AMC Empire 25
234 W. 42nd Street,
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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 became the setting for decades of legitimate theater and burlesque.
Converted into a movie theater in 1942 first as the Laffmovie, and later renamed the Empire, the theater finally closed, seemingly for good, in the mid-1980s.
Following the renaissance of 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 theater renovation and reuse.
The lobby of this luxurious, five-level theater has been built inside the shell of the old Empire Theater. In order to build the massive multi-screen complex, the Empire was lifted up and moved down the street to its present location. Once that massive job was completed, a new 25 screen theater was built around it. The multiplex was designed by the architecural firm Beyer Blinder Belle.
The historic facade has been left largely intact, while a new marquee has been added. Just above the box office is a beautiful mural, 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.
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