As if the advent of 4DX wasn’t exciting enough, downtown film-goers are getting a new art-house cinema as well. Alexander Olch, the filmmaker-designer who owns an eponymous tie shop on Orchard Street, is bringing Metrograph to nearby 7 Ludlow Street. The theater will open in February, according to an announcement that went out today.
According to the release, Metrograph will consist of a restaurant, a cinema-focused bookshop, a café and lounge, and two screens showing “world-class independent, international, repertory films, and exclusive premieres” in 35mm and digital.
Olch, who directed The Windmill Movie, a 2008 documentary about fellow New York filmmaker Richard P. Rogers, has tapped Jacob Perlin (a former associate programmer at BAMcinematek who is now programmer-at-large at the Film Society of Lincoln Center) as Programming & Artistic Director. The head of programming will be Asian cinema specialist Aliza Ma, currently assistant film curator at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Perlin promises to showcase everything from “enduring classics to modern masterpieces” while Ma describes Metrograph as “a place to see a curated selection of the best archival film prints and the vanguard new releases from around the world.”
The theater will occupy a former warehouse building across from the once majestic Loew’s Canal, which closed in the 1950s. Now in limbo, the Loew’s has made for a couple of stunning if somber photo essays of late, so it’s fantastic that movies are coming back to the block.
For those in the Lower Lower East Side looking for more commercial fare, a Regal Cinemas is slated to open inside of the forthcoming Essex Crossing.