Chelsea Cinemas

260 West 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011

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June 15, 2011

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 61 comments)

theatrefan on September 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Was here last night for the classic movie “Dead Ringer” with Hedda Lettuce last night. As usual the ending of the movie was totally ruined by the automation system kicking in and causing the screen to go blank right before the movie ended and the Screenvision advertising to kick in,I swear this has happened the last 5 out of 6 times I have been here. It’s a real shame, because everything else about this theatre is usually top notch.

markp on September 26, 2015 at 7:11 am

theatrefan, its very easy fix. Whoever is doing the set up in the booth is just placing the cue in the wrong place. Happens when you have people who have no clue about showmanship. In a way Im glad Im out of the business. I was a very proud projectionist for 38 years. I always did my best to make the show look good, even in the days of automation.

theatrefan on September 28, 2015 at 11:08 am

markp, we need more projectionists like you that are still around, dedicated to making sure the picture, sound and total presentation quality is as perfect as it can be for the guests attending film showings.

markp on September 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

theatrefan, I appreciate the compliment. Believe me I wish I was still doing that job. Even at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank NJ where I am the house projectionist, I run all digital. And the house stagehands set it all up. Thankfully when Im on a headset the lighting guy listens to me and tries to make it look classy. And I never close the dowser till everything reads zero. The last 35MM I ran was in January, “Interstellar.” Felt real good.

theatrefan on September 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm

markp, your welcome! I think the director Chris Nolan insisted that Interstellar be issued on film, even though Paramount had said “Wolf of Wall Street” would be an all digital format title. At least some theatres here in NYC have 35mm capability for repertory showings and places like BAM & Alamo Drafthouse let you know if it’s a 35mm or DCP. Not sure what the Chelsea uses, but I did see them wheeling a player with a DVD of the film they were showing, they must also use a video scaler or such, since a 480i image projected would look pretty bad on a movie theatre screen.

markp on September 29, 2015 at 6:44 pm

theatrefan, thats exactly what happened in January. When they booked the film they asked if we have 35MM capabilities and when management said yes, we got it. Loved making those changeovers, especially after seeing it in 70MM at the Ziegfeld. We have the same set up for digital with the dvd player, scaler, etc. It is what it is.

theatrefan on September 30, 2015 at 6:14 am

markp, yes I got to see it at the Imax in Lincoln Square, the picture was nothing short of amazing. Besides the Ziegfeld & Lincoln Square the only other theatre in the city that had it in 70mm was the Cinema 1,2,3 on Third Avenue. I hope the people at the Loew’s Jersey get the 70mm set up and running one day, but they have more pressing matters to attend to. In the meantime I continue to seek out the special films I want to see in a theatre again, whether it’s a Traditional Film, DCP, DVD or Blu-Ray as long as you have an enjoyable experience and well done presentation by staff that cares it makes for a great time at the movies for the guests.

markp on September 30, 2015 at 9:31 am

theatrefan, Im with you on that.

robboehm on November 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

Facade looks far richer than when it was first built.

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