United Artists 64th & Second

1210 2nd Avenue,
New York, NY 10021

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Pre-opening ad

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1971 as the Columbia I & II, it was one of the better twin cinemas built at that time and was designed by architect Drew Eberson. The downstairs auditorium has the look of a single screen theatre complete with stage and luxurious drapes. The upstairs auditorium is not as nice but still scores above most. When UA added the third screen in an acquired space next store, they gave it it’s present moronic name. Why must theatres be names after the street they are on? What happened to names like Rialto, Roxy and Star?

Later known as the Gemini Cinemas, another noteworthy thing is that this theatre was run for many years by Bob Meyer who started his career as an usher in the Roxy. He was the last of a dying breed of old time theatre managers who knew what showmanship was all about. My friend ran this theatre after Bob Meyers' sad passing. He felt the theatre reached its zenith with the two week Manhattan exclusive of “Bugsy”.

Some of those that came there to see it were Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Tom Cruise, Liza Minnelli and Joan Rivers. The staff adored Liza. She always tipped the candy people $20, telling them they work harder than anyone else there.

It was closed around September 2012.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 63 comments)

br91975
br91975 on September 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

konaaz: the company representing the property is Sarasota, FL.-based Marisa Rose Management and their contact number is 941.782.8649.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Better copy of the grand opening ad as Columbia I & II in 1971 as well as of the July 21st grand opening ad as Gemini uploaded in the photo section for this cinema.

br91975
br91975 on October 22, 2013 at 9:33 am

Construction work has begun within the former 64th & Second space. No word as of yet on who the next tenant will be.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on May 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Anybody know what has become of this theater?

theatrefan
theatrefan on July 21, 2015 at 5:28 am

The auditoriums have apparently been gutted and are awaiting rental for retail usage that has not happened yet. The marquee is still on the facade and lists the two final films that played there “Trouble With The Curve” & Won’t Back Down" the United Artists Theatres sign on the front of the Marquee was taken off when they shut this Triplex down. The lobby was intact for the longest time & Regal even left the ticketing machine inside, it’s now covered up, so I can’t get a good look inside anymore unfortunately.

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 2, 2017 at 6:11 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:

Thanks,
Gabi

Coate
Coate on June 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm

The Gemini Twin was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on June 20, 2017 at 6:00 am

After the name change to United Artists 64th & Second, did this cinema only screen United Artists films?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 20, 2017 at 6:09 am

davidcoppock, unlike other chains, UA theatres were never aligned to any particular distributor in New York City and never had many locations.

theatrefan
theatrefan on June 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

This location was also one of the first to feature CDS or the Cinema Digital Sound system, circa 90/91. I wonder if there is a also a list of DTS & SDDS initial installations for their launch in 93 & 94 respectively?

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