Metrograph Cinema Aims to Open on Ludlow Street in February 2016

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 at 9:27 am by
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The much-anticipated Metrograph theater possesses all the proper traits to woo the Lower East Side. Cinema arts, check; bombastic claims of returning the glamor of cinema to New York City, check; bolstering neighborhood creativity, check. Throughout this months-long construction period, it doesn’t seem as though there will be any bureaucratic impediment to opening the 8,853 square-foot establishment at 7 Ludlow Street.

Except maybe that 4am full liquor license for the on-premise restaurant planned. As previously reported, there are two L-shaped bars planned for the Metrograph – upstairs (14 feet) and downstairs (12 feet) – with sixteen bar stools. Moreover, there will be seventeen tables split between both floors with a total of seventy-two seats. Hours of operation are 9am to 4am daily; the application notes that “late hours during the week [due to] movie openings and special events.” No alcohol will be permitted in the theater, though. The kitchen, meanwhile, offers up a menu service for “Art Deco American cuisine,” and will remain open during all hours.

As for the nitty gritty on the cinema component of Metrograph, Alexander Olch and two of his cohorts presented an intimate introduction last night to the Arts subcommittee of Community Board 3. Much of the update is public knowledge at this point – there will be two screens and a mix of first-run independent and international movies, as well as repertory films, played on both 35mm and DCP.

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Rendering of the Metrograph theater on Ludlow St.

But there’s more to divulge. Here’s a crib sheet of what we gleaned from the discussion:

  • There are two theaters: a 50-seat room for rough cuts and screenings, and a 175-seat room for bigger features.
  • According to incoming programmer Aliza Ma, programming is a “celebration of cinema that’s accessible to everyone,” inspiring a sense of discovery. For instance, a Kung Fu series is planned.
  • Metrograph is for-profit. Admission would be comparable to other art houses in the area (i.e. Angelika, IFC). There will be student discounts.
  • There’s a complementary indie bookstore.
  • Timeline – December completion, January 2016 testing, February debut.

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