AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 176 - 200 of 483 comments

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2008 at 1:48 pm

To my understanding, a “Cinema Treasure” needs to have a substantial history as a cinema. Manhattan’s Majestic Theatre is as beautiful as any vintage cinema, but it’s not listed here because its entire history has been as a “legit” playhouse…Studio 54 is mentioned in the first paragraph of the introduction to the listing for the very similar Park Lane Theatre, so that might be the reason why some members think that they once saw a listing for Gallo/Studio 54.

LuisV on April 2, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Bway….I totally agree with you that I kind of remember seeing Studio 54 listed under its own name, but I can’t totally be sure.

As for other opinions on whether or not this theater qualifies….why wouldn’t you want this theater to qualify even under the most basic terms? It is a beautiful theater. MUCH, MUCH more of a cinema treasure (if in fact movies were shown here) than the many storefront boxy theaters referenced by Bway and the dull multiplexes which are very well represented on this web site. Exactly why is the Regal Union Square 14 a “Cinema Treasure”? It isn’t for me, but I accept it. We should want Studio 54 to be listed because it is a beautiful theater and it IS about the architecture and the atmoshpere created by the theater that, for me, qualifies as a true cinema treasure. That is why Radio City and The New Amsterdam (and many more expamples) qualify even though they were built for legitimate theater and subsequently showed films.

p.s. I apologize for talking about Studio 54 on this page, but it doesn’t have its own page! :–)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 2, 2008 at 12:54 pm

No one has yet produced documented evidence to prove that the Gallo/Studio 54 presented movies, even “briefly.” Until someone does, why don’t we just forget about it and move on?

Bway on April 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I could swear that the Gallo Theater, Studio 54 was once listed on cinematreasures. I seem to recall it, as I remember finding it funny that the theater was listed as “Studio 54” instead of it’s original Gallo Opera House name…but then I realized that theaters are lsited as their last known name. But really, I am almost 100% certain it used to be here. Perhaps it was removed when the cinema aspect of it couldn’t be confirmed.

Bway on April 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

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 2:52 pm

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

KenRoe on March 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm

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 2:50 pm

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 2:19 pm

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 2:01 pm

“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 1:37 pm

I stand by my comment above.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 31, 2008 at 1:30 pm

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 12:48 pm

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 12:26 pm

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 12:23 pm

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 11:56 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 11:50 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 11:18 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 11:03 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 10:18 am

I can’t find that listing.


LuisV on March 31, 2008 at 9:57 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 9:43 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 9:10 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 11:17 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 11:11 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.