City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 3rd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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HowardBHaas on November 16, 2017 at 4:15 am

“Justice League” in 70mm here this weekend.

markp on July 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm

I do a pretty good job of projecting 70MM at the Regal E Walk up in Times Square.

xbs2034 on July 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm

I saw Dunkirk in 70mm here today, probably near a sell out (I booked tickets about an hour and a half prior to showtime, and had to go to the third row to get two seats together).

I think their Kong: Skull Island presentation felt more special with a bit of showmanship (that had no trailers but instead a mini overture with the masking opening up at the Warner Bros logo, here there were two digital trailers, then a slight delay as they switched to film and expanded the masking to 2.20 for the Blade Runner and Justice League trailers on 70mm), and I also felt Kong maybe looked a slight bit more visually impressive in 70mm. But this is a place which can do 70mm right, and for placing the audience in the shoes of the characters and creating some tension filled set pieces, Dunkirk is pretty masterful.

HowardBHaas on July 4, 2017 at 7:16 pm

bigjoe, heard it thru the grapevine! Everybody who has witnessed AMC in any region knows that.

bigjoe59 on July 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm


I thank all my fellow posters for the info posted recently about this theater.

also to Howard B.. I heard thru the grapevine that the main reason AMC closed the Loews Tower East is that they had no desire to operate a single screen movie theater. the only 1st run single screen movie theater left in Manhattan is the Paris.

dave-bronx™ on July 4, 2017 at 9:31 am

Mikeoaklandpark: Because Reading International is basically a real estate development company masquerading as a theatre operator. The shareholders have been pushing for redevelopment for years, to increase shareholder value. The late Mr. Cotter (the head honcho at Reading, who started City Cinemas) and his successors were resisting this, but according to news sources a certain high-profile shareholder was threatening legal action for neglect of fiduciary responsibility or some such nonsense.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 4, 2017 at 8:44 am

Street level retail is worth more in rent than any cinema at this location. That is why the profitable Baronet/Coronet closed. Cineplex Odeon was offered more for that property than twenty years of theatre operation profits would have generated.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am

Why would City Cinemas want to redevelop this property if it’s profitable.

HowardBHaas on July 4, 2017 at 6:34 am

Wonder Women is still playing in 70mm here, I believe in its 6th week. That’s not a comment on the long term future of the theater, but merely stating that as 70mm screenings are rare, it maybe worthwhile. The film was filmed entirely in 35mm, so this is an example of “blowup” to 70mm.

moviebuff82 on July 4, 2017 at 5:33 am

What a shame….

dave-bronx™ on July 3, 2017 at 11:03 pm

The theatre was built and paid for by Rugoff but it was sitting on rented land, a situation that continued for decades.

In the last several years the owner of the land under the Cinemas passed, and his estate sold the land to City Cinemas. Now that they own the whole thing outright they are looking at redevelopment.

HowardBHaas on July 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

The Loews 72nd St East was originally & best known as the Loew’s Tower East.

moviebuff82 on July 2, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Don’t forget the Loews 72nd street east or whatever it was called.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

I think it makes a tough situation tougher and if the landlord wants them out, they will buy them out. That is how profitable theatres like the Cinerama Twin (RKO), Beekman, National and Art Greenwich went away.

bigjoe59 on July 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm


to Al A. many thanks for you reply. indeed the exhibition business since the 62 St. & 1st Ave. first opened. the Cinema 1 was for years one of the leading “art houses” in the city. case in point. the World Premiere engagement of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar winning Cries and Whispers was held at the Cinema 1 not in his native Sweden.

I am a native New Yorker and lifelong moviegoer and believe the Cinema ½/3 can weather any potential competition from the revamped 62 St.& 1st Ave. if it returned to its roots so to speak. what do you say?

John Fink
John Fink on June 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Re: masking – I can vouch for Cinema #1 – they even had proper masking for a press screening of Hateful Eight in all of its ultra-wide scope glory.

As for new builds – Alamo and iPic have masking, along with Metrograph. Alamo Brooklyn will also be getting 70MM for Dunkirk according to a Facebook post today – hopefully they’ll also bring in some repertory 70MM at some point too.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 29, 2017 at 3:26 pm

bigjoe, the industry has changed a lot since then. Back then there were ten or twelve hits out at once for several months. The studios preferred long runs on third avenue and offered incentives for those long runs. Nowaways there are one or two hit for a few weeks and the studios want as many seats as possible for the first two weekends. If you don’t have the big hit of the weekend, your house is empty. Imagine what would show at Cinema 1,2,3 if “WONDER WOMAN”, “TRANSFORMERS” and “CARS 3” were showing elsewhere. This location could become mostly an art house once again or it could be further split for more screens, but as I stated before, the economics are tough and the landlord would probably not approve if they are looking to develop the property.

bigjoe59 on June 29, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Hello Again-

to Al. A.. many thanks for your reply. now when the 62 St. & 1st Ave. opened it was not only a state of the art facility but offered the studios multiple screens for a BIG film. to which it didn’t save the theater than why would it now?

being an avid moviegoer I would say the fact that the 62St.& 1st Ave. is all the way over on 1st Ave. is a much bigger problem to overcome than any competition the revamped 62 St. & 1st Ave. might possibly give the Cinema ½/3.

moviebuff82 on June 28, 2017 at 11:41 am

This theater is 55 years old.

Mikeoaklandpark on June 28, 2017 at 11:36 am

I agree Howard. Regal here also did away with using masking in the smaller theaters where the masking would be vertical. The large theaters that are wall to wall screens still use the horizontal masking. Epic Theaters a smaller chain was using masking a few years back even though the day I saw My Fair Lady they used the masking for the scope previews but not for MFL that was in 2.20. The RPX screen here at Regal annoys the hell out of me. I have seen two films in it Sully and Beauty And The Beast And both were presented in 2.35 ratio on the RPX screen I did hear Wonder Women was shown on the full RPX screemn

xbs2034 on June 28, 2017 at 6:37 am

I’ve seen Cinema 1 use proper masking for scope, flat, and even 2.20, and pretty sure the other screens have masking also. FWIW, AMC and Regal in Manhattan mostly use masking between flat and scope at least.

The most notable exception I’ve found is that AMC Kips Bay has abandoned masking, and its IMAX screen (which never had masking but played Riddick for example in pillarboxed 1.9) has just decided to use constant scope and always fill the screen. Which works great for most films that play there (may even be beneficial for the new Transformers where the constant AR switches even between shots in dialogue conversations has been criticized) but certainly leads to awkward framing in some films like Inferno and Secret Life of Pets.

HowardBHaas on June 28, 2017 at 4:43 am

AMC & Regal multiplex remodels abandon “masking” so for example, if the screen is set for “flat” films (1.85 aspect ratio) “scope” films (2.39 aspect ratio) are “letterboxed” like scope films are when presented correctly on your HD flat screen TVs. I find this lack of masking to be distracting, and do not wish to patronize those theaters. Does the City Cinema 1,2,3, use proper masking?

John Fink
John Fink on June 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm

I believe Reading owns the building and land – they have options on the table with a partner but it doesn’t appear as if they have tenants or actual plans for what a new build on the site would look like and include – just feasibility studies. I don’t think any plans have been presented to the city or community board so I’m going to guess Cinema 1,2,3 is safe for another year or two (they’ve been talking redevelopment for a while with no definite plan in sight). From the photos on Yelp it does appear it was in rough shape prior to the recliner reseat – it didn’t get a huge overhaul other than new paint, carpets, flat screen movie-posters both inside and out, and the new tiers in Cinema #1’s balcony. I don’t get here nearly enough but it’s a much nicer experience than AMC – clean, good presentation, good snacks – actually in that regard its the complete opposite of AMC Amazing.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 27, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Yes, as it is currently offering Wonder Woman on two screens, and in 70mm no less…!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Yes, the location is still a problem, but it an also offer blockbusters multiple screens and showtimes. That is how the Ziegfeld lost out to the 42nd street locations.