, I remember most of these theaters. Some would soon disappear or be turned into a duplex or a triplex and then they would slowly all go.


  4. paul speer says:

    Times Square today is trading on a name that bares no resemblance whatever to the legendary place of the 20’s thru to the 60’s when it contained all these amazing theatres! For me it’s now a place to be avoided. Thanks for these great photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Greco says:

    Thanks Paul! Times Square today is just a Disney type tourists attraction.


  6. cameron paul says:

    Agree entirely with Paul Speer. Times Square is an overcrowded bland place today which has lost it’s soul – I bet 90% of the tourists who go there have no idea of what it was like in it’s now legendary past. New York is a much poorer city without those great Movie Palaces, the Roxy and the Capitol being two of the greatest ever built.


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