Visual Arts Theatre

333 West 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Showing 51 - 75 of 102 comments

filmgene
filmgene on January 16, 2008 at 10:18 am

Not closed for good but closed for better. The School of Visual Arts will be taking over the theater and turning it into a two-screen arts center with the best projection in town including 70, 35, 16 and D-Cinema. 52 foot and 38 foot screens with proper masking and variable speed projection. Even better news coming soon. Stay tuned.

br91975
br91975 on January 16, 2008 at 6:25 am

Where did you hear this from, NYCJosh? Did the person you spoke with give you any particular reason for the closing?

shua22
shua22 on January 16, 2008 at 5:50 am

I am told that they will be closed for good as of 2/10/2008

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 16, 2007 at 6:48 am

The theatre originally opened as the RK0 23rd Street, a name that should be included in the “aka.”

William
William on September 25, 2007 at 11:28 am

They used that same type of effect for the trailer at Cineplex’s Universal City complex back then it was a DTS special feature.

BobT
BobT on September 25, 2007 at 11:11 am

I can remember every movie I ever saw and where I saw it but one. It was here when the theater was a triplex. I came in from Long Island with a friend and I even got a great parking spot right in front. It was for an exclusive engagement of a Scandinavian fantasy film with a falcon that seemed to be a family movie until a scene where a bunch of guys were in a sauna and all comically jumped out into the snow and started making snow angels, with full frontal male nudity. The audience was like WTF? This was about 1985 and my friend is no help, he doesn’t even remember going to the theater.

Years later, I saw “Evita” here when it was a twin and they had a sign in the box office saying they used strobe lights. I don’t know about anywhere else, but in NY especially during Broadway shows, they have signs when strobe lights are used in case anyone is epileptic. Before the movie, they had a trailer for “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and it was a thunder storm with glimpses of the T-Rex with surround effects and the strobe flashed during the lightening. It’s the only place I saw that trailer and it really had nothing to do with the actual movie when it opened.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 25, 2007 at 10:04 am

By the way, previous names were RKO 23rd St, Roundabout, 23rd St West Triplex, as a single, legit and triple, respectively.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 25, 2007 at 10:00 am

It had a great remodel late in the Cineplex Odeon days when it became a twin and, although a bit dog eared these days, the still booming gay Chelsea crowd keeps it going.

Now that the Beekman is gone, Woody Allen likes his premieres here.

William
William on September 25, 2007 at 8:30 am

It’s the size and the location.

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on September 25, 2007 at 8:24 am

How this lasts out of all the old great theaters in NY……

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 25, 2007 at 7:45 am

Shouldn’t the description and former names be updated on this house?

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on September 12, 2007 at 4:36 pm

In January 1997, I saw “People vs. Larry Flynt” in the smaller auditorium (former loge) after the theater reopened as a two screener. 13 rows of tall chairs in sections of 7, 14, 7, total of 364. Estimated screen for scope at 35 to 40 feet wide. Orange red curtain used. Film projected in SDDS but no surround sound appeared to have been used then.

In the same month, I saw “Evita” in the large auditorium. 21 rows of 6, 16, 6 seats, total of 588 seats. Screen size 50 feet wide, curved, by 20 feet tall. Curtain not used. Dolby Digital There were 4 speakers in the back, but they didn’t use the 10 speakers on the side walls at that time.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on August 21, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Most of the time this theatre looks closed! The marquee seldom works properly and it looks so depressing! Also one of the most uncomfortable places around.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on May 15, 2007 at 3:41 am

Here’s a shot of the groundbreaking for the theater. Probably in early 1961. Sign states that opening was scheduled for Easter 1962, they missed it by about 9 months.

Taken from 35mm MovieTone, probably played in RKO theaters hyping the new theater.

View link

William
William on May 9, 2007 at 5:35 am

“not enough women’s toilets” and “too many ads and trailers before the features” thats the problem with all theatres. New York Magazine should tell us something new, thoses problems have been around for ages. I prefer the AMC Loews Lincoln Square complex over 4 of these plexes. I do like the Ziegfeld Theatre for the most part except the seats. I’ve had screening prints come from the Clearview Chelsea complex that were poorly handled. And the other three complexes are just fair in presentations.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 9, 2007 at 5:14 am

There doesn’t seem to be a CT listing for the currently operating Clearview Chelsea at 260 West 23rd Street. I wonder why? The latest issue of New York Magazine rates the eight-screen Clearview Chelsea as #1 among NYC’s first-run cinemas. It received a rating of 79 points out of a possible 100. Its main weaknesses were found to be not enough women’s toilets and too many ads and trailers before features. The Ziegfeld Theatre rated #2 with 78 points, followed by the AMC Loews Kips Bay with 77 points, Regal Battery Park Stadium with 75 points, and the AMC Magic Johnson with 73 points.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on April 26, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Like the Ziegfeld, the Chelsea West is closed until Spiderman 3 opens.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on April 7, 2007 at 12:37 am

Saw “Little Children” there at a matinee on Wednesday of this week. Nasty brain damaged workers that were rude and lazy worked the concession and box office. Once inside theatre 2 , I was so uncomfortable! The straight back chairs and serious lack of leg room left me twisted in my seat for over 2 hours. So uncomfortable. No wonder it was empty!

Forrest136
Forrest136 on March 7, 2007 at 11:24 pm

I drive by there most nights and it always looks cloded! Half the neon is burnt out, and the current attraction is never on the marquee! Is this the next to close?

William
William on March 7, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Heres an answer to Badlands for the poor projection. Last year the theatre went to a Limited service type on projectionist contract at that theatre. Limited Service is a part-time operator. So thats the problem with the house.

Badlands
Badlands on January 19, 2007 at 3:10 am

While I really like the Chelsea West as a theater, the people they have running the place are incompetent and apathetic. At the 5:10 showing of BABEL on 1/19, they left the house lights on for the first 15 minutes of the film after repeated complaints from the audience. I saw CASINO ROYALE there about a month ago, and the image was out of focus. Which theater in Manhattan is the best for the overall experience: great sound, great projection, comfortable seats…?

hardbop
hardbop on November 3, 2006 at 5:39 am

I made my first trip back here in 10 years a couple of weeks ago when I caught INFAMOUS, which was playing in both theatres. Last time I was here, in October of 1996, I remember it was a rainy Saturday and the film FLY AWAY FROM HOME was playing. So, every family in Manhattan with kids was in line and it was a mob scene in front of the theatre. I remember waiting in a long line in the rain waiting to buy a ticket/get in. I think FLY AWAY FROM HOME was playing exclusively at the Chelsea Theatre at that point and the combination of the day and the weather caused the place to be mobbed. That same day I made it a double-bill catching LOVE IS ALL THERE IS there, which, in addition to taking place on City Island, featured a then unknown Angelina Jolie in the cast.

Until I caught INFAMOUS, I hadn’t been back since. This was the first time I’d been back since they reduced the screens from three to two and they did a nice job, though I don’t think thre were 10 people in the theatre the day I caught INFAMOUS.

I’ve viewed films here when it was a single theatre, then a triplex, then a duplex.

William
William on October 24, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Cineplex Odeon did that on the West Coast, the managers got bonuses for the ones that sold the most of that stuff. On a busy intermissions the staff would charge that extra .10 cents-.25cents, depending on size of corn and not put the extra stuff on the corn.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 24, 2006 at 2:26 pm

I remember using real butter at Cineplex Odeon. Post Garth Drabinsky we shifted to buttery flavored chemical and started charging extra for it, a stupid customer service fiasco that the local press rightfully had a field day but wrongly at the employees expense.

The Toronto boys couldn’t care less.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on October 24, 2006 at 10:59 am

I haven’t posted on this site in a while. I lived in the co-op down the street from the theater, watched every brick go in, then lamented the programming for years, pining for the old RKO on 8th avenue.

A friend from Chelsea, Kenny,recently found these images. Enjoy

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The lounge in image 4 would be to the left of the snack bar. The view in image 5 is taken from a row of glass entrance doors.

The marquee shows the inaugural booking, The Trial. Man, were we bummed. IMDB lists the NYC premiere in Feb, 1963. And as I stated earlier the 3 Stooges appeared opening night in a limo. Jerry K