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What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

London
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What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

My apologies if this is a stupid question. I have tried searching for an answer, but have not been able to find anything. I am compiling a list for myself of the cinemas that are most frequently listed as the best in NYC. Something that is puzzling me is that many of them have a number at the end of the name. I am trying to work out why this is and whether it is of any importance to me as a potential movie goer. For example, I have found "Regal Battery Park Stadium 11" and "Regal Battery Park Stadium 16" (which appear to have the same address), "AMC Loews Kips Bay 15", "UA Kaufman Astoria Cinema 14", "AMC Empire 25". When I Google "AMC Empire", for example, it seems that there is only one cinema called "AMC Empire", and that is the "AMC Empire 25". To a British cinema goer this seems very strange. The only numbers we have are the numbers of the screens within the cinema. The cinema itself isn't numbered. So I am wondering why this is the case, what it means, and whether the number is an essential part of the name.

Thanks for any light that can be shed.

London
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1. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

I'm pretty sure it's the number of screens they have but I've no idea of what relevance that is to anybody !

Astoria, New York
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2. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Not stupid, you're just not used to American "super sizing"...

It means the number of separate viewing areas within the particular theater.

So for example, the AMC Empire 25 really has 25 separate movie theaters (with various sizes / seating capacities). Although they may not be showing that many different titles, as they will have some movies in more than one theater with a wider choice of start times.

Popular movies will probably be in the larger capacity spaces, arty films in smaller ones.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 15:40
Flushing, New York
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3. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

The numbering began when large single screen theaters were divided into smaller spaces as early multiplexes. Newer buildings have continued the practice.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

BTW, I have been to the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd St a few times while in the city, and I think it's very nice. The auditoriums I've been in are surprisingly large, acoustics are good, and seats are comfy. When you get there, you can buy tickets from a person, or at kiosks in the lobby, then head upstairs to your theatre which will be on the ticket. I've also been to the Regal right across the street as they will be showing different movies.

These are very accessible and busy being basically in Times Square, so easy to reach from wherever you're staying that's near the subway.

London
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5. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Thanks very much. Yes, to a British cinema goer that is a pretty amazing answer.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Another note...not sure how it's done in British cinemas, but at almost all American theatres, the seats are not reserved, i.e. first come, first served. The usher at the Empire will tear your ticket in the lobby on the second floor and tell you which floor your auditorium is on. The big concession stands are in that lobby (and the portions are also USA supersized and pricey.)

You just go in and find a seat you like, lots available most of the time, but when some "hot" movies have just come out, expect full capacity at most showings. The screening will start at the listed showtime, but expect as much as 30 minutes of upcoming previews and commercial announcements before your movie actually starts.

London
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7. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Thanks. In the UK it varies depending on the cinema and the film. I read somewhere that in New York you should almost always book cinema tickets in advance and not leave it to chance when you turn up. Is that really true? In London the only times you would really have to book in advance would be for some of the special event screenings, like when they live screen operas, ballets, plays, etc, which often do sell out, or for something extremely popular, such as The King's Speech, or at somewhere like the British Film Institute, which attracts a more specialist audience. But normally I would just chance it. It's not uncommon even in central London cinemas to find that there are only three of four people at some screenings. Is it so different in America, or New York specifically? I think of cinema as something to do more on the spur of the moment, and also if you're a tourist you may not be as easily able to book ahead if you don't have convenient internet/phone access.

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

UNless it is a brand new, very very hot movie ( which I always wait before going) I do not see a need to book in advance. I never do! The only place I would is one theater in Queens that has recliners, limited amount and they are reserved seating. So, if you do not want to be too far to the front--you reserve!

Astoria, New York
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9. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Depends on the film, day of week, time of day and part of town, but yes, some can sell out.

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: What is the significance (if any) of cinema numberings?

Last time I was in NY was the opening weekend of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire sequel. I tried to go both Saturday and Sunday nights and even though it was on almost half of their 25 screens, they were all selling out hours in advance.

I'm like you OP, spur of the moment, so I didn't relish buying a ticket in advance for a show very late at night, and where every seat would be taken. Most films do not attract that kind of crowd.