AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 326 - 350 of 589 comments

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 8:56 am

I guess I don’t know what the actual criteria is. Does it appear somewhere on this web site? It’s quite possible that movies did play Studio 54 for a few years (as they did in several Bway houses) so it might still qualify, but I wouldn’t know how to research that. If in fact it turns out that, yes, movies did play for a few years, we may have just discovered a “New” Cinema Treasure hiding in plain sight!

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 8:18 am

Al, I think you meant the lising for Studio 54 (Gallo Opera House). I just looked for it myself and it doesn’t appear to be listed here. I know that (on other CT pages) it has been discussed that Studio 54 did in fact show films (however briefly). I wish I remembered where I saw it. This web site is the only place where I ever would have heard it. I guess no one has ever added this theater on its own. If someone is able to prove that movies were actually shown here, then it should be added.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 31, 2008 at 7:18 am

I can’t find that listing.


LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 6:57 am

Warren, I have to agree! The list is probably short, but……it did show films, however brief, and so it qualifies.

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 6:10 am

Edward, the qualifications for a Cinema Treasure listing is that the theater showed movies in its lifetime. As such, The New Amsterdam, The Palace, and Gallo (Studio 54) qualify. In my personal opinion, virtually no multiplex should qualify to be on CT because they have no character to them, but I accept them because they showed movies. For me, what makes a theater a cinema treasure is the architecture and atmosphere that the actual building provided to the filmgoer which contributed to the pleasure of seeing a movie. Very few modern theaters apply, yet many banal multiplex entries appear on this site. Yet many of the beautiful Broadway theaters which never showed films, like the Cort, The Schubert, etc, cannot be listed here because they never showed films.

For me it is about the building and so I’m thrilled that legitimate theater has reclaimed and therefore saved The New Amsterdam, Studio 54, The Broadway and The Palace, thrilled that concerts/live performances have saved Radio City, The Beacon, The Apollo, The St. George and Loew’s Paradise, thrilled that churches have saved Loews Valencia, Loew’s 175th St, The Hollywood and The Stanley and happy that the Brooklyn Paramount is mostly intact though it was converted to a college gym.

Let’s face it, movies alone cannot sustain all of the old remaining movie palaces. If they could, many would still be open. As a result, alternative uses must be found which don’t destroy the integrity of the buildings. Luckily, we can still see films at The Ziegfeld, The Paris and The Jersey, but it is tough to make a go of it with just movies.

Now we must focus on saving The Kings. Hopefully, it will be able to show films again as part of its redevelopment, but the key is to restore the building to its past gilded beauty. Today the city is hosting potential developers on a tour of the property and I will be there to see if I can find out any additional information.

So, to sum up, no…you can’t see a movie at Radio City or The New Amsterdam, but thanks to adaptiv resue, people can go see a live performance at those theaters and get a feel for what it must have been like to see a movie “back in the day” instead of just looking at old photos and wonder “how could they ever have torn that down?”. I’m very grateful for that!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 30, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I’d also like to rebut BradE41’s comments about the Empire 25 lacking character. While the auditoriums themselves may lack any charm or unique identity, the lobby features the preserved ornamentation of a genuine early 20th century neo-classical playhouse. One designed by no less than Thomas Lamb! How many strip mall multiplexes can lay claim to that sort of character?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Markie, 42nd Street was still being called “The Duece” by those who frequented the area right up until the last movie house was shuttered in the early 1990’s. There’s absolutely nothing specifically noir about that nick-name.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 30, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Isn’t it a little obnoxious to call an actor dead 50 years by his nickname?

MarkieS on March 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Isn’t it getting a little obnoxious to continually refer to forty second street as “the deuce”? I mean, I like noir as much as the next guy, but Bogie’s been dead for 50 years.

Bway on March 29, 2008 at 7:07 pm

The New Amsterdam wasn’t originally meant to show movies, nor was the Gallo Opera House (Studio 54) when they were built. I am not sure about the Beacon Theater, which originally was a Vaudville house, but may have been meant to also show movies, I dont know.

It’s true, NY has lost many theaters, but it also retains many. It had SO many, so obviously the amount lost with that vast number would be higher than other areas, as it had more to begin with.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Remind me again which movie I can see today at Radio City or the New Amsterdam or the Beacon or Studio 54.

LuisV on March 29, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Forgot to mention the Apollo and The Victoria in Harlem, though it appears we will be losing the Victoria in its conversion to a hotel/office complex, we are gaining a fully restored and renovated Apollo thanks to Time Warner.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 28, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Plus we have about 36 landmarked Broadway playhouses, so we’re not exactly lacking theaters. Just operating movie palaces.

LuisV on March 28, 2008 at 10:55 am

While it is true that New York has lost so many of its grand palaces of the past, there are still many that are still with us. The same is true in Los Angeles. While Philadelphia is on the verge of losing its one remaining palace, The Boyd and many other cities have only one or two palaces remaining, New York still has a virtual embarassment of riches remaining: Radio City, The Hollywood, The New Amsterdam, The Beacon, The Ziegfeld, The Paris, The Palace, The St. George, RKO Keiths Richmond Hill, Studio 54, Loew’s Kings, Loew’s Paradise, Loew’s 175th St, Loew’s Valenica, The Brooklyn Paramount (mostly intact), etc. Not to mention the two other greats, Loew’s Jersey and The Stanley just across the river. In addition, there are many others out of the public eye that operate as churches, especially in Brooklyn.

I don’t mean to minize our losses; they have been great and tragic, but all is not lost! We still have a lot left and we need to focus on keeping what we have.

BradE41 on March 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

I went to this theatre a couple weeks ago, it was like climbing Mt. Everest to get to the theatre. Cannot say I liked the theatre very much, it pretty much has not character. It has been about 20 years since my last NYC visit; and I was disappointed that so many great theatres are now gone, it is worse than L.A.

AdoraKiaOra on January 27, 2008 at 5:19 pm

View from the orchestra level looking up to the two balcony’s showing a well preserved auditorium.

AdoraKiaOra on January 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Great shot showing escalators rising from orchestra level into the old prosenium arch taking you up to the cinemas.

owenspierre81 on January 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Movies that were shown in Digital Projection (DLP) at the EMPIRE 25 from November 2003 to today

11/14/03- Looney Tunes: Back In Action
11/14/03- Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
12/5/03- The Last Samurai
1/16/04- Disney’s Teacher’s Pet
2/6/04- Miracle
3/26/04- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
5/14/04- Troy
5/28/04- The Day After Tomorrow
7/7/04- King Arthur
7/16/04- I, Robot
8/6/04- Collateral
11/10/04- The Polar Express
11/19/04- National Treasure
12/22/04- The Phantom of the Opera
1/14/05- Elektra
3/11/05- Robots
4/1/05- Sin City
5/19/05- Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith
3/2/07- Wild Hogs
3/2/07- Zodiac
4/13/07- Disturbia
4/13/07- Perfect Stranger
5/4/07- Spider-Man 3
5/18/07- Shrek the Third
6/8/07- Ocean’s Thirteen
6/29/07- Ratatouille
7/20/07- Hairspray
7/27/07- The Simpsons Movie
11/16/07- Beowulf
12/14/07- I Am Legend
12/21/07- National Treasure: Book of Secrets
1/11/08- The Bucket List
1/18/08- 27 Dresses
1/18/08- Mad Money

Bway on January 16, 2008 at 8:49 am

I still am amazed every time I walk past the Empire, most recently about a week ago, that it has been moved. I am just also equally amazed that they decided to do that instead of tearing the place down. GREAT photo! I still can’t understand how something like this is even possible. The building had to be lifted off it’s foundation, and it’s a brick building!

JoelWeide on January 14, 2008 at 7:37 pm

That is a simply amazing feat, and what is even more amazing is that American Multi Cinema was even involved with the undertaking!

HowardBHaas on January 3, 2008 at 5:35 am

Warren, you might have missed the new language of the 4th & 5th paragraphs of the Intro. (I suggested it be inserted there) Given the 1st paragraph statement, the Intro makes the architectural contributions clear.

The individual listings of Architect and firm have been subject to debate in regard to other theaters, as you know. I too often find that’s confusing. Perhaps there should be categories for Original Architect, Renovations Architect, etc. but that’s up to the webmasters.

HowardBHaas on January 2, 2008 at 11:29 am

The wonderfully relevant info provided by Al has been integrated into the Intro.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2008 at 8:24 am

According to the New York Times the multiplex was designed by the architectural firm of Beyer Blinder Belle.

Harriet Irgang, the director of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation, restored the mural originally painted by a French artist, Arthur Brounet.

HowardBHaas on January 2, 2008 at 7:33 am

Here’s an article about the Empire moving:
View link

The Introduction states Lamb designed the 1912 theater. If anybody finds an article with name of the architect who designed the multiplex, post it! then, the info might get placed in the Intro, too.