City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 3rd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Showing 151 - 175 of 282 comments

dave-bronx™ on May 20, 2008 at 8:16 am

The following is from the homepage of the Reading Int'l website, here, where they describe their business and objectives (note, in particular, the final sentence of the last paragraph below):

Reading International, Inc (AMEX: RDI) is in the business of owning and operating cinemas and live theaters and developing, owning and operating real estate assets. Our business consists primarily of

  • the development, ownership and operation of cinemas in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, principally under the Reading Cinemas, Angelika Film Center, City Cinemas and Rialto names;

  • the development, ownership and operation of commercial real estate in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, including entertainment-themed retail centers (“ETRC”) in Australia and New Zealand and

  • the ownership and leasing to production companies through Liberty Theaters, Inc. of “Off Broadway” style live theaters in Manhattan and Chicago

We are different from most other cinema companies due to our real property emphasis. Calculated based on book value nearly 70% of our assets relates to our real estate activities. While most of our cash flow is currently derived from cinemas, our present business plan is to reinvest that cash flow principally in real estate assets, and to be opportunistic in terms of the acquisition and development of additional entertainment properties. Unlike other cinema companies, we are not compelled to continue and redevelop our cinema assets, where higher and better uses become available for such properties.

edblank on May 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Around the time “Tom Jones” was playing at Cinema 1 (and possibly concurrently at Cinema II), I recall the star of that film (presumably Albert Finney)appearing as the mystery guest on “What’s My Line?” Panelist Dorothy Kilgallen figured out who it was (as a newspaper columnist she always knew who was in town beating the drums for a movie)and asked in her most chi-chi manner if the mystery guest had a new movie opening at theaters “we” (she and her friends) affectionately refer to as “Chinema 1 and Chinema 2.” She was correct in identifying the mystery guest. But in my dozens of visits to those auditoriums from 1967 on, when I finally started spending all of my vacation time in New York, I could never enter them or even walk past those theaters without recalling how “in” she made them sound with her hoity-toity pronunciation “Chinema.” Among the many films I saw there were “Sophie’s Choice” and “Cries and Whispers.” – Ed Blank

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm

No. I meant you, your Highness.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 22, 2008 at 7:19 am

I just saw the “The Diving Bell and Butterfly” here recently in an effort to avoid the more conveniently located but awfully noisy Lincoln Plaza crowd.

There was an odd glare on the screen and fresh popped corn oil made it hard to breath, but the crown was so silent during the film you could hear a pin drop.

longislandmovies on March 21, 2008 at 10:22 pm

i cant believe this theater is still going…..

longislandmovies on March 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Ralph Donnelly was the brains behind the operations and a great guy.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Here is a December 1973 ad from the NYT:

Astyanax on March 10, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Elvira Madigan, a Cinema V release, premiered at the Cinema II in the spring/summer of 1968.

KingBiscuits on March 9, 2008 at 5:43 pm

This theatre’s exterior briefly shows up in Brian De Palma’s Greetings. One of the films advertised was Elvira Madigan.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 7, 2008 at 10:34 am

Here is a postcard ad promoting the opening of Lina Wertmüller’s Summer Night at Cinema II in June 1987.

Astyanax on January 20, 2008 at 6:46 pm

The C5 ad campaigns were brilliant, and usually were accompanied by creative lobby displays in the first run houses. Memorable among these were the promotions for “Elvira Madigan”, “Z”, “Putney Swope”, “the Fireman’s Ball” and the “Two of Us”.

Went by the theater a couple of weeks ago and although it was well past sunset, the marquee was dark. The Urban Outfitters next door by contrast, was brightly lit and many times more inviting than the darkened theater space.

dave-bronx™ on January 20, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I remember being at both the C5 office on Bway and the CC office on 6th Ave. and Ralph would be in his office, either with someone or on the phone and they told him something funny or a joke or something. Well, he would burst into laughter that reverberated through the whole place – which, in turn, brought smiles to the faces of everyone, even in offices at the other end of the hall :)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 20, 2008 at 9:23 am

Does anyone know if Ralph Donnelly was the brains behind Cinema 5 distribution?

They had a short but brilliant run of hit films in the late sixties/early seventies and their ad campaigns were way ahead of their time.

longislandmovies on January 20, 2008 at 8:30 am

Ralph was a great guy .I worked with him at RKO STANLEY WARNER.A man that really new film and film buying.

owenspierre81 on January 20, 2008 at 7:16 am

Here is a list of the 1st-run movies that were shown at the CINEMAS 1, 2, 3 from 2002 to today.

1/25/02- The Count of Monte Cristo
2/1/02- Birthday Girl
2/15/02- John Q
3/1/02- 40 Days and 40 Nights
3/29/02- The Rookie
4/5/02- National Lampoon’s Van Wilder
4/12/02- Human Nature
4/19/02- Enigma
4/19/02- Murder by Numbers
5/24/02- Insomnia
6/7/02- Bad Company
6/7/02- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
6/21/02- Lilo & Stitch
8/2/02- Signs
8/16/02- Full Frontal
8/30/02- One Hour Photo
9/27/02- Moonlight Mile
10/11/02- Tuck Everlasting
10/11/02- White Oleander
11/15/02- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
11/27/02- Treasure Planet
12/6/02- Empire
12/20/02- Gangs of New York
12/20/02- Two Weeks Notice
1/3/03- About Schmidt
1/3/03- Chicago
1/17/03- Kangaroo Jack
1/31/03- The Recruit
2/14/03- The Quiet American
3/7/03- Bringing Down the House
3/21/03- Dreamcatcher
4/4/03- The Good Thief
6/6/03- Whale Rider
6/13/03- Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
7/2/03- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
7/18/03- How to Deal
7/25/03- Spy kids 3D: Game Over
8/22/03- My Boss’s Daughter
9/12/03- Matchstick Men
9/19/03- Cold Creek Manor
9/26/03- Duplex
10/10/03- Kill Bill Vol 1
10/17/03- Veronica Guerin
10/24/03- Scary Movie 3
10/31/03- The Human Stain
11/5/03- The Matrix Revolutions
11/7/03- Elf
11/26/03- Bad Santa
12/17/03- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
12/25/03- Cold Mountain
TBA 2004- City of God
1/9/04- Chasing Liberty
1/23/04- The Butterfly Effect
1/30/04- The Big Bounce
3/5/04- Starsky & Hutch
3/19/04- Taking Lives
3/26/04- Jersey Girl
4/9/04- The Whole Ten Yards
4/16/04- Kill Bill Vol 2
4/30/04- Laws of Attraction
6/4/04- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
6/25/04- The Notebook
7/16/04- The Door In The Floor
7/23/04- Catwoman
7/30/04- The Village
8/27/04- Hero
9/10/04- Cellular
9/10/04- Criminal
9/24/04- Shaun of the Dead
10/15/04- Eulogy
10/15/04- Shall We Dance?
10/29/04- Birth
11/12/04- Finding Neverland
11/24/04- Alexander
12/17/04- The Aviator
12/22/04- The Phantom of the Opera
1/7/05- Million Dollar Baby
3/11/05- The Upside of Anger
4/1/05- Sin City
5/13/05- Layer Cake
5/13/05- Mad Hot Ballroom
5/13/05- Monster-In-Law
6/15/05- Batman Begins
7/15/05- Wedding Crashers
7/29/05- Must Love Dogs
8/26/05- The Brothers Grimm
9/9/05- An Unfinished Life
9/16/05- Proof
9/30/05- A History of Violence
10/7/05- Good Night and Good Luck
10/7/05- The Squid and the Whale
11/11/05- Derailed
11/23/05- The Ice Harvest
12/9/05- Mrs. Henderson Presents
12/9/05- Syriana
12/14/05- The Three Burials of Melaquides Estrada
12/25/05- Rumor Has It…
1/20/06- The New World
2/10/06- Firewall
2/24/06- Tsotsi
3/10/06- The Libertine
4/7/06- Lucky Number Slevin
4/7/06- Take the Lead
4/21/06- Friends with Money
5/5/06- The Promise
6/9/06- An Inconvenient Truth
6/28/06- Superman Returns
6/30/06- The Devil Wears Prada
7/21/06- Lady in the Water
8/4/06- The Night Listener
8/18/06- Snakes on a Plane
9/1/06- The Wicker Man
9/15/06- Confetti
9/15/06- The Last Kiss
9/22/06- Flyboys
9/30/06- The Queen
10/6/06- The Departed
11/17/06- For Your Consideration
11/17/06- Happy Feet
12/8/06- Blood Diamond
12/21/06- Venus
1/5/07- Miss Potter
1/19/07- Letters From Iwo Jima
2/2/07- Little Children
2/23/07- The Lives of Others
2/23/07- The Number 23
3/23/07- The Last Mimzy
3/30/07- The Lookout
4/6/07- The Reaping
4/20/07- Black Book
4/20/07- Fracture
5/4/07- Lucky You
6/1/07- Mr. Brooks
6/8/07- Ocean’s Thirteen
6/22/07- A Mighty Heart
7/4/07- Rescue Dawn
7/13/07- Talk to Me
7/20/07- Hairspray
8/3/07- Becoming Jane
8/17/07- The Invasion
8/24/07- The Nanny Diaries
9/14/07- The Brave One
9/21/07- The Jane Austen Book Club
9/28/07- Feast of Love
10/5/07- The Darjeeling Limited
10/19/07- Rendition
11/9/07- No Country for Old Men
11/16/07- Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
11/16/07- Love in the Time of Cholera
11/21/07- August Rush
12/7/07- The Golden Compass
12/14/07- I Am Legend
12/25/07- The Bucket List
1/11/08- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
1/18/08- There Will Be Blood

This theater still got it goin' on since 1962.

dave-bronx™ on December 22, 2007 at 11:26 am

The following was posted to the Uniondale Mini page:

Exhibitor Ralph E. Donnelly died Sept. 21 in Palm Harbor, Fla. He was 75.

~~Donnelly was a pioneer of specialized exhibition, and established the First Avenue Screening Room in Manhattan and the Mini Cinema in Uniondale, New York. ~~

He was a founder of the annual ShowEast convention. Starting in his teens as an usher, he ultimately became president of Cinema 5 Theaters in Manhattan. He was also head film buyer at City Cinemas, RKO-Stanley Warner Theaters, Creative Film Services and Associated Independent Theaters. A past president of the Variety Club and the Motion Picture Bookers Club, he was also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and was on the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. After Donnelly retired, he served as a shipboard host on cruises, screening films and leading discussions of film lore. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; a sister; three children and five grandchildren.
posted by Kyra on Dec 18, 2007 at 2:31pm

br91975 on October 11, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Any word on whether the Cinema 1, 2, 3 is still living on borrowed time? I saw ‘The Brave One’ in Cinema 2 a few weeks back and wasn’t surprised (this is, as well-documented above, City Cinemas we’re talking about – a.k.a., NYC’s finest ‘unofficial’ real estate developer) to find the auditorium was looking a bit run-down and shaggy…

williame303 on July 19, 2007 at 10:42 pm

I’m in the process of writing up some memoirs of my younger days. My first “grown up” trip to NYC (20 y.o.) was in spring 1968. I went to a movie at Cinema I more to see the elegant new building rather than the movie. The film was Elvira Madigan, and I remember crying on my way out. I was especially impressed that there were no drapes on the stage, but rather the sliding panels that adjusted to the proper frame ratio of whatever was being projected.

dave-bronx™ on April 28, 2007 at 7:01 am

Now that I think of it, I wonder where the other 3 lamps are – there were 6 in the theatre…

dave-bronx™ on April 24, 2007 at 10:12 am

The other day I was walking across town on the south side of 34th Street. Almost next door to the Empire State Bldg. there is the Herald Towers apartments, which was formerly the McAlpin Hotel. I noticed the lobby had been renovated so I looked inside and lo and behold hanging from the ceiling there are 3 of the artichoke chandeliers from the upper lobby of Cinema I. The copper leaves have been painted white. I asked the doorman where they got them and of course he didn’t know. These have to be from the Cinema, I believe they were custom made for the theatre and not an ‘off-the-shelf’ item at the Home Depot. Go there and have a look, see what you think.

bazookadave on April 2, 2007 at 7:02 am

Here is a picture of the merit award plaque on this building:

View link

NativeForestHiller on March 15, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Thank you for sharing, Ian! It is a shame that this 60’s Modernistic glazed blue brick facade was recently concealed with lackluster white stucco. What is happening to our city? Several older theaters i.e. the Beekman, Sutton, etc. have been demolished over the course of the past few years. :(

Ian on March 15, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Another exterior pic here:–

View link

bazookadave on December 1, 2006 at 9:05 am

Saw “The Queen” on Thanksgiving in the tiny Cinema 3. The interior of the building is unremarkable and is not being well maintained. Seats were ujncomfortable, ragged and dirty. Lobby area overheated and staff were loud and abrasive as they herded crowds around…those of us heading upstairs had to wait in a corner while huge noisy crowds exited the penguin movie on the first floor. There is an tacky painting of Brooke Shields in the lobby. If the artist reads this, I apologize for the negative opinion but it is my honest response to what I saw.

While I was waiting outside in the recessed area beneath the marquee, I noticed a plaque very low on the building indicating it had received some sort of recognition or award as an interesting example of 1960s urban architecture.