City Cinemas Village East

181 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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Showing 76 - 89 of 89 comments

br91975
br91975 on April 1, 2005 at 2:38 pm

I remember the Village East and the Loews at 3rd and 11th opening around the same time, too, hardbop – if memory serves, I think within, at the most, three months of one another.

hardbop
hardbop on April 1, 2005 at 2:30 pm

I could have sworn the Village East opened before the Angelika. The first film I caught at the Angelika was “Hidden Agenda” so that must have been 1990 and do remember reading about the delays in the Angelika’s opening. I faintly remember it having something to do with plumbing problems, but I later learned there was a big dispute between UA & Angelika’s original owner Joe Saleh (sic).

I always thought the Village East and that Loew’s East Village ‘plex on Third Avenue opened about the same time and were around before the Angelika opened. I guess my memory is playing tricks on me.

br91975
br91975 on April 1, 2005 at 2:23 pm

The Angelika (after several delays and false starts) opened in the fall of ‘89, the Village East sometime between the spring and fall of '91.

hardbop
hardbop on April 1, 2005 at 1:17 pm

I think this theatre is a bit of a pit. When I attend I always end up in one of the smaller, non-descript theatres in the basement or the second floor and never get to see films in the “main” auditorium, which is nice room, but a weird place to see a movie. I can’t imagine sitting in the orchestra in that big room.

I often have to get up and close the door when the films start and find many of the auditoriums dank.

City Cinemas really dropped the ball because I think they were hoping this theatre would be what the Angelika became. The Village East opened a couple of years before the Angelika, but never had the vibe the Angelika had when the Angelika opened. The Angelika became the premier downtown arthouse, primarly because of the cafe and the location, though City Cinemas is in a funky spot.

From what I understand, the owner of the Angelika was getting divorced and that caused him to sell out to City Cinemas. One nice thing about the Village East is that I know that if I miss a film at the Angelika I’ll get a chance to see it at the Village East before it heads off to videoland.

br91975
br91975 on March 30, 2005 at 4:29 pm

Again, time for another info update – the Village East has seven screens (contrary to the info posted within this page’s header), not six.

br91975
br91975 on March 30, 2005 at 4:27 pm

In the weekly Angelika Film Center newsletter, the Village East is referred to as the Angelika’s ‘sister theater’.

br91975
br91975 on February 22, 2005 at 11:32 am

The Village East, at best, seems to be hanging on. Along with their usual handful of Angelika moveovers (which, since the opening of the Sunshine as an art-house multiplex in December of ‘01, have been 'moving over’ later in their shelf life), they showcase mostly lower-tier studio product (‘Alexander’, ‘Pooh’s Heffalump Movie’, and, this upcoming Friday, the oft-delayed Wes Craven-Kevin Williamson flick, ‘Cursed’), indie vanity projects, and the occasional major-studio flick that doesn’t give off that air of distinctly being a Loews or Regal reject (‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ being the most recent such example).

Depending on the film, the theatre still draws decent crowds (much as was the case when I saw ‘Zissou’ there last month), but it’s definitely lost some luster (if ‘luster’ is the appropriate term to use) over the last 5-7 years. Still, as noted above, it seems to be holding its own and I can’t imagine that and/or its mode of operation changing much in the foreseeable future.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 22, 2005 at 10:13 am

That’s surprising – I thought the “haven’t got a clue” executives at City Cinemas would have turned this place into a sh—house like the others.

RobertR
RobertR on February 22, 2005 at 8:08 am

I saw a film here last summer and the theatre was still very clean and well maintained. That was a few months ago and things can change in a short time.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on February 22, 2005 at 3:56 am

What kind of condition is the Village East in these days? Have they let it go to hell in a handbasket like their other ones? They better make it last – they’re stuck in a 99 year lease there – 13 down – only 86 to go…

br91975
br91975 on February 2, 2005 at 10:36 pm

It does; on occasion – I suspect during fallow periods – City Cinemas only books six out of the Village East’s seven screens.

bamtino
bamtino on November 27, 2004 at 3:18 pm

The theatre’s exterior is featured in 2002’s Unfaithful, starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere. (Photos of Lane and her lover exiting the theatre are part of the evidence of her infidelity.)

br91975
br91975 on March 14, 2004 at 4:45 pm

…and one has to wonder how much longer the Village East will survive under current ownership. Last year City Cinemas filed a lawsuit against Loews Cineplex and Regal Entertainment Group, claiming that the two chains (which operate the Village VII Theatre and Union Square Stadium 14, respectively, within the same booking zone) were conspiring with the major studios to withhold product from the Village East’s screens. (City Cinemas may very well have an argument, considering that, of the 7-10 offerings typically booked into the Village East at any given time, only 1-3 are major studio offerings and even those generally aren’t the types of films likely to generate gangbusters box office.)

richarddziadzio
richarddziadzio on May 2, 2002 at 3:49 pm

The 1968 movie “Night They Raided Minsky’s” was filmed inside the theatre.