Tribeca Cinemas

54 Varick Street,
New York, NY 10013

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Additional Info

Previous Names: The Screening Room(s)

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Tribeca Cinemas

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 22 comments)

hardbop on May 18, 2006 at 6:12 pm

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 22, 2007 at 7:04 am

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 3:47 pm

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 4:29 pm

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 4:37 pm

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Closed last summer and soon to be demolished.

peachmarie on May 11, 2018 at 12:27 am

My wedding reception was at the Screening Room. Best wedding ever! And sadly, the pastry chef who created one of their signature desserts, Lemon Caramel Icebox cake, died in 9/11. Her name was Heather Ho, and she was no longer at the Screening Room and was working at Windows on the World. However, they still had the dessert on the menu and it was transformed into a wedding cake for me. We went there after our honeymoon the first week of September 2001 (our wedding was Aug 19, 2001) to finalize our bill, and a week later 9/11 happened. So sad. They did close and then try to reopen about 6 months or a year later, but never recovered.

peachmarie on May 11, 2018 at 12:57 am

Looks like it in fact is still open:

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 11, 2018 at 2:12 am

If you scroll all the way down on that site, it says it is closed.

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