The long vacant Art Deco Metro Theater at 2626 Broadway, between 99th and 100th streets, is set to be reborn as a retail destination, after owner Albert Bialek filed an application with the city’s Department of Buildings in late December 2011 for a $900,000 renovation that will convert the interior of the 79-year-old theater, DNAinfo reported. A retail tenant has already signed on to lease the space, which has been empty for six years, though the identity of the store was not immediately available. “It’s something that everyone in the neighborhood will love, I think,” Bialek said.
Last year, Bialek, president of real estate consulting firm Albert Bialek Associates, gained control of the Metro, an Upper West Side landmark, from leaseholder John Souto. Souto had a 49-year lease on the property, which had formerly served as a pornography house, art-house movie theatre and two national cinema chains.