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 524 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 25, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Mike (saps), although I originally shared your frustration (and that other gone rude angry poster) about these trivial comments, I now kind of disagree. I think the idea that these posters care about what latest gimmick these forgettable films will be shown in when even the cinemas and distributors don’t, is historically fascinating, and it will mean something in the future. Will X-MAN 22: CALIGULA" play in TINKLE-SMELL-O-RAMA this weekend? Or will “STAR WARS: CHAPTER 7a NINJA TURTLES” show in FEEL-O-RAMA THX/1138, with sound or just digital video with tingling smelly seats? I just hope they remember that John Holmes porn films once opened on 42nd street in “70MM: 3D: FEEL ME, SMELL ME-O-RAMA, NOW”. And so few cared to make it such an AWESOME cinema treasurable memory at the time.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm

By the way, I will never forget the audience approval applause at the THX sound silence certified screenings when the un-properly secured wall sound panels rattled loudly for their enjoyment. That, they said, was some AWESOME sound they would gladly pay extra for.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

But maybe they could delete some of their comments every now and then…

stevenj on May 26, 2016 at 6:30 am

You mean you don’t want to know all this juicy info about maybe, when, where, how come, vibrators, non vibrators, recliners, non recliners, tinglers, IMAX, Dolby vision, True Dolby, bonus audio, Paramus, or which place has the best popcorn? You could learn a thing or 2.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

You’ve gotta have glorious Technicolor, Breathtaking Cinemascope or Cinerama, Vista Vision, Superscope or Todd-A-O and Stereophonic sound, And Stereophonic sound.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

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 1:58 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 11:52 am

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 12:01 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 11:14 am

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.

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