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 567 comments)

alpinedownhiller on January 9, 2017 at 7:53 pm


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 7:56 pm

@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 8:05 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 8:08 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 9:25 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 10:35 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.

moviebuff82 on January 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm

They plan on renovating the imax at this theater sometime this year to match that of the lincoln square imax.

mhvbear on January 20, 2017 at 8:24 pm

No way this theater could match the Lincoln Square. There is no way to install a larger screen. Probably just install the same type of seating and possibly laser projection which is not really needed for the size screen that is there.

poland626 on January 21, 2017 at 7:23 am

Yea @moviebuff82 I’m gonna need a source or two on that because it seems VERY impossible to expand this theater in the way you are talking about unless they destroy a whole level of shoebox theaters, which I doubt because they can show more foreign and indie films, it’ll never happen.

Honestly, if I had to pick a theater that would get that type of renovation, I’d give to AMC Garden State in NJ. There’s nothing above the theater so it can be as big as it wants and they already have plenty of fame being the biggest mall/theater in the area too so it wouldn’t hurt, especially with AMC Clifton getting Dolby, Paramus is gonna need the business it drives away. Of course, this all just opinion here, but it kinda make sense if they did it this way

StuQ on January 21, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Except for the new Dolby Cinema screen, this theater is in desperate need of seat renovations. Even if they do not go the way of recliners, new seats are warranted

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