New Metro Twin

2626 Broadway,
New York, NY 10025

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Showing 101 - 125 of 157 comments

faberfranz on October 8, 2005 at 11:47 pm

I have to admit that I haven’t been inside for several years, after enjoying it through several phases, including its porn period(s); but on the other hand I haven’t been going to other movie theaters (except Thalia a year or so ago).

I think this is an excellent idea:
“…Only four blocks away, at Broadway and 95th Street, is the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, part of the renovated Symphony Space complex. Isaiah Sheffer, the artistic director of Symphony Space, said the reborn Metro would be complementary rather than competitive. He wished Mr. Elson well and even imagines the Thalia and Metro cross-promoting one another’s offerings, a prospect that interests Mr. Elson, too…”

Exterior has landmark status, but interior—?!? Might it become a lobby for the high-rise (and I do mean HIGH-rise) to be built adjacent to it?

[Perhaps people noticed the front-paged news of a scaffolding collapse during Gristedes demolition across the street, a few months ago. Part of the same operation: one building to be 27 stories? the other 31? Up until now, “high-rise” in this neighborhood meant 15 stories. One of those Cheney-related corporations: revenge against the USW?]

P.S. I almost didn’t find this entry because I was searching for “Metro” (current name) and for “Midtown” (earlier name).

P.P.S. Why “midtown”? obviously, because about mid-way between where the numbered streets begin and where they end. Approximately. (North or south of them: terra incognita.)

Forrest136 on September 5, 2005 at 1:33 pm

I guess another theatre will be gone soon! Lets not hope so!

br91975 on September 5, 2005 at 12:40 pm

When the Metro first re-opened, one of the selling points of the management of the theatre by Peter Elson were his ‘connections’ within the film exhibition industry. Question is, what kind of ‘connections’ does Elson have? Just look at some of the highlights of the current slate of art-house films currently in exhibition around the city: ‘The Aristocrats’, ‘Broken Flowers’, ‘The Constant Gardener’, ‘Grizzly Man’, ‘Junebug’, ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’, and ‘2046’; if Elson truly had meaningful contacts of note, wouldn’t he have been able to book at least one of those films into the Metro?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 5, 2005 at 12:13 pm

A story in the City Section of The New York Times (9/4/05) said that the Metro will likely close by the end of the year if attendance doesn’t improve substantially. A local resident was quoted: “Many of the movies at the Metro are so obscure that there is virtually no audience for them.” Owner-operator Peter Elson said: “We really have tried. It’s been disappointing. They want to have a theater, but they don’t want to support it.” A 2PM screening of “King of the Corner” attracted only four people while reporter Jeff Vandam was visiting the theatre.

RobertR on July 4, 2005 at 9:07 pm

In it’s Midtown days it played “Woodstock” on it’s Oscar re-issue.
View link

savethesutton on February 27, 2005 at 4:35 am

How’s seeing a movie here? Nice to see a classic theater taken car of.

Shade on January 18, 2005 at 2:42 am


Okay, haven’t seen a movie yet, but I walked up today to have a look. I was only able to have a peek at Theater 2 on the right, the main auditorium of the original theater. The statues are still there. It looked like all the seats had been replaced. There is a curtain that rises over the screen. The screen is much larger than the previous one. It looked like some painting had been done, and some carpeting had been replaced.

Sadly, the cool old-style Ladies and Gentleman hanging bathroom signs are gone. They merely have common block-people flat plastic signs to distinguish between the sexes.

The concession menu signs have been taken down so the flourescents usually highlighting the popcorn prices are a bit coldly claring. They have printed pieces of paper with the menu items at the concession counter. I was told they’re still renovating.

The four cool 3-D Coming Soon movie poster cases are there. The ceiling tiles are there inside and out.

The marquee is lit up, the lobby pillars are lit up, but the neon METRO sign over the pillars was not lit. I asked about it but the high schoolers earning their bubblegum money were clueless about all these details I was interested in.

At the minimum, I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far. I do miss the restroom signs, but I’d rather merely miss those, than miss the chance to enter through this funky lobby and see a film in what seems to be an okay theater. It also looked like a new sound system had been set up.

I’m checking their website weekly for a film I want to see. It looked like they might be getting the Danish film The Green Butchers as a moveover from Cinema Village but now they’re reporting two other films on their website. I hope to catch something soon. Although programming is bizarre at the moment, this kind of theater is very rare now in Manhattan and boy, that massive marquee stretching out over the entire sidewalk to the street is pretty nice. Especially as it’s not a digital readerboard.

I wouldn’t mind seeing nice maroon vests or something on the crew there. It was hard to tell who was working there and who was seeing a movie.

br91975 on January 11, 2005 at 1:58 am

A month after its grand reopening, the Metro is currently showing two move-over engagements – ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ and ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?!’ – deep into their runs and likely not doing too much business at this point; kind of a surprising way for Peter Elson to go when one considers the glut of other quality, more recent films just released around and during the holiday season, such as ‘The Aviator’, ‘Kinsey’, ‘Sideways’, and ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’, all of which are drawing healthy box office in Manhattan and around the country and all of which cater perfectly to UWS audiences.

RobertR on December 25, 2004 at 3:11 pm

Did he bring one of his turnstyles there? LOL

br91975 on December 25, 2004 at 2:19 pm

The official web site of the New Metro Twin:

PeterApruzzese on December 13, 2004 at 5:10 pm

The re-opened this weekend, I heard there were some problems. Did anybody go?

chconnol on December 10, 2004 at 3:37 pm

Drove past this theater this morning on my way to work (I drive in occasionally). I like to drive down Broadway and see if I can spot any places where theaters are or were.

Anyway…from the outside, this theater looks fantastic. Very brightly lit and such. I could see they had “The Incredibles” and “The Motorcycle Diaries” playing which is good because it will hopefully draw more of a mixed crowd. Great to see it up and running.

The Gentleman who did this should be canonized.

RobertR on December 6, 2004 at 7:27 pm

Embassy 2-3-4 was like a 42nd St grind house. Embassy 1 was slightly better. The only theatre somewhat maintained was the Guild and that went to hell at the end too.

PeterApruzzese on December 6, 2004 at 7:19 pm

Anybody go to the grand re-opening this past weekend? How are the renovations?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 23, 2004 at 6:56 am

They ran those Embassy theaters right into the ground.

longislandmovies on November 22, 2004 at 4:53 pm

Same owners as Embassy theaters is nothing to brag about one of the worst operated theater chains in NYC.

br91975 on November 22, 2004 at 4:18 pm

I can’t foresee the Embassy 2-3-4 reopening as a movie theatre, not with the E-Walk and Empire on 42nd; it’s just not realistic (unless it’s being reconverted – and will be agressively marketed to the public as such – into a single-screen house) to think it could compete with the two theatres on the Deuce and, besides, AMC and Loews will most likely not allow product to double-run in a venue which is run by a competitor and so close by. My guess is the Embassy space will become a performing arts venue of some sort (cabaret, maybe?), retail space, or perhaps a restaurant.

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 3:46 pm

Mikeoaklandpark: perhaps he is…somethingis going on there at the Embassy 2,3,4 as there’s a scaffolding directly under the marquee. I noticed it on Friday…

Mikeoaklandpark on November 22, 2004 at 3:43 pm

Since the new owner is from the Embassy thaters, why doesn’t he reopen the Embassy 2,3 4 on broadway.

br91975 on November 22, 2004 at 2:21 pm

One word: HOORAY!!!

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 2:10 pm

It will open again!! From today’s NY Times:

Landmark Theater Held Over! 6th Big Broadway Run!

After closing and reopening and closing again over the last two years, to the accompaniment of rumors that it would be replaced by a Gristede’s, the Metro Theater on upper Broadway is getting ready to debut once more, on Dec. 3, this time as an independent cinema.

With 292 new seats in the upstairs auditorium, 188 new seats downstairs and rolls of new red carpeting that arrived on Friday, the Metro – an exuberant Art Deco landmark between 99th and 100th Streets – is approaching its sixth incarnation in 71 years.

Behind its pink and black terra-cotta facade, adorned by an enormous medallion depicting tragedy and comedy, the Metro has been a first-run movie theater, a pornographic house, an art theater and a part of two national cinema chains. Though divided, its original Deco décor is delectably intact, including vinelike grilles and vase-bearing sylphs in niches flanking the proscenium arch.

Under the name Embassy’s New Metro Twin, it will be a showcase for foreign and independent films, with some first-run features thrown in, beginning next month with the Italian movie “After Midnight” (“Dopo Mezzanotte”) and “The Incredibles.”

The reopening is not only a reprieve for the Upper West Side, which has been hemorrhaging small theaters in recent decades, but a welcome change for Peter H. Elson, a second-generation theater operator who has usually had to close the houses that his father, Norman W. Elson, acquired: the Embassy 72nd Street Twin on Broadway in 1988, the Embassy 1 in Times Square in 1997 and the Guild at Rockefeller Center in 1999.

“I intend to take as many chances on foreign and independent films here as I did at 72nd Street,” Mr. Elson said Friday as he toured the Metro. “Ten years ago, I would have said that I didn’t think this area could support an art theater. But this area has changed and improved and continues to improve.”

Mr. Elson holds a 20-year lease on the theater from its owner, Albert Bialek. He said he had put about $240,000 into the renovation. There will be new sound systems, larger screens and curtains that will ceremoniously open before each show.

“In old movie palaces, the imagination started to work from the moment you opened the door,” Mr. Elson said. “To the extent possible, that’s the way it should be.”

Boak & Paris, the original architects in 1933, infused the building with a sense of fantasy. In designating the exterior as an official landmark in 1989, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission said that the Metro was “a rare surviving small Art Deco-style neighborhood movie theater” with “one of the finest facades of its type in New York City.”

Only four blocks away, at Broadway and 95th Street, is the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, part of the renovated Symphony Space complex. Isaiah Sheffer, the artistic director of Symphony Space, said the reborn Metro would be complementary rather than competitive. He wished Mr. Elson well and even imagines the Thalia and Metro cross-promoting one another’s offerings, a prospect that interests Mr. Elson, too.

“I would say, from Symphony Space’s point of view, that it’s a wonderful thing,” Mr. Sheffer said. “It’s good for the nabe.”

It is also good for the landmarks commission, which has had to field at least 100 anxious calls about the unfounded Gristede’s supermarket rumor, said Diane Jackier, the director of community and government affairs. How the rumor started is unclear, although the Metro’s future was shaky last year and there is a Gristede’s across Broadway.

Despite its uptown location, the theater was originally called the Midtown, a name it kept through the 1970’s, when its adults-only fare included double bills like “Hooker Convention” and “Exchange Student.” In 1982, the theater operator Daniel Talbot took over the lease, renamed it the Metro, and began showing an eclectic mix of foreign, art and revival films. Cineplex Odeon took over in 1987, followed by Clearview Cinemas.

At the time of the landmark designation, the commission noted that in 1934 there were 18 cinemas on Broadway from 59th to 110th Streets.

“Only 4 of the 18 are still standing and open to the public as movie theaters,” the commission said in 1989. These were the Regency at 67th Street, the Metro at 99th, the Columbia at 103rd Street and the Olympia at 107th Street.

Today, only the Metro survives.

“Even though we don’t regulate use,” said Robert B. Tierney, the current commission chairman, “I am delighted that the Metro will continue to operate as one of the great landmark movie houses on the Upper West Side.”

GregMims on November 16, 2004 at 10:36 pm

The Metro is slated to reopen by November 25, so says a renovation supervisor at the theater. It is no longer part of Clearview Cinemas.

Greg Mims

PeterApruzzese on October 12, 2004 at 5:28 am

RobertR wrote:

What about a floating screen that would be in front of the proscenium? It could still be draped, somewhat like how the Cinerama conversions were. Say is the downstairs in The Metro big enough for Cinerama?

Sure, that could work. It would probably be very expensive to make it not look out of place, but it could work. But some valuable seating capacity would probably be lost. In fact, the limited seating of the whole theatre (fewer than 500 between both houses) is the chief difficulty with the location right now (aside from the dreadful condition) in terms of being able to meet projected operating expenses.

No, the auditorium is far too small for a Cinerama screen installation.

dave-bronx™ on October 12, 2004 at 5:19 am

There were only a few films made in the Cinerama process, not enough to justify the expense of a new installation.

RobertR on October 12, 2004 at 4:57 am

What about a floating screen that would be in front of the proscenium? It could still be draped, somewhat like how the Cinerama conversions were. Say is the downstairs in The Metro big enough for Cinerama?