RKO National Twin
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The National Theatre opened on December 12, 1972 with the World Premiere of Gene Hackman in “The Poseidon Adventure”, presented in 70mm. It was the first theatre built in Times Square in over thirty years. The theatre originally housed 1,445 seats, with 932 on the main level and 513 seats in the loge and mezzanine. Its marquee was one of the largest in New York City. It was first operated by National General Theatres, followed by Mann Theatre and then Cinema 5.
The National Theatre was twinned on March 19, 1982 opening with Dan Monahan in “Porky’s” & Natja Brunckhorst in “Christiane F.”. Two distinct auditoriums seating 968 & 513 were created. Screen sizes were 20ft x 40ft & 17ft x 40ft. After several changes in operators, the RKO National Twin finally closed on January 22, 1998 with Tim Allen in “For Richer or Poorer” and Alex D. Linz in “Home Alone 3” as the final movies.
As part of the Disneyesque revitalization of 42nd Street and Times Square, the theatre was gutted and became the new street view studios of ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ program.
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