AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 451 - 475 of 483 comments

Bigdom78987
Bigdom78987 on July 25, 2004 at 3:50 pm

Sure its better than being torn down but they should build stuff like they used to. Why can’t they just build nice stuff any more. Just compare your average building from the 20s to your average building now. The Empire should have been redone as a nice one auditorium theatre with nice decor and the old stuff. Why can’t they do that anymore?

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on July 17, 2004 at 2:59 pm

The old Empire of the 50s & 60s had some of the most creative programming on The Deuce. i saw my first Chaplin there, Tillie’s Punctured Romance on a double bill with a Francis the Talking Mule movie. Of course, like most of 42nd, the double bills were usually standard action fare. Double bills of films that had been on the bottom of the bill at first run theaters. Tarawa Beachhead, Timbuktu, The Marauders come to mind. Great escape for a 10 year old kid when the Times Square theater across the street had westerns that I’d already seen. The Deuce’s sub-run theaters didn’t advertise (kept the admissions low), so it was exciting to come up the subway steps and start to peruse the marquees. A kid in a candy shop. Jerry the K

Camden
Camden on July 17, 2004 at 2:33 pm

It’s quite a hybrid, all right, and it is fantasitc that they used the old theatre for the lobby instead of tearing it down. It is beautiful, and kind of dreamlike and surreal to have those escalators zigzagging through it, now that you’ve all mentioned it. You can’t stand in line there without gawking at the ceiling and scratching your head over its wonderful flamboyance. In a more sensible world, of course Vincent’s suggestions about preserving the old theatres intact would be the obvious choice, but as we know, there’s not much that’s sensible in this irrational world beyond flailing around trying to stay afloat. At least it’s not as bad as China, where almost every single thing that is old is being destroyed and replaced with truly obnoxious buildings. Oh, how their future generations will loathe them for it.

Camden

Bway
Bway on July 17, 2004 at 12:09 pm

I meant “All the escalators are in the originalauditorium”.They zig-zap through the old auditorium.

Bway
Bway on July 17, 2004 at 12:08 pm

Look up. All the escalators are in the original lobby. Some escalators even go through the procenium arch of the old theater, almost near the ceiling. The former balonies are all the various levels of the “lobby”.

umbaba
umbaba on July 17, 2004 at 6:22 am

I never realized that the original auditorium was used as the lobby. It just seems like a standard lobby. So, when you walk in, to the ticket booth, are you waling towards the original screen area??

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 16, 2004 at 3:09 pm

Well yes. But think if the city powers that be instead had restored the entire block retaining all the original facades getting sponserships for each individual theater and used some imagination.
Both the Met and the City opera could have used theaters for smaller Mozart and the like. Why does anything play in the Gershwin(Frank Rich called it George and Ira’s boobie prize)or the Minskoff? They’re architectural monstrosities.
This would have maintained an entire historic neighborhood and would have been the jewel in the crown for the city.
The city tore down Penn Station again. Which it never seems tired of doing.

telliott
telliott on July 16, 2004 at 1:47 pm

Just consider yourselves lucky in New York that AMC had the imagination to do this. Here in Toronto there are so many old theatres they could have done this to but instead just demolished them. Especially our old beloved University theatre, the facade is still there but now it’s a Pottery Barn. Oh well, that’s progress.

Bway
Bway on July 16, 2004 at 1:37 pm

The Empire will never be a theater again, but the auditorium is alive and well as the loppy of the plex. An escalator even goes through the old procenium arch.

br91975
br91975 on July 16, 2004 at 8:01 am

The original auditorium wasn’t demolished; it serves as the lobby for the megaplex that surrounds it.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 16, 2004 at 7:19 am

I was there when the plex first opened and the auditorium was intact being used as the lobby. Am I mistaken or have the destroyed that as well?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 16, 2004 at 7:14 am

The Empire’s auditorium was demolished. There is nothing left to “restore.”

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 16, 2004 at 6:35 am

Now they should demolish the plex and restore the Empire. It is a small gem. Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach would be perfect there and there is no other theater that size in the city for that kind of operetta. Kind of like the Opera Comique still standing in Paris.
I guess though we have to wait a while before the plexes become white elephants(to me they already are)and start collapsing from their own economic weight. Let’s hope it’s sooner than we think.

Camden
Camden on July 15, 2004 at 7:35 pm

Wait a minute. For some reason I thought it faced the NEXT STREET OVER, I guess on 43rd Street, and there was nothing behind it for the time being on 42nd Street, so they could build the rails and roll it back and across the street. At least that what it looked like was happening to me to judge from the photographs. I’m under the impression that it was indeed one street over. I could’ve watched it, but I forgot about it that day, so I’m not really 100% sure, though. Oops. After spending ten minutes surfing the net, I finally called the theatre and, incredibly, got someone on the line that seemed to know. You’re right, it was on the same side of the same block and they just moved it down 180 feet. I could’ve sworn from looking at the pictures that it was across the street with nothing behind it to get in its way, but I was wrong. I hate being wrong, but it happens so seldom, of course…

Camden

Bway
Bway on July 15, 2004 at 7:09 am

If they moved it one street over, it would have been a real acomplishment!
200 feet is quite impresive in itself though.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 15, 2004 at 6:50 am

They moved it 200 feet west in the same block of 42nd Street. It was never “one street over.”

Camden
Camden on July 14, 2004 at 7:33 pm

Yes, they moved the building over on rails from one street over. Fantastic. They have a series of pictures of this somewhere inside the place, and they should run a short film of it before every show, or incorporate it into the introductory film to the feature (what a great idea). I agree that moving it over and converting it this way was a splendid idea, and it’s incredible that they actually did it. The lobby is extremely impressive. I was there when it opened and saw “Citizen Kane,” and I remember they were running “Twentieth Century” with Carole Lombard in one theatre, but no one would pay the ten bucks for films from the 30s, or at least not enough people to make it feasible, apparently. That’s unfortunate but I guess Times Square real estate is expensive. Much as I loved the old 80s Times Square freak show, it only seems natural that people can step out of the bus station and see actual movies. This place is a real asset, and it has so many screens that it’s usually the last theatre in which you can catch a film before it disappears. It’s weird that as you come out of the theatre you pass through a food court that could be anywhere in the country and doesn’t feel like New York at all. I do recommend the view from the top balcony overlooking Times Square, though. This is actually a great theatre, awesome by dint of its 25 screens.

Camden

umbaba
umbaba on July 5, 2004 at 6:05 am

I was there when it opened and they were showing classic films on some screens. I saw 42nd Street, Guns of Navarone (magnificent) they also showed Citizen kane, the 2 Godfathers, mean Streets, Cabaret etc….I thought, this is great. I saw Ben -Hur, they put it on the smallest screen there. I had to leave my seat 3 times, “turn off the lights”, “frame the film”.. the dunces in the lobby didn’t even look fazed. They were bored high schoollers wondering why they were in this crappy job.

Since then , no more classic movies. Just straight releases,a month after Scooby Doo opens it could still be seen on 4 screens there giving everyone an opportunity to pay their $10 for this….slop.

25 screens…you think they could devote at leat 1 to showing some great bigscreen classics. No, because it’s not financially lucrative and the theaters are run by people who only know the dollar sign and nothing about movies.

It’s much better when some one get’s himself shot in the leg. It’s publicity. yes, the front is cool but how many people really know it’s the classic Empire facade….for that matter, how many really care. 25 screens…..that theater soon enough will be a haven for the bad crowd.

Bway
Bway on July 4, 2004 at 5:12 am

It certainly is not a shame. It’s a perfect example of using an old building for a new use. It makes the new AMC unique, and not another uninteresting new multiplex, and perserves a piece of history at the same time. This is certainly better than if they had razed the Empire theater, and just started from scratch to build the multiplex, which is exactly what would have been done in decades past.

jmarellano
jmarellano on July 3, 2004 at 9:42 pm

A Shame? Why would you even consider it a shame?! Most likely the old Empire would have been torn down and nothing would be left if AMC didnt step in to build this megaplex in the shell of the Empire.

Bigdom78987
Bigdom78987 on July 3, 2004 at 8:35 pm

A shame what they did to sucha fine place.

Bway
Bway on April 19, 2004 at 4:31 pm

Both the interior and exterior of the Eltinge theater are original. Both the exterior and interior of the theater were landmarked by the city. When AMC did the renovation, the Eltinge theater were moved 200 feet, and then the multiplex built around it. The 900 seat “legit” playhouse of Julian Eltinge is the lobby of the AMC multiplex. People use the old theater space to get to their theaters using some zigzaggng escalators from floor to floor. The former balcony areas were converted to a cafe. So yes, the exterior and interior auditorium of the former Eltinge (Empire theater) ARE in fact the lobby for the new AMC multiplex.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2004 at 12:57 pm

The introductory credits here are a bit cockeyed. Thomas Lamb was the architect of the original Eltinge Theatre, which was a “legit” playhouse and had only 880 seats. The seating capacity was later expanded to 950 when it became a movie house. The current 4,916-seat multiplex uses Lamb’s original facade and a bit of the lobby, but everything behind them is recently built and the work of other architects.

edward
edward on April 2, 2004 at 8:48 am

So much for cleaning up Times Square…

Mar 25, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) A 21-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the leg during a movie at a theater complex in Times Square, police said.
The man, Anthony Clarke, was watching “Dawn of the Dead” at AMC Empire 25 when he was shot by the .25-caliber handgun at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
Clarke, of Brooklyn, was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his left leg, police said.
Police said they were charging him with criminal possession of a weapon.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2004 at 8:12 am

In the 1940s, the Eltinge became one of the most popular theatres on 42nd Street under the name of the Laffmovie. The programs changed once or twice a week, and consisted solely of three hours of comedy features, shorts and cartoons. The policy remained for about 12 years, after which the theatre switched to conventional double features as the Empire. The Empire was previously the name of a beloved legit theatre at Broadway & 40th Street, which had just been demolished.