AMC Lincoln Square 13

1998 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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AMC Theatres (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: AMC Theatres

Previously operated by: Loews, Loews Cineplex, Sony Theatres

Firms: Gensler and Associates

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Sony Theatres Lincoln Square, Loews Lincoln Square 12 and the Loews IMAX Theatre, AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 212.336.5020

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AMC Lincoln Square 13

On November 18, 1994, on the site of a demolished post office, the circuit then known by the Sony Theatres moniker introduced what immediately became the nation’s busiest multiplex at Broadway and W. 68th Street.

Construction of the Millennium Partners development known as Lincoln Square began on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1992. The $250 million mixed-use project, covering the block from Broadway to Columbus Avenue between W. 67th Street and W. 68th Street, was to rise 545 feet and encompass 800,000-square-feet. The developers took the unusual path of selling and leasing much of the complex’s space before construction had begun. Among the tenants of the 8-story commercial base, to be topped by a 38-story apartment tower, was Loews Theater Management Corporation. Plans for a nine-screen movie theatre with a traditional external box office and no inner lobby or unusual interiors were first conceived by Sony Pictures Entertainment Executive VP Lawrence Ruisi and Chairman Peter Guber. When Jim and Barrie Lawson-Loeks joined Loews/Sony Theatres as co-chairs in 1992, they envisioned a different complex, one that would include a mural-adorned lobby, movie palace ornamentation, indoor ticket selling stations, and more.

Sony Theatres Lincoln Square was designed by the firm of Gensler and Associates. The theatre’s lighting scheme was executed by Gallegos Lighting and the building’s 75' tall by 130' wide lobby mural was produced by EverGreene Painting Studios. (If ever gazing upon the mural, look, among the images from “Lawrence of Arabia”, “It Happened One Night”, and other classic films of Sony [Columbia] Pictures' past, for the embedded names of Sony/Loews executives of the era).

Upon its opening, the theatre totaled 3,046 seats and featured nine traditional exhibition auditoriums, each with a name and plaster/molded-fiberglass entrance paying homage to a grand movie palace of Loews' past. Among these were the Valencia, Kings, State, Capital, Paradise, and Jersey. The entry portals were designed as stylized representations of the old-time movie palaces. (The Paradise, for instance, has an Egyptian theme.) The grandest of the nine theatres bore the name “Loew’s”, since the circuit’s previous designation was, at the time, retired.

This premiere auditorium was modeled after the Thomas Lamb-designed Loew’s 72nd Street theatre (demolished in 1961) and reinterpreted that venue’s Thai-temple inspiration. The theatre featured a red and gold color scheme, hand-carved designs atop gilded columns, a chandelier, a proscenium arch featuring elephants and palm trees, a gold show curtain, and a balcony. A two-minutes-long lighting pre-show was created by Patrick Gallegos, using equipment mounted on the balcony rail and footlights, to accompany a commissioned score by Jonathan Brielle. The auditorium housed 876 seats, a 65 feet wide by 26 feet tall screen, was 70mm capable, THX-certified, and opened with state of the art audio. Later, it featured Dolby Digital, SDDS 8-channel, and DTS.

Perhaps the facility’s most attention-grabbing feature was the Sony IMAX Theatre. Billed in advertisements of the time as “The 8-Story Wonder of the World”, the theatre featured 600 seats (not included in the nine-screen total cited above), the United States' largest theatrical screen measuring 100' by 80', and was reached by means of what was claimed to be the world’s largest free-standing escalator. It was the first IMAX theatre in the U.S. to be operated by a major exhibition circuit and also the first to exhibit 3-D films in the large screen format. The debut IMAX features were “The Last Buffalo”, which had previously been exhibited, and the premiere engagement of “Into the Deep”. On April 21, 1995, the theatre presented the first fictional IMAX film, “Wings of Courage”, starring Val Kilmer and Elizabeth McGovern and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The film was the earliest to make use of the new IMAX 3-D Personal Sound Environment System. On October 20 of that year, “Across the Sea of Time” was presented, along with the ability for the audience to listen to the film in the language of their choosing via the four audio tracks available in their headsets. The IMAX theatre features a system by which, in a process lasting fewer than 40 minutes, each of the audience headsets is run through a fine mist of water and lens cleaning fluid between shows. Security panels sound alarms should a headset be mistakenly removed from the auditorium. In addition, the auditorium’s porthole glass is intentionally oversized, in order to allow the interested to pear into the projection booth, home to 7.5' wide film platters.

All of the building’s auditoriums, including 3 basement theatres added on March 3, 1995 and originally intended to exhibit art house fare (a plan that was never executed), are reached via a ticket lobby featuring numerous automated ticketing kiosks and a Deco-inspired, 8-station box office at the end of a terrazzo floor with embedded brass stars (intended to be engraved with the names of stars visiting the theatre for premieres of their films). Patrons visiting one of the original 9 auditoriums enter an enormous concession lobby through an entryway replicating the gates of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Culver City studio lot. Floor-to-ceiling structural columns are disguised as palm trees and large screens display trailers for upcoming attractions. A frieze features the names of Hollywood stars and encircles the space. The below-street-level auditoriums, which brought the facility’s total seat count to 4,144 (including IMAX), share a lobby showcasing a black-and-white mural paying homage to 1930’s Hollywood and an auxiliary concession stand. One of these auditoriums was originally equipped with joysticks for the age of interactive movies intended to be ushered in by 1995’s “Mr. Payback”. (The basement space was originally reserved for a neighboring tenant, Barnes & Noble.)

During its opening weekend in 1994, the Lincoln Square drew 33,000 paying customers and grossed more than $202,000 at the box office. The opening features were “Star Trek Generations” (generating $100,000), “The Professional” ($46,000), “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994), “The Lion King” (in the first weekend of a holiday-season re-release), and “The Swan Princess”. In the years since, Sony/Loews/Loews Cineplex Entertainment has striven to maintain the theatre’s technological pre-eminence. The premiere Loews auditorium is THX-certified. AMC now operates the theatre, having purchased the Loews Cineplex theatres. The seating capacity in 2018 was reduced to 3,254. In November 2019 the former Loew’s screen was renamed Dolby Cinema at AMC and the seating capacity was reduced from 876-seats down to 291-seats, giving a total seating capacity of 2,669.

Contributed by Damien Farley

Recent comments (view all 1,680 comments)

moviebuff82 on December 28, 2020 at 11:46 am

This weekend wonder woman 1984 dominated the pandemic box office with a record $16 million, and that’s from nearly 2,500 theatres, mostly in suburbs and not big cities like NYC where lincoln square and its sister busy theater Empire are. HBO Max saw its busiest day as half of all users saw the movie, which i hear is not as good as the first one. Only the beginning and ending are in Imax and the rest is 35mm film upconverted to 4k DI as well as laser and 70mm imax. There is also a Dolby version which i hear doesn’t sound good and the picture quality is nothing to be amazed about. Hopefully NYC will lift restrictions as cases will soon slow down as vaccines become available to those who need it before they get sick. Then big cities such as this one and LA will be normal again and the box office will be back with big grosses like in 2019-early 2020.

moviebuff82 on January 18, 2021 at 4:17 am

This weekend The Marksman ended Wonder Woman’s reign as the top movie with a paltry gross of $3.7 million in what is expected to be the lowest grossing MLK weekend box office ever. Hopefully things will get back to normal and theatres like this one can show movies again while AMC is struggling to pay its woes in order to fight bankruptcy.

ridethectrain on March 2, 2021 at 5:52 pm

Very annoyed that AMC won’t show Tenet in IMAX 70MM.It being showing in regular Digital. Angelika Village East is running it in 70MM DTS film, but AMC won’t let the people in New York City see it the Nolan wants you to see it. Guess it too expensive to run for only 50 people per showing.

xbs2034 on March 3, 2021 at 10:59 am

Tenet will play in IMAX 70mm here, just beginning March 12. Probably want to show Chaos Walking first as that’s a new release and only in theaters

bigjoe59 on March 14, 2021 at 12:33 pm


I know one shouldn’t assume things but. in the year since movie theaters shutdown due to the pandemic I assumed theaters were keeping themselves in tip top shape for their eventual reopening. one thing I thought they’d be doing is programming their online ticket sites so that on a seating chart they would have blocked seats that can’t be purchased. but apparently how they’re doing it is when a person buys a ticket they blockout the seat on either side from being purchased. which way would you prefer?

ridethectrain on June 13, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Please update, the basement 3 screens opened on March 3, 1995. No Grand Opening ad for the extra 3 screens.

m00se1111 on September 14, 2021 at 8:46 am

This was another one I was checking, as of it being one of the largest IMAX screens in the country.

I took a look at 75 of the more recent comments, roughly 10 had anything to do with this theatre itself. The others were random comments, one word answers, comments that could have been made about other theatres on their pages, like the Rivoli or the Criterion in fact.

As a historian working on a project, I hope you can understand how frustrating this is.

klstra on September 14, 2021 at 8:56 am

M00se1111 alias Frustrated..
I would suggest you look elsewhere.

klstra on September 14, 2021 at 10:09 am

bigjoe59… Prefer blocking when seat is purchased.. if masking is still needed

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