Metrograph Theater on Ludlow Street to Debut with ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 at 5:10 am by
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The Metrograph Theater – founded by tie purveyor Alexander Olch – is inching ever closer to opening on the Lower East Side.

Even though a soft-launch is planned for February 19, it’s for private events only; the public will need to wait another few weeks for the much-anticipated Metrograph Theater. However, when the curtains rise on March 4, it’ll do so with films by Martin Scorsese and Jean-Luc Godard.

As previously reported, the Metrograph duplex arthouse will offer a mix of first-run independent and international movies, as well as repertory films, played on both 35mm and DCP. Programming is chosen by two curators. Jacob Perlin, programmer-at-large at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and formerly an associate programmer at BAMcinematek, and Aliza Ma from the Museum of the Moving Image and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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“We want to revive the joy of going to the movies in a newly designed venue that will be welcoming to all filmgoers for a breezy afternoon matinee, a Saturday night out at the movies, a day-long epic binge or a late-night marathon — all are waiting for you through the doors of Metrograph,” a spokesperson for the theater said in a statement.

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Rendering of the Metrograph theater on Ludlow St.

The cinema will also house onsite offerings such as restaurant, a movie-themed bookstore, and lounge. The nightlife concept was identified as The Commissary, a nod to the golden age of film and the classic Commissary at the Warner Brothers Studios. Chef Jake Klein is in the kitchen.

The Commissary is split between two designated hangouts inside 7 Ludlow – upstairs and downstairs, each with a respective bar. There will be nineteen tables between the two floors, plus “lounge seating.” Food and liquor will be served to all seats. Community Board 3 approved the OP license with the stipulation of last call at 2am.

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Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan

Here is the spring schedule of films, according to DNAinfo:

  • March 4-10: “Surrender to the Screen,” a collection of movies that “kidnap us into the theater and transport us to the world of filmgoing.” Titles include “Taxi Driver,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” Jean-Luc Godard’s “Vivre sa Vie” and “Goodbye, Dragon Inn,” directed by Tsai Ming-liang.
  • March 9-17: Jean Eustache retrospective, which includes his two feature films “The Mother and the Whore” and “Mes Petites Amoureuses” as well as “rare imported prints.”
  • March 11-17: “The Student Nurses” by Stephanie Rothman.
  • March 16-April 21: “Welcome to Metrograph: A-F,” the theater’s first installment of a year-long, alphabetically ordered series of films it considers “must-sees.”
  • March 18-24: “A Space Program,” a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the art installation “Space Program 2.0. Mars” at the Park Avenue Armory.
  • Sundays beginning March 20: “Old and Improved,” a presentation of a newly preserved or restored 35mm or 16mm film.
  • March 25-April 14: “Three Wiseman,” a trio of documentaries by Peabody Award- and a George Polk Career Award-winning filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, whose work includes a documentary about Jackson Heights.
  • March 25-31: “Office 3D,” a musical starring Chow Yun-fat and Sylvia Chang by Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To.
  • April 1-7: “Afternoon” by Tsai Ming-liang, which showed at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
  • April 15-21: “The Measure of a Man,” which will be part of a retrospective of French actor Vincent Linon’s work that includes four other films like “Seventh Heaven” and “Friday Night.”
  • April 15-21: “Los Sures,” a documentary of the Puerto Rican and Dominican community in 1980s Williamsburg.
  • April 22-28: “Hockney,” a documentary about English artist David Hockney.
  • April 22-28: “Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Top Ten Films on 35 mm.” Metrograph will show a list of the filmmaker’s 10 favorite movies, according to a list published in 1982 ahead of a new documentary about the German filmmaker.
  • April 29-May 5: “Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands,” a documentary about Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who was a major figure of the New German Cinema movement during the 1960s to 1980s.

This swastika on the plywood isn’t cool, though.

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