Big Cinemas Manhattan

239 E. 59th Street,
New York, NY 10022

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Showing 1 - 25 of 83 comments

ridethectrain on July 3, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Please update, theatre open on July 16, 1969 with Camille 2000. No grand opening ad

rivest266 on October 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Thanks for the upgrade. I guess they ran out of names for cinemas.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 8, 2020 at 10:16 pm

The 1961/62 Griffith was on Broadway. This opened as the Cinema Malibu in 1969.

rivest266 on October 8, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Some dates October 14th, 1962 as D. W. Griffith, July 16th, 1969 Cine Malibu, February 20th, 1975 D. W. Griffith again and April 21st, 1989 Cineplex Odeon 59th Street East Cinema. Grand opening ads posted.

kieran10 on September 4, 2020 at 3:31 am

This was a great little hole in the wall theater and part of my favorite stretch of movie-ing in the late 80s. It started at the Sutton on 57th and 3rd, then the Gotham, the Manhattan Twin, The DW Griffith, The Baronet/Coronet and ending with Cinema 1,2,3.

The only films I remember seeing here were Lair of the White Worm and The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but I’m sure there were more. To me it felt deceptively large inside (which is always a good thing).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 26, 2019 at 9:23 am

There were some exceptions including the Strand and the Rivoli (United Artists Twin).

robboehm on August 26, 2019 at 9:00 am

Al I thought the CT policy was supposed to be last incarnation.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 25, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Why would you think that if you thought the historic Strand should be renamed for it’s last incarnation?

ridethectrain on August 25, 2019 at 9:09 pm

I think it should be titles either 59th Street East when it was Clearview Cinemas and Cineplex Odeon that renamed it (the last name before it went to Big Cinemas) or D.W. Griiffith when it was Cinema 5

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on September 9, 2017 at 11:44 am

The old theater is now the Tracy Anderson Group Classes Cafe. A photo taken on August 14, 2017 has been added.

David_Schneider on March 29, 2016 at 2:24 pm

The other ImaginAsian was in Los Angeles with its own page on Cinema Treasures, now as the Downtown Independent, but still has its cool looking exterior.

RobertR on February 5, 2015 at 10:27 am

Come on the theatre could get big bookings with all the other cinemas closed

RobertR on September 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

The marquee is lit up with a for lease sign but I guess this is going to go retail :(

RobertR on July 16, 2014 at 8:44 am

Anything going on here? I keep hoping it reopens hate to see it closed

RobertR on March 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

The East side used to be a BOOMING movie area. Other then the 3 films playing at Cinema 1-2-3 couldn’t this theatre have its pick of releases?

robboehm on March 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

Garth – Isn’t it really about product rather than seating? There are two small single screen theaters on Long Island which do quite well exhibiting several different films each day for several days rotating the times shown.

RobertR on March 11, 2014 at 8:29 am

If City Cinemas (who used to operate this) or another operator who could get good product came here they might make a go of it. Even though the days of the single screen are over, the neighborhood is painfully under screened. I ran this theatre many eons ago and hate to see it close.

Garth on February 2, 2014 at 9:11 am

I was hoping to check out the theatre due to it’s history but was not interested in the films they showed. I would put it’s chances of finding new owners as slim to none. It is just not financially viable to operate a single screen movie house with no stadium seating on the UES or anywhere. In the old days it would have become a revival house, a showcase for foreign films or a discount second run location.

fred1 on January 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

All Big cinemas in the NY market are close. They were dumb enough to play bollywood flicks and thus limit its audience. I wont be suprised how much their theaters were rundown as they put zero dollars.

SethLewis on January 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

This was the Cine Malibu, then the D.W. Griffith, then the 59th St. East under Cineplex Odeon, then the Big Manhattan…interesting evolution from soft porn to art house to second run showcase to first run to Bollywood… Flew the flags of Rugoff/Cinema 5/City Cinemas/Walter Reade/Cineplex Odeon before Big…Not to sniff at first run engagements of pictures like Steve McQueen’s Le Mans, Jaws 2, Connery/Hoffman & Broderick in Family Business A shame if City couldn’t find value as a second run spillover house between the Cinema ½/3 and Beekman in the now woefully underscreened UES

Mikeoaklandpark on January 29, 2014 at 10:54 am

City Cinemas should take it over and make it Cinema 4

br91975 on January 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Walked by this cinema last night and noticed it was closed, as per its blank marquee, Big Cinemas signage painted black and sign posted on one of the main theatre entry doors. Too soon to tell if another operator might take over or if a retail conversion is next.

On another note, Midtown East now has more physically vacant screens – this one, the three at 64th & 2nd, and the six at 1st & 62nd – than it does operating ones (the three at the Cinema 1, 2 & 3 and the two at the Beekman).

ChrisHe on November 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Amazing that this cinema has managed to remain open in a part of Manhattan that used to be a movie-goers destination w/ all the cinemas that were in the area. Now it is this and the Cinema 1,2,3 around the corner. I used to attend when it was called “ImaginAsian” but there was never many people in attendance when I went, so I wasn’t surprised when they pulled the plug. I haven’t been there since it became Big Cinemas and began featuring, for the most part, Bollywood fare.

SethLewis on June 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Opened as the D.W.Griffith with a festival of films by the great man himself with live organ accompaniment…Saw Birth of a Nation there…