Movie-Plex 42

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

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DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 27, 2017 at 1:18 pm

1971 photo added of the Roxy Bulesk/Joy 42nd Street Theatre marquee. Thanks to Ed Solero for the detective work.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

Thanks, neeb. I love that site. By the way, the photo at the bottom of that page is actually of the other Roxy porn house that was immediately adjacent to the New Amsterdam Theatre – and does not have a listing here yet.

Anyway, here’s an active link to that page you posted.

neeb
neeb on January 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Some good info here: http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/Roxy_Twin

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

KingBiscuits, you might as well be talking about the old 42nd Street grindhouses, which the Movie-Plex replaced. Each of them were doing quite well on weekends and were only closed when they were evicted by the city for redevelopment.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on June 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

As it turns out, the theatre actually did rather well in its short time span. Fridays and Saturdays reportedly had many sellouts and the theatre attracted many teens and couples. The theatre actually closed due to the city evicting the old tenants of 42nd Street despite business. The owners later sued the city but I don’t know how that went.

DARCYDT
DARCYDT on June 4, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I remember seeing Cowboy Way here. Does anyone else remember that some of the last surviving cinemas on the deuce in the early 90’s used to show pictures that were opening on Friday on the Thursday night preceding. I believe there was about 2 theaters then. I can remember seeing Mother’s Boys with Jamie Lee Curtis and Naked Gun 33 1/3 double billed on the Thursday night before they opened the next day everywhere else. Saw a few other pics at Movie-Plex 42 but don’t remember what.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on July 26, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Movie-Plex 42 opened on June 24th, 1994 with the films Wolf, Speed, City Slickers II, The Cowboy Way, The Flintstones and Getting Even With Dad.

Later in the year, business apparently was so bad that they started doing shows at 2:00 am to get the target crowd. And they also ran some kids movies there like The Pagemaster. Imagine watching something like that in the old Times Square.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 16, 2008 at 10:12 am

Roxy Twin should be added as an aka here.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 21, 2007 at 10:18 am

It was the only grindhouse in town after the Harris was shuttered. I liked the switching auditoriums, walking in and out of different movies. And they weren’t all on the same floor, which means you had to do a little research to see the movies you wanted.

I remember, though, that the theaters weren’t as darkly lit as their forebears — and the ushers more vigilant — which made some patrons a bit self-conscious about smoking weed right in the theater. Luckily there was an open fire escape in the rear that filled the bill.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 23, 2007 at 9:56 am

Tkinz… this must have definitely been the Deuce movie-going experience at its very nadir! Mercifully, the theater’s existence was very short-lived.

tkinz
tkinz on May 16, 2007 at 9:14 am

I went to this theater once – opening weekend of “Pulp Fiction” – all other theaters were sold out, but this one you could walk right in. An unbelievable experience, but kindof fitting for that movie – people shouting, snoring and breaking bottles along with a constant stream of transients coming in and out. Needless to say, the projection and sound were terrible, and the whole experience was like being in a dirty, smelly plywood shack.

McGinty
McGinty on March 21, 2007 at 3:55 am

Things apparently were off to a rocky start immediately for the doomed MoviePlex 42, as an usher was shot and wounded outside the theater in September 1994.

query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980CEFDA153AF937A1575AC0A962958260

JKane
JKane on November 11, 2006 at 7:05 pm

I recall waiting many months for the MoviePlex 42 to finally open. A poster for Chuck Norris in Hellbound seemed to be up there forever before the plex finally opened. The place didn’t have much atmosphere and represented a sad harbinger of things to come (and all too quickly at that) but was better than nothing during the short time it existed.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 3, 2006 at 12:02 pm

2 West 59th Street tracks as the Plaza Hotel so it is probably the venue address before it became a theatre with an entrance on Central Park South.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 3, 2006 at 6:40 am

LOL. I think that wwbsite is a time travel portal. Just what we needed here!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 3, 2006 at 5:43 am

Sheesh, Al… when was the last time that page was updated? The David is still listed as are the Cinema III (in the Plaza Hotel) and the Hollywood on 8th Ave. Not sure I’d classify the Cinema III address at 2 West 59th Street as “Clinton”, however. It might be interesting to search different nieghborhoods on the site to see what other old listings and addresses are still there.

To try and answer my own question from Jan 30th, perhaps Movieplex 42 was created in the space formerly occupied by the 2nd Roxy Twin that opened between the Empire and Anco in the late ‘70’s or '80’s? I forgot there were two Roxy locations and the address seems right.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 2, 2006 at 11:50 am

The Zami Yellow pages:

http://newyork.zami.com/Movie_Theater/Clinton

Still list this as 244 W. 42nd street.

Bless!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on January 30, 2006 at 3:40 am

What former porn theater was this short lived multi-plex carved from? The Anco Theater’s address is listed on this site as having been 254 W. 42nd and #234 is the address given for the old Liberty Theater entrance. Number 244 would have been somewhere in between and I can’t recall a porn theater being in this vicinity. The only actual porn theaters I remember from the block were the Harem (across the street) and then the Victory, Rialto and Roxy on the eastern end of the block. Perhaps it was a peep-show and video store? I have a photo of the Harris (at #226) from 1993 and I believe there is a sign advertising the Movieplex 42 as “coming soon.”

cheebalicious
cheebalicious on January 29, 2006 at 10:34 pm

It’s silly, but I want to cry over this being gone. We were so broke when we got married in 10/94 that our honeymoon consisted of going into Manhattan to see J&MC at Academy, then “Exit to Eden” (which was playing with some awful VanDamme film which put us both to sleep) while we were waiting for our ride to get out of another concert.

So not everyone has bad memories of it :) Just of Rosie O'Donnell in that movie.

Forrest136
Forrest136 on September 11, 2005 at 10:33 pm

It turned into a “Crackhouse”!

bamtino
bamtino on September 11, 2005 at 10:30 pm

The address of this theatre was 244 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036.

hardbop
hardbop on April 14, 2005 at 9:29 am

I went here once and only once to see “Jason’s Lyric.” I remember a somewhat seedy atmosphere and strange people walking through the auditorium while the movie was playing.

I also believe the price here was slightly less expensive than other theatres, but I couldn’t swear to that.

DonRosen
DonRosen on December 13, 2004 at 10:40 am

I have a photo of this theatre in operation. I’ll scan it and post it.

RobertR
RobertR on October 12, 2004 at 7:34 am

This theatre closed for good in March of 1996, just shy of it’s second year in business.

br91975
br91975 on October 7, 2004 at 12:16 pm

The MoviePlex 42, following several delays, opened for business on June 26, 1994 – the day after the Harris Theatre, the last of the 42nd Street grindhouses, ceased operating as such – and closed on March 15, 1996, its final six offerings being ‘Broken Arrow’, ‘City Hall’, ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’, ‘The Juror’, ‘Rumble in the Bronx’, and ‘Unforgettable’.

One of the more unique aspects of the MoviePlex 42 was its double bill policy – patrons could see one film in one auditorium, and then switch to a second film in a second auditorium. To accomodate this, features in all six of the auditoriums had the same starting times – 11:10 am, 1:20, 3:30, 5:40, 7:55, and 10:10, with 12:20 am late shows Fridays and Saturdays – the occasional exception to that schedule (and the double bill policy) being films with longer running times, such as ‘Casino’.

Currently, a Modell’s Sporting Goods location occupies the spot where the MoviePlex 42 once stood.