AMC Empire 25

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

Unfavorite 54 people favorited this theater

Showing 176 - 200 of 472 comments

Bway on April 2, 2008 at 9:12 am

Justin, Studion 54 BECAME a dance hall, it was NOT built as such. It was a theater converted to the legendary Studio 54 Dance Hall. It is not like they took a dance hall and converted it into a theater, it’s the other way around.
As for the “ever so briefly” it may or may not have shown film at the Gallo Oper House (Studio 54), there are “storefront” porn theaters listed on this site. I would risk to say that even if the Gallo only showed film briefly, it would “still” qualify more as a “cinema treasure” than some of the storefront porn theaters listed on this site. I mean, let’s get real here.

AlAlvarez on March 31, 2008 at 11:52 am

The Park Lane/Gracie Square page mentions that it was designed to resemble the Gallo/Studio 54.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 31, 2008 at 11:51 am

24 postings in the past two days, and they have nothing to do with the AMC Empire 25. So Please Stop Now!

If anyone can find proof of film use for the Gallo/Studio 54, then Cinema Treasures will welcome it being added to the site.

moviebuff82 on March 31, 2008 at 11:50 am

Studio 54 is a dance hall, not a movie theater. Same could be said for MSG and Yankee Stadium. MSG once had a movie premiere of Godzilla (1998) while Yankee Stadium showed only Looney Tunes cartoons before Old Timers Day games on the tiny screen (soon to be replaced by the widescreen at the new one).

HowardBHaas on March 31, 2008 at 11:19 am

Warren, calm down.

MarkieS, if a theater hasn’t shown movies, it isn’t a “Cinema” Treasure and doesn’t get a theater page here. I was rather puzzled when I saw the Studio54 reference by Edward Havens above. I didn’t think that was a moviehouse.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 11:01 am

“MarkieS,” I think that we’ve clashed before. Are you trying to ignite another “flame-out” that will close down this listing?

MarkieS on March 31, 2008 at 10:37 am

I stand by my comment above.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 10:30 am

The Gallo is one of my favorite theatres by architect Eugene De Rosa, but until someone can prove that it had a history of showing movies, I don’t think that it should be listed as a “Cinema Treasure.” The report of activities in Van Hoogstraten’s book covers every year from 1927 opening to the current Studio 54. If movies were ever shown there, it must have been very briefly, and not long enough to qualify for a CT listing.

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 9:48 am

Warren, I would love to see The Gallo (Studio) lised on CT. I will try and find out where on this site I saw mention of this theater playing host to movies for a period of time. Hopefully, once I’ve identified the poster, he will be able to shed some light.

MarkieS on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 am

Please don’t tell me that ANYBODY is going to be annoyed if it turns out that The Gallo showed films at one time and ends up getting a listing here! I believe that falls under the “get a life” heading!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

Nicholas Van Hoogstraten’s “Lost Broadway Theatres” has a long and quite detailed account of the Gallo’s history, and there isn’t even one mention of movies being presented there. When not used for opera or “legit,” it served as a nightclub and radio-TV studio. The belief that it showed movies might be due to the fact that in 1941 it was used for one of the first demonstrations of theatre television, via a remote broadcast of boxing at Madison Square Garden.

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 8:56 am

I guess I don’t know what the actual criteria is. Does it appear somewhere on this web site? It’s quite possible that movies did play Studio 54 for a few years (as they did in several Bway houses) so it might still qualify, but I wouldn’t know how to research that. If in fact it turns out that, yes, movies did play for a few years, we may have just discovered a “New” Cinema Treasure hiding in plain sight!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 8:50 am

I think that to qualify for listing, a theatre has to have continuous operation as a cinema for a substantial period of time, like several years at least. Some “legit” theatres filled in with movies when no plays were available, but that doesn’t count.

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 8:18 am

Al, I think you meant the lising for Studio 54 (Gallo Opera House). I just looked for it myself and it doesn’t appear to be listed here. I know that (on other CT pages) it has been discussed that Studio 54 did in fact show films (however briefly). I wish I remembered where I saw it. This web site is the only place where I ever would have heard it. I guess no one has ever added this theater on its own. If someone is able to prove that movies were actually shown here, then it should be added.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 8:03 am

Do you mean that you actually have such a listing and can’t find it, or that you are just looking for a list? I don’t know that one ever existed. It was certainly never published at Cinema Treasures.

AlAlvarez on March 31, 2008 at 7:18 am

I can’t find that listing.


LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 6:57 am

Warren, I have to agree! The list is probably short, but……it did show films, however brief, and so it qualifies.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 6:43 am

I would say that the Gallo/Studio 54 is listed here by the skin of its teeth. Does anyone have a list of the movies shown there? I would guess it’s very short.

LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 6:10 am

Edward, the qualifications for a Cinema Treasure listing is that the theater showed movies in its lifetime. As such, The New Amsterdam, The Palace, and Gallo (Studio 54) qualify. In my personal opinion, virtually no multiplex should qualify to be on CT because they have no character to them, but I accept them because they showed movies. For me, what makes a theater a cinema treasure is the architecture and atmosphere that the actual building provided to the filmgoer which contributed to the pleasure of seeing a movie. Very few modern theaters apply, yet many banal multiplex entries appear on this site. Yet many of the beautiful Broadway theaters which never showed films, like the Cort, The Schubert, etc, cannot be listed here because they never showed films.

For me it is about the building and so I’m thrilled that legitimate theater has reclaimed and therefore saved The New Amsterdam, Studio 54, The Broadway and The Palace, thrilled that concerts/live performances have saved Radio City, The Beacon, The Apollo, The St. George and Loew’s Paradise, thrilled that churches have saved Loews Valencia, Loew’s 175th St, The Hollywood and The Stanley and happy that the Brooklyn Paramount is mostly intact though it was converted to a college gym.

Let’s face it, movies alone cannot sustain all of the old remaining movie palaces. If they could, many would still be open. As a result, alternative uses must be found which don’t destroy the integrity of the buildings. Luckily, we can still see films at The Ziegfeld, The Paris and The Jersey, but it is tough to make a go of it with just movies.

Now we must focus on saving The Kings. Hopefully, it will be able to show films again as part of its redevelopment, but the key is to restore the building to its past gilded beauty. Today the city is hosting potential developers on a tour of the property and I will be there to see if I can find out any additional information.

So, to sum up, no…you can’t see a movie at Radio City or The New Amsterdam, but thanks to adaptiv resue, people can go see a live performance at those theaters and get a feel for what it must have been like to see a movie “back in the day” instead of just looking at old photos and wonder “how could they ever have torn that down?”. I’m very grateful for that!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 30, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I’d also like to rebut BradE41’s comments about the Empire 25 lacking character. While the auditoriums themselves may lack any charm or unique identity, the lobby features the preserved ornamentation of a genuine early 20th century neo-classical playhouse. One designed by no less than Thomas Lamb! How many strip mall multiplexes can lay claim to that sort of character?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Markie, 42nd Street was still being called “The Duece” by those who frequented the area right up until the last movie house was shuttered in the early 1990’s. There’s absolutely nothing specifically noir about that nick-name.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 30, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Isn’t it a little obnoxious to call an actor dead 50 years by his nickname?

MarkieS on March 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Isn’t it getting a little obnoxious to continually refer to forty second street as “the deuce”? I mean, I like noir as much as the next guy, but Bogie’s been dead for 50 years.

Bway on March 29, 2008 at 7:07 pm

The New Amsterdam wasn’t originally meant to show movies, nor was the Gallo Opera House (Studio 54) when they were built. I am not sure about the Beacon Theater, which originally was a Vaudville house, but may have been meant to also show movies, I dont know.

It’s true, NY has lost many theaters, but it also retains many. It had SO many, so obviously the amount lost with that vast number would be higher than other areas, as it had more to begin with.

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on March 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Remind me again which movie I can see today at Radio City or the New Amsterdam or the Beacon or Studio 54.