City Cinemas Village East

181 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 26 - 50 of 97 comments

dave-bronx™ on February 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

The stonework looks very good. It had been covered with paint long before City Cinemas renovated it into a plex. The question is: How long will it remain unpainted? The lower portions of the building were always a canvas for the local graffiti artists. Before the renovation was complete in 1990, the security shutters on the windows on the n.e. corner and the 3 storefronts on the south end were completely covered with the work of the neighborhood “artists” less than 24 hours after they were installed. At that time the neighborhood was in the process of being yuppified, but is it much better now?

CSWalczak on February 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

The theater facade got a bit of a facelift recently; this article has a picture and a link to another one showing what it looked like before the recent work began: View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm

As Ludwig Satz Yiddish Folks Theatre:

View link

dave-bronx™ on August 27, 2009 at 12:14 pm

John Averitt, around 1991, drew up plans for City Cinemas for a three-screen cinema to be located on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the former Liberty Storage Warehouse building at 43 W. 64th St. (the building that used to have the small Statue of Liberty on the roof). As I recall, 2 of the theatres were to have around 200 seats each and the third was to have around 300 to 350 seats. The name of the project was Liberty Walk. The landlord was intending to put in a passageway through to 65th Street on the ground floor, lined with restaurants and clubs, and the theatre upstairs. I don’t remember what the plan was for the upper floors of the building were. While the landlord was having studies done in regard to altering the buildings structural system to accommodate the theatre, Loews announced they had signed for a substantial number of square feet in a mixed-use high-rise development to be built on the site of a nearby post office. They were planning 10 screens for what they were, at the time, calling Loews Lincoln Metroplex. This announcement effectively put the kabash on City Cinemas 64th Street project, and the drawings just sat in the drawer at the home office for years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Averitt died of cancer in 2004. Here’s an obituary.

dave-bronx™ on August 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm

John Averitt was also responsible for the catastrophic twinning of the Sutton. I didn’t know he was dead. What happened to him?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

The conversion of this theater into a seven-screen multiplex was the work of the late John W. Averitt, Averitt Associates, an architect who designed at least two other projects for City Cinemas: the East 86th Street Cinemas and the Murray Hill Cinemas. Averitt was best known for his designs for live performance spaces.

An article about the conversion of the Village East appeared in the June, 1991, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The article mentioned one of the theater’s aka’s that is not yet listed above, the Molly Picon.

ttrentham on July 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I lived a few blocks from the theater in the mid-90s. I remember seeing Son of the Shark and Crimson Tide there.

jluzaich on May 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm

There are some good comments on this post and a lot of information that is not correct. I was the manager of the venue when it was a legit theatre called The Entermedia Theatre. We were there from 1977 through 1984. There were actually as many film shoots and TV commercials shot there as there was legit live performance theatre. The movie “The Fan” shot there for 6 weeks with Lauren Bacall, James Garner and Michael Biehn. Early music videos were shot there, as well as numerous commercials that included an AT & T commercial with Raul Julia and several Dr. Pepper spots with Mickey Rooney. The ghost light was set on stage each night for Bert Lahr. Yes, he passed away during the filming of “The Night They Raided the Minskies” in the building in ‘68. The venue had numerous stars perform live on stage in various shows over the years. When it was The Phoenix Theatre '53 – '61, Marcel Marceau performed for the first time in the United States in 1955. Montgomery Clift appeared in “The Sea Gull” in 1956 and Carol Burnnett in “Once Upon A Mattress” in 1959. “Grease” ran for 12 weeks in 1971 and almost closed in trying to outrun mixed reviews before moving to Broadway and running for more than 8 years. Don Murray (the movie “Bus Stop” with Marilyn Monroe) starred in the ill-fated musical “Smith” also at the Eden Theatre (late 60’s early 70’s). Don’s son, Chris, is an actor friend of mine on LA.

During our time at the Entermedia we had many stage plays with performers that had ties to TV & movies. Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” with music by Alan Menken (multiple award winner including great work on Disney films), “El Bravo” (choreographer – Patty Birch – “grease” fame), Milton Berle in the show “Goodnight Grandpa” (not successful show, but Milty was gracious, had a million one liners, and very funny off stage), “Taking My Turn” – the musical about aging – with Tiger Haynes (original Tin Man in “The Wiz”) singer Margaret Whiting, singer Marni Nixon (the female lead singing voice of Natalie Wood in “West Side Story”, Deborah Kerr in “The King & I”, Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady”). Then, of course we had Joes Coat (“Joseph and the …..”)in which Margaret Hamilton (wicked witch of the west) was in ill-health and came to see the show and went back stage to talk with the cast and had them in tears – including female narrator Laurie Beechman who passed away in ‘98. That building and venue is full of such a rich history and so many great stories……

Music too, lots of music. We had the great Wilson Pickett come back concert in 1980… incredible. And the concert called Solid Gold which was groups or bands from New York that only had 1 or 2 hits. So we had Vito and the Salutations, Johnny Meistro and the Brooklyn Bridge, the Angels (“My Boyfiend’s Back”) and a ton of others.

edblank on April 16, 2009 at 6:33 am

That stage production of “The Chosen” surprisingly lasted for just six performances, Jan. 6-10, 1988, although the marquee signage probably was in place for the final month or two of 1987 and may have stayed up for many weeks after the play closed

EcRocker on December 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Ok I knew it was one or the other. Thanks

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 26, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Rocker, try Entermedia.

EcRocker on December 26, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I believe for a while it was also called the Intermedia Theatre. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

owenspierre81 on July 2, 2008 at 6:06 am

I forgot to mention that the Mike Myers comedy THE LOVE GURU was shown at the VILLAGE EAST on June 20, 2008. It’s still showing at this theater now along with INDIANA JONES and WALL-E

owenspierre81 on June 29, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Here is a list of films that were shown at the VILLAGE EAST from 2002 to today.

¼/02- Impostor
1/18/02- Snow Dogs
2/15/02- Return to Never Land
2/15/02- Super Troopers
3/8/02- All About the Benjamins
3/8/02- The Time Machine
3/22/02- Sorority Boys
4/26/02- Life or Something Like It
5/10/02- Unfaithful
7/3/02- Like Mike
7/3/02- The Powerpuff Girls Movie
7/12/02- Reign of Fire
7/26/02- The Country Bears
8/23/02- Little Secrets
8/30/02- FearDotCom
TBA 2002- My Big Fat Greek Wedding
10/4/02- Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
10/4/02- Moonlight Mile
10/11/02- The Transporter
11/27/02- Treasure Planet
12/6/02- Empire
12/6/02- Equilbrium
12/13/02- Drumline
12/20/02- The Wild Thornberrys Movie
12/25/02- Pinocchio
1/10/03- Just Married
1/31/03- Biker Boyz
1/31/03- The Recruit
2/14/03- The Jungle Book 2
2/21/03- Gods and Generals
3/14/03- Willard
3/21/03- Piglet’s Big Movie
4/18/03- Malibu’s Most Wanted
4/25/03- The Real Cancun
5/2/03- The Lizzie McGuire Movie
5/16/03- The Matrix Reloaded
7/18/03- How to Deal
8/6/03- Freaky Friday
8/22/03- My Boss’s Daughter
9/26/03- Under the Tuscan Sun
10/17/03- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11/14/03- Looney Tunes: Back in Action
11/26/03- Bad Santa
11/26/03- The Haunted Mansion
12/12/03- Love Don’t Cost A Thing
1/9/04- Chasing Liberty
1/16/04- Disney’s Teacher’s Pet
2/20/04- Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
3/26/04- The Ladykillers
3/26/04- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
4/30/04- Laws of Attraction
5/28/04- Raising Helen
7/9/04- Sleepover
7/23/04- Catwoman
7/30/04- The Village
8/20/04- Exorcist: The Beginning
9/10/04- Cellular
9/24/04- The Last Shot
10/22/04- Surviving Christmas
10/29/04- Birth
11/24/04- Alexander
12/25/04- Darkness
12/25/04- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
1/14/05- The Merchant of Venice
1/14/05- Racing Stripes
2/11/05- Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
2/18/05- Son of the Mask
2/25/05- Cursed
3/18/05- Ice Princess
4/15/05- The Amityville Horror
4/29/05- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
5/13/05- Kicking & Screaming
5/13/05- Mindhunters
5/13/05- Unleashed
6/10/05- Mr. & Mrs. Smith
7/22/05- The Island
7/29/05- Sky High
8/5/05- The Dukes of Hazzard
8/5/05- March of the Penguins
8/17/05- Supercross: The Movie
9/2/05- A Sound of Thunder
9/2/05- Underclassman
9/16/05- Venom
9/23/05- Flightplan
9/30/05- Duma
9/30/05- A History of Violence
10/7/05- Two for the Money
10/21/05- Stay
10/28/05- Prime
11/23/05- Just Friends
12/16/05- The Family Stone
12/23/05- Munich
12/23/05- The Ringer
12/25/05- Casanova
12/25/05- Wolf Creek
2/10/06- Final Destination 3
2/10/06- Firewall
2/10/06- The Pink Panther
3/10/06- The Hills Have Eyes
3/10/06- The Shaggy Dog
3/31/06- Slither
4/21/06- The Sentinel
4/28/06- United 93
5/12/06- Goal! The Dream Begins
6/6/06- The Omen
6/9/06- Cars
6/16/06- The Lake House
6/16/06- Nacho Libre
7/28/06- The Ant Bully
9/1/06- Lassie
9/15/06- The Last Kiss
10/20/06- Marie Antoinette
11/3/06- Borat
11/3/06- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
11/22/06- Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
12/8/06- Apocalypto
12/25/06- Children of Men
12/25/06- Dreamgirls
1/12/07- Alpha Dog
1/26/07- Catch and Release
2/23/07- The Number 23
3/2/07- Zodiac
3/23/07- The Hills Have Eyes II
3/23/07- TMNT
4/27/07- The Invisible
4/27/07- Next
5/4/07- Lucky You
5/11/07- 28 Weeks Later
5/25/07- Bug
6/29/07- Ratatouille
8/3/07- Hot Rod
8/3/07- Underdog
8/17/07- The Invasion
8/31/07- Death Sentence
9/21/07- Resident Evil: Extinction
9/28/07- The Kingdom
10/12/07- Elizabeth: The Golden Age
10/19/07- Things We Lost in the Fire
10/26/07- Dan in Real Life
11/9/07- Fred Claus
11/16/07- Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
11/30/07- Awake
12/21/07- Charlie Wilson’s War
12/21/07- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
1/25/08- Untraceable
2/14/08- Jumper
2/22/08- Diary of the Dead
2/22/08- Be Kind Rewind
2/29/08- Semi-Pro
3/14/08- Doomsday
3/21/08- Drillbit Taylor
4/11/08- Persepolis
5/22/08- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
5/30/08- The Foot Fist Way
6/27/08- Wall-E

The VILLAGE EAST is still one of the coolest theatres in New York City.

edblank on May 27, 2008 at 7:30 pm

At least the theater is surviving in some form, albeit all chopped up.

dave-bronx™ on May 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm

The following is from the homepage of the Reading Int'l website, here where they describe their business and objectives (note, in particular, the final sentence of the last paragraph below):

Reading International, Inc (AMEX: RDI) is in the business of owning and operating cinemas and live theaters and developing, owning and operating real estate assets. Our business consists primarily of

  • the development, ownership and operation of cinemas in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, principally under the Reading Cinemas, Angelika Film Center, City Cinemas and Rialto names;

  • the development, ownership and operation of commercial real estate in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, including entertainment-themed retail centers (“ETRC”) in Australia and New Zealand and

  • the ownership and leasing to production companies through Liberty Theaters, Inc. of “Off Broadway” style live theaters in Manhattan and Chicago

We are different from most other cinema companies due to our real property emphasis. Calculated based on book value nearly 70% of our assets relates to our real estate activities. While most of our cash flow is currently derived from cinemas, our present business plan is to reinvest that cash flow principally in real estate assets, and to be opportunistic in terms of the acquisition and development of additional entertainment properties. Unlike other cinema companies, we are not compelled to continue and redevelop our cinema assets, where higher and better uses become available for such properties.

RobertR on May 20, 2008 at 5:56 am

The lowlifes at City Cinemas are at it again destroying another theatre facade so they sell off the building.

edblank on May 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Starting June 17, 1969, when this theater was called the Eden, it hosted a long pre-Broadway-area engagement of “Oh! Calcutta.” – Ed Blank

dave-bronx™ on May 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Wow! I just looked at the heading for this theatre. I don’t believe there is another theatre on the whole CT site that has as many aka names as this one…

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 16, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Does anyone know which years this operated as the Stuyvesant and whether it showed movies as that?

aarfeld on April 23, 2008 at 9:43 pm

After Bill Graham closed the Fillmore East a couple of other owners tried to revive it as a concert hall for Rock music, but they apparently lacked his skills as a promoter. At first it was renamed the N.F.E. Theater (late ‘71 or '72), much to Graham’s irritation. There is a photo on the Lowes Comodore page of the old F.E as the Village East in '73, when the Dolls might have played there. I don’t know how long it operated as such but one witness says he personally saw the theater abandoned with homeless people living in it by '76. A sad end for the Carnige Hall of Rock concerts.

br91975 on January 16, 2008 at 6:27 am

They were doing some kind of exterior work, Dave (the main entrance door at the far left is or was papered with all kinds of city permits), but it wasn’t – and isn’t – entirely clear what the work was.