College Point Multiplex

28 - 55 Ulmer Street,
Flushing, NY 11354

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

College Point Multiplex

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The College Point Multiplex theatre, situated on the Whitestone Expressway, was opened in 1999. Contrary to the newspapers listing of Whitestone (and the name of the theatre itself), the big box is located in Flushing, NY. As for the threatre, it is typical of other National Amusement theatres – twelve screens and nothing on! They tend to show forgettable action films and childrens films. The action films are repeated on two or more screens. You would not be able to find any indie movies (or Fox Searchlight material) at this outlet. On occasion one can find TWO good films among the usual action formulas.

It should also be noted that this is the closest theatre to the #7 terminus in Downtown Flushing (a ten minute walk from the tragically shuttered RKO Keith’s). Needless to say this threatre could never replace the Keiths. However, the theatre was part of the College Point Corp Park renewal program. National Amusements built their theatre several years after the closing of Adventures Inn (a story in itself). I suppose it is better that a big box theatre should exist rather than a mini amusement park that fell into disrepair.

Contributed by m76l

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 15, 2006 at 8:42 am

If I might offer a kind word or two about this multiplex… When I get out to see a new release, this is usually the place I wind up. It’s convenient to my house and I find it to be very clean with generally crisp and great sounding presentation. As with most multiplexes, there are issues of over-projection where a small slice of image can be seen leaking off the screen and onto the dark masking material on either side. Another negative is the painfully slow service at the candy counter. They recently installed a seperate concession stand run by Nathan’s Famous and Sbarro’s pizza. The pizza is horrible (I’m not a fan of the Sbarro’s chain), but I won’t complain about those Nathan’s cheese fries!

The theater was built in a large two story building that also houses a Toys ‘R’ Us outlet. One enters a spacious ticket lobby with a twin set of box-office counters on either side of the escalators leading to the 2nd level. The escalators lead to a very spacious center hall lobby that runs the depth of the building. Ticket holder lines (when necessary) form along the railing that overlooks the escalators while in the other direction one will find twin concession stands on either side of the wall. At either end of the lobby are sets of cocktail tables and chairs and a large window wall looking out to either the East or West.

From the center of the lobby, a hallway runs off in either direction with 6 auditoriums along each path. There is a supplemental concession stand in each hall (opened only during peak times) as well as mulitple restrooms. Most of the auditoriums are spacious (I’m guessing in the 450-500 seat range) with very large wall to wall and slightly curved screens and high cielings. All the rooms are stadium style with lots of leg-room and comfortable high-back rocking chairs. No padding on the arm rest is a minor complaint. The 4 smaller auditoriums (probably half the size of the others) are the ones that are closest to the lobby… they are theaters 1, 6, 7 and 12. These are my least favorite rooms and the ones I try to avoid if it can be helped. I would put the total combined seating capacity at around 3600.

Also important to note is that I have found management here to be very responsive to complaints regarding presentation or climate-control issues within the auditorium.

P.S. One can see the roof of the old RKO Keith’s from the parking lot (the Toys ‘R’ Us side) as well as from the east-facing lobby windows.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 16, 2006 at 6:32 am

Thanks Lost… Guess I got confused as to the location of a couple of those smaller theaters. Theaters 4 and 9 are at the far end of their respective halls and not near center lobby (as 1 and 12 are). In any event, those 195-seat rooms are definitely on the small side – particularly in comparison with the other auditoriums. However, because of the great spacing between each row and the comfortably wide seats, I’d have to say that these seating figures make each room seem much smaller than it actually is.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 16, 2006 at 6:54 am

Ha… OK, Lost! I’ll try not to be too conspicuous.

Pay no attention to the man in the corner with the pencil and scratch pad!

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on December 1, 2006 at 2:50 pm

ask to see the usher schedule and they put the seats of each aduitorium. I know the other National Amusement theatres put the seat count in screen order

moviefan1234
moviefan1234 on July 3, 2007 at 12:37 pm

I like this theatre too. My only gripe is the ticket counter is usually poorly manned and the service is very slow. Normally I avoid the crowds by using the ticket kiosks but one machine was broken the last time I was there. I tried to report a malfunction to the clerks at the ticket counter but they seemed to have more than they could handle and ignored me.

thebrat
thebrat on December 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I think the description was a bit too critical. I grew up on this theater before we moved. When we used to live in Flushing, NY, this was the place to go. Good concessions, mostly good auditoriums, and I remember there was also a Ben & Jerry’s here.

I went to the College Point Multiplex Cinemas for the first time in 1999, around when it opened, I think. The earliest film I remember seeing there was “Toy Story 2”, and if I’m not mistaken it was also shown in the then-new Dolby Digital Surround EX system (matrixed rear center channel, essentially). I was only four years old, and even then I was dazzled by the beautiful dye-transfer 35mm print and spacious Dolby EX sound.

Ever since then, this theater played a big part of my childhood, be it kids films, event films, adult films (that some I walked out of), Pixar films, pretty much any film a child growing up in the early-noughts would want to go to.

If I’m not mistaken, this cinema was also THX-certified for a short period of time, around 2005, I believe. But during that time, they never played a THX trailer, and the quality paled in comparison to the Loews Auditorium at the Loews Lincoln Square 13 & IMAX (now AMC). Even without THX, this was a decent place that showed first-run films in 35mm Dolby Digital (and EX in some auditoriums). A casual moviegoer couldn’t ask for more.

In 2008, one of the auditoriums was converted to digital for the wave of 3D films coming. I am unsure about the equipment used in this auditorium, but it had RealD technology. I have tons of RealD glasses with the old RealD logo from this theatre (and I also think Regal Countryside 20) before they started to tell the audience to recycle their glasses. Ever since I moved in the fall of 2008, I never got to see that theater again, until two years later.

In the summer of 2010, while visiting New York, me and a couple of friends saw “Despicable Me” in 2D at the College Point. It was opening night, last showing, and the 35mm print that was used looked older than a week to me! I mean, if a print has been showing for a week and looks like that, that would be fine, but this was on opening night! Probably earlier showings on that day looked better, but that was when I realized that College Point Multiplex was degrading in their 35mm presentations. Possibly to make way for D-Cinema, I guess.

On the same visit, I saw “Toy Story 3” in 2D with my dad one afternoon. As for the print, it seemed to have degraded, but worse since this film was a month old. I think during the last 20 minutes, the Dolby Digital track dropped out and it went to the backup Dolby SR track, that’s how bad the projectionists ruined it. Nonetheless, this was the last film I ever saw at the College Point Multiplex, and a very fitting one since it symbolizes the end of childhood, and my childhood with the College Point Multiplex, once a fine place for exhibition, has ended. Even more so fitting when the previous film in the series was the first film I saw there.

In 2011, looking back at it now seeing how it is, I learned that the entire theater has been converted to digital, with Sony 4K projectors. This isn’t a bad thing, unless they don’t do it right. This made me worry about a special National Amusements feature presentation trailer that has been so dear to my heart every time I visited the theater. I highly doubt that trailer will ever be converted to DCP, as it has been used as early as 2000-2001 I think, and the College Point played it in front of all their 35mm shows since then, even “Toy Story 3.” If I can describe it, it began with a light at a center, and little peepholes of light appeared one by one, each one appeared faster like a crescendo. All the light coming out of the peepholes formed the big N logo of National Amusements, and a byline reading this appears:

NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS
F E A T U R E P R E S E N T A T I O N

The soundtrack of the bumper was pretty cool. It demonstrated the power of a sound system in those shoebox multiplex auditoriums.

I’ve got the word from one of my NY friends that they still play this trailer in 2011, but only on film presentations. He also says that the digital auditoriums sounded worse than the film ones, which should have been the opposite. It’s kind of sad.

The College Point Multiplex lost its original splendor and now it’s just “another multiplex that enjoys to eat the patron’s hard-earned money and give them either the poison of scratched-up 35mm prints, or poorly-EQ’d uncompressed PCM audio that sounds compressed.”

R.I.P. College Point Multiplex 1999 – 2010

Your soul is dead, but Satan eats your caresses.

thebrat
thebrat on October 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Went to this theatre to see Hotel Transylvania in auditorium #4. The presentation was in RealD 3D and Sony 4K. They played a Sony Digital Cinema 4K snipe before the film, something I haven’t seen in a theatre before. This multiplex, or at least the auditorium I went in, was poorly EQ’d. Too irrative and loud, trailers before the film were too loud.

The Feature Presentation trailer I’ve mentioned earlier was replaced by a generic trailer that no longer bears the National Amusements name, but is immortalized albeit Showcase Cinemas.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater