Metrograph Theater on Ludlow Street Inaugurated in True Chinatown Fashion [PHOTOS]

Posted on: March 7th, 2016 at 9:37 am by
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Lights. Camera. Action.

While the private party courted the indie film industry two nights earlier (Dustin Hoffman, Jim Jarmusch, John Waters), the duplex Metrograph arthouse on Ludlow Street co-founded by Alexander Olch officially raised the curtain to the public Friday. Inaugurated in true Chinatown fashion with fanfare and a proper dragon dance in the lobby (for luck and fortitude). Appropriate timing given the year of the monkey and all.

It was a party for the locals, as well, to celebrate the neighborhood.

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However, the Metrograph is very much in soft-open mode. It’s simply not ready; seemingly rushed to meet its own launch deadline. The scent of new furnishings, wood seating (salvaged from the expired Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn), and paint is still palpable, and the interior is not completely finished. The second-floor Commissary restaurant and bookstore, for instance, remain a work in progress, hidden behind branded boards.

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The Commissary

We caught the 9:30 screening of Taxi Driver. Giddy cinephiles (and scenesters) were eager to be a part of opening night. The theater was packed, and with positive energy.

The space is spartan, yes, but exudes that movie magic feel. Must be the simplicity. And maybe also the visible projector rooms.

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  • Programming, curated by Jacob Perlin and Aliza Ma.
  • It’s accessible.
  • Cup holders in each arm rest.
  • Weak cell signal to deter mid-movie checking.


  • Price – $15 per ticket.
  • Concessions. Takes on an automat feel, but no fresh popcorn. Only prepackaged artisanal corn with exotic spices. No Sour Patch Kids or gummy bears.
  • No movie theater smell.
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