AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 151 - 175 of 479 comments

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.

moviebuff82 on December 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

That’s cool. Merry Xmas to all!!!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

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 on December 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Here is a 1948 photo by Martin Elkort. Apologies if this has already been posted.

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 on October 6, 2008 at 3:53 am

Weekend NYT article on architect Thomas Lang

View link

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 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 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.

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 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 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.

AdoraKiaOra on August 23, 2008 at 7:31 pm

So they did a good job then!

AMCyoung on August 18, 2008 at 6:20 pm

They will be converting one of their current auditoriums into the IMAX screen. No new auditorium will be added.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 18, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I was there the other day and there were signs around, but no signs of construction. I wonder where the screen will be.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on August 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm

sometime next month according to iMAX’s website, the Digital IMAX Theatre will open at the AMC Empire 25.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 18, 2008 at 7:39 am

I saw the new Woody Allen here with a quiet sophisticated sold out audience who laughed in all the right places and applauded at the end. There is hope for Times Square movie theatres after all.

Afterwards we all scrambled with the escalator shuffle on the way out.

LuisV on July 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

As as adendum to my previous comment….When this theater first opened this escalator area opened into a food court. As a matter of fact, there was a Cinnabons right there and, on several ocassions, I bought one (or more) for the road. At that time,there was plenty of open space and therefore no issue.

Then the food court failed and they took all of the restaurant space and almost all of the food court’s open space and rented it to Buster and Daves. The separation being big glass walls so that you can see everyone eating and playing inside. That’s why there’s a problem now. There is no overflow and I think its a dangerous situation; especially if there is an emergency.

LuisV on July 22, 2008 at 11:12 am

AlAlvarez…..the problem at the AMC is that the area originally created to hold the people as they change escaltors has been severely constricted by glass walls that were built to house more restaurant space for Buster and Dave’s. The back up (when it occurs) now has no overflow area. That’s what creates the potentially dangerous situation especially if people are trying to exit in a hurry as in the case of an actual emergency.

William on July 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

And those stairwells would leave you on 41st. Street across from the Times Building (the one that everyone seems to be climbing these days).

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 22, 2008 at 10:21 am

I’ll bet they’re alarmed anyway: Emergency Exit Only.