Hot on the heels of Quad Cinema’s renovation, IFC Center’s planned expansion, and Nitehawk’s upgrade of the Park Slope Pavilion, another beloved art-house cinema, Film Forum, has announced that it’s adding a screen in what will be a multi-million-dollar renovation.
The West Village cinema, which has occupied its current home since 1990 and turns 50 in 2020, announced in a press release that it’s upgrading from three screens to four. Construction will begin early next year, with the theater closing in May and reopening on July 4. In addition to the added theater, there’ll be new seating allowing for more legroom and improved sightlines, so you’ll no longer have to watch Kurosawa reflected off of the bald head in front of you.
The city is chipping in to the tune of $400,000, and a new R.G. Rifkind Foundation Endowment for Queer Cinema will support LGBTQ programming. In addition, Cindy Sherman is producing a short that will play on a new lobby screen. Film Forum will need about $6 million to pull it all off, but half of it has already been raised.
In a statement, the cinema’s director, Karen Cooper, made clear that Film Forum has the support of its landlord and won’t be going the way of Landmark Sunshine anytime soon: “Too often, New York landmarks disappear, only to be replaced by nail salons and chain drug stores,” she said. “Happily, New Yorkers are committed to seeing films that take risks and break the mold, as well as discovering movie history.”