The long closed Upper West Side Metro Theater is returning to its roots and reopening as the Alamo Drafthouse theater, according to Eater which had new details on the project from an interview with West Side Rag (note: clarification appended). The original Art Deco theater, located at 2626 Broadway, between 99th and 100th streets, was open from 1933 until 2005 and Alamo’ renovation plans to restore the gutted building’s façade and neon marquee, and bring a cinema back to the site.
In late December 2011, the building’s owner Albert Bialek filed an application with the city’s Department of Buildings for a $900,000 renovation that would have converted the 79-year-old theater into a shopping complex, but those plans appear to have been nixed in favor of Alamo’s renovations. While the project is still awaiting permits, the construction should finish sometime in 2013.
When opened for business the theater will feature a full movie-themed dinner menu and bar, silent ordering system, five screens with stadium seating and dinner tables. “If you want a pint of beer, you raise [a] piece of paper up like a flag in front of your table. It’s stadium seating so somebody sort of slinks in below you, picks up the paper, and then will drop off another pint of beer or whatever. Hopefully silently,” Alamo founder and president Tim League said. Beyond new releases the theater will show classics and independents, a practice the old Metro was famous for.
As The Real Deal previously reported, niche theaters are increasingly replacing multiplexes in Manhattan, as the traditional theaters struggle to find profitability amid rising real estate costs. [West Side Rag] via [Eater]