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Concert Venues :: Cinema 1


Now Known As
Date Opened 1962
Venue Capacity
Venue URL
Venue Address 1001 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022

Venue Information

Cinema I and Cinema II opened in 1962, at a cost of $750,000. Abraham W. Geller, Architect and Donald Rugoff/Cinema 5 Ltd, owner. It was decorated with a mural by Ilya Bolotowsky, sculpture by Stephanie Scuris, and artwork by Sewell Sillman and Norman Ives. It was considered to be the first commercially viable two-screen cinema built in the US. Cinema I had 700 seats and Cinema II had 291 seats.

Technically, it is not a "twin cinema", as Cinema I is a orchestra-stadium type auditorium on the 2nd and 3rd floor levels of the building with the screen on the east wall, Cinema II, a standard orchestra-type auditorium, nestles sideways underneath in the basement and first floor levels, screen on the south wall. Separate marquee, entrance, box office and lobby for each cinema.

It also operated as two seperate theatres, with 2 unit numbers, 2 payrolls, 2 concession inventories etc. Lobbies decorated with modern paintings and other artwork. Specialized in art-house product.

It was renovated in 1988, Abraham W. Geller, Architect. The large upper theatre was divided by removing front 6 rows of seats, moving screen forward and inserting small cinema in the resulting space, screen on the north wall. Marquees, entrances, box offices and lobbies combined to operate as a triplex. New seating was installed, rest rooms enlarged and original artwork restored.

New seating capacities are 532 for Cinema I 532, 290 for Cinema II and 165 for Cinema III.

It is presently operated by City Cinemas/Reading Entertainment.

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