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.
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
Astor and Victoria Theaters
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.
In 1956, Elvis Presley’s first movie “Love Me Tender” premiered at the Paramount where a new generation of young girls were screaming.
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.
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.