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New York Getting a Slew of New Cinemas in 2016


Two zealous new venues, along with the reboot of a popular micro-cinema, are nearing completion in 2016. For diehard moviegoers living in New York, the upcoming year will offer more opportunities for going to the big screen.

At Canal and Ludlow Streets, the Metrograph is scheduled to open on February 19. This movie theater will boast art-house programming and two screens, complete with 35mm and digital projection in both. Overall, the Metrograph has its sights set on becoming a new cinema institution.

According to fashion designer and filmmaker, Alexander Olch, this cinema was six years in the making. Inspired by theaters he visited while a young boy in New York, he wanted to create something different for people who love watching movies.

An existing 9,000-square-foot former food storage warehouse will be home to the new Metrograph. What makes this location so unique is that it sits adjacent to the site where the old Loew’s Canal Theatre once stood—the very theater that Olch frequented as a young boy. That theater opened in 1927 and became known as one of the most opulent of all movie houses in New York. With the Metrograph, Olch wants to offer moviegoers a richer and more honest experience.

The Metrograph’s design includes a two-story restaurant, in-house bar, and a bookstore that will stock titles relating to films. Once complete, this new cinema will seat 170 in the 20-foot-wide screen theater and 50 in the theater with a 20-foot screen. As far as showings, the Metrograph will feature classic 35mm print screenings and retrospectives, theatrical releases, and a unique but also relatively rigorous film section.

The Alamo Drafthouse City Point is also scheduled to open sometime next year. As part of the 1.8-million-square-foot, mixed-use City Point project, this new cinema will feature seven screens. Included in the Alamo Drafthouse chain that launched the 2013 Yonkers franchise is a team fully dedicated to 35mm projection. That, coupled with supplemental mainstream releases of classic and cult firms, along with digital projection, gives people the best of all worlds.

Spectacle is a 30-seat cinema that is being enhanced in 2016. Although this theater is located in one of the most expensive New York neighborhoods, due to the newly acquired not-for-profit status, moviegoers will still pay just $5 to see a movie—something that no other competitor offers.

Thanks to the hard work of 40 volunteers, an impressive collection of movies will be offered, including hard-to-find retrospectives and underground films produced by controversial directors. The theater is scheduled to reopen on January 4, and specific enhancements such as new air conditioning and heating system, as well as soundproof walls will be most evident. However, even the sound and digital project systems are being updated, along with more seating.

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