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 563 comments)

moviebuff82 on December 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

Sounds similar to what i usually watch at AMC in Rockaway with a 2d version of a 3d converted movie where the movie looks sharp during the previews but when the lights go down its blurry. This theater is in need of an upgrade soon.

alpinedownhiller on January 8, 2017 at 6:08 pm

What are the screen sizes like here? Are any those super tiny little shoe box screens? Anyone know if #17 is tiny or pretty big?

poland626 on January 9, 2017 at 1:26 am


Based on the earlier comment about seating sizes per screen, it says #17 has 262 seats. That’s a good size and not a shoebox screen with 100 or less seats

xbs2034 on January 9, 2017 at 7:18 am

Just to elaborate a bit further, the IMAX is obviously the biggest screen in this theater, though the Dolby Cinema and screens 13 and 18 (which have over 370 seats) are large as well. I think a few screens in the 20s on the top floor are pretty small, but in general the other screens are at least typical multiplex size.

alpinedownhiller on January 9, 2017 at 11:53 am


One odd thing is I found a review that claims #6 is the ETX screen but looking at the seating list on the other page, #6 has only 156 seats. The article also said #7 was big but that has even less seats. I wonder if they re-did the auditorium numbers since that 2011 article?

Hopefully the seating list on the other page isn’t wrong with the numbering.

alpinedownhiller on January 9, 2017 at 11:56 am

@Kurtpvincent – if you want deep blacks and great contrast, etc. check out IMAX Laser, I’d say it outdoes ever the best film did for contrast and color (unfortunately there are barely any around, I think Lincoln Square and Reading, Boston are the only two in the entire Northeast)

xbs2034 on January 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Alpinedownhiller- I think it’s screen 6 (certainly is the one which used to be ETX) which is now the Dolby Cinema screen, and that has fewer seats because it uses those large recliners that cut seating capacity more than half.

Also there are two IMAX laser locations in the Washington D.C. area (part of the Smithsonian museum system and thus can’t play R rated movies, but do play other Hollywood IMAX releases), but true there are more in other parts of the country as well as certain overseas markets.

moviebuff82 on January 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I think AMC should renovate every screen with recliners but that would cost a lot of money and time for a 16 year old complex that slowly became the top grossing theater in America after a lukewarm summer in 2000.

ridethectrain on January 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Theatre 8 usef to be theatre 6. The manager said the number changed due to the original plans. It was supposed to be 8 when the theatre opened in 2000

hdtv267 on January 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm

if they renovate the screen with recliners, won’t it be tough to see the movie?

Now, renovating the theatre itself with recliners, sure. But this is a point made ad nauseum by yourself and others. We get it. Please move along.

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