October 25, 2016

The Astor Room’s Old Hollywood Charm

via THE NEW YORKER

Hollywood isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Astoria. But Kaufman Astoria Studios, a massive complex in Queens with all the gray charm of a penitentiary, has been producing films for nearly a century, beginning with silent pictures, in the nineteen-twenties, and continuing into the streaming age—“Orange Is the New Black” is filmed there today. A door on the west side of the building opens to a marble staircase that Groucho Marx, Rudolph Valentino, and Gloria Swanson once descended to dine in the studio commissary, a space that, in 2014, was refurbished into a speakeasy. But the atmosphere is far from clandestine—the Astor Room has become a popular watering hole for gregarious locals.

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