Image via Cryptome
The Empire Theatre, now the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square has a colorful history, with an interior designed by Thomas Lamb who created many of New York’s impressive theaters like the Loews Mayfair Theater nearby, the now abandoned RKO Keith’s Theater in Flushing, and many along Broadway. Today, the theater is one of the centerpieces of the revitalized 42nd Street but it doesn’t actually sit in its original location. In fact, the whole building was lifted from its foundation and moved 168 feet westwards in 1997. The 3,700 ton structure was converted into the entrance way to a new retail complex. The original Thomas Lamb interior is now the lobby of the AMC Theater and if you keep your eyes open, there are many fun historical details that have been left.
When you turn around while paying for your tickets, you’ll see the original balcony:
From the top of the escalator, you can get a glimpse of the old box seats:
From the center of the lobby, you’ll see the original ceiling murals and sculptural details:
But the remnants don’t stop in the lobby. At the top of the escalator, you’re essentially where the backstage lighting area would have been:
Here’s a glimpse into the shell of the theater:
An old stage door perhaps:
More original exposed brick:
And finally when you return to the lobby, you’ll notice more of the original construction like these steps that would have led up to the balcony levels:
And a look down from the top of the escalator:
Read about 7 other historic buildings that have been moved from their original location. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.