City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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JABilmes
JABilmes on December 4, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I saw the 70mm presentation of Fantastic Beasts in its 2nd weekend; this one of only a handful of theatres in US to show in that format. Print was still in good shape, and seeing on film definitely warmer than in digital. On the other hand, seeing a film print of Die Hard at Moving Image the same weekend with its wear and tear at the changeovers especially was a good reminder that film has its drawbacks.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 21, 2016 at 10:44 am

I think the Trans-Lux Newsreel was the first purpose built twin in the city, if you don’t count roof garden cinemas.

optimist008
optimist008 on November 21, 2016 at 10:31 am

Al,

Thank you for posting the above. Boxoffice magazine had gotten it all wrong, or maybe I DID…this was probably the first twin in the NYC tri state area….and maybe all of NY State???

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 21, 2016 at 9:51 am

First? Here is a reliable source to dispute that

optimist008
optimist008 on November 21, 2016 at 8:47 am

Yes, this was the very first new twin theatre in America when owned by the Rogoff chain. And the mass media still wrongly states that AMC built the first twin theater. General Cinema was doing it also back then.

Coate
Coate on November 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

“Rocky” opened here (Cinema II) 40 years ago today. Opening day (a Sunday) earned a reported house record of $5,488.

SethLewis
SethLewis on November 21, 2016 at 7:16 am

A lot of this is happening in London with commitments to build theatres in the lower ground floors…I would imagine that NYC will start to see this a la Loews NY 1&2 (now Beekmans) So the commitment to redevelopment would likely include theatres

NYer
NYer on November 21, 2016 at 2:58 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.”

The Architects were Abraham W. Geller & Ben Schlanger with Consulting Architect John T. Briggs. They might have been twins but the management treated them as two independent theaters with separate entrances, marquees, lounges and lobbies.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on November 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Reading International’s 3rd quarter 2016 results, posted on their website 11/10/16 states, in part:

“…We also completed a refinancing on our Cinemas 1,2,3 property in Manhattan to refinance current indebtedness (including paying of a $3.0 million loan to Reading International) and to provide approximately $2.0 million in working capital to fund pre-development work. Our discussions with the owners of the neighboring 2,600 square foot property at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 60th Street are ongoing, focusing on the redevelopment of the combined property (121,000 square feet of FAR and 140,000 square feet of gross buildable area) as an entertainment and hotel property…”

So, the 54-year old Cinema I Cinema II (the original name) days are officially numbered.

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

Check this one out: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/13922

dave-bronx™
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 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.

mhvbear
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.

optimist008
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.

dave-bronx™
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.

dave-bronx™
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.

markp
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

xbs2034
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
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.

John Fink
John Fink on December 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Cinema 1 (still?) has 70MM installed – caught a flawless press screening of Hateful Eight today. Not sure if the theatre will get a regular engagement of the film but the experience of Ultra Panavision was great and the theater had proper masking to accommodate the extreme wide screen. Nice place – with some art work still in the lobby – Cinema 1 had a very General Cinema 70s vibe (reminded me of a Eastern Hills Mall outside of Buffalo – minus the picture window screen)

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Hello-

I have been going to the Cinema I for more years than I care to admit. it is my personal opinion that the rather high price for the reserved seating is a further rip off of moviegoers. the Chelsea Multiplex on 8th Ave. and 23rd St. has reserved seating and the same seats as this theater yet they don’t charge more for the reserved seating. further proof the HIGH price at this theater is a big rip off.

theatrefan
theatrefan on July 21, 2015 at 5:15 am

When they install the new reclining seats it does reduce seating capacity of each auditorium, so they must have to make up the difference somehow.

SethLewis
SethLewis on July 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm

For anyone complaining about movie ticket prices…try London £18 or the equivalent of $24 in the West End…the upside is that we can transfer our supermarket loyalty points into cinema tickets to ease the pain…Membership schemes also help

alps
alps on July 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm

This is the first time I visited Cinema 1, 2, 3, since it got the new seating. I won’t balk about the price since I only attend this theater once a year, only to see Woody Allen’s new releases. The new seats are awesome as is the Coca Cola freestyle fountain. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The price of movies have gone up to ridicules amounts across the board, to see Irrational Man it cost $18.50 for a reserved ticket, $13.07 for popcorn and a soda, this is a lot for the experience. I live in South Jersey, outside of Philadelphia, when I see Irrational Man again, I see all new Woody Allen releases twice, I will pay, $5.75 for the ticket and $9.50 for popcorn and soda, see the difference? This is why movie theaters will continue to struggle, and streaming will be the norm. Woody Allen has an aging audience, I am 57, been into the Woodman since the 70’s, I believe I was the youngest person there.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on February 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Hello-

the new admission price of $17 is a total rip off. i don’t see what reserved seating accomplishes other than more $$$ for the theater. its not like the old days of 2 performance a day roadshow movies.