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 583 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 9, 2017 at 7:40 pm

The future? We did Virtual Reality headsets at the Cineplex Odeon Chelsea in 1991. No one gave a damn.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 9, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Everything old is new again.

theatrefan on March 11, 2017 at 6:55 am

If you’re going to be putting on a pair of goggles to give you virtual reality Imax, then what is the point of going to the cinema in the first place? People can just stay on the sofa at home and do it.

BenPaz on March 11, 2017 at 7:34 pm

basically it’s exclusive footage you don’t get anywhere else i guess? (like John Wick VR which sounds badass af tbh) Pretty weird idea, but I guess it would be profitable because people love vr and the headsets are like 1,000 dollars. It’s better to pay for a smaller price like 30-50 dollars than 1k. This won’t even take up theater space either so it should just be a IMAX side project.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Do I get to fling my overpriced chicken fingers at King Kong for this awesome “cinematic experience”? Will the future allow me to be ‘awed’ at seeing legos flinging towards Lego Batman? Do I care that the IMAX screen at the Empire is one eighth the size of the one at Lincoln Square, but at the same admission price?

theatrefan on March 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Is the general movie going public that really that uninformed to think that this is the exact same type of IMAX venue as Lincoln Square, I guess so because LieMax & Imin will now be expanding to 175 AMC locations.

xbs2034 on April 12, 2017 at 2:19 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 5:14 am


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 11:13 am

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.

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