Real Estate

Long-abandoned Manhattan cinema to become boutique theater

After a really lengthy intermission, this theater is lastly set to return.

For 17 years, Manhattan’s Metro Theater has been amassing mud on the Upper West Side. Since 2005, the 82-year-old Art Deco theater has sat vacant, practically dwelling to quite a few tenants — Urban Outfitters, Planet Fitness, Alamo Drafthouse, an arts training nonprofit — all of which ultimately fell by way of. 

Now, although, it’s official: A lease has lastly been signed and the historic constructing will keep a cinema. 

“There have been so many false starts and failed plans at The Metro; I think a lot of us started to feel like Charlie Brown with the football and had given up being excited,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine instructed The Post. When he heard yet one more potential business was fascinated about bringing again the Broadway constructing, “I decided that I wouldn’t celebrate until I heard it directly from a tenant that a lease had been signed.” 

And now that’s lastly occurred. 

“This is real, I heard it direct from the head of the company: The lease has been signed so there’s no turning back,” he went on. “They’re asking for a bit of anonymity at this point, but I can tell you unambiguously that this is real, it’s happening, and it’s a best case scenario.”

The 10,260-square-foot constructing will become a “Community Entertainment” and “multi-screen cinema center, with restaurant facilities and community meeting rooms on a rental basis,” longtime proprietor Albert Bialek told The West Side Rag. Since being constructed within the Thirties, the two-story constructing has housed an artwork home cinema, pornography theater and two nationwide film chains, and nonetheless boasts the identical landmarked exterior. Its inside, nonetheless, has since been gutted. 

metro theater lease signed 2022
An indication promoting the area in February 2021.
James Keivom for NY Post
metro theater lease signed 2022
The Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway, circa 1994.
Museum of the City of New York/Getty Images

“It kind of works for this new format because it’s going to be a large number of smaller screens,” Levine famous optimistically of the clean inside canvas.

The but unnamed company of “renowned people” from California are refusing to reveal their identification till they “file their plans” within the subsequent few weeks, however they’ll provide movie-goers an alcohol-equipped dine-in movie expertise, the Rag reported. 

In response to The Post’s inquiry, film chain Alamo Drafthouse — which nearly constructed a five-screen theater within the area earlier than backing out in 2012 — supplied no remark concerning if it’s the secret new tenant. 

The information is a big boon for the realm, which has lost numerous companies through the pandemic and is now pockmarked by empty storefronts. 

“It’s been a rough two years,” mentioned Levine, who represented a part of the Upper West Side throughout his time on New York City Council from 2014 to 2021. “We had feared this would be a chain clothing store or a pharmacy, although anything would’ve been better than abandonment.”

Its emptiness has certainly been not solely unhappy but in addition costly: Bialek has been charged over $840,000 in metropolis property taxes within the time the handle has remained vacant, the Real Deal previously reported.

“This is gonna transform that area,” Levine went on enthusiastically. “This is just the boost that the neighborhood needed.”

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