AMC Empire 25

234 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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AMC Empire 25

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Originally located at 240 W. 42nd Street. The Empire Theatre was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb and opened in 1912 as the Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre, named for Julian Eltinge, the top female impersonator of the American stage. The Eltinge Theatre became the setting for decades of legitimate theatre and burlesque and by the early-1930’s was known as the Eltinge Burlesque Theatre, featuring burlesque & ‘talkies’.

Converted into a movie theatre in 1942 first as the 800-seat Laffmovie, and later renamed the Empire Theatre, the theatre finally closed, seemingly for good, in the mid-1980’s.

Following the renaissance of W. 42nd Street, AMC decided to make the entire former Empire Theatre the lobby of its new new flagship 25-screen megaplex. Located just west of Times Square, this immaculate multi-level multiplex is a prime example of theatre renovation and reuse.

The lobby of this luxurious, five-level theatre has been built inside the shell of the old Empire Theatre. In order to build the massive multi-screen complex, the Empire Theatre was lifted up and moved down the street to its present location. Once that massive job was completed, a new 25-screen theatre was built around it and contained 4,916 seats. The multiplex was designed by the architecural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, and opened April 21, 2000.

The historic facade has been left largely intact, while a new marquee has been added. Just above the box office is a beautiful mural depicting Julian Eltinge, originally painted by a French artist, Arthur Brounet. The mural was restored by Harriet Irgang, the director of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation. Initially, the former balconies were reopened as the Times Square Cafe, but this have been closed for several years and the space is currently unused.

The megaplex shows first run mainstream and art films.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 634 comments)

moviebuff82 on October 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm

How about the imax does that have bed bugs?

truenorthstrongnfree on November 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

It was raining on our last night in NYC, and my wife and I didn’t want to spend it in our hotel room, so we braved the rain and headed to Times Square to catch a movie. We had reserved seats, so there was no rush. When we got to the AMC Empire 25, someone was in our seats. They said they had bought the same seats, but moved because the theatre was empty. A few minutes later, someone came in and told them they had purchased the seats they were sitting in, they gave the same excuse and moved. When it happened a third time, they up and left. Who is preventing people from paying to see one movie, then spending the rest of the day hopping from cinema to cinema? No security here.

During the film, the man next to me insisted on checking through his Facebook posts every ten minutes or so, and the people behind me kept having to update one another on the plot of the movie.

I honestly feel that the convenience of being able to stream virtually anything one wishes to watch has killed the respect people once had for the cinema.

moviebuff82 on November 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm

xbs2034 on November 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Not sure that really relates to this theater, as aside from the IMAX and Dolby Cinema (formats which never use masking), all the screens I’ve seen here use masking for at least flat and scope.

Aside from some technical issues for certain showings, the one AMC nearby I’m aware of that has abandoned masking is Kips Bay, which did so when they upgraded their seating to recliners (obviously you would prefer they use masking for all, but I can tolerate letterboxing, but when they use pillarboxing on their scope screens it definitely looks kinda ugly to me)

ridethectrain on November 8, 2017 at 10:34 pm

The Empire needs recliners in all auditoriums. Just at E-Walk see are more comfortable than the early 2000 AMC seats. If they playdate, E-Walk wins except Dolby Cinema or IMAX.

AMC hasn’t yet replace the seats since 2000.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm

ridethectrain, can you please try English. I have no idea what you are trying to say in your last four posts.

digital3d on November 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

He is saying that the Empire 25 should replace their old seats with new recliner seats. Which they should. E-Walk and Kips Bay and a bunch of other theaters have done so already.

Regarding lack of masking: It’s not just an AMC issue. I’ve had the same issue with Regal and local theaters. I’m not sure if there is any theater out there which always masks. AMC 84th Street seems to mask and they have recliner seats. But their admission is also more expensive and I’m not sure if they always mask.

Even fancy theaters like AMC Lincoln Square sometimes don’t mask. It’s an issue which theaters don’t seem to really care about but should. Pillarboxing can take you fully out of a movie.

I’d recommend checking out which auditorium a movie is playing in online and making sure that you catch a scope movie on a scope screen and a flat movie on a flat screen. If you’re not sure try their (AMCs) facebook messaging service as it’s been pretty responsive.

markp on November 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

I have a question. As an old time (41 years) projectionist, all I ever had to worry about was Flat (1.85) or Scope (2.25). What the heck is Pillarboxing? Must be a digital thing. Oh and btw, I hate these theatres with no masking.

PeterApruzzese on November 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Mark – “pillarboxing” is when they put a flat image inside the ‘scope digital container on a DCP. Or it can refer to a theatre that has a scope screen and shows a flat film without bringing in side masking. Basically, the reverse of “letterboxing”.

moviebuff82 on November 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Its similar to watching a letterbox movie in standard definition aspect ratio.

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