The Upper West Side’s beloved Metro Theater has been sitting as an Art Deco time capsule on Broadway (between 99th & 100th St.) for nearly 20 years. But, in some good news for NYC historic buildings, it will soon be restored and reopened as a ‘multi-screen, dinner-theater’ by NYC’s Alamo Drafthouse, first reports local paper the West Side Rag.
Earlier this year, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levin told the New York Post and Gothamist the lease had been officially signed, however the tenants at the time were remaining anonymous. “I can tell you unambiguously that this is real, it’s happening, and it’s a best case scenario,” Levine said.
Founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Tim League, shared that the project is “largely funded by Alamo,” however, they are “trying to establish a little bit higher-end brand. Alamo is pizza and salads, Metro will have some of those, but will also have more full entrees, a really nice wine list, and a small bar,” reports West Side Rag.
The building dates back to the ’30s, which you can see from its Art Deco-inspired design elements on its landmarked exterior — from the retro comedy and tragedy medallion to the light-up marquee. According to the arts preservation group Friends of the Metro Theater, it presented first-run films from 1933 through the ’50s, in the ’60s it showed art-house films, and in the ’70s and ’80s it was even a porn theater. It was originally known as “The Midtown.”
The owners told the West Side Rag earlier this year that its new iteration will stay true to its movie theater history with a “multi-screen cinema center and independent film showings,” plus “restaurant facilities and meeting rooms available on a rental basis.”
According to West Side Rag, the new cinema has no set date for its reopening, however, League shared that “they are close to hiring a contractor and will begin shortly.”