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 577 comments)

poland626 on January 25, 2017 at 3:49 am

I’m not seeing any imax shows on fandango. Maybe they are upgrading it somehow?

hdtv267 on January 25, 2017 at 9:29 am


perhaps- maybe that Xander Cage was such a bomb they didn’t decide what to put in there yet. I know some regions showed an IMAX version of “LaLa Land”.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 25, 2017 at 9:37 am

“They plan on renovating the IMAX at this theater sometime this year to match that of the Lincoln Square imax.”

According to opening day press, the Lincoln Square IMAX screen is 8 stories high. The Empire may install laser projection, but matching the Lincoln Square screen would be quite an architectural feat.

hdtv267 on January 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

Still waiting on confirmation to the “news” of Jan 20th. Considering that someone at AMC could neither confirm or deny exactly what was going on- just that changes are “afoot” – it would be nice to get some confirmation on the changes and source from the poster.

MovieTix86 on January 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

According to the following article, this location and others with IMAX will be renovated with new seating, IMAX 12-channel sound systems and updated auditorium entrance branding.

“For the past year, AMC has been renovating and upgrading IMAX at AMC locations around the country, installing IMAX’s laser projection and 12-channel immersive sound as well as plush rocker seating at popular locations including AMC Lincoln Square 13 in New York and AMC Metreon 16 in San Francisco. Renovations are also expected to take place in the coming months at AMC Empire 25 in New York, AMC Burbank 16 in Los Angeles, AMC Northpark 15 in Dallas and Navy Pier IMAX at AMC in Chicago – including sound and seating enchantments as well as re-designed entryways and auditorium branding.”


Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 29, 2017 at 6:41 am

Screen sizes, however, seem to remain the same.

New doors, really…?

MovieTix86 on January 29, 2017 at 12:43 pm

AMC seems to be doing this to make their IMAX auditoriums more distinct from their standard auditoriums. Pretty much all of their retrofitted IMAX auditoriums are exactly the same as the other auditoriums in those theatres, excluding the screen, projectors, and sound systems.

AMC added illuminated IMAX signs above those auditorium entrances and outside the building but nothing else to distinguish them from their standard auditoriums. At some of the newer IMAX locations, they have redesigned the exterior of IMAX auditoriums with a more distinct entryway, similar to the Dolby Cinema auditorium entrances but without the illuminated projection wall in the entryway (which is exclusive to Dolby Cinema). Adding plush seating that is different from the other auditoriums also makes those IMAX auditoriums more distinct. This seems to be what they’re planning for those IMAX locations designated in the article.

What I’m curious about is the IMAX laser projectors. Would their current laser projectors fit in those smaller projection booths? I doubt IMAX finished their compact laser system several years ahead of schedule. Unless they’re modifying the booth to accommodate their current laser projection system.

xbs2034 on January 29, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Yeah, IMAX just started developing the laser system for smaller theaters mid 2016 and had no timeframe for when it would be ready. Now IMAX does sometimes like to test out a new system in secret before officially unveiling it, but this year may be too soon, particularly when IMAX signed over 70 deals for the big laser system and there are about 40 laser IMAXes currently in use, which means getting those remaining ones installed probably comes first.

Also, based on the article, it seems like IMAX may start installing their updated sound system in some locations without putting in a laser projector as part of the same project, and they have announced plans for some kind of IMAX VR experience opening in a NYC location in 2017 (which could be part of a redesigned auditorium). A lot of what the changes are won’t be clear until renovation actually begins (which isn’t right now at least, as Resident Evil is currently playing in the IMAX per Fandango).

xbs2034 on February 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm

It’s been over a week since IMAX showings for this theater have appeared on Fandango, nor are IMAX showings included in advance tickets here for films like Logan and Beauty and the Beast (I believe even if they plan on showing those titles in IMAX, can’t place the tickets on sale until the screen is ready to reopen). So whatever renovations IMAX/AMC are planning for the year, seems like they are currently in process.

ridethectrain on February 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Read the press release in the photos. Imax getting renovated

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