AMC Empire 25

234 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

Unfavorite 57 people favorited this theater

Showing 226 - 250 of 520 comments

LuisV on July 22, 2008 at 8:31 am

The problem is that there is not enough space at the “turn around” areas where you switch from one escalator to the other on the floor where Busters and Applebees are located. I’ve seen some very uncomforatable situations when multiple movies let out. I think one escaltor is slower than another resulting in back ups that can lead to a dangerous situation if people panicked. I have never seen this at any other theater.

William on July 22, 2008 at 8:05 am

Whats inadequate about them. The regular escalator sets on the east side of the building and they can turn the ones that you enter on into exits, there are the stairwell exits in the auditoriums and mixed around the waiting areas.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 22, 2008 at 7:18 am

All those huge airport-like waiting areas and the exit patterns are scrutinized by the buildings department before they issue a permit to open. The inadequate AMC exits may have been dictated by the city.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on July 21, 2008 at 9:20 pm

In regards to the exit from the AMC Empire 25: It may have been planed like that by AMC Theatres, Hilton Hotels, and Applebee’s Restaurant for the exit to be like what it is.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 20, 2008 at 7:27 am

If anything, the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ escalator at Lincoln Square is more daunting and that only has a mere thirteen screens.

MarkieS on July 20, 2008 at 5:34 am

Yeah, really, what’s all the bitching about? If the escalator is THAT horrible an experience for you, take the elevator!These theaters are convenient and pleasant as far as I’m concerned. Then again, to be fair, I only go on weekday afternoons when crowd control is not an issue.

LuisV on July 19, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Ooops! Yes, I agree that Loews Lincoln Square is an exception, but my point was that modern megaplexes aren’t all that different form one another, as a whole and to criticize AMC 25 in this regard was unfair. Thanks.

BobT on July 19, 2008 at 11:01 am

“I haven’t been to any megaplex that doesn’t look have the "look and feel” of an airport once you get past the lobby so this is an unfair ctriticism of this theater in particular."

Try the Sony Lowe’s AMC Lincoln Square/IMAX or whatever the Hell it’s called now up on Broadway and 68th Street. So many names changes for such a young complex. Each auditorium is a tribute to a real “Cinema Treasure”. Anyway, there is no doubt you are in a movie theater and it’s great, and their escalator can give the AMC 25 a run for their money.


LuisV on July 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

I have never had an unpleasant experience at AMC 25. I love their incorporation of an old theater into their lobby. I like the escalators that seem to go on forever. I haven’t been to any megaplex that doesn’t look have the “look and feel” of an airport once you get past the lobby so this is an unfair ctriticism of this theater in particular. The individual theaters are comfortable, have great sound and the screens are very large relative to the size of the theater. My only real complaint is the exit. There is one narrow escalator to get out and sometimes the bottlenecks that form border on a disaster just about to happen. I can’t believe it was designed that way and that the city hasn’t made them change it.

Other than that, I love it!

AdoraKiaOra on July 19, 2008 at 9:26 am

Sounds almost as unpleasent as the experience I had across the road at the REGAL when I saw ‘Wall-E’ last Saturday!

JoelWeide on July 19, 2008 at 8:34 am

Almost sounds like a management issue more than anything else. AMC is one of the world largest
chains of motion picture theatres, and they are simply that movie theatres with a bottom line. Costs are cut to meet bottom line projections. There are theatres which are professionally operated, it all comes down to the general manager and their commitment to the craft, some are excellent and some don’t give a damn. It is encouraging that you sought out the 3D experience to enhance your movie going experience, thats a positive sign, but again it will all come down to the personal who operate the theatre and their commitment to seeing how the presentation is done.

BobT on July 19, 2008 at 7:21 am

“Any chance this place is in danger of closing?”

Isn’t this, if not number one, then definitely one of the top grossing theaters in the world? Why would they close? I gotta tell you though, seeing a movie here is just an ordeal. 3:00pm Saturday afternoon matinée. One cashier for twenty five screens, and I’ll admit, she was working her butt off and sporadically another cashier would come out from behind a wall behind the box office, but it was a wait. OK, opening weekend of “Journey To the Center Of the Earth” 3D. Of course the theater is so high up, they could sell Oxygen tanks at the concession stand. The escalators up are not for the claustrophobic. Each level has the look and feel of an airport, and if they didn’t have standees placed around, you can think you were waiting for a flight. After what seems like five escalators up, the theater was a huge pigsty. McDonald’s and other outside food boxes all over. Again, the staff worked hard to get it in shape for our sold out crowd. Great digital 3D projection, crowd well behaved. Absolutely not my first choice to see a flick but the digital 3D is still not available everywhere. Special points for the hard working courteous staff.

LuisV on June 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Why do you ask?

edblank on June 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Any chance this place is in danger of closing?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 3, 2008 at 11:56 am

The believe the third avenue Bijou was between 12th and 13th and was last known as Cinema Village on 3rdA Avenue.


MarkieS on April 3, 2008 at 11:31 am

No, the two Bijou’s listed were on E.4th, and 3rd Avenue, respectively. This theater is at 136 E. 13th, between third and fourth avenues. It started as a livery stable, then was a vaudeville house, then a movie theater. It was called the Lyric. The info in the lobby says it stood empty from 1965 to 1974 when this theater group took it over.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

The 13th street Lyric is listed as the Bijou Cinema.

Many of the porno theatres listed here have rich histories in challenging censorship laws and documenting changing social mores, even if they were not born as brick and mortar palaces. They are time-capsule treasures of our film history.

Although designed to look like a movie palace, there appears to be no record of Studio 54 ever showing a single film for a single showing.

Although it also has had a history of insignificant movies, if you really want to define what a Cinema Treasure is, step into the Empire lobby and look up. It costs nothing.

Bway on April 3, 2008 at 10:50 am

Quote Warren:
*To my understanding, a “Cinema Treasure” needs to have a substantial history as a cinema. *

I totally understand that….but once again, there are many storefront “porn theaters” listed on this site, which I highly doubt should be categorized as “substantial history of cinema”, or the “theater” being a “Cinema Treasure”. I Still think the Gallo is more of a “Cinema Treasure” if it only showed “film for a month” than some storefront porn theater, which would be on the site.

“Studio 54 is mentioned in the first paragraph of the introduction to the listing for the very similar Park Lane Theatre, so that might be the reason why some members think that they once saw a listing for Gallo/Studio 54.”

No, I REALLY am almost 100% sure I have seen a page here for “Studio 54” aka Gallo. It was listed as “Studio 54”, I remember it so clearly because I remember laughing at the fact that this theater has to listed as “Studio 54” because that is it’s last or current name, which of course is the policy. It probably was a few years ago, but I no doubt think it was removed because it can’t be proven that it is a “Cinema Treasure”. I have never viewed the Park Lane Theater page until today when you mentioned it, so that can’t be it…at least not for me.

MarkieS on April 3, 2008 at 9:56 am

but does anyone have any info about the Lyric on E.13th Street?

Mikeoaklandpark on April 3, 2008 at 9:27 am

The Lyric on 42nd was paritally torn down. What they did was they took part of the old Apollo theatre and the Lyric and built the Hilton Theatre which is a legit broadway house.

MarkieS on April 3, 2008 at 8:09 am

By the way, I attended a play last night at Classic Stage Company at 136 E.13 St. in NYC. Inside the lobby it said that the theater used to be the “Lyric”, which started as a vaudeville house, and then was a movie theater for years. I looked up the Lyric theater on here, and it just lists theaters on 42nd and 23rd Streets that were demolished. Does anyone have any info?

LuisV on April 2, 2008 at 10:18 am

Bway….I totally agree with you that I kind of remember seeing Studio 54 listed under its own name, but I can’t totally be sure.

As for other opinions on whether or not this theater qualifies….why wouldn’t you want this theater to qualify even under the most basic terms? It is a beautiful theater. MUCH, MUCH more of a cinema treasure (if in fact movies were shown here) than the many storefront boxy theaters referenced by Bway and the dull multiplexes which are very well represented on this web site. Exactly why is the Regal Union Square 14 a “Cinema Treasure”? It isn’t for me, but I accept it. We should want Studio 54 to be listed because it is a beautiful theater and it IS about the architecture and the atmoshpere created by the theater that, for me, qualifies as a true cinema treasure. That is why Radio City and The New Amsterdam (and many more expamples) qualify even though they were built for legitimate theater and subsequently showed films.

p.s. I apologize for talking about Studio 54 on this page, but it doesn’t have its own page! :–)

Bway on April 2, 2008 at 9:24 am

I could swear that the Gallo Theater, Studio 54 was once listed on cinematreasures. I seem to recall it, as I remember finding it funny that the theater was listed as “Studio 54” instead of it’s original Gallo Opera House name…but then I realized that theaters are lsited as their last known name. But really, I am almost 100% certain it used to be here. Perhaps it was removed when the cinema aspect of it couldn’t be confirmed.

Bway on April 2, 2008 at 9:12 am

Justin, Studion 54 BECAME a dance hall, it was NOT built as such. It was a theater converted to the legendary Studio 54 Dance Hall. It is not like they took a dance hall and converted it into a theater, it’s the other way around.
As for the “ever so briefly” it may or may not have shown film at the Gallo Oper House (Studio 54), there are “storefront” porn theaters listed on this site. I would risk to say that even if the Gallo only showed film briefly, it would “still” qualify more as a “cinema treasure” than some of the storefront porn theaters listed on this site. I mean, let’s get real here.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 31, 2008 at 11:52 am

The Park Lane/Gracie Square page mentions that it was designed to resemble the Gallo/Studio 54.