AMC Empire 25

234 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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AMC Empire 25

Originally located at 240 W. 42nd Street. The Empire Theatre was the eight theatre on W. 42nd Street and was built for producer Al H. Woods who chose architect Thomas W. Lamb to design the theatre. It was opened on September 11, 1912 with the melodrama “Within the Law” as the 880-seat Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre. Seating was provided in orchestra, two balconies and eight boxes. Named for Julian Eltinge, the top female impersonator of the American stage, who was Woods star performer. Julian Eltinge never played in the theatre named after him. The opening attraction at the theatre was a huge success, playing for 541 performances. Other hits include John Barrymore in “The Yellow Ticket”, “The Song of Songs”, “Fair and Warmer”, “Up in Mabel’s Room”, “The Girl in the Limousine” and “Ladies Night”. “Blackbirds of 1928” was another hit. Laurence Olivier in “Murder on the Second Floor” only managed to play for 45 performances in 1929. Alice Brady & Clark Gable in “Love, Honor and Betray played in 1930 to be followed by its final legit production "First Night” presented in 1931 for 88 performances. It then reopened as the Eltinge Burlesque Theatre, featuring burlesque & ‘talkies’. It was later renamed Empire Theatre.

Converted into a movie theatre in summer of 1942, first as the 759-seat Laffmovie screening comedy movies, that lasted until 1953 when it was renamed the Empire Theatre again. 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. On March 1, 1998 in order to build the massive multi-screen complex, the Empire Theatre was lifted up and moved down the street (all 3,700 tons of it) 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 697 comments)

LARGE_screen_format on November 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm


Thanks for sharing those photos. What are those seat transducers like in AMC Prime? AMC Dolby Cinema doesn’t feature those, does it?

curmudgeon on November 24, 2018 at 11:48 pm

Apart from the Paris, does any Manhattan cinema still have screen curtains?

ridethectrain on February 3, 2019 at 1:04 pm

The Empire is showing it age, theatre 7 and 8, some leather seats replace with seat backs from other auditriums. See photo

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 4, 2019 at 6:24 pm

A report on the grotesque conditions – vermin and uncleanliness – were reported on Friday’s (2/1/19) Inside Edition.


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 4, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Saw “VICE” there today. I was on the top floor and the masking was wrong for the whole movie. If I wanted to complain I would have missed half the movie because there was no staff for four floors.
If you try to complain online it does not allow it unless you bought the ticket online. Ridiculously stupid!

moviebuff82 on April 23, 2019 at 5:21 pm

This is why I avoid theatres like this…amc is known for issues like this and hopefully they fix stuff once Endgame opens this weekend as this theater shows its age.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 23, 2019 at 6:16 pm

moviebuff82, the Regal across the street is just as bad and I own stock in Cineworld.

curmudgeon on April 24, 2019 at 8:38 am

I can’t believe audiences are so stupid to accept such bad presentation. Demand a refund!!

ridethectrain on May 12, 2019 at 3:36 pm

The ushers don’t clean the regular auditoriums. I saw the 1240 show of “The Intruder” in theatre 21, the theatre was dirty. Seats are busted. What Inside Edition show about AMC dirty theatres, it still true.

Unless you pay big bucks for IMAX or DOLBY CINEMA, AMC doesn’t care about the regular auditoriums.

moviebuff82 on May 19, 2019 at 6:19 am

Same for Reald 3d. Don’t forget Prime is also in this theater too. Not too far away from this theater, a digital billboard caught fire but no one was hurt!!

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