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When I lived in Brussels in 1979, there were 7 screens along this strip – the Avenue with two screens, the Capitole with four screens and the Acropole a single screen on two levels. The pictures would move into smaller screens as they would play off and there were some connections through a block long arcade.
Caught a pretty good range of pictures there throughout an incredible year working in the Hilton across the way – Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, La Luna and a reissue of Clockwork Orange in Acropole, Hard Core, Foul Play and several others in Capitole and La Cage aux Folles and The Great Train Robbery in Avenue
This said the new multiplex is a great place to see a movie in the spirit of the UGC Cine Cites in Paris…saw Good Will Hunting and Les Choristes there on a couple of brief trips to Brussels
Brussels still has a decent range of art houses and first run screens for a smallish city, and of course a 25 screen megaplex
Kineopolis just outside of town
Growing up on the Upper East Side in the 60s and 70s, this was an iconic venue, running a mix of Universal, Fox and Cinema 5 (own brand) product in its Rugoff/Cinema 5 hey day…Some of my best Sutton memories include Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Sicilian Clan, The Three Stooges, Blazing Saddles, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Young Frankenstein (several times), High Anxiety, Love & Death, Network…Attended a prevue/trailer day as they launched the twin and remember not fondly the uphill sloping in the smaller screen
Like the Beekman, there would have been a decent case for landmarking this, but only as a single screen
In my New York lifetime 1960s-1980s, this was never more than an adult grindhouse. Then Cineplex Odeon in one of Garth Drabinsky’s mysterious ways, bought it up and renamed it the Warner. Saw Drugstore Cowboy there on a sub-run with a mysterious neon sign announcing a non existent screen 2
A good well run multiplex in any city can certainly delivery a good movie going experience with variety of product, decent projection and service…I will stump for the two UGC Cine Cite in Paris – Les Halles and Porte Bercy as examples…the former in particular starts screeenings as early as 9:15 on Sunday mornings and as typical in Paris runs a mix of blockbuster and art pictures
In tribute to the times we lived in then – Time Bandits and Brazil – two great Terry Gilliam cult pictures got 6 and 8 weeks each!
On a fast trip to New York a couple of years ago, in desperate curiostiy to visit a new midtown multiplex, popped in to catch Jarhead…The theatre does an adequate job of spiritually replacing the 34th St East, the Murray Hill, the Bay Cinema (on which it physically stands) and the 34th St Showplace…the downside is with all that product it becomes a movie mall rather than retain the personality, the studio ties that those screens had with their 9 screens at time of closing. The screen I was in was certainly a decent experience even if I slept thru most of the movie due to jet lag. Loews was on its last legs as an organization I believe at the time.
Saturday Night Fever day and dated at the 34th St East with the Orpheum and State when it opened and its booking might just have been a wink and a nod to that – several other options possible i.e ET and Grease which day dated at the Bay Cinema when it was in Walter Reade’s hands like the 34th Street
Because of its Midtown location, and because I was strictly Upper East Side, I was in my 30s before I ever was in this theatre…for Dead Poets …loved the forbidding look of the brass doors and the turnstile
The refurbishment here is complete and all 7 screens are open…the integration with Gaumont means that big films in “Version Originale” are now opening on the neighborhood’s biggest screens…my local for nearly 2 years in Paris with among others Poseidon, The Kingdom and Rambo in French, No Country for Old Men in English, and a lot of popcorn for evenings in my office nearby…a generally higher quality of welcome and more grand experience than newer build multiplexes…lives up to its proposed grandeur
The Gaiety East was one of the great delis of my growing up on the Upper East Side…it was still there albeit in decline in 1973 having dined and dated there before The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Scarily enough haven’t been here since Brokeback Mountain…the shame of the Vue and of Leicester Sq in general is the loss of identity of certain screens with certain studios i.e. the big WB movies would open here, Paramount/Universal product at the Empire and Disney/Columbia at the Odeons…the big screen here was still a great experience until the refurb
Add to the above A History of Violence, Reign of Fire (running out every few minutes to negociate a job offer), Bedazzled, The Life Aquatic
Am fully expecting that this theater will be demolished and replaced with residential sooner than later…the good news is that the internal / underground screens that Odeon has created aren’t the worst and that in x years a modern 5 screener will be better than the 1 great 2 ok 2 frankly small screens we’ve got now will be an improvement…Some fun times over the years here from Breaking Away with my mom in 1980 when it was a 4 screener to Silence of the Lambs and Sleeping with the Enemy and 4 Weddings in the big screen in the 90s to The Departed last year (Nigel Havers and I in a tizzy for the length of the queue), Fun with Dick and Jane, a preview of Moulin Rouge, and in smaller screens In Her Shoes, Adaptation, Black Hawk Down and despite my respect for Anthony Minghella Cold Mountain which I found endless…always a pretty well run moviegoing experience
Took my team to see The Dark Knight opening night at the Odeon Leicester Square…my first film there since 2003…packed house but surprisingly good customer service – they refunded two extra tickets I had on the spot – and a genuinely fun experience despite the fact that the film itself was easily 25 minutes too long. For crowded houses would recommend the balconies rather than the stalls (ground floor seats) where the leg room has never been terrific)…Row O was quite ok…shame that in London noone sits still for the credits
Shame if we lost this…great for moveovers from Odeeon Leicester Sq and for premiering decent commercial pictures…and of course the London Film Festival…had second row seats for Proof this year with an appearance and q&a by Gwyneth Paltrow and John Madden…a far better venue with two screens for big pictures than the Vue across the way with 9
As a hotelier and restaurateur, I expect my employees to understand and appreciate their product (ie what the chef prepares)…way to few cinema managers bring their staff up to speed on what they are serving ie what’s on screen and really hire outward, engaged people to bring their brand to life…
It may well come down to segmentation, but even when cinema operators try to cater to an older more affluent audience they still appear clueless
Theatre owners still don’t completely get it…At the latest attempt at a luxury cinema experience in London’s West End, the Apollo West End, the outside of the theater is dressed up, the auditoriums are slightly posher with velvet seats, but the service experience is negligible, and the bar and concessions rather basic…I paid over the odds to reserve a seat for The New World, a great picture to see in a theatre, but the 12.50 pounds has to cover more than a fancy rest room
Never managed to visit the original Warner as a single screen but as a twin, triplex and even fiveplex it was much better than as this nineplex which is almost a grind house in comparison. Before the refit in the mid 90s the ads in Time Out were fullpage black and white with short synopses of the films and 4 out of 5 screens were worth the trip to the West End…Saw Driving Miss Daisy, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Grifters here
As a nineplex there are only 2 really great screens and the rest are good for filler and second run rather than first run…the crowds are also pretty unpleasant…Over the years have made it through The Fugitive, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Fifth Element, Gilbert Grape, Scream, Don Juan De Marco, Big Night, Gingerbread Man, True Romance and plenty more and more recently exclusive first runs of The Aviator and Brokeback Mountain but hate paying 12.50 pounds essentially 20 dollars for a mediocre multiplex experience
Almost a gold standard of a single screen cinema, I used to live around the corner from here. All that’s missing is popcorn which Artificial Eye doesn’t seem to think would fit with the art crowd. Would also love to see some more flexible programming here ie some weekend revival series. Have seen a fair amount of pictures here in 15 years in London including Short Cuts, Billy Elliott, Celebrity, Crouching Tiger Flying Dragon, Sweet and Lowdown, Love and Death on Long Island
As indicated in the very first post for this theatre, this was one my local theatres growing up. Thanks to AAlvarez for coming up with these lists. What they tell us is how flexible Rugoff/Cinema 5/RKO Century/Cineplex and finally Clearview were with this theatre in the variety of first run, Hollywood, foreign art and revival programming. When I get back to NY it distresses how few theatres are left on the East Side and though multiplexes and advance booking serve their purpose, it was a lot more fun when you used to line up for hours on a cold night around the block at the Beekman, the Cinema 1 or the Sutton.
For the record, from those lists I was there for South Pacific, Laurel & Hardy’s Roaring Twenties, The Two of Us, The Maltese Bippy, Lady L, The Liquidator, Z, The Confession, The Sorrow and the Pity, Little Murders (and I’m sure Paper Chase not Brewster McCloud), The Exorcist,Animal House, The Milagro Beanfield War, When Harry Met Sally, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior, Clean and Sober and probably a few more
Have they extended the cinema yet…Saw a few films there in a spate a few years ago FaceOff Little Voice Boogie Nights and nothing for a while…a serviceable multiplex which could be bigger in a community which deserves slightly bigger and better
Have seen a number of Paramount and Universal releases here over the year including Carlito’s Way, Henry & June, Jungle Fever, Schindler’s List, Star Trek Generations and Gangs of New York
This whole complex seems lately to playing second fiddle since the Odeon UCI merger with moveovers coming in from across the square…a shame because despite its basement location this is still a good screen in which to see a first run if you can survive without stadium seating
A serviceable neighborhood theatre…the upstairs screen number 3 is probably the most comfortable…Have seen a wide range of pictures here over the years including The Prince of Tides, High Heels, In and Out, The Edge, Fight Club, Traffic, What Women Want, Bofinger, There’s Something About Mary and The Matrix
The scary part is that in my 15 years in London this and the Fulham Rd theatre among a couple of others have been rebranded 5 times from Cannon to MGM to Virgin to UGC and now to Cineworld…How is the customer supposed to develop any sort of allegiance?
The rebuilt Odeon Marble Arch was a gem…Saw Oliver there in the 60’s and The Doors and Terminator 2 there in the 90s…The decline of 70mm and roadshow style attractions made this theater hard to programme towards the end…it day dated a lot with Odeon Leicester Sq and rollout runs but lost its exclusive feel therefore plexing was the way to go. The plexing isnt terrible but no joy – have seen Speed 2 and The Tailor of Panama here. The programming is generally along the lines of a wide rollout keeping in mind the neighborhood is now made up of primarily upscale Middle Easter residents
The seats are wide,the raking isn’t bad and overall they have a bit of a screening room feel and often your last chance to catch something you want to see…Have caught The Freshman and Rushmore here
Thanks for adding this one. Easily the most uncomfortable complex in the West End – with really bad leg room. Went and paid full price under duress to see pictures such as Naked by Mike Leigh and recently Stander because this was the only place they were playing. Odeon should be much more flexible with pricing here.
Said this becaue it is beneath a block of flats, conversion for other use would be rather difficult and because we love cinemas we’re kind of glad it has survived.