AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 451 - 475 of 527 comments

hardbop on May 19, 2005 at 11:26 am

Yeah, I remember going to AMC for the obscure NED KELLY back in ‘04. It was in one of the smaller theaters and when I got there I was flabbergasted that it sold out. I thought I would outsmart myself and buy a ticket to another movie and then just attend NED KELLY. Well I did that and as I approached the auditorium a flustered manager stormed out and grabbed one of the employees and said “you are going to have to start checking tickets; start in the front row.” People either did the same thing I did or snuck into the auditorium after seeing something else.

In any event, seeing all the kerfuffle, I opted to see the movie I bought the ticket for, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND.

br91975 on May 19, 2005 at 10:36 am

I presume, hardbop, that any of the more obscure titles AMC books into the Empire, hardbop, are just gravy; that is, any money they gross is welcome and the business they don’t draw is negated to some degree (whether or not to an overall profit for all 25 screens in total) by the Hollywood product they show in the other auditoriums. Some of the indie-type/specialty films do fairly well (I remember ‘A Mighty Wind’ selling out several shows during its opening weekend a couple of years ago and seeing ‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ around that time with a near-capacity, very enthusiastic group of fellow moviegoers) but the more obvious niche films are likely just there to fill space (and screens).

Bway on May 18, 2005 at 10:37 pm

I’m sure it will, but then again, just about any theater showing Star Wars this weekend will probably be a zoo. I will probably wait a week or two before going to see it.

hardbop on May 18, 2005 at 3:06 pm

I remember reading that when AMC first opened they didn’t know that Loews was going to put up a ‘13 'plex right across the street. That is why they opted to put “art films” in the cinemas at the top of 'plex because there isn’t enought product for the two 'plexes.

Interesting that AMC got the new STAR WARS film and the Loews ‘plex across the street is going to make do without. I bet AMC will be an absolute zoo this weekend.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 16, 2005 at 8:49 pm

Holy cow, what a collection of vintage photos at that link above. Thanks so much, Bryan. The first 24 photos are of 42nd Street theaters, which I hadn’t seen before. Quite a treat.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 14, 2005 at 10:35 am

They put the art fare on the top floor and call it “Top of the Empire” or something like that.

hardbop on May 14, 2005 at 9:09 am

I wonder if the 25-‘plex is having trouble finding material for all those screens? Last week — when the new films opened on 5/6 — AMC was screening, exclusively, FIGHTING TOMMY RILEY; UP FOR GRABS, a documentary about the contretemps involving the Barry Bonds home run, which also played at Cinema Village (already gone); and A HOLE IN ONE, which also played at City Cinema’s East Village 'plex.

Kind of obscure fare for a Times Square megaplex.

42ndStreetMemories on May 13, 2005 at 11:36 am

Watching MIDNIGHT COWBOY last night with a lot of great shots of the Empire, Victory, Lyric from 1967. Great example of Empire’s programming in the shot: FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD & TARZAN and the VALLEY OF GOLD. Went back and froze the DVD in several spots for a lot of great detail.

Silver Screens website has some of the images
View link

Still looking for booking info for the Empire in 50s & 60s.
Jerry the K

JoeS on May 7, 2005 at 6:01 pm

I remember the lobby of the Laff Theater having fun house mirror’s.
If I’m not mistaken it appeared as if the lobby was primarily
stainless steel in appearance with the fun house mirrors.

br91975 on May 4, 2005 at 10:00 am

The 10 or so auditoriums in the Empire are of impressive (approximately 500 seats in at least one of the auditoriums, I think) to O.K. (not shoebox, but not exactly expansive) size, Chris. The aspects of the theatre which are most notable are the lobby, which utilizes the former original auditorium space, and the windows on the upper floors which look out onto 42nd Street.

Not sure how long you’ll be in NYC, but the theatres I’d personally recommend visiting, in descending order of worthiness (if I can think of any others, I’ll post them), would be:
– The Ziegfeld (the most notable venue ‘Star Wars, Episode III’ will be playing at come May 19th);
– The Beekman (at 2nd and 66th; a classic single-screen cinema, scheduled to close for good, barring a last-minute reprieve, at the end of the month);
– The Paris, on 58th near 5th, a plush, medium-sized cinema (with a balcony), specializing in art-house fare;
– The Loews Lincoln Square at Broadway and 68th, where each of the auditoriums pay homage via plaques and unique architectural features to Loews movie palaces of days gone by;
– The Metro Twin at Broadway and 99th, a two-screen, Art-Deco venue, which has recently been given an impressive clean-up and restoration;
– The five-screen Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street in Soho; just a very cool place to see a film…
…and, even though it’s not currently open for business (although it is, at present, being restored) the Loews Paradise on the Grand Concourse in The Bronx; you’ll be able to catch more than a glimpse of some of the work which is being done.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on May 2, 2005 at 6:41 pm

How large are the screens and auditoriums in this place? Wondering if it’s typical AMC standards (4 big auditoriums and 26 shoeboxes)…

br91975 on April 25, 2005 at 1:40 pm

A mistake on the authors' behalf, hardbop. (I think the title of the book you’re referring to is ‘Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession’.) The Empire indeed has 25 screens.

hardbop on April 25, 2005 at 12:26 pm

Is the AMC ‘plex a 25-'plex (which I thought it was) or a 24-'plex. I just finished the book “Box Office: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession” and the authors mentioned that the AMC 'plex was a 24-'plex.

And if you think the 38 screens between AMC & the 13-screen Sony E-Walk on the north side of the deuce is big, there is a pair of mega-plexes in California. One has 30 screens, Regal I believe, and an Edwards ‘plex with 22 screens. Ouch.

dastuff8 on April 15, 2005 at 12:19 pm

I saw Sin City there last week and Assault on Precint 13 a few months ago. I was so amused at how big one auditorium was. I live in Brooklyn and Linden Blvd Multiplex cannot compare to AMC Empire 25. I just love it.

dastuff8 on April 15, 2005 at 12:19 pm

I saw Sin City there last week and Assault on Precint 13 a few months ago. I was so amused at how big one auditorium was. I live in Brooklyn and Linden Blvd Multiplex cannot compare to AMC Empire 25. I just love it.

celluloid on April 14, 2005 at 5:53 pm

Hey saps and Don
Come to think of it I do remember sometimes the Movieplex would run a film that was also playing at let’s say the UA Critirion which was just a couple of blocks away on B'way but it was the Criterion that would get listed in the ads and not the Movieplex. So my bad. Although I did remember wondering back then that if Movieplex ran films that were also booked at the UA then something must be wrong with the version of the movie they are playing. Possibly reject prints that the studios didn’t want showcased at the major bookings? hum…

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 14, 2005 at 6:50 am

I think it is because a movie usually plays in only one theater per neighborhood; when it plays on both 42nd Street and on Broadway, it is then playing in two houses in the same area, so the discount house gets left out of the advertising and the prestige booking gets the ads. But both bookings get listed in the movie clock.

DonRosen on April 14, 2005 at 6:48 am

In many cases the 42nd Street theatres would play the same film as the Broadway houses at reduced prices. Case: In August of 1968, “Hang ‘Em High” plays at the Victoria (46th & B'way) and at the Lyric 42nd St. The “exclusive engagement” ad lists only the Victoria, Loew’s Orpheum and Loew’s Cine theatres.

This is just one case. Now, when the film hit wide or showcase release, sometimes the 42nd Street house would be listed, but never in the “exclusive engagement” listing.

celluloid on April 14, 2005 at 1:49 am

Hey Don…
Your explanation about why the Movieplex 42 was not listed on any movie ads for films that were running there in the newspapers makes no sense. If it were because of the low cost of admission than why are the Brooklyn and Queens theatres where you can see any first fun release for a couple of dollars less still listed in the ads? Also, I’ve never heard about this “policy” that the newspapers have or had about not advertising movies on 42 street. I’m sure if I look at any old issue of the New York Times there will be an ads for movies playing on that street. I mean there were even ads for pornos up until 1976, so c'mon.

42ndStreetMemories on April 11, 2005 at 4:58 pm

Even in the 1950s, some 42nd St theaters appeared in ads placed by the distributor (ala “showcase”). I’m looking at ads for Pinocchio (‘53 release) that lists the Selwyn; Some Like It Hot (New Amsterdam). Some ads (House on Haunted Hill) mention that the film is at the New A but will play the following week at the Harris.

The Apollo advertised a lot since its art-house programming was geared toward the “non-typical” 42nd Street crowd.

The re-release theaters (Empire, Victory, Anco, Liberty)with the most eclectic programming do not appear in any ads that I can find from the ‘50s. The Anco & Liberty pop-up on occasion in the 60s when they would do the 3rd week of a popular booking, after the New A. & Harris.

I am still looking for booking info on these “re-release” theaters from the 50s-60s. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Jerry

DonRosen on April 11, 2005 at 7:04 am

“they played first-run films and charged a price a couple of dollars cheaper than other theatres in NYC. And they weren’t strict about allowing people to move to another theatre without buying a second admission”

This is why the Movieplex 42 was not allowed to advertise in the newspapers. In the 50s and early 60s, none of the 42nd St theatres were allowed to advertise. In the late 60s, restrictions were loosened up a bit and the theatres appeared in the showcase ads.

celluloid on April 11, 2005 at 2:20 am

I remember this theatre even though I’d never gone inside only because it just looked real seedy. From what I recall it had six screens and the strangest thing of it all was the fact that for some odd reason this theatre was never listed in any of the newspapers adds of movies being played there at the time. So on paper the theatre didn’t exist.

br91975 on April 1, 2005 at 11:43 am

It was the Movieplex 42, hardbop – /theaters/8429/

hardbop on April 1, 2005 at 11:24 am

There was a multiplex on the site where the AMC moved and I assume it was demolished to make way for the AMC ‘plex. I forget the name of it, but they played first-run films and charged a price a couple of dollars cheaper than other theatres in NYC. And they weren’t strict about allowing people to move to another theatre without buying a second admission. I usually was afraid to walk on that block and wouldn’t step foot in any of those 42nd Street theatres, but do remember seeing one film there in '94 called JASON’S LYRIC. It was probably the only place the film was playing so I was forced to brave the block. I remember the woman in the ticket booth sat there couting and recounting cash as I waiting to buy a ticket, which caused me to miss the beginning of the film. It was the first and last time I went there. Anyone remember this theatre?

RobertR on March 4, 2005 at 10:59 am

View link

A nighttime marquee shot