Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NYC Vintage Image: The Astor Theatre, 1936

The Astor Theatre, located at Broadway and 45th Street, was among New York City's most prominent Broadway theaters from 1906 to 1925. It was eventually managed by the Shubert Organization, which today maintains control of 17 Broadway houses. From 1925 to 1972, Astor was a movie theater, but was shuttered because of faulty air conditioning.

The above image from 1936 shows the premiere of The Great Ziegfeld, a 1936 musical biopic of Florenz Ziegfeld, including music by Irving Berlin. It stars Luise Rainer, William Powell, Myrna Loy & Frank Morgan, as well as real-life Ziegfeld performers Fanny Brice & Ray Bolger, who played themselves.

In 1982, the Astor Theatre was demolished—along with the Victoria, Helen Hayes, Morosco and Bijou theaters—to make way for the Marriott Hotel. All is not totally lost, however: The Marriott houses Broadway's Marquis Theatre, which opened in 1986. Among shows there: Me and My Girl, Gypsy, Man of La Mancha, The Goodbye Girl, Damn Yankees, Victor/Victoria, Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun and Thoroughly Modern Millie.Below, today's Marriott Marquis Hotel.