Saturday, March 16, 2013

AMC Empire 25: I think I really want to visit this place one day...

Photo by bretchburg
A friend of mine had talked about the highest grossing theaters in this nation. And such a theater is located in NYC and I asked a friend of mine about the busiest theater in NYC and he didn't mention this place. Also he kinda of just dismissed the idea of a 24 hour cinema as being as seedy as the pr0n theater we saw in Taxi Driver.

In any case this just has to be a monster to administer day in and day out. A slow day would would still be busy compared to many theaters in this country outside of this part of NYC. MAN! This article was from 2011, BTW.
It's just past 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, and at least a dozen people waiting to be let in are peering anxiously through the glass doors of the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street in Times Square. One man is pacing the lobby, having slipped through unnoticed when an electrician entered.

The doors open, and the customers quickly buy their tickets, disappearing up the network of narrow escalators leading upstairs to five levels of auditoriums. Two buy tickets for the indie comedy Win Win, and three tourists from California are going to see the animated Hop. An elderly man says he's hard of hearing and wants the loudest auditorium sound possible. He's in luck; there is both an Imax and an ETX theater, AMC's version of Imax that vibrates with bass. Today, Hanna, an arty action pic, is the ETX offering.

Most multiplexes in the U.S. don't open until noon and, if they did open earlier, would be hard-pressed to get any traffic. But early openings are all in a day's work for the Empire, which accommodates more than 2 million moviegoers annually. It's been the top-grossing theater in North America for years -- a surprising fact, even within the film business, given that it doesn't have bells and whistles like reserved seating or high-end dining. Not to mention that 42nd Street is best associated with the surrounding Broadway legit theaters (and, of course, the often seedy history of Times Square).

The story of how the Empire -- which has gone from Broadway theater to burlesque house to shuttered operation -- came to be the U.S.' busiest theater is emblematic of the resurgence of Times Square and New York City's tenacious ability to reinvent itself. Beyond its singular success, the Empire offers a profile of how the modern multiplex -- albeit one on steroids -- operates. Individual movies are assigned screens based on their drawing power, and the number of screens can change quickly from one day to the next. To maintain cost-effectiveness, staffing is constantly adjusted based on projections about how upcoming movies are expected to perform. And even orchestrating the concession lines is a near-science.
When I finally do embark on my NYC adventure this is going to be one of the many places I should visit at that point. My goal was to do a TV taping and then see some of the architecture and possibly even go to Harlem. Perhaps I should do this before my next visit to LA. :)

BTW, visit the AMC page for this venue here!

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