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.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 52 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

thebrat, can you tell us what Dolby EGYPT and Dolby RAIN mean? Are these Dolby promo ads we should have noticed/remembered?

thebrat
thebrat on August 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

The Dolby Digital “Egypt” and “Rain” trailers are indeed promos that advertise Dolby Digital in an auditorium. Even though most theaters (if not all) have Dolby Digital installed, it depends if the theater decides to play a trailer before the film. Having a Dolby promo before a film may be a tradition at some theaters, or some chains, but all the other Dolby Digital equipped theaters I’ve been to don’t play a trailer advertising the system. You can easily search for the Egypt and Rain trailers on YouTube, as they are common in home theater circles.

LuisV
LuisV on February 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

A few years back, the Chelsea Cinemas were sold and rumors were rampant that the multiplex would be razed for an apartment tower or hotel. Well, the Chelsea Cinemas have been flipped again. This time for $35MM. Rumors are flying once again. This theater was the last multiplex built in Manhattan before stadium seating. Though I’m sure it does well, it will now be expected to do even better to justify the new sales price. My guess is that this theater’s days are numbered.

mhvbear
mhvbear on February 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I certainly hope the Chelsea is with us for a while. This is my theater of choice being that it is my “neighborhood” theater. I avoid the theaters on 42nd Street and the 34 St AMC. They attract the bridge and tunnel crowd. The Lincoln Square and the Union Square theaters are always way too crowded. The Chelsea is a comfortable place to see a film and the cliental tend to treat attending a movie here seriously. No talking, no use of cell phones.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Who was this sold to?

LuisV
LuisV on February 2, 2012 at 6:28 am

The theater was sold to a Great Neck, L.I.-based developer: The Parkoff Organization. Here’s a quote from the article: A spokesperson for Clearview indicated that their lease will continue under the new landlord and suggested the theater would not be closing any time soon, but did not specify the terms of the theater’s lease.

CConnolly1
CConnolly1 on February 6, 2012 at 4:40 am

Saw “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” here Saturday night (Feb. 4, 2012). The theater is decently maintained. The theater we saw the movie in was #9. Ok size but the projection was excellent and the usher played “host” for the audience announcing the film’s director and his credits (nice touch) and asking that no one use a cellphone or other devices (nice touch to do this personally rather than through a screen presentation request). I have a trouble with these “stacked” theaters in the city, though. I know that it is likely the only way to handle this but the schlep up all those elevators is an odd experience and it felt “lonely” at first because the floors were so under populated (but the theater was packed). Compare this to a place out in the ‘burbs like Paramus’ theater and the experience is completely different. Lastly, I have to agree with some of folks posting for this theater that I was mightily impressed by the behavior of the audience. Not a single cell phone out during the movie, no one talking. Nice.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 16, 2013 at 5:19 am

Article in perez hilton about an incident at this theater. ..google perez hilton chelsea bow tie.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 16, 2013 at 6:05 am

This incident did not take place at the theatre. It happened on the street a block away after the couple left the theatre.

mhvbear
mhvbear on March 18, 2014 at 6:11 am

Chelsea Cinemas are getting a makeover. New signs posted at the theater when I attended this weekend. I posted a photo. New seats, new inside box-office, a complete makeover. reserved seats. The theater has been needing this for a while.

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