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 661 comments)

rayman29 on December 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

This website is about all movie theatres, not just cinema treasures. As for the AMC Empire, it is one of the best theatres in the country today, and the preservation of the Empire Theatre structure was a brilliant way of incorporating the old with the new. The golden age of movie theatres is long over, but this theatre at least has preserved a small piece of it. Why criticize a movie theatre that at least salvaged a beautiful and historic movie theatre and uses it as its focal point?

moviebuff82 on December 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Amen. It’s the largest in the nyc metro area by screen size and seats. It’s also AMCs third entry into the area following the Rockaway and morristown theaters (not counting general cinema and loews cineplex acquisitions) .

mulder on December 11, 2017 at 9:12 am

Do you know how many admissions are achieved per year at AMC Empire 25 ? For example, in 2016.

JB1981 on December 11, 2017 at 5:28 pm

So I was able to get seats in row D, the fourth row back. Judging by the number of seats shown on Fandango these are small seats with probably space between rows. I got the 8pm show in auditorium 13. For anyone familiar with the theater will I be too close?

moviebuff82 on December 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

I wonder if tourists in times square prefer this theater over the regal?

moviebuff82 on January 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm

20 years ago this theater was being built by moving the old empire to the side to become the lobby and the rest is history.

moviebuff82 on January 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Has anyone seen the new amc policy trailers? I miss the amc characters…

moviebuff82 on January 26, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Moviepass is not allowed at this theater anymore…

moviebuff82 on February 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 17, 2018 at 8:29 pm

At that rate, adjusted for inflation, it would end on par with “MEN IN BLACK”.

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