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 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. 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 529 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Mike, those grand systems were bastardized within years and featured many classic films. Today, they are bastardized within weeks, keep the high prices, and expect the latest hyped super hero stinker to rip off the public for them. Some people seem willing to pay extra to sit in the trunk of a car BEHIND the screen as long as they can tell everyone online that they “saw” the latest.

poland626 on May 27, 2016 at 4:58 am

I was only contributing because paramus has the same technology as empire. If simple conversations bother you that much, sorry. I’m just trying to talk about stuff involving this theater and making sure people don’t get ripped off.

xbs2034 on May 27, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Ninja Turtles 2, Warcraft, and likely Now You See Me 2 are joining X-Men’s start and playing in both Times Square theaters, due to many studios dropping clearance requests.

Seems like we might have to say goodbye to Indies as well as having films which played in these theaters much longer than in most theatrical locations, which is what I thought were some of the best things about having so many available screens in the Times Square area (currently Disney, WB, and Sony still believe clearances are ultimately good for the industry and are honoring them, and I hope they continue).

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

It seems weird (and a little sad) to hear about “both” Times Square theaters…

Of course between them there are 38 screens, but still…:(

moviebuff82 on May 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm

It’s too much. Many years ago, there were more times square cinemas than broadway theaters. Fast forward to today, and broadway is thriving while the box office is dying.

moviebuff82 on August 23, 2016 at 5:18 pm

One of two theaters in the NYC area playing Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV for a limited engagement. This is the first time a movie with the name Final Fantasy has played here since 2001, when the Empire played “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” in 8 channel SDDS with digital projection along with other theaters. It was the first presentation of a movie in that format, which eventually was short lived. That movie bombed but lived on in home media and became a cult classic. As for the new one, it will hit home media on digital HD August 30th and be released on bluray soon along with the Final Fantasy XV video game in November.

hdtv267 on August 24, 2016 at 6:40 am

Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t see the post about the movie’s release at the other theatre in NYC. For that matter the posts at the other theatres in the country and world showing it.

Do you know that those other venues didn’t show “the Spirits Within” 15 years ago- if so they deserve the same attention, don’t they? You’re really doing them a disservice and being selfish.

Finally, if you’re going cut and paste from Wikipedia, please cite that as your source.

FAShaffi on August 24, 2016 at 11:28 pm

does anyone know if there are any scope screens at this theater (besides the Dolby Cinema)? Thanks!

xbs2034 on August 24, 2016 at 11:57 pm

I don’t know about specific screens, but other than the IMAX (which is somewhere between a 1.9 and 2.35 aspect ratio) I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole theater was scope. I’ve always seen them move the masking in on the left and right for 1.85 films shown here.

hdtv267 on August 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

1- where’s your proof that this is the #1 AMC in the country? (i.e. ‘ Says Who)

2- There are a lot of theaters that AMC needs to renovate.

3 – Are you going to post about those? If not, I fail to see the relevance of this particular post to the history of this theatre.

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