AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 101 - 125 of 466 comments

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on March 13, 2009 at 9:47 am

This is not a forum about Warren. This is about the AMC Empire 25. I appreciate your comment MarkieS, but it is off topic on this page. Please feel free to email me with any additional concerns.

Thanks and I do appreciate all of your passionate interest in the site and these theaters. These interpersonal issues are always the hardest part.

MarkieS
MarkieS on March 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

A couple of wonderful old theaters in Queens and Brooklyn, which are now “adult” theaters, have been removed from this site because Warren instigated inflammatory comments by passing moral judgment on the men who patronize these theaters. That is a shame. His knowledge of old theaters is truly wonderful; it’s too bad he sets himself up as such a moral prig.

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on March 13, 2009 at 8:33 am

Does every disagreement have to get personal?

Warren, what is the need for “Are you now dictating rules? When did you become part of management?”

Lost Memory has a perfect reasonable explanation for the source of the address (which Google Maps confirms).

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 13, 2009 at 7:36 am

Madame Tussauds waxworks also uses an address of 234 West 42nd Street, so the numbering on West 42nd Street has gone wacko. 200 numbers have always started at Seventh Avenue and ended on the east side of Eighth Avenue. 300 numbers start on the west side of Eighth Avenue…Many reference books as well as the legit theatre database give an address of 236 for the original Eltinge Theatre. If the building was moved west, it should have gotten a higher number, not a lower one.

Bway
Bway on March 12, 2009 at 11:18 am

Is the 234 West 42nd St the old address or the new address for the Empire? I would assume the current address should be the address given above. Many theaters have had their addresses change over the years, and the current one is usually the one used. For example, many of the theaters in Queens had an old address and a new address, depending on if the theater pre-dated the renumbering of streets/addresses into the Queens numbering system.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 12, 2009 at 10:47 am

Oddly enough Modell’s next door and the old Liberty Theatre are both also 234 West 42nd Street.

Bway
Bway on March 12, 2009 at 9:37 am

The old Empire/Eltinge Theater fully exists in it’s entirety, and is the lobby for the AMC Empire 25 Theater. It’s irrelevant if it was moved down the street or not. The entire auditorium is used, and IS the AMC Empire, even if they don’t show movies in the old auditorium, and instead it’s the lobby of the new multiplex.
It should NOT have a page of it’s own, as the Eltinge/Empire Theater IS the AMC Empire now. The whole building is a part of the AMC Empire Theater, it doesn’t matter if they show the actual movies of the Eltinge inside the current lobby of the AMC Empire (which happens to be the auditorium of the Eltinge/Empire. You walk into the old Theater entrance, and the old theater to enter the AMC Empire. Of course they should be the same listing, as the AMC Empire IS the old Eltinge/Empire theater…., it’s just that they built the multiplex around the old building it after moving it a bit down the block. Just because the entire theater building was moved doesn’t mean that that theater shouldn’t be this page. All the history of the Eltinge/Empire theater survives within the walls of the lobby of the AMC Empire.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

I don’t understand why the Eltinge/Laffmovie/Empire was tossed into this listing. It should have a separate listing of its own, since only a small portion was used for the multiolex. And during its decades of operation, it occupied the address of 236 West 42nd Street. How can the AMC multiplex have an address of 234 when it is 200 feet west of the Eltinge’s original site? Building numbers on 42nd Street increase in the westward direction.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

That’s cool. Merry Xmas to all!!!

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on December 25, 2008 at 8:31 am

Smell-o-Vision appears to be back in Times Square with THE POLAR EXPRESS in 4D at Madamne Tussaud’s theatre.

http://www.nyc.com/people/broadcast/blog/?p=2

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on December 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm

“Cinema Treasures”? Never heard of it. :)

Thanks for setting the record straight, Joe!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 17, 2008 at 11:07 pm

When, back on January 2 of this year, Warren G. Harris wondered about who might have actually designed this multiplex, the answer was already available in my comment from May 2, 2006. That’s the problem with long threads. Stuff gets lost. Anyway, to repeat, it was Gould Evans Associates (called Gould Evans Goodman at the time they did this project.)

I see that the “firm” listing at the top of the page now names Beyer Blinder Belle Architects as the designers of the multiplex, and that firm is mentioned in the intro section of the page as well. But the New York Times article to which AlAlvarez was probably referring in his reply to Warren only says that Beyer Blinder Belle “…designed the 42nd Street project.” Indeed on BBB’s web site, they do lay claim to the Hilton Times Square project, of which the AMC Empire is a part, but nowhere on their site do they claim to have designed the multiplex itself.

That honor (or disgrace, to judge from some of the more irate comments above) belongs to Gould Evans Associates, which does include the AMC Empire among their projects, as featured on their web site (you have to click on “Architecture” then “Portfolio” in the left columns, then “entertainment centers” at page center, then “AMC theatres, national and international locations” to reach a photo- or perhaps three photos- I’ve never seen the place and don’t know if the two interior shots depict this theater or other AMC locations- of the AMC Empire. Why do architecture firms have such Byzantine web sites?)

Presumably, AMC insisted on Gould Evans, with whom they already had an established relationship, to design the multiplex itself, while Beyer Blinder Belle probably took care of the actual restoration work on what was left of the historic Empire Theatre. BBB does specialize in restoration and renovation. In fact, they did the renovation of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and should probably be credited with that project on the Apollo’s Cinema Treasures Page.

BBB also designed the Hilton Theatre (Ford Center) on 42nd Street, built inside the shells of the old Lyric Theatre and the neighboring Apollo Theatre, using bits and pieces of their interiors for the decoration of the new house.

Oh, and there is one other source for the information that Gould Evans Associates was involved in the AMC Empire’s development. The firm is among sources of information about the project listed on page 109 of an obscure book called “Cinema Treasures”, published in 2004, and written by Ross Melnick and Andreas Fuchs (whoever they are.) I don’t suppose anybody here has read it?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Here is a 1948 photo by Martin Elkort. Apologies if this has already been posted.
http://tinyurl.com/52gn98

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 27, 2008 at 6:29 am

FOUR MEN SLASHED IN TIMES SQUARE KNIFE MELEE: View link

RobertR
RobertR on October 6, 2008 at 6:20 am

These psuedo IMAX screens are cheapening the format. When will anyone realize they need to once again give the public something that home TV (even the large ones) can’t duplicate. Theatre screens need to be huge curved ones like in the 50’s and 60’s.

42ndStreetMemories
42ndStreetMemories on October 6, 2008 at 3:53 am

Weekend NYT article on architect Thomas Lang

View link

markp
markp on September 18, 2008 at 6:28 am

Hey saps, when the theatre I worked at a few years back was converted to IMAX, the screen was only marginally bigger than the original 35MM screen, however, they moved the screen about 30 feet closer to the audience, so it appeared to be bigger, and of course, they felt like they in the movie.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 17, 2008 at 10:03 pm

The Imax screen is in Auditorium 1. I took a peek on Friday and the screen doesn’t seem much bigger than the one that was already there, and certainly smaller than the one at Lincoln Square. I wonder about its exact dimensions.

William
William on September 4, 2008 at 6:57 am

That AMC still has Union projectionists working the complex.

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on September 4, 2008 at 6:39 am

Yesterday, 9/3/08, I attempted to see “Dark Night” at a 3:45 PM showing. For at least a half-hour after the announced starting time, digital “film facts” and AMC audio source were repeated and there was no film. No management was in sight, the concession folks were disinterested, and I went down the six escalators to the box office for a refund. They were aware of the problem but unconcerned. Without projectionists or apparent management, multi-million dollar complexes like this are bound to become extinct very soon, even on the world’s greatest city’s major entertainment street. Farewell, AMC and Loew’s.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 25, 2008 at 8:40 am

Though I am not an official volunteer, I have tried to be of help and I sent in the revisions to the Empire’s Introduction. I didn’t see the address Comment on the Parsons, but it will get done now (within a day or two). There’s no official mechanism for all comments to get read and acted upon. I suppose you could try at the “new theater” or other ways to directly send in updated information to the official webmasters.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 25, 2008 at 7:22 am

Updating of currently operating theatres seems to take priority over closed and demolished ones. On 8/20, I contributed a specific address for the Parsons Theatre in Queens, but it has yet to be added to the introduction.

LuisV
LuisV on August 24, 2008 at 11:53 am

Wow! The CT guys are fast! The intro about the Cafe has been reworded to reflect the fact that its no longer in operation. Grat work guys!

markp
markp on August 24, 2008 at 8:31 am

You hit the nail right on the head LuisV. Too bad more theatres were not saved the same way. Thats why I’m glad to here at least something is trying to be done to the Kings in Brooklyn, (a real treasure) as well as the Ritz in Elizabeth N.J. The Empire, along with all those other old grindhouses were special, even if they were run down.

LuisV
LuisV on August 24, 2008 at 7:29 am

Although some disagree I believe that it is a tremendously clever reuse of the space. The old theater serving as the lobby to the new allows people to really look at the detail of the old theater as they rise on the escalators up through just under the procenium.

In an ideal world, this theater would have been one of the “screens” in the multiplex. I’m not privy to the complexities of multiplex economics so I can’t say why this didn’t happen but this theater appeared intimate enough to have accomodated that.

Nonetheless, I’m glad that the theater survived because, for me, what makes a theater a treasure, is the architecture and this one is beautiful and worth preserving. What’s even better is that the multitudes of youth who come through its entry have a glimpse of what a true theater was like and not the interchangable multiplex boxes we tend to have today.

p.s. The intro should be changed. The last line about the Times Square Cafe should be deleted as the balcony hasn’t served that purpose for many years.