City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Cinema 1, 2, 3 and Coronet 1 & 2 - 2001

Viewing: Photo | Street View

City Cinemas' Cinema 1, 2, and 3 was just two doors down from the now vanished baronet & Coronet and a block away from the Crown Gotham. Today, both of those other theaters are gone, while this venerable art house, which opened as a twin in 1962, soldiers on.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 198 comments)

markp on December 11, 2015 at 3:39 am

Glad you had a great time. Village East is getting it. I applied to be projectionist since they were looking for people with expierience, (39 years) and I had run 70MM in the 80’s and 90’s. I was told they hired kids from a vocational school. Lets watch that $15,000.00 print get trashed the first weekend.

xbs2034 on December 11, 2015 at 11:27 am

According to NY Post Film Editor Lou Lumenick’s twitter, the 70mm screenings of Hateful Eight at Cinema 1 were just for the press, and if won’t play there normally but rather at East 86th.

Given both are part of City Cinemas chain, I’d guess they’d be moving their 70 projector from Cinema 1 to East 86th for the H8 run, but not sure.

markp on December 11, 2015 at 12:13 pm

I was told, but could not confirm, that only 3 theatres in NYC getting it in 70. Lincoln Square, E Walk and Village East

dave-bronx™ on December 15, 2015 at 10:28 am

Cinema 1 had two Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 35/70mm machines from the pre-automation days when they were using 6000' reels. When the automation was installed in 1984 both machines were left in place and operable. The Christie 3-stack platter was installed with additional rollers so it was possible to use either machine which was convenient in case of a bulb failure or some other problem. If the show would stop and the problem couldn’t be fixed right away the projectionist could thread up on the other machine. An unscheduled intermission but we wouldn’t lose the whole show. I suspect when the DLP machine was added one of the V8s was disconnected and pushed aside, but left there in the booth. It’s a big room, as booths go, so it wouldn’t be in the way. Plus I’m sure nobody wanted to be involved in trying to get that beast down all the stairs to the street.

dave-bronx™ on June 20, 2016 at 10:14 am

According to Reading International 4th Quarter and Full Year 2015 results dated 5/2/16, they have received the consent of a partner to redevelop the Cinema 123 property. They are evaluating the potential to redevelop the property as a mixed use retail and residential and/or hotel property. They have also done a feasibility study and are in negotiations with the owner of the property on the corner of 3Ave/60St (at one time, possibly still occupied by Yellowfingers, Contrapunto, Arizona 206 and Chatfields restaurants), for the joint redevelopment of the two properties. They add that there are no assurances that they will be able to come to terms with the adjacent property owner.

optimist008 on June 21, 2016 at 5:44 am

Correct me if mistaken, but this might have been the very first twin cinema in America, yes, before AMC claims to have done so in Kansas City.

mhvbear on June 21, 2016 at 7:13 am

It is a shame this theater was butchering in the first place when the 3rd screen was added. It is a shame that the Upper East Side was the hot spot for films in the 60’s & 70’s and almost all the theaters in that area are gone. It seems now that NYC must be one of the most under screened areas in the US based on population. The majority of the theaters seem to be in the 34th Street and 42nd street areas that mostly serve the bridge and tunnel crowd.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 21, 2016 at 9:35 am

The area between 23th Street and 42nd street on the west side is the fastest growing housing area in the city.

And yes, this twin was open way before AMC made up their fake story, but twin theatres date back to the silent era.

dave-bronx™ on June 21, 2016 at 11:24 am

Someone long ago told me that this was the first commercially viable 2-screen theatre in the US. I believe it was Abe Geller, the architect, but I’m not sure.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Check this one out:

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