AMC Empire 25

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

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Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 12:06 pm

That’s the show I saw, Al. The Caesar’s Palace OMNIMAX dome is gone, but I believe there is a standard IMAX theatre in the Luxor Hotel. I think the difference between IMAX and OMNIMAX was that latter’s curved dome presentation. The films geared towards dome presentation were in more of a fisheye perspective with the viewer’s peripheral vision seeming to extend up and over one’s head as well as below the point where one’s eyes would naturally fix their focus – that is, assuming one was situated among the very few “sweet-spot” seats about 1/3 of the way up the stadium and dead center on the screen’s vertical axis.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 11:54 am

The Lincoln Square announcements are still there including notice of a flashing set of glasses on the screen telling you when to put them on for the 3-D sequence. William Castle would be proud. (Maybe IMAX 3-D horror will work on 42nd street!) I never noticed a platter view.

They still undersell the screen on tall IMAX documentaries due to serious sightline problems. They also used to over-report grosses to the trades but I am not sure if then can still get away with that as EDI collects them electronically.

I did see a Mount St. Helens volcano eruption film in Vegas many years ago when IMAX was just starting. That may have been at Caesar’s Palace.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 11:27 am

Do they still include the IMAX introduction at the original tall IMAX facilities (such as the Lincoln Square)? There wasn’t a curtain, but there was an interesting and slowly changing lighting scheme to mask the vast whiteness of the blank screen before a show. As well, just before the feature, a voice would come over the loudspeaker to give a brief overview on the specs of the IMAX screen, film guage and projection process – during backlights would be brought up behind the screen to reveal the massive steel framework on which the screen was hung. After the show, audiences were invariably asked to exit at the rear of the auditorium and would be led around the back of the glass enclosed projection booth where they could glimpse the massive platter and projector on the way out. I’m not sure if this last glimpse behind the curtain was a part of the Lincoln Square show – I might be remembering that particular bit of showmanship from my earlier experiences with the format in Las Vegas and Niagara Falls. In the version I saw in Las Vegas way back in 1980, the format was advertised as “Omnimax” and was presented in a dome at Caesar’s Palace.

terrywade on December 11, 2007 at 11:12 am

IMAX is broke. They needed the AMC cash flow. Very few AMC Theatres will have the tall IMAX screens like the current IMAX houses have. It will be the poor mans Cinerama (Cinemascope) a little taller and with video digital 3-D. IMAX needs to come out with a new name for these makeover theatres. People will think they are going to get the big square tall IMAX experience. What happens with all the towns that have the IMAX license for the area and AMC comes in with the IMAX logo on a small screen? Just because it’s in 3-D it won’t be the same as the HUGE IMAX 70mm 3-D screen. Can anyone come up with a new name for the AMC/IMAX 3-D experience? AMC is not going to spend the money to cut off the ceiling or take out another cinema above to make room to put in a true IMAX screen. They just want the extra $$ they can get for useing the name IMAX. If IMAX can fit in regular theatres lets get the Pacific Cinerama folks to get on the band wagon and bring back a new digital curved single projector Cinerama type movie experience. 3-D or regular on a huge wide curved wrap a round curved screen will look great in many CineMark or Regal large Theatres. If you don’t have the tall space for IMAX, curve the image around the cinema and put in curtains ect. How many new AMC Imax 3-D Theatres will bring in some showmanship with curtains. I can tell you 0!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 10:29 am

It can just be a larger clearer image on a standard screen as they have done in Florida before. They used to project with wide stock film that needed the film to be shorter in order to fit the platter. As a result the early IMAX blow-ups of THE MATRIX and BATMAN films were shorter versions.

They now project on digital 3-D but still play shorter version. I suspect it is to buy time for the headphone distribution and collection.

In either case it is a deterioration of a concept that never worked at the boxoffice. The incredible WINGS OF COURAGE presentation I mentioned above was undermined by the fact the film was less than an hour long, the plot was porn light and the heavier speaker head gear gave some people headaches. Still, it was a virtual reality treat to hear Elizabeth McGovern whisper in my ear and the surround sound and giant images of the Andes were breathtaking.

That showing had no similarities to what is now called an IMAX presentation any more than the last few movies advertised as “Cinerama” did.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 8:07 am

Hey… Never mind my last post. I just read the article posted on the CT home page. I just waxed over the fact that this is IMAX digital and NOT the 70mm film prints.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 11, 2007 at 8:01 am

So, it’ll be IMAX shoehorned into a standard multiplex box? What do you mean by “edited” for IMAX – is that due to a difference in the aspect ratio? Or do you refer to different editing choices to maximize the 3-D sequences? Aside from that, isn’t IMAX on a standard multiplex screen basically a 70mm presentation? Or is that too simple a comparison?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 11, 2007 at 7:42 am

But where are they putting these IMAX screens? Are they raising the roof any maybe losing one or two of their terraces? I love those terraces.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 7:38 am

I am there practically every week since I moved into the neighborhood and the tourist element is insignificant at the movies unless you consider people from The Bronx tourists. The ‘burbs crowd also pack Red Lobster, and The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

AMC has no down side if the IMAX projectors are free, no screens are lost, and regular films can still show in that screen. In the future if I have a choice between IMAX 3-D and 35mm I will choose the latter as I hate it when they edit the films to accommodate the format and the 3-D gimmick wears thin five minutes in, even when they keep throwing things at you as they do in BEOWULF.

If others think like me, it will soon be KISS ME KATE at Radio City Music Hall all over again.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 11, 2007 at 6:37 am

Simple. You have to eat before a Broadway show.

The Empire crowd are mostly locals and Lincoln Square usually outgrosses the Empire on a film by film basis.

br91975 on December 11, 2007 at 6:28 am

Tourists visiting Times Square flock to Red Lobster and The Olive Garden, so an IMAX screen at the Empire is probably a safe bet on AMC’s behalf.

longislandmovies on December 10, 2007 at 8:48 pm

The IMAX in Charleston by me just went out of bsns.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm

It’s a watered down version with a much smaller screen. IMAX is going the way of Cinerama by getting less spectacular every year.

When I saw WINGS OF COURAGE in IMAX 3-D with headphone sound to augment the speakers I felt I was seeing the future of the movies. When I recently saw an edited version of HARRY POTTER with ten minutes of lame 3-D effects I felt ripped-off.

IMAX has been struggling mostly by discounting school groups. Why would tourists buy tickets to something almost every town in the world already has?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on December 10, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Where do they have a space big enough to accommodate an IMAX auditorium? Are they building up our out into an adjacent building? Or are they combining existing auditoriums and reducing the overall number of screens? I’m with Warren on this issue – I think IMAX will draw bigger in Times Square than it does uptown.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 8, 2007 at 8:06 am

Only 25 short blocks up Broadway.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 8, 2007 at 7:31 am

You have to wonder why they would bother. Every time I have been to Lincoln Square IMAX (the only one in Manhattan) it is empty and this is within walking distance.

moviebuff82 on December 7, 2007 at 7:12 pm

this theater will be the first in times square to have a new version of the IMAX 3D system, scheduled for launch sometime in the summer of 2008.

moviebuff82 on December 2, 2007 at 11:11 am

this is not the only amc theater to have two screens with digital projection. The AMC in Paramus has two and the clifton commons has two.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 6, 2007 at 5:43 am

Laffmovie seems to disappear in 1948, so it either became the Empire then or reverted to Eltinge.

42ndStreetMemories on November 6, 2007 at 5:35 am

I just found an image from the LAFFMOVIE days. Does anyone know when it converted to the EMPIRE name. I think the image is 1954.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm

The one-week engagement of “Blade Runner: The Final Cut” has not only been twice extended, but – as of this past Friday – is now day-and-dating at the Sunshine Cinema. And the movie has also been given midnight only showings back at the Ziegfeld for the past couple of weeks. What a great success story this has been! What started out as a two-week, two-city engagement has been extended into its 5th week (at least here in NYC) and has expanded its number of screens. I understand that an engagement at the Seattle Cinerama began on October 26th.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 20, 2007 at 7:08 am

Blade Runner: The Final Cut is running here for one week only, a move-over from the Ziegfeld. In digital projection. I saw it at the Ziegfeld but may see it again here.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 6, 2007 at 1:22 pm

A few vidcaps from some video clips I found on YouTube:

1990 marquee neon
1990 under canopy
1970 night shot