AMC Empire 25

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

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Showing 201 - 225 of 620 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 15, 2012 at 5:13 am

Hi Flynn… The theatre described and depicted on that page is a different, legitimate play house, which was located a couple of blocks away from the AMC Empire, at Broadway between West 40th and 41st Streets. It is not listed on CT because I don’t believe it ever hosted cinematic exhibitions – at least not on a regular basis. There is a page devoted to the old house here on the website.

Flynn on August 15, 2012 at 12:33 am

Hello folks. I’ve been looking for something else, but keep on finding ither things by accident. This website has a few very old images of the theater along with historical information. Just passing through to share.

moviebuff82 on May 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

Looks like Wanda group is buying AMC for 2.6 billion making them the largest cinema corporation in the world.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

“Profitable IMAX screen”

I have never heard those words before, in that order.

The Lincoln Square is one of the highest grossing theatres in the U.S., in spite of the IMAX.

Profit or volume are never an excuse for a sloppy operation.

moviebuff82 on May 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I agree. The Rockaway and Garden State theaters as well as clifton commons are like big cookie cutter megaplexes with overhyped movies and few indie movies. The only theater that AMC operates well is the AMC in Lincoln Square, due to its profitable IMAX screen, which is still the largest in NYC.

thebrat on May 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

Saw “Marvel’s The Avengers” in their IMAX-lite auditorium. (Screen #1) Some of the staff here are very rude, for example, I was filming a 360-turnaround of the third floor on my phone, and this lady blocked my camera lenses telling me that I wasn’t allowed to film the employees, or something like that. Sheesh, it isn’t like filming a movie at the cinema! Also, the lines for the concessions are WAYY too slow. A few people in line trying to get snacks felt like 30. Anyways, the IMAX auditorium is pretty nice, in some ways superior to the IMAX-lite in the AMC Tyson’s Corner 16. On the other hand, the Empire IMAX felt like a joke. There was this constant rattling noise during moments with a lot of bass (thankfully this only happened during the trailers) and some of speakers were popping. At least it sounds like it was calibrated more accurately, unlike the ear-splitting EQ of the Tysons IMAX.

The AMC Empire 25 is almost like a big parody of your typical multiplex. Although I’ve never been to the other 24 screens, it’s scope favors quantity over quality at a glance.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Jessica, you’re kidding, right?

There are actually NO screens in the Empire building; they use it as the ticketing lobby, and built 25 screens on multiple levels in a new building adjacent to the Empire.

But I bet you knew that already.

moviebuff82 on February 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

As of this week, most of AMC’s top theatres in the US and Canada, including this one, will use Fandango instead of for online ticketing. As a result, filed a lawsuit against NBCUniversal, the parent company of the site.

taketheatrain on January 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Does anyone know which screen has Dolby Digital 7.1 Is it 6 with ETX or is it another screen?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’ve requested Times Square Roulette and Down 42nd Street from the library and look forward to reading them. Their descriptions sound interesting.

I bought and read Ghosts of 42nd Street and I think I was disappointed by it, but I can’t remember exactly why. Mike (saps)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Ed, check out TIMES SQUARE ROULETTE by Lynne B. Sagalyn, DOWN 42nd STREET by Marc Elliot, and GHOSTS of 42nd STREET by Anthony Bianco.

There are also several newspaper articles and sleazier books about tracking down the landlords of 42nd street. Many owners were buried in the actual paperwork by design so no one would go to prison during obscenity raids. Even arrested employees claimed not to know who the tenants and landlords actually were. Someone came by delivered or and picked up a bag of cash once a month in order to handle payrolls and rent.

The assumption was that the mafia bosses of shelter companies willed some of the properties to the Catholic Church who then became landlords of properties they were unaware of until NYC authorities started procedures to evict them. At least that is the story the church has claimed. Large payments were made to Disney, the church, and numerous shady companies by the Guiliani administration with Federal, State and City tax grants in order to clean up 42nd Street. To sweeten the deal, the Guiliani administration allowed the porn shops to relocate in the boroughs where they had been refused licenses before.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Saps, I stand corrected. Was thinking general election, not to mention the more earth-shattering events that took place on 9/11 that year.

That’s interesting information, Al. Is there title (or two) on the subject that you’d recommend? I’d love to read a well written and thorough accounting of the area’s redevelopment. Thanks, in advance.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Moviebuff82, the Empire is not a good example of what’s wrong. It is actually a pretty decent theatre. Too many mindless CGI superhero movies are what’s wrong. There used to be a better balance.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Ed, I have few book on the subject and they credit/blame the Dinkins administration, not Dinkins himself, for the changes. The deal with Disney was made while Dinkins was mayor but it was predicated on cleaning up the street first.

Guliani did have connections with the Gambini Family and the Catholic Church, two of the major landlords of the x-rated shops and brothels that operated down 42nd street. He helped sign off on the forced evictions that made the project eventually happen, but delayed everything by threatening to derail it all if he was not put down front and center of the deal.

moviebuff82 on January 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The Empire is a good example of what’s wrong with movies today in the box office.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Ed, 9/11 was the Democratic primary day, I think, so it was an election day that would lead to the eventual election of Bloomberg in November.

And I’d like the lead photo to be of the Empire as it existed in its heyday, but there doesn’t seem to be a good one in the photo section, nor a photo of the interior.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ha. He was very good at making it seem as if he had a hand in everything! I always had the impression that he was instrumental in the ousting of all porn-related businesses in the area (and, indeed, city-wide), if not actually a part of the contractual negotiations and planning decisions.

But I suppose you’re right. If he came into office in ‘94 and 42nd Street was already pretty much a ghost town by then, he probably had very little to do with it at all other than, as you say, Al, stay out of the way. The New Victory opened in '95 and the Disney deal at the New Amsterdam was a State deal, wasn’t it? Most of the wanton demolition of the big old Broadway cinemas began under Koch’s watch and rolled into Dinkins’ lone term. Not sure what the politics were at the time and to what extent either administration was involved in those transactions.

moviebuff82 on January 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

Someone should change the photo, as this is an old picture of the Empire and not a current one. I never heard about the empire theater until i read an ad for it in the NY Times, the best newspaper to read movie ads and listings, not to mention local reviews of big movies. When the theater opened, there were plenty of ads and showtimes. As the theater operates into its 13th year as an AMC, the movie ad business has shrunk to a few, and fewer people are reading the Times and other papers and looking online.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

Actually Giuliani’s only contribution was not stopping it as long as he had the photo op.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

You meant two months before the election, I’m sure – two days before the 9/11 attacks. Yes, the Disneyfication of Times Square, for better or for worse, was almost entirely completed during the Giuliani administration. Lindsay attempted it and some groundwork was performed during Koch’s reign, but this was Rudy’s baby and all Bloomberg is doing at this point is dotting the “i” in Disney. I really don’t have much of a problem with favoring pedestrians over vehicular traffic – but then, I don’t have to navigate the streets of Manhattan for a living.

Sure, the ‘70’s and '80’s saw a much seedier and dangerous Duece and Times Square, and, yes, as one whose mispent youth included countless hours in the area’s numerous movie houses, I do look back on that period with rose-tinted glasses. Regardless, I miss the character and honky-tonk atmosphere – the unique sense of place, not to mention the open space of the old Times Square (never mind Disneyfication, what about the canyonization of the streets with all those new glass office towers).

No doubt that home video and on-demand cable services would have eventually doomed the grindhouses and porn palaces to oblivion anyway and the area would have needed some sort of reinvention. It’s just so very disappointing that the overarching concept for Times Square’s makeover has been theme-park plasticity and ersatz nostalgia.

Do I miss the crime and grime? Not particularly, but how about a little urban authenticity? Reminds me a little of what has happened to the South Street Seaport. They essentially built a shopping mall out of it and then kicked the Fulton Fish Market (the area’s raison d'etre) out to the Bronx! At least while the Fish Market was still there, the place had a real and vital functionality and sense of history. But, I guess the tourists couldn’t stand the smell of fish while sipping their cappucinos and posing for photos in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, and so the market was consigned to the bowels of one of the city’s most far flung industrial areas! And so it goes…

Edward Havens
Edward Havens on January 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

Except for the fact that, by the time I moved to New York City on 9/9/01 (two days before the original election date for the Mayoral race that would eventually elect Bloomberg), the Disneyfication of Times Square was pretty much concluded.

The Empire 25 as it’s stood for the past dozen years really isn’t much of a cinema treasure. It was an interesting experiment that didn’t work out as well as it could have, aesthetically. As a powerhouse grosser, it obviously has worked out extremely well, and in the end, that’s what a movie theatre is supposed to do. Make money.

AGRoura on January 10, 2012 at 4:30 am

Emperor Bloomberg destroyed Times Square by turning it into a plaza.

Bway on January 10, 2012 at 2:48 am

And in the 70’s and 80’s it was a hellhole. Better what it is now, than what it was then. The refurbishment of Times Square didn’t destroy the “old” Times Square, the 70’s and 80’s destroyed the old Times Square.

moviebuff82 on January 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

i agree. Ever since the 90’s and 2000’s this place has been Disneyfied.

Marcel on January 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I’ve been here and it’s ok, it takes just as long to get in and out of here as it does to see the movie (I don’t like escalators). I miss Times Square when it was marquee after marquee and competitive competition and prices.