New York's moviegoing scene is about to get a little more crowded. Landmark Theatres has announced an ambitious new movie theater complex scheduled to open in the spring of 2017 on the far West Side of Manhattan. The eight-screen cinema, event ...and more »
New Yorkâ€™s moviegoing scene is about to get a little more crowded.Â Landmark Theatres has announced an ambitious new movie theater complex scheduled to open in the spring of 2017 on the far West Side of Manhattan. The eight-screen cinema, event space and private bar at The Durst Organizationâ€™s 57 West development will mark the first theater to open in Midtown Manhattan in 15 years and will be able to host post-screening parties, according to a statement from Landmark and Durst.
The theaterÂ will be located on 57th street between 11th and 12th Avenues, an area that has seen a significant amount of residential development in recent years.
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Landmark President and CEO Ted Mundorff called the theater a â€œgame changerâ€ in the statement, while Durst president Jonathan Durst said the neighborhood â€œwas in dire need of a great movie theater.â€ New York film distributors and exhibitors welcomed the news of additional screens coming to Midtown Manhattan, which lost the Ziegfeld Theatre on West 54th street in January.
The 57 West BuildingLandmark Theatres/The Durst Organization
â€œWhen the leading brand in arthouse exhibition announces eight new screens, itâ€™s a minor cause for optimism, if not celebration,â€ said Richard Lorber, CEO of independent distributor Kino Lorber. â€œIt seems a canny move to populate with high-end cinemas what will surely be a densely-built neighborhood with affluent, educated individuals who may prefer to have theaters in their immediate far West Side neighborhood rather than walking or traveling to the Film Society of Lincoln Center or Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.â€
Bill Thompson, the Senior Vice-President of Theatrical Sales at international arthouse distributor Cohen Media Group agreed that there was a need for a cinema inÂ the rapidly developing neighborhood at the north end of Hellâ€™s Kitchen. â€œIâ€™m curious as to how itâ€™s going to fare with no subway near it,â€ he said. â€œI assume Landmark has done their homeworkÂ and know what theyâ€™re getting into, and there are a lot of new apartment buildings near there, but itâ€™s still very far west.â€
A rendering of the private bar at Landmarkâ€™s forthcoming theater.Landmark Theatres/The Durst Organization
Others were more optimistic. IFC CenterÂ General Manager John Vanco said he was confident that moviegoers in the area would likely be willing to make the trip to the new Landmark. â€œI think that people will jump through some extra hoops in terms of transportation,â€ Vanco said. â€œEven with a bad commercial multiplex experience, youâ€™re already spending an arm and a leg, so I can see how the location may not be the hindrance that it may seem on first blush.â€
New York City has bucked the national trend of movie theaters closing for business by adding the Metrograph theater in downtown Manhattan in March and the eagerly anticipated Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, which is expected to open soon.
Rather than viewing the new Landmark theater as competition for other cinemas, Magnolia Pictures Head of Distribution Neal Block said the new Landmark will fill a crucial void and is a welcome addition to New York City film culture. â€œWith the recent and forthcoming additions of several new theaters downtown and in Brooklyn, itâ€™s great to now have an uptown counterpart,â€ Block said. â€œThe Upper West Side is still under-screened, and films frequently come off screen when theyâ€™re still grossing. This will help alleviate that crush.â€
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Landmarkâ€™s only existing New York City theater is the Landmark Sunshine, located on East Houston Street in downtown Manhattan. The chain has 56 total theaters in 27 cities acrossÂ the U.S.
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