Quad Cinema

34 West 13th Street,
New York, NY 10011

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Showing 51 - 75 of 82 comments

Butch on September 2, 2005 at 1:31 am

I totally agree with you!

Movieguy718 on September 1, 2005 at 8:46 pm

RCDTJ: This pit does business for the same reason the DREADFUL Angelika and Lincoln Plaza do…they book movies you can’t see anywhere else. And, speaking for myself, just like with the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza, if this is my only option, I’d rather not see the movie.

meryl on August 21, 2005 at 11:17 pm

I worked at the Bleeker in the ‘70s and went to the Quad on my days off!

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 6:24 am

saw ‘Dressed To Kill’, ‘The Wild Reeds’, and others here.

rcdt55b on May 2, 2005 at 12:53 pm

Those are only the second version in the last 12 years. They do that on purpose. They like that feel to them. Unfortunately, I can’t get the dam tunes out of my head after hearing them all day.

hardbop on May 2, 2005 at 7:11 am

I was at the Quad yesterday and I always get a kick out of the graphics/promos they run before the movies. They look like they haven’t been updated since the 1970s. It is kind of quaint and very retro.

rcdt55b on April 8, 2005 at 5:14 pm

Again, as mentioned before, Renovations were done here a few times. The quality of the presentation is excellent. All the equipment is up to date. You do not hear sound from the other theaters now. It is possible that it was that way in the past. Also, the Quad is not like any other multiplex. It is an art house. It is not supposed to be like the other big plexes. It is a comfortable little theater, that again, does very good business.

rcdt55b on April 8, 2005 at 2:20 pm

The Quad runs mainly art and gay films. They also host about six to eight large film festivals each year from all over the world. It is a very well respected theater.

DavidHurlbutt on April 8, 2005 at 2:04 pm

Shortly after the Quad opened I saw a classic Roberto Rosellini double feature there: OPEN CITY and PAISON. Both OPEN CITY (1946) and PAISAN (1948)had their American premieres at the World Theater which by 1972 had declined to being a porno house.

rcdt55b on April 7, 2005 at 9:51 pm

If the Quad is such a dreadful theater, why do they continue to do the business that they do. It is an extremely clean, well maintained and very well run theater.

Butch on April 7, 2005 at 6:36 pm

It’s dreadful.

Garth on April 7, 2005 at 2:41 pm

i visited only once,in 1974, for a double bill of “andy warhol’s dracula” and “night of the living dead”. i recall the theatre being quite cramped. comments indicate it is still the same, i will check it out soon and see.

DavidHurlbutt on April 7, 2005 at 11:10 am

In additon to being an early multiplex, The Quad also demonstrated that a movie theater did not have to be on a main street. By the 1970s centrally located film theaters which could show anything and attract passerbys or people with nothing to do were giving way to film houses off the beaten path which catered to patrons would travel distances with the intent of seeing a particular film.

Benjamin on April 2, 2005 at 6:28 am

I think the defining features that would make a theater the “first” TRUE “twin,” “triplex,” “quad,” or “multiplex” is that the auditoria would have had a common box office and common lobby (refreshment stands, restrooms, etc.) — all while maintaining separate projection booths. These are the darwinian features that are considered to have enabled the new species of movie theater (the multiplex) to replace the old dinosaurs (single screen theaters).

While it would be interesting to find out what was the first at each level (twin, triplex, quad, etc.), it would also be interesting to find out which theater really opened the eyes of the movie industry to the money making possibilities of separate small auditoria sharing common box offices and lobby spaces.

Reading Cinema Treasures, one can get a sense of when the earlier movie theater building booms occurred (although this would be even easier to see if each profile had a date field and if date opened was also a sort category). It would also be interesting to get a detailed sense of when the multiplex movement started to gain momentum and when older, neighborhood single-screen theaters started to shift to X-rated films — at least they did in NYC — or were converted to retail or demolished.

rcdt55b on April 2, 2005 at 5:44 am

I will have to find the newspaper article about it. If it wasn’t the first multiplex, then it was the first quad. I know that for sure. I’ll get back to everyone.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 1, 2005 at 5:26 pm

And if three screens is a multiplex, the Sack Cheri in Boston predates the Quad by several years.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 1, 2005 at 5:24 pm

By “multiplex” do you mean “more than two screens”?

If a two-screen theatre counts as a multiplex, then I nominate this one, which opened way back in 1935. There might be a few older, but I doubt there are many. Sadly, it has been demolished.

br91975 on April 1, 2005 at 5:10 pm

The Quad was not the first multiplex in the United States; the two-screen multiplex theatre Stanley Durwood of Durwood Theatres (later known as AMC Theatres) built within a Kansas City, Mo. shopping center in 1963 is thought to be the first multiplex (if not one of the first multiplexes) built in this country.

rcdt55b on April 1, 2005 at 4:38 pm

The Quad is the first theater to be a multiplex in the United States. It opened in the 70’s as a quad and continues. It still does very well, too. The only thing that has changed with the box office is that it is now closed in by glass.

Benjamin on April 1, 2005 at 12:36 pm

While I had assumed it was a robbery, I don’t think it had occurred to me before how unusually vulnerable the Quad box office is (was?) to armed robbery — kind of the opposite of “defensible space.” Unlike the “classic” movie theater box office which is 1) “protected” by glass and 2) right out on the street where a robbery would be out in the open, the Quad box office is (was?) just a counter with no glass, and it was far enough off the street to make a robbery less visible, while close enough to the street to provide a quick getaway.

I wonder if anyone knows what theater lays claim — for better or worse! — to being the first true duplex or multiplex? I’m pretty sure it is NOT Cinema I, II (& III), since I believe it had two different box offices for each of its original two theaters. I wonder if it might be the Baronet/Coronet, the Quad or some other theater outside of NYC?

rcdt55b on March 30, 2005 at 7:02 pm

It sound like the box office got robbed. I’ve been the projectionist there for 11 years now. They have been robbed about 3 or 4 times during that time. It’s very easy because the box office is so close to the exit.

Benjamin on March 30, 2005 at 2:25 pm

When the Quad first opened I worked on lower Fifth Ave., a few blocks to the north. Although, in retrospect, it sounds like a “no-brainer” that a movie complex named the Quad is going to have four different theaters under one roof, with one ticket booth collecting separate admissions for each, the concept of a multiplex was so “new” (at least in NYC), that I remember having a wacky conversation with a co-worker in which we tried to get a “handle” on what the Quad Cinema “was.”

At first, I think we had the impression that you could see any of four movies for the price of one, kind of like a Chinese menu of a movie theater — or, for the very hearty, a double-double feature! My co-worker (a hip young woman) even made a remark along the lines of, “Oh, I really ought to check it out sometime; it’s been so long since I even seen a double-feature.” So despite the fact that, in terms of “trends,” I can be out of the loop sometimes, at least I know I was not alone in my befuddlement about the Quad.

I once had a very weird experience at the Quad that I can now, I guess, laugh about in retrospect. I believe I was sitting in the first theater on the left (the one facing 13th St.) and watching either a movie about the modern day muckraker, I.F. Stone, or Antonia (?) a music teacher (to people like Judy Collins). All of a sudden you could hear the sound of a very sharp “pop.”

Of course, the first thing that went through my mind was that it was a gun shot. (I once heard a similar sound near my apartment, and it was indeed revealed as a gunshot in the newspapers the next day.) Interestingly, not one person in the theater said anything, but you KNEW that everyone was thinking pretty much the exact same thing at that moment (and thinking that everyone else was thinking the same thing at that moment).

Then there was the sound of the door at the rear of the auditorium opening. And, you could almost feel the entire auditorium holding its breadth in anticipation.

I know this is going to sound irreverent, but I thought something along the following lines: 1) I know someone is going to repeat a classic movie phrase now; 2) (and, it’s not going to be “You’re going out there a kid, and you’re coming back, a star!); 3) and I wonder how he or she is going to actually phrase it without sounding, somehow, corny.

Well the person did indeed say, word for word, “Is there a doctor in the house?” (in a calm but convincing fashion).

I can laugh about it now because I assume nobody was really seriously hurt. (At least there was nothing in the news media the next day as far as I could tell.)

As we were leaving the theater, I’m pretty sure there were police in the lobby. But what I remember seeing was where a ceramic tile in the ticket lobby had lost a chip due to the bullet. (I don’t remember seeing any blood.)

So my guess (and hope) is that whoever was injured only had a minor injury due to being hit by the piece of ceramic tile.

rcdt55b on February 26, 2005 at 6:45 pm

The Quad has 500 seats between all four screens.

rcdt55b on December 11, 2004 at 7:08 pm

When the Quad first opened, they used overseas projectors. They were not very good. In 1989, they did a massive overhaul. All new american made equipment. Today, there are no problem with presentation. The last time they lost a show was over 2 years ago.

irajoel on December 11, 2004 at 1:02 pm

When the Quad first opened they had constant problems with the projection. I even remember walking out once or twice and demanded my money back. I stopped going for a while in the 70’s but happily things there are much better and go there every so often.