Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas

260 W. 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011

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New Bow Tie auditorium

On the site where Cavanagh’s Irish Steak and Ale House stood from 1876 ‘til 1971 (followed by after-hours club Galaxy 21 in the mid-1970’s and storefront performance space the Squat Theatre in the late-1970’s and early-1980’s), Cineplex Odeon unveiled Manhattan’s then-largest multiplex on July 14, 1989.

On that date, the theater’s first six auditoriums featured “Do the Right Thing”, “Weekend at Bernie’s”, and, with one print being shown in 70mm, “Lethal Weapon 2”. The final three auditoriums of the $15 million facility opened later in the year.

Management of the facility was assumed by Clearview Cinemas in late-Autumn of 1998 during the divestiture of 13 Cineplex Odeon houses throughout Manhattan resulting from a consent decree deal struck between merging Loews Theatres and Cineplex Odeon to satisfy the state’s Attorney General and the Department of Justice. In June 2013, Bow-Tie Cinemas took over. In late-2014 the theatre was being remodeled, with all-new extra wide rocking chairs with extra legroom, and reserved seating. In July 2016 it was taken over by Cinepolis.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 79 comments)

theatrefan
theatrefan on July 7, 2016 at 4:44 am

Bow Tie seemed to be fully committed to this location as witnessed by the extensive renovations they had carried out. I wonder what changed their mind? I guess the “price was right” it’s also interesting to note that four of the five locations acquired by Cinepolis were former Clearview Cinemas. This now gives Cinepolis the entry point into the lucrative Northeastern marketplace. I wonder if they will try their Luxury Cinema Dining & Alcoholic Beverage/Bar concept at the Chelsea? Only time will tell.

optimist008
optimist008 on July 7, 2016 at 9:56 am

John Fink, please message me via : , also, thought that clearances have only been ended by a few studios. Glad to see Cinepolis coming to town and they are also opening in Stratford, CT.

fred1
fred1 on July 7, 2016 at 11:08 am

You are right Optimist but it is only in the planning stage Here is the article: http://www.ctpost.com/business/article/Showcase-Cinemas-gets-permission-to-sell-alcohol-8341898.php

mhvbear
mhvbear on July 7, 2016 at 11:24 am

Not likely to happen at the Chelsea. NYC is an extremely difficult city to get a liquor licence unless they can buy an existing permit.

John Fink
John Fink on July 7, 2016 at 2:33 pm

The theater served a limited beer and wine selection during Tribeca this year (only on the top floors – not in the main lobby). As for the clearance issue – everyone except Warners and Sony are licensing to whomever wants to show their films first run (The new X-Men oddly ended up screening in at the Regal, AMC, City Cinemas, and Cinema Village (!) down in the Union Square area).

xbs2034
xbs2034 on July 7, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Went here tonight, and it’s clearly in a transition period. The Bowtie signage outside was gone, with just a simple Cinepolis banner in its place, and the Cinepolis logo was used before the movie, but the ticket and seats still bore the Bowtie logo. Concessions seemed no different than under Bowtie, but that may be updated in the future.

Overall, never been really impressed with this theater, not a convenient location for me, screens on the smaller size, and masking either not used or properly set up, though the theater is notable to me as being the first in NY with digital projection when it played An Ideal Husband in Summer 1999.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Hello-

i saw Me Before You here a few weeks ago. i’m assuming the deal was already in the works at the time. the question i have is simple- with all the $$$ Bow Tie put into renovating the theater and updating the projection and sound in the auditoriums why would they sell?

xbs2034
xbs2034 on July 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm

The two obvious reasons BowTie would sell are either the theater wasn’t doing the business they were hoping for (someone who came to this theater more often than me could probably say if the renovations led to a big increase in attendance), or Cinepolis' offer was too attractive to pass up.

It could be Cinepolis was interested in trying to get into the Manhattan market (plenty of exhibitors are) and probably easier to make a deal with BowTie than a mega chain like Regal or AMC.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on June 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Cineaplis had started the fourth renovation of this theatre. Now getting new recliners. Level 2 is now complete, now their working on Level 3.

This is the only theatre in its 28 year history to go thru 4 renovations. Clearview Cinemas in the late around 1999, Bow Tie Cinemas in 2014 and now Cineapolis in 2018. I posted a couple of photos of the new redesigned theatres.

John Fink
John Fink on June 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm

I was here for Tribeca FF – nice new recliners but they don’t recline all that far back, ultimately they didn’t loose much. The two smaller houses on Floor 2 had two back rows of stadium seating and the rest were just tiered. They also gave the auditoriums new acoustic treatments, carpeting and it appears they lowed the screens to a more comfortable height (Bow Tie had them up very high – about 10ft off the ground) and added masking.

I wish Cinepolis would get around to remodeling Parsippany – the quality of the experience has gone downhill since they acquired that theatre (they claimed they were going to renovate it into a dine-in theatre in 2018…. they’ve barely fixed the broken seats and exit lights falling off the wall).

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