City Cinemas Village East

181 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

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City Cinemas Village East

Viewing: Photo | Street View

City Cinema’s beautifully restored Village East was once the home of Yiddish theater in its 1,200-seat auditorium. Legend has it that Walter Matthau began his film career here as a young boy working at the concession counter.

Its past is still evident in the Moorish designs that adorn both the inside and outside of the theater. Yiddish writing outside the lobby and a large star of David in the dome of the main auditorium further infuse atmosphere into the historic building. By the late-1930’s it was operating as a movie theatre, named Century Theatre (listed as (Closed) in 1941 & 1943). By 1950, it had reopened as a movie theatre renamed Stuyvesant Theatre, with a seating capacity for 1,082.

Today in the basement below the original ornate theater and lobby, four screening rooms have been added with seating provided in screen 2;187, screen 3;179, screen 4;130 and screen 5;66. A further two screens have been added on the former stage area of the theatre, which are stacked one on top of the other. The screen on top has wonderful stadium seating, a decent size screen, and is a very nice theatre in itself. It is not as beautiful as the main auditorium, but does have exposed brickwork and some character.

With New York City’s lack of a still-operating historic movie palace, the Village East is the closest thing around.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 108 comments)

Brianhs
Brianhs on November 30, 2015 at 9:39 pm

It broke in the middle of the show?

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on November 30, 2015 at 11:14 pm

Mechanical failure, repaired and back on screen within an hour. If it was a digital failure, they’d probably have had to send everyone home.

markp
markp on December 1, 2015 at 6:03 am

And here I am a 39 year veteran of projection who ran numerous 70MM shows in the 80’s and early 90’s, and I sit home unemployed and a part time stage hand. Damn digital.

PeterApruzzese
PeterApruzzese on December 1, 2015 at 7:02 am

Mark – you should ask around, Weinstein is actively seeking former projectionists with large format experience to run the 70mm show.

markp
markp on December 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I had a gentleman from Boston Light and Sound contact me but the work was in Boston for 3 weeks. Everything I would make would b e spent on hotel, etc. If it was NYC then thats a different story.

movieguy
movieguy on December 1, 2015 at 4:22 pm

I talked to an employee of the cinema. He confirmed that Hateful 8 WILL Be showing there for its run of two weeks. Most likely in the large original theater. Not one of the small theaters in the second and third levels

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on December 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I have tried to find where the listing is for all theaters showing The Hateful Eight in 70 MM roadshow for two weeks and have come up empty handed. Can anybody help? This is a film that should definitely play the Ziegfeld.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on December 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Star Wars will be at the Ziegeld instead. The Hateful Eight in 70mm list is growing here: http://in70mm.com/news/2016/hateful_8/index.htm

xbs2034
xbs2034 on December 3, 2015 at 2:08 am

I would hope with nearly 100 theaters nationwide for the 70mm Hateful Eight, they would have at least one other Manhattan location as well. I saw The Master in 70 here, as well as some other films from time to time, but not my favorite layed out theater and a bit on the inconvenient side (close to an hour by public transportation/walking from Union Square) to get to.

If there isn’t anything close by, may wait the two weeks for the DCP wide release, as with family travels and plenty of year end releases, never can catch everything I want right during the holiday season anyway. Though the overture/intermission and six or so extra minutes (apparently a lot of landscape shots included here, and I’m a sucker for beautiful landscape shots in films) of the road show version are very tempting.

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