Big Cinemas Manhattan
239 E. 59th Street,
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The 59th Street East Cinema, originally called the D.W. Griffith Theatre, was an art house theatre located in midtown Manhattan. It belonged to a cluster of single, twin, and triplex movie theaters; all of which were within two blocks of each other.
One of many subterranean venues around the city, this single screen theater was reached through a small entrance that originates on E. 59th Street. The entrance continued past a modest concession area and then ended at a staircase, descending to theatre level.
In 2000, the theatre was one of the few theaters to show a director’s cut of Luc Besson’s “The Big Blue”.
The theatre closed in late-2003, but reopened in July of 2004 as the 300-seat ImaginAsian Theatre, featuring first-run Asian films, live events, satellite-fed broadcasts (such as sporting events), and exhibitions. The theatre not only offers the traditional popcorn, but has a cafe serving Asian snacks, beverages, as well as internet access. The theatre’s first offering was hosting the 27th Asian-American International Film Festival.
By 2010, it had been renamed Big Cinemas Manhattan, and was operated by Phoenix Big Cinemas. It was closed in January 2014.
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