City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3

1001 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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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
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
Mikeoaklandpark on February 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm

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

Coate
Coate on February 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

Mikeoaklandpark: And your source of this is…?

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on February 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

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

Coate
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
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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 7, 2016 at 6:23 am

Not very well advertised to anyone not looking for it. I didn’t even know FANTASTIC BEASTS had any 70mm prints until the post above. In this era when major films don’t need to buy a newspaper ad, these things easy go unnoticed outside of the fanboy bubble.

xbs2034
xbs2034 on December 6, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Al Alvarez- it was well advertised that this theater was showing the film in 70mm (including such things as specially labeling the showings as 70mm on Fandango, format info on the weekly City Cinemas email, and the theater marquee advertising “Fantastic Beasts 70mm”).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 6, 2016 at 7:52 pm

How did you know that this theatre was showing it in 70mm?

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.