United Artists East 85th Street

1629 First Avenue,
New York, NY 10028

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LuisV on October 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Here is what is replacing this theater:

Now showing: Sports kids take over former movie theater 12:53 PM, OCTOBER 10, 2012

RKF has arranged a 7,000- s/f lease for sports training company Fastbreak Kids at 1629 First Ave. between 84th and 85th Streets in space that formerly housed a United Artists East movie theater.

Fastbreak has leased its first full-time dedicated indoor location Scheduled to open by mid-2013, this site will become Fastbreak Kids’ 14th basketball and sports training facility in Manhattan and its first full-time dedicated indoor location.

“We are thrilled to have helped Fastbreak Kids expand into their first dedicated indoor location,” said Alterman. “The former theater is a great, unique space and the location is perfect for a surrounding neighborhood that is full of both families and schools.”

Other retail tenants in the 32-story, 260,000 s/f residential building include Starbucks and Basics Plus Hardware. The space that Fastbreak Kids has leased was used as a movie theater since 1970 when the building was constructed.

SeaBassTian on September 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I used to visit quite often. They actually showed a good selection of indie flicks and you were guaranteed not to be annoyed by pesky patrons. It was what you’d consider a charming “neighborhood dive” of Yorkville. Last film I caught there may have been The Informers.

shua22 on May 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm

So sad to drive past it today and see the “marquis” gone, scaffold up and a for rent sign hanging out front. It’s really a shame. Would have to assume that there was an issue with the lease. Darn.

Mikeoaklandpark on April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

I can’t believe they didn’t do a good business. Midnight In Paris played there last year for over 6 months. These big chain theaters really suck closing all the good single screen theaters.

DylanAsh on April 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I’m so sad this place closed.

Inuchan915 on March 31, 2012 at 12:12 am

I was about to visit them this week, I didn’t know they were closing. :(

SethLewis on March 28, 2012 at 3:54 am

Shame…one more Upper East Side theatre goes dark…have to like their mostly art house programming for the last few years…but a hard theatre to twin

br91975 on March 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The UA East 85th Street is closing permanently after this Sunday’s 9:50 pm screening of Friends with Kids. No word as of yet on the next tenant for the space but I’ll see what I can find out.

shua22 on February 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Saw Crazy Heart there this afternoon. There was a decent crowd. The ticket taker was delightful and the theater is in very nice, clean, comfortable condition. The seats are newish and high back and offer comfortable leg room. The screen is big and high, as one would expect in a single screen theater. It remains a rather elegant place to see a picture, even if off the beaten path. I would not hesitate to go back.

PassedPawn on January 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I’ll always remember this theater for the horror flicks I saw here as a kid, Dawn of the Dead (78), Halloween (78), and Carpenter’s remake of The Thing as well as schlock like Blood Beach. Also remember seeing flicks like Capricorn One and Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid here.

randytheicon on June 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

Belated reply to Seth Lewis: The Orleans was open by April 1969, when it was one of two NYC houses to host that year’s Vanessa Redgrave picture (the Sutton was the other location).

DylanAsh on January 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm

This is an OK theater, but how does it stay open?

owenspierre81 on January 17, 2008 at 3:36 am

I forgot to mention the Anne Hathaway romantic drama BECOMING JANE was shown at the UA East 85th Street theater on Aug. 10, 2007.

Wulf93rd2nd on November 5, 2007 at 8:16 am

“Why does the sign add "ice cream” as that is already in the food category?"

That’s beacause for years there was a Carvel Ice Cream Store on the corner next to the theatre. Now there is one of the 8 – 10 Starbucks that exist between 96th to 85th Streets.

HowardBHaas on October 7, 2007 at 5:11 am

The exterior still looks like Ken Roe’s photo linked above in 2003. The name of the movie is placed in marquee letters on the sign board. The theater’s name continues as UA East on the exterior of the theater, which is the basement of the residential building. After tickets are purchased at the ticket booth, there are stairs and an escalator to this basement theater.

The UA East auditorium sits 240 people with very comfortable LUXURY SEATS upholstered with gray fabric and extremely generous legroom. Vertical strips of red and blue fabric are the decoration on the side and back walls. Speakers are on the blue fabric. Support columns are on the left facing the movie screen, but don’t interfere with the excellent sightlines. The auditorium’s basic configuration resembles that of Clearview’s 62nd & Broadway. A red curtain is in front of the movie screen, but not used as slides are shown before the feature presentation. AMC & Clearview have switched to a digital preshow, but UA still uses slides? The MOVIE SCREEN IS DECENTLY LARGE, in this theater I’d estimate at 25 to 30 feet wide for the scope film. DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND is excellent here. Overall, the movie presentation in this auditorium was very good.

Fresh popcorn was being made as I entered for the 2 PM presentation of the scope movie “In the Valley of Elah.” The “small” popcorn was way too big, and costs too much at $5.50. The small soda costs too much at $4.50. A sign outside announces that outside food, beverages and ice cream are not allowed in the theater. Why does the sign add “ice cream” as that is already in the food category?

Though the movie has been shown for a few weeks, it had reasonably good attendance at the matinee, Saturday’s 1st show. The theater likely has excellent attendance on weekend evenings and if rent isn’t too high, would still be profitable.

Does United Artists or Regal still operate any other single screen theaters in the US?

efriedmann on May 31, 2007 at 7:30 am

I lived on East 86th Street, a short walk away from this theater, from 1994 to 2003. Nothing spectacular, but one of the few remaining good size single screen theaters in Manhattan, nonetheless. I saw movies like PULP FICTION, STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, DOGMA and DARK BLUE there.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 2, 2007 at 8:20 pm

from the how come dept. why when you look at the movie ads or show times…re: ua/regal…..

most are listed as regal and some still ua…

was there a split? and if not why not ua/regal east side..

just wondering!


William on March 1, 2007 at 11:46 am

hollywood90038, look under the Rivoli Theatre the original name of the theatre.

RobertR on January 30, 2007 at 10:21 am

In 1990 even the UA East was still running 70mm
View link

longislandwally75 on July 16, 2006 at 6:27 pm

that’s it thanks


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 16, 2006 at 1:15 am

Wally, I think you are describing the Eastside Cinema 3rd Avenue and 55th Street.

MisterShmi on July 15, 2006 at 10:34 pm

Saw a lot of the films of my youth here in the late 70s, early 80s. Mostly shlock, but the best kind. I remember seeing The Devil & Max Devlin, Arthur (definitely NOT shlock), Sleepaway Camp, Mortuary, Cannonball Run (I remember running from this to For Your Eyes Only at the 86th St. East right after), 10 to Midnight, Terror in the Aisles, LIfeforce, Creepshow 2, and many, many others. Does this theater still have that sticky floors, stale popcorn, tacky carpets 70s vibe I remember so well?

longislandwally75 on June 29, 2006 at 8:17 pm

about the time i was mgr. of the rivoli, there was a ua theatre on the east side…
not the 65th or 85th steet….it was 0n 2nd ave i think..it was like a store front..you see when you walk through the door it takes you back about 50feet…you make a left to the rear of the theatre..
the back of the screen had black or dark blue drapes..
if you were to move them it would show a big window that faces
the ave…

any ideas'