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 589 comments)

xbs2034 on April 12, 2017 at 10:19 pm

The IMAX here has reopened. They are currently mixing in showings of Beauty and the Beast during the day, with the critic’s screenings of Fate of the Furious for NYC being done here in the evening, and then move fully over to featuring Fate of the Furious this weekend.

Does look like the seating has been updated based on Fandango’s charts, not sure how extensive the renovations were overall (I’d guess interior design and sound system overhaul, though probably not IMAX laser in a smaller location yet).

poland626 on April 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm


Seems like just Furious is playing in imax now. Has anyone been here yet since its reopened? I don’t think I can spend $23 for a imax showing when lincoln’s got real laser a few blocks up for just $2 more. Plus the bigger screen. If they’ve figured out laser for small imax’s, that would be fantastic but if it’s just new seats, meh.

moviebuff82 on April 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm

They should renovate every non laser imax with reclining seats and reserved seating as imax is the hottest ticket in all of premium cinema. Furious 8 is the widest imax release of all time even though the movie doesn’t fill up the screen, some trailers like transformers have imax footage in it.

CHH32 on May 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

I went here to see Alien IMAX, and I went here because this is the only IMAX theater in the city showing Alien and I want to check out the new auditorium.

The interior design(entrance with blue lights, leather seats and IMAX lightening logos) are exactly the same as the Lincoln Square IMAX, and I believe the 12 channels sound system is also installed. And that’s it…Still the old digital projector, the same small screen(roughly the same size as the regular/standard screens(1-12 if I remember correctly and 13 is the RPX) of Regal Ewalk across the street, and I believe it’s not even a standard 1.90:1 IMAX screen, more like a 2.10:1)

Anyway, I’m still happy it got renovated :) But the Dolby cinema here is a better option and cheaper, and the Lincoln Square IMAX is the best option IMO… But right, they may not show the movie you want, just like Alien…

xbs2034 on May 22, 2017 at 12:01 am

The size I’ve found online for the IMAX screen is 58 feet by 28 feet, which would mean a 2.07 aspect ratio. It probably was chosen to maximize screen size available in the auditorium, and it actually works better for scope films, but I’d already noticed 1.9 titles seemed slightly cropped here (the size isn’t available online from what I can tell, but I think Kips Bay IMAX is also wider than 1.9, and only Penn Station uses that ratio).

The RPX screen is listed as 60 feet wide, not sure of the height but believe it is slightly bigger than this IMAX overall, though pretty sure this IMAX is still larger than the Dolby Cinema and the standard screens in both Times Square theaters.

Glad to hear that the sound system was updated, as I really like that system and it closes the audio advantage of the Dolby Cinema with Atmos, though obviously Lincoln Square will remain the city’s premier IMAX location.

xbs2034 on May 26, 2017 at 6:21 am

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in IMAX here tonight, and can confirm they installed the new 12 channel sound system. In fact, if you look at the ceiling, you can see the additional speakers with the IMAX logo on them.

In this movie, the overheads were only really used in a few scenes, but was very impressed when they were utilized. And overall from tonight and IMAX laser screenings, I feel this new IMAX sound system can compete with any other sound format I’ve come across.

Also, as previously noted the seats/interior design were improved, and I think the sightlines were as well (in a film like Pirates which uses the full IMAX screen, I remember sometimes the very bottom of the picture would be blocked a bit by the head of someone from the first row before). With the knowledge and expectation that the projector and screen size weren’t changing, I was pretty impressed by the renovation otherwise.

moviebuff82 on May 30, 2017 at 1:06 am

They should install this system in all digital imaxes.

moviebuff82 on July 8, 2017 at 2:43 pm

This theater is jokingly referred to as “AMC Bedbug 25” on social media due to the ongoing bedbug problems at this venue.

moviebuff82 on July 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Dunkirk is being played in digital liemax as well as regular and dolby cinema.

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