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.

Converted into a movie theatre in 1942 first as the Laffmovie, and later renamed the Empire Theatre, the theatre finally closed, seemingly for good, in the mid-1980’s.

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 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. 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 485 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm

I worked in the movie theatre business for 34 years. We often closed theatres for bed bug extermination. Here is the rub. It was always someone who didn’t like the movie, didn’t get a free pass, and then went and complained to the press. I have never seen a bed bug, but I have seen many con-artists. There are no bugs. There are no exterminators. It’s all just part of the BS business of the show. Enjoy the movie.

digital3d on November 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Kinda hard to believe that. Bed bugs seem realistic in such a crowded and dirty theater and especially if so many people post yelp pictures of their bites. I personally rather chose a theater with no bed bug posts on yelp. Bed bugs are not a joke for a regular working class guy, that’s why so many people fear them.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Before yelp, you never knew, now did you? So many legit businesses have been killed that way by their competitors. I have no dog in the AMC battle. I actually quite dislike AMC, as I once worked for that horrible company. But this story is probably fake and that theatre is just fine. I have recently attended and it is well run.

amcbayplaza13 on November 14, 2015 at 9:09 pm

The people who dirtied the AMC Empire 25 got to focusing putting their trash in the garbage can after the movies finished instead of turning the AMC 25 multiplex theater a bed bugs motel theater

digital3d on November 14, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Well I kind of did. There was the newspaper that reported the bed bugs too. Also, if it would be fake, then why did the theater close for several days?

Personally, I just prefer a theater without a bed bug history. I don’t care if the story is fake or not, I just want to have peace in mind.

Also, btw, I had friends telling me that they felt itchy during a screening… (that wasn’t for Empire 25 though, but just saying that it’s not always competitors trying to bring down a theater.)

moviebuff82 on November 25, 2015 at 3:54 am

maybe when they moved the old Empire building out west from its old location to make room for the 25 screens there were older bedbugs that creeped into the multiplex.

Movieholic on December 23, 2015 at 8:16 am

It’s an understatement to say this place is HUGE! I saw “Captain Phillips” here two years ago in, I think, Auditorium 6, which is probably one of the smaller ones but still nice. I’d come back.

moviebuff82 on January 20, 2016 at 11:35 am

Which screen has the most seats? I think the IMAX is, followed by the AMC Prime auditorium.

xbs2034 on January 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

The Prime (now Dolby Cinema) certainly does not have the second most seats as it uses those recliners which cut down seating capacity dramatically.

There is a regular screen (think theater #13 but not sure) on the second main floor which has a lot of seats and my guess is second to IMAX.

moviebuff82 on January 20, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Which screens have 7.1 and which ones have 5.1?

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