City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 3rd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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xbs2034 on June 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm

The only update I can see as for a possible timetable for a closing is in the 2016 financial reports from Reading International (the parent company) published in March 2017.

They mention redevelopment of the Cinemas 1,2,3 property (along with a few other properties) as part of their “Three Year Business Strategy”, though no target date for when in those three years the redevelopment will be completed or specific details about closing the theater.

bigjoe59 on June 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm


I read the post you stated. I was surprised by your rather recent post since I hadn’t read anything anywhere. articles about the Ziegfeld’s closing were found everywhere. why not this theater.

also you apparently didn’t my sarcastic comment about trendy hipsters. all these much loved movie theaters get razed just to build a retail shop of some sort for trendy hipsters. so it can apply to this theater as well. do we really need another such retail space.

HowardBHaas on June 5, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Go back to Nov 30, 2016 post to read re eventual loss of this theater. Nobody has posted yet any timetable or closing date. Often people do post in this site as to NYC theater closures before they happen which is helpful so people can visit a last time as I did with the Ziegfeld, Astor Plaza, Beekman, and Tower East, among my favorites. As to the Sunshine, please post on that theater’s page.

bigjoe59 on June 5, 2017 at 11:45 am


the eminent closing of the Ziegfeld was reported yearsssssssssssssssssss before it actually happened. so what was said about this theater?

also do we really need another upscale boutique for trendy hipsters? that’s the reason we’re losing the Sunshine?

HowardBHaas on June 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Since corporate report last year from its owner mentioned redevelopment of this site. That’s going to happen- like it did with the nearby Coronet & Baronet.

bigjoe59 on June 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm


since when is the Cinema ½/3 in danger of closing?

xbs2034 on June 2, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Also, as expected, this theater is scheduled to get Dunkirk in 70mm and has a listing for that on their website. I kinda figured the recent 70mm releases from WB were about keeping that format alive and finding use for the projectors before the release of Dunkirk.

What I hope is that they or other studios (Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express seems like an obvious choice as it was shot on 65mm film) will keep it up after Dunkirk. A lot depends on box office no doubt, but after the Ziegfeld’s closing, seems as if this is the go to theater for first run 70mm in NYC (and indeed this could possibly be in danger of closing as well).

xbs2034 on June 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I can confirm from just the last couple years that Cinema 1 has masking and can adjust at least between 1.85, 2.20, and 2.35 (I believe it can even be properly set up for 2.76 as Hateful Eight did NYC press screenings here, though it didn’t play commercially).

I believe it is natively a scope screen, and with Kong: Skull Island they had the pre-show in 1.85, before a short overture, and opening the masking up to the 2.20 70mm feature as the overture ended; though with the 2.00 title Cafe Society it was presented from a 1.85 DCP with just a tiny bit of letterboxing.

Mikeoaklandpark on June 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

The first time I went there the theater had masking. It was the late 70’s. I saw a foreign film called Cat and Mouse. When I went back to see Prince Of The City it had just the typical single strip for masking that Rugoff theaters used.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 1, 2017 at 7:22 pm

“…the large auditorium of the City Cinemas 1,2,3, is a historic, showplace…”

I know where you are coming from HowardBHaas, but isn’t it ironic that this screen was once considered by Variety as ‘an intimate art house sure-seater’.

HowardBHaas on June 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

The AFI Silver aud # 1 is more than 40 feet wide for ‘scope so it a nice size. I haven’t seen a movie in awhile here but my impression from last time at the large auditorium at City Cinemas 1,2,3, was screen was very large, maybe 50 feet wide for a 'scope film. Also, there are 70mm “flat” (1.85 dimension) films. Now, though it is true Wonder Woman was not actually filmed with 65mm cameras…..the large auditorium of the City Cinemas 1,2,3, is a historic, showplace and people ought to be happy it survives for the moment, since the last word was that the site is going to be redeveloped at some point

xbs2034 on June 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I think a lot of people associate 70mm with IMAX where the screens were typically 80 feet wide or more, but they aren’t directly related (there is a 70mm IMAX format, but it’s different from regular 70mm film).

Yeah, ideally you would see a 70mm presentation on a bigger screen, but that isn’t always the case (for instance I saw Hateful Eight 70mm on a pretty small screen). At least Cinema 1 is the largest screen in this theater and bigger than an average multiplex screen, plus it has proper masking set up for 2.20 70mm ratio.

I’d also note Wonder Woman wasn’t shot in 70mm but rather 35mm, so the print is a blow up (similarly Kong and Fantastic Beasts also played here recently as blow ups from digitally shot movies), though you should still get better quality than other formats except perhaps IMAX.

Mikeoaklandpark on June 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm

bigjoe 59 I agree if you look at the screen at the AFI In Silver Springs MD they show films in 70 MM and it is also a small screen. Several movies I saw in the 70’s and 80’s were 70MM but were actually shown like a film that was in 1.85 with the masking closed.

dave-bronx™ on June 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

70mm refers to the size of the film in the projector, not the image on the screen. If the film was shot in 70 (actually 65mm) the image on the screen from a 70mm print is sharper, higher resolution than a standard 35mm image. It’s sort of like the difference between a regular DVD and Blu-Ray. A 70mm print also has a better soundtrack.

bigjoe59 on June 1, 2017 at 12:52 pm


while I have been a big fan of the Cinema ½/3 for
most of my moviegoing life I don’t see how the
Cinema 1 can show a film in 70MM. the screen isn’t that

moviebuff82 on May 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

Wonder woman is being played at this venue in 70mm according to Fandango.

Jeffrey1955 on March 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I didn’t even know there were still prints. Thought everything was digital now.

xbs2034 on March 11, 2017 at 11:50 am

This theater is one of seven in the U.S. and maybe just eight worldwide playing a 70mm print of Kong: Skull Island. And they did a great job with it, print was in a good shape, color and image quality was gorgeous, the sound was great, and they put some showmanship into it with a mini overture before the movie and the masking expanding wide at the end of the overture for the film.

Though the first showing I went to was just a third full, so if anyone else likes the 70mm format I would suggest seeing it (getting a print of a new release projected by people capable of running film is rare nowadays, and studios aren’t going to continuing supporting it with the added costs involved unless audiences go) and the film itself was also far more enjoyable than I was expecting.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm

“ROCKY” didn’t play the Embassy until February when it was a move-over from the LOEWS STATE where it opened on December 10 along with the 86thST. EAST and MURRAY HILL and other theatres outside Manhattan. The Cinema II run was exclusive from November 21 to December 9.

SethLewis on February 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Rocky opened as an exclusive at the Cinema II Thanksgiving weekend and went wider before Xmas I saw it there and the then Columbia I&II…and at a theatre in the Philly suburbs

Mikeoaklandpark on February 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Me I saw it there opening week. I lived in NYC from 76-83.

Coate on February 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

Mikeoaklandpark: And your source of this is…?

Mikeoaklandpark on February 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Coate, it also played at the Embassy on Broadway at the same time

Coate on February 1, 2017 at 9:19 am

I’d like to pass along the link to a recent retrospective article on the original “Rocky” movie which many of you may recall opened exclusively here. Sorry, I meant to post link a while ago when it first published. Anyway, this and many other cinemas are cited in the article along with details on longest run, box-office data, and a historian Q&A.

A Million to One: Remembering “Rocky” On Its 40th Anniversary

nyindieguy on December 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm

dave-bronx, You seem very knowledgeable about this theater, and from what you’ve written, it seems that you worked there at some point. I’m wondering if there’s a way to contact you off-line for some research I’m doing. Thanks, and I hope this is not considered a breach in community guidelines.