Tribeca Cinemas

54 Varick Street,
New York, NY 10013

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Tribeca Cinemas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

At one time the only operating theatre south of Canal Street, the Screening Room opened in the mid-1990’s, 1995 or so, and was situated on Varick Street and Laight Streets just south of Canal Street. It was unique in another respect in that it was attached to a restaurant and the the Screening Room/restaurant was marketed in tandem and you could get your meal tickets and a movie for a fixed price. Originally it opened as a single screen theatre and at some point a second screen in the complex was added. The cinemas, small, but cozy and somewhat faux funky, screened a mix of indie films, revivals, second run and was a venue for festivals. Like many businesses “downtown”, the SR was no doubt impacted by the 911 tragedy and quietly went dark sometime in late-2003 or early-2004.

Reportedly Robert DeNiro has bought/taken control of the facility, but it hasn’t as yet reopened as a full time public cinema.

However, in the 2005 program guide for the Tribeca Film Festival the site of the former Screening Room was used a venue and the new name is the Tribeca Film Center. It was closed in the summer of 2015.

Contributed by chris heaney

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

hardbop on March 31, 2006 at 7:23 am

That makes sense, but you would think the Regal folks would welcome the Tribeca Film Festival with open arms becaue I can’t imagine that that ‘plex does much business. The only time I’ve ever been there is for the fest.

And one benefit for expanding the fest is that they seem to have added screenings for the films that are playing in the fest. Many of the screenings sell out. Since I’m not an insider, I don’t buy a festival pass, I don’t live “downtown” and I don’t have an American Express Card, I don’t get first dibs on tickets. All those groups get ducats first, then the tickets go on sale to the John Q. Public. I buy mine the day tickets go on sale and even then I’ve found myself shut out of screenings. Hopefully, the expansion of the fest will eliminate this.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 5, 2006 at 10:45 am

This is all well and nice but did this cinema ever open?

AlexNYC on May 6, 2006 at 8:12 pm

I had been here a couple of times in the late 1990s to see foreign or independent films. Nice cozy set up and good snack counter, along the lines of the Film Forum. Since I’m rarely down by Canal Street, not sure what it’s doing right now outside of the Tribeca Film festival.

hardbop on May 18, 2006 at 10:12 am

To further confuse matters there was another theatre that was called “Tribeca Cinema” at 41 White Street. There was a discussion of this theatre somewhere here, but the White Street Tribeca Cinema had a brief life as a revival theatre in the late summer of ‘92 to the late fall of '92/early winter '93. It literally opened/closed within a span of months. I remember going there to see a number of screenings and it was a real bare bones operation. I never could remember the name of the cinema until I stumbled across it doing some research yesterday. I remember learning it closed when I went down there to catch Fellini’s “Roma” and the theatre was dark. I think I later went up to Columbus Circle to catch “A River Runs Through It” on its first run since I had time to kill.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 21, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Thanks LM, I now recognise this as THE SCREENING ROOM where I saw GOSFORD PARK. It had old beat-up uncomfortable seats with several missing and I felt like I was sitting in a 42nd Street dive. Although it was booked for specialised films the filthy concession stand sold pizza, of all things.

I never went back.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

This place is open and screening films weekly but apparently they are trying to keep it a secret, so don’t tell anyone.

John Fink
John Fink on January 22, 2010 at 8:29 am

True: they do festivals, private screenings, benefits, and cultural screenings for the Tribeca Film Institute. While some of these are open to the public, not all are, and they aren’t running a commercial art house in the sense that the Angelika is. They also do screenings during the Tribeca Film Festival. I had a film show in the Big Apple Film Festival last November at the theater.

Koistinen on March 9, 2013 at 8:37 am

Exterior photos of Tribeca Cinemas taken June 2008 and February 2012.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Closed last summer and soon to be demolished.

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