New Metro Twin

2626 Broadway,
New York, NY 10025

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ridethectrain on March 23, 2022 at 12:51 pm

From the New York Post on March 22, 2022 article:After a very long intermission, this theater is finally set to return.

For 17 years, Manhattan’s Metro Theater has been collecting dust on the Upper West Side. Since 2005, the 82-year-old Art Deco theater has sat vacant, nearly home to numerous tenants — Urban Outfitters, Planet Fitness, Alamo Drafthouse, an arts education nonprofit — all of which eventually fell through.

Now, though, it’s official: A lease has finally been signed and the historic building will stay 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 told The Post. When he heard yet another potential business was interested in bringing back the Broadway building, “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 finally happened.

“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 building will become a “Community Entertainment” and “multi-screen cinema center, with restaurant facilities and community meeting rooms on a rental basis,” longtime owner Albert Bialek told The West Side Rag. Since being built in the 1930s, the two-story building has housed an art house cinema, pornography theater and two national movie chains, and still boasts the same landmarked exterior. Its interior, however, has since been gutted. “It kind of works for this new format because it’s going to be a large number of smaller screens,” Levine noted optimistically of the blank interior canvas.

The yet unnamed company of “renowned people” from California are refusing to reveal their identity until they “file their plans” in the next few weeks, but they’ll offer movie-goers an alcohol-equipped dine-in film experience, the Rag reported.

In response to The Post’s inquiry, movie chain Alamo Drafthouse — which almost built a five-screen theater in the space before backing out in 2012 — offered no comment regarding if it is the secret new tenant.

The news is a huge boon for the area, which has lost a lot of businesses during the pandemic and is now pockmarked by empty storefronts.

“It’s been a rough two years,” said Levine, who represented part of the Upper West Side during 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 vacancy has indeed been not only sad but also expensive: Bialek has been charged over $840,000 in city property taxes in the time the address 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.”

ridethectrain on July 4, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Please update, became a Twin on August 29, 1986. Theatre closed on December 1, 2005

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 15, 2020 at 3:11 pm

It became a twin in 1982. The Jessica Lange “KING KONG” was a 1976 release. The food carts down the aisle were a Cineplex Odeon project that started in the early nineties. Are you talking about the original “KING KONG” as a revival?

artpf on June 15, 2020 at 2:06 pm

There is something incorrect about this description. I remember very specifically because I was there. Sometime in the middle 80s, the theatre had a grand opening as the Metro and they completely restored the inside to art deco style and even had users who had carts with popcorn and snacks going up and down the aisles. The first movie showed was King Kong. It wasn’t a duplex at that point! The only reason I went was to see the unedited Kong on a big screen! The theatre is still there and available for rent.

ridethectrain on August 12, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Please correct your desciption, New York Cinemas (owners of Cinema Studio and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas) ran the Metro Theatre. They made that theatre a twin with only one auditorium Dolby Stereo.. Clearview took the theatre over from Cineplex Odeon after they were force to sell some theatres off when they merge with Loews.. I enclose a ad with NYC owning the theatre

bigjoe59 on February 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Hello- after Alamo scraped their plans is the' theater just sitting there boarded up?

theatrefan on October 18, 2015 at 9:19 am

It’s a shame that Alamo Drafthouse could not make it work as a movie theatre. Well at least the exterior has landmark status, so that can’t change it, thankfully.

Metropolite on October 17, 2015 at 3:41 am

New York Times – October 17, 2015.
Metro To Become Fitness Center

HowardBHaas on August 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

not sure if this listing is current re what sounds like vendor booths

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Damn… That is too bad. Seemed like an ideal salvage for this old structure. Now, I’m sure, whatever is left of the place is destined to be hauled away as rubble.

br91975 on October 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

Alamo Drafthouse won’t be opening at the Metro, after all:

stang119 on August 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

With the Alamos, construction looks can be deceiving. The old Movieland in Yonkers looked for months as if nothing was happening and plans were abandoned. Then all of a sudden, like Christmas, it opened! And it’s beautiful! Don’t worry, it’ll be fine!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 9, 2013 at 10:16 am

Direct link to article and photos here

stagecable on April 9, 2013 at 8:52 am

Photos of the construction progress:

SeaBassTian on September 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I am dubious about these big plans. I passed by the other day and not only was there not any work being done but there was also a Space Available banner up.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 8, 2012 at 5:55 am

Since there was a balcony in the original, they’ll stack them and likely utilize basement space. I anticipate at least a few of these rooms will be quite small, but I’m hoping the screen sizes remain reasonable.

John Fink
John Fink on June 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

The Ritz mentioned in the interview with Tim Leauge is a cool venue that was turned into two stadium seating theaters with great sight lines. I think they were working with a raw shell there but it’s a pretty classy-looking place, I’m sure The Metro will also incorporate elements of the original look. After all they are all about vintage.

With this said I love Alamo Drafthouse – they program everything down to the pre-show (imagine YouTube clips designed to get you excited about the film you’re about to see). While I also really like Nitehawk in Willliamsburg (it’s the closest thing to Alamo in the area) it’s always encouraging to see a movie theatre run by film lovers create a fun but respectful atmosphere (including kicking out talkers and texters), I think people will travel uptown for the experience. (and it makes sense to go uptown, below 14th is probably over screened so they’ll be massive compitition for product). The only thing about them that’s a little concerning is the pace at which they’re expanding….

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Sad that the theater was completely gutted. Seems that Alamo might have employed many of the original architectural features in the new auditoriums. It is heartening to hear that they will research the original decor and use that as a basis to design and trim the new interior.

Al… I wonder if Alamo will be able to succeed where CO wasn’t, based on their being licensed to serve liquor on the premises.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

He’s going to run into trouble with that ‘no kids under 6’ policy. Cineplex Odeon was sued for attempting that in New York.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

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thejaytrixorlikeyouknow on April 10, 2012 at 5:57 am

They should turn the West Newton in Mass into an alamo drafthouse, haha. Thats cool though, now East Coasters get a chance to see what this is about.

MPol on April 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

How cool! I hope all of you New Yorkers enjoy the Alamo DraftHouse when it moves in! If there could only be an Alamo Drafthouse coming to Boston!

moviebuff82 on April 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

Nice…..I always wanted to check out the Alamo Drafthouse chain….

fred1 on April 7, 2012 at 5:03 am

Thanks Saps . The link never hyper-link