New Metro Twin
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Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters, Cineplex Odeon, Clearview Cinemas
Firms: Boak & Paris
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Midtown Theater, Metro Twin
News About This Theater
- May 27, 2014 — A brief history of the Midtown
- Oct 4, 2013 — Plans fall apart for Manhattan Drafthouse
- Apr 7, 2012 — Alamo Drafthouse moving into vacant Metro Theater
- Oct 21, 2009 — Talbot's New Yorker Theatres and distributor
- Jan 7, 2009 — New Metro to become Urban Outfitters
- Jul 11, 2008 — Metro Theatre status
- Jan 24, 2006 — New Metro Twin closes; Owner plans to scrap interior
- Nov 22, 2004 — Metro Theatre Set To Reopen!
- Sep 22, 2004 — Metro Theatre To Reopen As An Art House
Opening as the Midtown Theater, this classic theater, located almost 60 blocks north of Times Square, survived several tumultuous years.
Beginning in 1933 as a first run single screen theater, the Midtown Theater, was taken over by New York Cinemas and was twinned and renamed the Metro Twin from August 29, 1986. The former balcony became the second auditorium, but elaborate ornamentation remained on view in both spaces. It switched to second run and then adult films during New York City’s darker years (the 1970’s and 1980’s).
It was taken over by Cineplex Odeon. They were taken over by Clearview Cinemas who restored the movie theater.
This underrated theater closed in January 2003, shortly after the nearby Olympia Theatre met the reaper, but reopened only a couple months later.
The Metro Twin was once more closed by Clearview in August 2004 but again reopened under independent ownership in December 2004 after a renovation. The New Metro Twin closed once again on December 1, 2005. The beautiful and unique Art Deco style façade is legally protected, but the interior was gutted and offered for retail.
In April 2012, it was announced the New Metro Twin would be reopened by the Alamo Drafthouse chain in 2013 as a 5-screen theatre on 3 levels. In September 2013, these plans were scrapped and in May 2019 it was vacant, advertised as ‘Space Available’.
In March 2023 it was announced that the Metro Theatre would be converted into a multiscreen movie theatre with dine-in facilities, with a planned opening in 2023
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Recent comments (view all 148 comments)
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.
not sure if this listing is current re what sounds like vendor booths http://www.besenretail.com/2626-broadway.htm
New York Times – October 17, 2015.
Metro To Become Fitness Center
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.
Hello- after Alamo scraped their plans is the' theater just sitting there boarded up?
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
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.
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?
Please update, became a Twin on August 29, 1986. Theatre closed on December 1, 2005
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.”