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 50 comments)

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

Who was this sold to?

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 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 on August 16, 2013 at 5:19 am

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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 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.

DavidMorgan on June 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

Lower tier. Attended a matinee of “Godzilla” today. 15 minutes after the scheduled 10:00am start time the movie still hadn’t begun – just a Bow Tie slide on screen with music. I tracked down one of the janitors upstairs to let them know, and a couple of minutes later the movie started (thankfully they skipped the trailers). Picture OK, sound adequate but not what I’d anticipated. But then a couple minutes before the film’s presumed ending, the picture and sound just stopped, as if the DCP had gone offline. With no one else around, I told the manager downstairs, who seemed surprised (“Shut down?”). Even if they were to show the director’s cut of “Greed,” I will never go back here.

mhvbear on December 12, 2014 at 6:37 am

Has anyone been to the Chelsea since the remodel. Still only 6 screens open. They must be working on the Screens 1 – 3 now. Reserved seating takes effect today. Hope to check it out soon. It was the theater I went to most when I was living a few blocks away.

ridethectrain on February 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm

All screens are open, now reserved seating. Still doing final touches on the exterior. Main refreshment stand open. My only problem is they moved the screen higher so only the last row in the handicap is good unless you don’t mind looking up. Bow Tie shoud of not raised the screens. Also, people don’t sit in their assign seats as I noticed during matinees. I look at what seats are sold and people not sitting were their supose to sit. It’s going to be a problem when shows are sold out.

bigjoe59 on February 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm


to put it simply i can’t stand reserved seating. i don’t see what it accomplishes. its not like the old days of 2 shows a day roadshow movies.

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