April 15, 2024


Art Shines Through

Long-abandoned Manhattan cinema to become boutique theater

Soon after a very long intermission, this theater is lastly set to return.

For 17 a long time, Manhattan’s Metro Theater has been collecting dust on the Upper West Aspect. Due to the fact 2005, the 82-yr-previous Art Deco theater has sat vacant, nearly household to quite a few tenants — Urban Outfitters, World Exercise, Alamo Drafthouse, an arts education and learning nonprofit — all of which ultimately fell via. 

Now, nevertheless, it is formal: A lease has lastly been signed and the historic constructing will keep a cinema. 

“There have been so several wrong starts off and failed plans at The Metro I feel a whole lot of us started off to sense like Charlie Brown with the football and had specified up getting enthusiastic,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine informed The Article. When he heard however an additional probable organization was fascinated in bringing back the Broadway developing, “I resolved that I wouldn’t celebrate right up until I heard it directly from a tenant that a lease experienced been signed.” 

And now which is last but not least occurred. 

“This is true, I listened to it direct from the head of the corporation: The lease has been signed so there is no turning back again,” he went on. “They’re inquiring for a bit of anonymity at this level, but I can tell you unambiguously that this is genuine, it is occurring, and it’s a most effective case state of affairs.”

The 10,260-square-foot developing will become a “Community Entertainment” and “multi-screen cinema centre, with restaurant services and community meeting rooms on a rental basis,” longtime proprietor Albert Bialek told The West Aspect Rag. Considering the fact that remaining built in the 1930s, the two-tale developing has housed an artwork property cinema, pornography theater and two nationwide film chains, and nonetheless boasts the same landmarked exterior. Its inside, nonetheless, has given that been gutted. 

metro theater lease signed 2022
A signal promotion the area in February 2021.
James Keivom for NY Article
metro theater lease signed 2022
The Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway, circa 1994.
Museum of the Metropolis of New York/Getty Photographs

“It kind of is effective for this new format simply because it’s likely to be a substantial variety of scaled-down screens,” Levine mentioned optimistically of the blank inside canvas.

The nevertheless unnamed company of “renowned people” from California are refusing to expose their identity right up until they “file their plans” in the future several weeks, but they’ll present film-goers an liquor-equipped dine-in movie experience, the Rag claimed. 

In response to The Post’s inquiry, film chain Alamo Drafthouse — which nearly built a 5-screen theater in the place prior to backing out in 2012 — provided no remark relating to if it is the magic formula new tenant. 

The information is a huge boon for the area, which has dropped a good deal of firms through the pandemic and is now pockmarked by empty storefronts. 

“It’s been a tough two years,” reported Levine, who represented section of the Upper West Aspect during his time on New York Town Council from 2014 to 2021. “We had feared this would be a chain apparel keep or a pharmacy, although nearly anything would’ve been improved than abandonment.”

Its emptiness has in truth been not only sad but also pricey: Bialek has been charged above $840,000 in metropolis residence taxes in the time the tackle has remained vacant, the Actual Deal earlier claimed.

“This is gonna rework that area,” Levine went on enthusiastically. “This is just the increase that the community necessary.”