Cine 42

216 W. 42nd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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SingleScreen on May 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm

I attended many screenings at this theater in the late 1980s. RAGE plus MONSTER SHARK was one memorable double feature. UNSANE plus THE KINDRED, CAGED WOMEN plus WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE, AGENT ON ICE and IN THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO, and so many more!

Rstewart on February 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm

It is astounding the poor access to booths, especially when there was a twinning, etc. You can tell that whoever designed some of them never had to haul film cases up to the booth! A catwalk from one booth to the other, just wonder what OSHA would have to say about that today.

RobertEndres on February 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I worked here as relief projectionist for a couple of weeks before it was twinned in 1978. It was kind of unusual in that the theatre started on the 2nd floor of the building with the screen at the south end and the booth at the 42nd St. end. They had probably cut the 3rd floor in half crosswise to make a balcony which was ramped up to the top at 42nd St. The booth occupied the space just behind the last rows. There was a ladder going up the wall in the booth to the roof, and I remember one snowy winter evening climbing the ladder and opening the roof hatch to see how much snow was falling as I wouldn’t be getting out until 2 A.M. or so.

The aisle went up to the back wall and actually split the booth structure into two sections. One was the booth itself and across the aisle was the room containing the rectifiers for the xenon lamps.

There were three machines in the booth, the third crammed almost against the west wall. It was added after the theatre opened to give it the redundancy the other theatres on 42nd St. had. It was so close to the wall there was no viewing port, and the controls were on the other side of the projector near the controls for the #2 machine. As I recall there was a small seat and the only other seat was the toilet itself which fortunately had a seat with a lid!

So much pot was smoked that the regular projectionist had sealed the ports up with masking tape around the edges to avoid getting a contact high. I don’t believe it was a Norman Adie theatre, but was owned by a man named Clark. Later when they added the 2nd screen in the building next door, I heard they knocked a hole in the wall next to the #3 machine and the operator had to walk on a catwalk that extended outside and into the booth next door. It was an “interesting” operation.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

“New plastic-molded seats” at the Cine 42. Wow! My backside is aching just at the memory of them.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

The CIne 42 occupied – at least in part – a storefront that had been one of those Fascination arcades that were around TImes Square back in the ‘70’s and very early '80’s (and probably even much earlier than that).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 17, 2010 at 8:22 am

This theatre first appears in ads in November 1974. It was twinned at Christmas 1978.

woody on November 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm

photos i took of the closed Cine 42 in 1995
in this photo the marquee reads VISIT SELWYN HARRIS THEATRES FOR BEST MOVIES
and a longer shot
a distant shot of the Amsterdam and Cine 42 undergoing restoration
seen here while Lion King was playing
and a night shot while Mary Poppins was playing

KingBiscuits on August 31, 2008 at 12:19 am

This theatre would get the New York exclusives of some of the lesser Troma films back in the 1980’s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Was this the same as the Roxy Twin at one point?

Bloop on June 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm

One point never mentioned about 42nd Street “grind houses”: they showed OLD movies from the 1970’s—in the friggin' 1980’s. I remember a marque showing “Legend of the Wolf Woman” (from I believe 1977) in like 1981! I can’t imagine charging full price to see a 4 year old movie! I also remember seeing “Lisa & The Devil” (A.K.A. “House of Excorcism” w/ Telly Savalas & Elke Sommer) from 1975—-playing in 1980! And actually, it may have been at Cine 42! I cannot remember. So sad that when I look at those shots like the above picture from RobertR; the 1970’s are staring to look like the early 1950’s from where we now stand!

poman on March 20, 2007 at 4:26 pm

I believe some of the prints from these theaters were donated to the Anthology Film Archives downtown. Unfortunately, I don’t think Jonas Mekas has added MAD MONKEY KUNG FU, MAFIA VS. NINJA or MORON MOVIES to his “Essential Cinema” list!!!

dave-bronx™ on September 10, 2006 at 10:20 pm

I think the Cine 42 was a Norman Adie operation – he and the Brandts ran most of those houses on the deuce. The pictures that played those houses in 1970s were playing in drive-ins in other parts of the country. The Deuce, due to the absence of drive-ins in New York, was the only indoor booking for many of these pictures. One epic in particular that comes to mind from that era was ‘Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama’. It was the kind of stuff that today goes direct to video – they don’t even strike any prints.

sevenhooks on September 10, 2006 at 7:04 pm

Yes, gotta love it.
And right next door at Cine 42 you got a Bruce Li flick paired with Sonny Chiba’s Champion of Death.
What a time!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 10, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Great shot of the Duece circa 1977 from the imdb info on the title on the New Amsterdam marquee. Interesting to see th emusic documentary “Wattstax” from the early 1970’s (sort of a black Woodstock) supporting the main Rudy Ray Moore epic!

RobertR on September 10, 2006 at 3:15 pm

I didn’t mean to post the pic here just the link
View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 3, 2006 at 6:54 am

Hmmm. Shame that the X-rated swashbuckler genre didn’t take hold. ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS might have had competition.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on August 3, 2006 at 6:11 am

Richard Pryor had three roles in what might have been his most uproarious film:

Which Way is Up? – NY Daily News 1/25/78
The film ran concurrently at the Victoria just around the corner and up a couple of blocks on Times Square. It wasn’t often that major studio releases included both the Broadway house and the Duece grinder in its advertised listing, but this particular paper features a few such ads (note also the one for “Telefon” in this clipping, playing at the Anco and the Embassy 2).

JKane on July 4, 2006 at 6:04 pm

I recall the Cine 42 being the scariest of the Deuce theaters by the ‘80s, as well as the most claustrophobic and uncomfortable, without any of the decayed charm of his grander brethren. I’d only go if I couldn’t find a particular film anywhere else. Remember catching “Bloodeaters” (aka “Toxic Zombies”) there, along with a few others.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 26, 2006 at 10:57 am

I imagine the prints for many of those genre flicks (particularly the imports and low budget indy exploitation films) remained in very close proximity to the Duece at all times since many of the same titles had a habit of popping up on the bottom of double and triple bills up and down the block for years. Maybe that’s because most of them were owned by the Brandt’s chain. I never had the pleasure of actually attending a flick at the Cine 42. I spent most of my time on the north side of the block, though did venture into the Liberty, Harris and Empire once or twice in the ‘80’s.

sevenhooks on January 21, 2006 at 8:46 pm

Hey REndres,

Do you have any idea whatsoever as to what might have become of those kung fu prints at Cine 42?
I only ask because I know that a few action track theaters wouldn’t return the prints to the distributors like they were supposed to.
I know that the Elmwood in RI didn’t and they got a lot of their kung fu movies from World Northal, same as Cine 42 if I remember correctly.
Must have some crazy memories working there!

bamtino on September 11, 2005 at 2:42 pm

The address for this theatre should be listed as 216 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.
According to COs issued in 1974 and 1988, capacity was 315 on the second floor (theatre) plus, on the mezzanine level, 131 (theatre balcony). The Certificates never reflected the two distinct auditoriums. Total seating capacity should be listed as 446.

Hibi on March 29, 2005 at 8:41 am

Thanks for clearing up the confusion!

RobertEndres on March 29, 2005 at 8:35 am

The theatre you’re thinking of TJ was the Cine Lido which occupied the site of the Latin Quarter. It was a porno house along with the Lido East on the East side around the corner from the Baronet/Coronet. I was in it briefly once on business, and while the house was dark for the film, it looked as if they hadn’t changed the decor of the Latin Quarter at all. Loews Cine was the balcony house of the Loews on 86th St. I worked as a relief projectionist in the Cine 42 before they added the second house in the building next door, and it was probably just another office space before the conversion. The theatre was on the top floors. What was probably the floor of the top floor was half cut away to make a balcony, with the booth at the back right under the roof. There was a ladder on the back wall of the booth which opened out onto the roof. It was a long narrow building, so there was only one aisle in the balcony which split the booth area, with the projectors on one side, and on the other side of the aisle a small closet for the xenon rectifiers. Since most of the 42nd Street theatres had three machines, they had shoe horned a third machine into the booth so close to the wall, that there was no viewing port on the operating side of the projector, and the motor and changeover controls were placed next to the #2 machine controls under the viewing port for that projector. I believe they knocked a hole in that wall for a door that led into the next building across a catwalk between the buildings for the access to the booth for the second theatre when they added it. I never stopped to look at the “orchestra” level one floor down other than from the front of the “balcony”. It was one of those theatres where the ports had to be sealed with tape to keep the pot fumes out of the booth, but even at 10 A.M. there were people there waiting for their kung-fu fix.

Hibi on March 29, 2005 at 7:37 am

Wasnt there a theater called Loews Cine in the Times Square area? I believe it was the site of the former Latin Quarter. I cant find a listing for it. Anyone know?