Cinema 3

2 W. 59th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Showing 25 comments

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm

It closed in 1997.

Casanoc on May 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm

I think this was in operation until the late 90s?

SethLewis on December 14, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Wasn’t this way ahead of its time with the new breed of luxury seating reduced capacity theatres…all that was missing was at seat drink service

mharmon999 on June 20, 2015 at 8:26 pm

It was a unique kind of movie theatre. One film I remember seeing there was Prizzi’s Honor in 1985. Not many theaters like this one around in 2015

SethLewis on November 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Saw A Wedding, Broadcast News, Moonlighting, Field of Dreams here A good old school upscale film going experience

NYC had this for 10-15 years while London had the Minema for nearly 30 in front of the Berkeley Hotel

rivoli157 on July 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

The one fIlm I recall seeing here is ALL THAT JAZZ in 1979 or early 1980.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Hey! What happened to DEFG? I just noticed that all his photos are gone from the Photo directory and now it seems that his entire profile and all comments posted have completely vanished? That is a crying shame!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 8, 2012 at 2:03 am

I was in this house more than once but can’t remember how many seats?

Inuchan915 on March 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

My father was a projectionist for this theater. I remember walking down the stairs leading a curved left and wandering inside the ticket booth to help out as a child or to take tickets. The place was very outdated, and had potato sack kind of seats in the waiting area. The theater itself was big and was amazed it was a hidden gem under the plaza. I miss climbing into the projection room, it was neat watching dad rewind the film and making splices when needed. I used to even help put in the film reels and start the movies. Those were the days. I remember when we got a concession stand finally I accidentally rang this guy up once as giving me 2000 dollars or was it the popcorn that cost that much, been years but that was funny. Or stuffing the pre-popped popcorn in the closet. The one thing that offed me was that we played tourist flicks, not like a regular cinema, I guess it was to maybe compete against the still open Paris. It’s a shame I really didn’t take much photos then, though I think I still have some tickets. Gotta find them and scan them in if the ink hasn’t faded yet but it was on those non-glossy tickets. I think I’m done going down memory lane. >_<

johndereszewski on March 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

I only caught a few movies in this very nice setting. The one I do remember was seeing “Prizzi’s Honor” here over the President’s Day weekend – a few weeks before it was robbed of the Best Picture Oscar by the dreadful “Out of Africa” ……. Contrary to a comment posted above, I do not remember any problems with the theater’s sight lines. It seemed to be a fine place to take in a flick.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thanks so much, DEFG. And thank you for all the great images you’ve been posting!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I would love to see a list of movies that played here, particularly in the ‘80’s. I know I saw at least a couple. Also, seems that enough verification has been provided over the years to correct the name to Cinema 3 (as opposed to Cinema III).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Closed in May 1997 after a run of “Waiting For Guffman”.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 27, 2010 at 4:08 am

Get rid of the Roman numerals

The Cinema 3 opens:

View link

moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 9:59 pm

I saw Alain Resnais' ‘Providence’ here.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 5, 2005 at 1:36 am

Cineplex Odeon did eventually put a small concession stand in here near the end but it was the only in the circuit without postmix soft drinks. The popcorn was popped at the Plaza and brought over. Donald Trump wanted to use the area as a club and would not renew the lease.

The Cinema 3 was a primary outlet for German films for a while but that didn’t last. Cineplex Odeon booked it as a last run move-over house.

RobertR on April 5, 2005 at 5:15 am

Can you imagine showing The Jetsons with no concession stand, a lot of unhappy kids.

longislandmovies on March 6, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Never sold concessions as it was in there lease

DonRosen on March 6, 2005 at 7:43 am

I remember the odd booking of “Jetsons: the Movie” which played for a few weeks. The theatre name “Cinema 3” must have ticked off the Cinema 1 & 11 when they had to name their third theatre “Cinema 3rd Ave.”

RobertR on December 7, 2004 at 5:02 pm

Wow, I had forgotten about the phone reservations. I am trying to remember I think at the very end they did sell concessions here.

br91975 on August 24, 2004 at 8:23 pm

The former Cinema III space is now occupied by a restaurant of some sort.

longislandmovies on August 24, 2004 at 8:18 pm

The only theater in NEW YORK not to have a candy stand sold no food or drinks of any kind. RKO / CINEPLEX ALWAYS HELD THERE MANAGER MEETINGS HERE.

fornasetti on August 18, 2004 at 5:49 am

I worked here from 1977 to 1981. It was the first NYC theatre to take phone reservations when Julia opened in late ‘77. Donald Rugoff still owned the Cinema 5 chain at the time and it was a class act. It showed big releases alternating with quality “art” fair.
People always confused it with the Plaza Theatre on 58th street and with Cinema 1 and 2 on 3rd and 59th street.
Celebrities liked it since there was a private entrance through the hotel.

SethLewis on March 19, 2004 at 9:56 am

This theatre replaced a space that was a well-known revue theatre in the Plaza the Plaza 9 maybe…This was as close to a private screening room feel as we had in Manhattan…wide deep seats…no popcorn and generally not much company…The opening attraction was Alain Resnais' Providence…The listing in adverts was always Cinema III or Cinema 3 with just beneath it in the Plaza Hotel so not to confuse with Cinema I and II or even the Plaza a block away
Eventually Rugoff/Cinema 5 started day dating this with the Sutton or Cinema I mainly on Fox pictures Julia, Robert Altman’s A Wedding, High Anxiety offering reserved seating

Remember seeing A Wedding, Moonlighting, Broadcast News, Field of Dreams here

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 18, 2004 at 8:04 pm

I saw several films here during the theatre’s modest life. THE CONSEQUENCE by Wolfgang Peterson was one. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s astonishing ARABIAN NIGHTS was another.