City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 3rd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Showing 176 - 200 of 282 comments

irajoel on July 23, 2006 at 11:27 am

these were two of my favorite theatres and what a shame that now they are going or gone already. I loved the newness of the design when it opened in the 60’s. I loved also the display case, so unusual in that there were 3-D displays for the film being shown. I remember how exciting they were. Thanks for the color photos. beautiful. I saw nothing but a man, and a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, kiss of the spider woman, The Exoricist, to sir with love, Nashville, carnal knowlede and many others. Even if I wasn’t seeing the film showing I would love to see the displays. They were I recall very clever.
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hardbop on May 30, 2006 at 6:52 am

Have they closed the third screen in this cinema. The Times listings in Friday’s “Weekend” section listed only Cinema 1 & 2 Third Avenue and only two movies are listed. It could mean one of the movies is playing on two screens, but it also may mean the tiny cinema is closed. I was there a year ago and the little theatre in the back on the second floor was looking awful tawdry.

William on May 10, 2006 at 2:01 pm

City Cinema’s site shows they are still showing movies.
“Down in the Valley”, “Friends with Money” and “The Promise” as of today. The site only shows dates 8 days in advance.

NativeForestHiller on May 10, 2006 at 12:18 pm

The unique glazed blue brick and glass facade was sadly concealed with white stucco. It resembles a blank canvas. What an eyesore! The last time I passed it, which was about 2 months ago, the marquee was still present. I’m not sure whether movies are still being shown.

RobertR on May 2, 2006 at 2:02 am

We knew it was coming, that leaves the theatre on 1st Avenue and the Imagasian (Griffith) in an area that once burst with cinemas.

dave-bronx™ on May 2, 2006 at 12:49 am

Well, folks, they’re at it again – the entertainment moguls at “City Cinemas, the most dynamic and comfortable theaters in New York City” [quote from one of their help-wanted ads – LOL!] – I haven’t heard any details yet, but the rumor on the grapevine is that the C1-2-3 will close this June – and whether they are going to level the place or convert it to retail I have not yet heard. Stay tuned to this station for further developments….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 5, 2006 at 6:34 am

I remember seeing a number of movies here in the early 1980’s including the terrific Aussie flick “Breaker Morant” in the early winter of ‘81. Then there was Jessica Lange in the biopic “Frances” which had a one week Oscar-qualifying run here in December of '82 before its general release in January or February. I also saw Lumet’s epic police drama “Prince of the City” here as well as Bill Forsythe’s charming Scottish comedy “Local Hero” and John Lurie’s bizarre road flick “Stranger than Paradise.” I believe that was the last film I saw at the Cinema I and II – was that 1984? I remember while I was in the neighborhood for either “Local Hero” or “Breaker Morant” it was so cold out that I ran into Alexander’s to buy myself a cheap scarf and pair of gloves. I seem to recall when you walked up out of the subway you came up right in front of theater practically under the Cinema II marquee, with the Cinema I marquee just a few steps ahead of you and the Baronet/Coronet marquee beyond that further down the block.

Anyway… It certainly wasn’t the theater’s modern design and physical specifications but the wonderful programming that kept me coming back.

kateymac01 on September 27, 2005 at 9:02 pm

What’s the latest on the preservation efforts here?

dave-bronx™ on September 27, 2005 at 8:25 pm

The curtains were put up in 1988 during the renovation. They did use them for a time, but now they stay open because they have those stupid advertising slides at intermission – a revenue-generating program.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 27, 2005 at 8:49 am

I don’t care for all the streamlined starkness, typical of the decade. A misguided attempt to get away from the dizzy gaudiness of prior styles. Looks like the United Nations or JFK International Airport, circa 1962.

RobertR on September 27, 2005 at 8:22 am

Not only were they great theatres but I had forgotten those legendary block marquees. They should have added a 3rd one for the triplexing but instead put that abortion that is there now. At this point it’s all over anyways, its days are numbered.

dave-bronx™ on September 27, 2005 at 3:29 am

Thanks for the response. Probably that one exterior was taken in 65, for some reason. The others all have the same odd quality to them, including the arcade view, where the Cinema I marquee has the title ‘Boccaccio 70’, which was the opening picture in both theatres.

CelluloidHero2 on September 27, 2005 at 2:39 am

These are great photos Dave. Appreciate very much you sharing them with us.
One correction. The 1962 photos had to be taken in 1965. “How To Murder Your Wife” is being shown at the Cinema 1. I assume the 1962 date refers to the completion of the theater being built and not when the photos were taken.
Never the less, these are splendid photos. As I view the photos wonderful memories flood my head reliving the many times and terrific movies I saw at these theaters.

Mikeoaklandpark on September 27, 2005 at 12:50 am

Great pics Dave. When did they install curtains in this theater. When I lived in NYC 76-83 they never had curtains or even masking.Seemed to be a Rugoff policy. Do they use the curtains now?

frankdev on September 26, 2005 at 9:12 pm

Dave Thanks great job as always Frank

dave-bronx™ on September 26, 2005 at 8:29 pm

I have made a photo gallery of the Cinema photos that I have. The ones labeled “1962…” are scans of 3.5"x5" snapshots given to me by Abe Geller, the original architect. They are reductions of his original 8"x10" photos taken when the theatre was completed in 1962. Since this was one of the earliest 2-screen theatres (the AIA guide to New York refers to it as a “piggy-back pair”), Mr. Geller drew up the cut-away view, probably for architectural and theatre trade publications, to show how the 2 theatres were configured into such a tight lot – 75' frontage x 110' deep.

The photos labeled “1988…” are scans of of 8"x10" photos, also given to me by Mr. Geller upon the completion of his renovations.

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Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on September 1, 2005 at 2:16 pm

Playing at Cinema 1, 2, 3 this past week: The Brothers Grimm, Must Love Dogs and Wedding Crashers.

BobT on August 7, 2005 at 7:57 am

In the ‘70’s, it was definitely the must book theatre. Of course in those days exclusive engagements meant the film was special as opposed to today where an exclusive is usually a contractual obligation before a DVD release. As Peter Damian says above, this is were “The Exorcist” became a phenomenon. I also remember the full page ads opening day for “A Clockwork Orange”. They also did displays in their windows like the department stores did. For “Dog Day Afternoon, they had the one sheet and a rifle, pizza boxes and a six pack of Coke. In the '80’s they were Disney’s flagship and they would premiere their annual animated musicals there. Some of the films I saw there were, "Beaches”, Altman’s “Short Cuts”, “Seven”, “Beauty and The Beast” and “Aladdin”.

Astyanax on July 14, 2005 at 3:04 pm

I recall having seen Carnal Knowledge at the Beekman.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 14, 2005 at 11:41 am

About the most obscure film I ever saw at Cinema II was the 1963 Ladybug Ladybug, about a rural school that believes there is a about to be a nuclear attack. It was directed by Frank Perry, of David and Lisa fame, but it bombed at the boxoffice and was hardly seen much again.

moviesmovies on July 14, 2005 at 11:32 am

Also at Cinema’s 1 & 2
Fellini’s ‘Orchestra Rehearsal’ Wertmuller’s ‘Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell'Azzurro Mare D'Agosto’ aka ‘Swept Away…'and Fellini’s 'Casanova’.

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 12:49 pm

I do recall seing Resnais' ‘Providence’ at The Cienma 3 at a lower level alongside The Plaza Hotel.

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 12:46 pm

I was Cinema 1 & 2 only when I saw these at one or the other.
‘Carnal Knowldege’, ‘Swept Away By An Unusual Destiny In The Blue Seas Of August’, ‘Visions Of Eight’, ‘The Story Of Adele H.’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Nashville’, and ‘Cries & Whispers’…
It seems I frequented these cinemas more.

RobertEndres on June 10, 2005 at 5:58 am

Dave: The V-8’s at the Murray Hill came from Cinema I originally. They were installed for “Heaven’s Gate”, and then moved to the Murray Hill for the first “Superman” film. They were installed at the Murray Hill by Altec Service, and I remember one of the men on the crew telling me how they worked all night to get the projectors ready for the first show early the next morning. They started the show for a house full of kids and when they changed to the second reel there was no sound. They went crazy trying to find the problem, and finally threaded the second reel on the first projector to discover that someone on the West Coast had not sounded the reel! The showings were cancelled until another reel could be shipped in. There may have been a second set of V-8’s installed in Cinema I after that, so both theatres could have had them at the same time. I seem to remember “Oklahoma” playing there as a re-release at 30 f.p.s.