Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Alamo Remembers

The Midtown in 1933
(Photo: Wurts Brothers collection, via NYPL)

The Metro (nee The Midtown Theater) was built in 1933 by the architectural team of Boak & Paris; by the 1970s it was, like so many old movie palaces, a decrepit porn venue. Although the exterior was declared a historic site in 1989, the New York Times noted that the "original interior molding, statuary, grillework and other ornamentation" were demolished. Repeated attempts to make a go of a new business in the space—including the repertory house Metro Twin—sputtered in the following decades.

Woody Allen visits the Metro; regains the will to live (1986)

As the Metro in 1989
(Photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)

Now—hallelujah!—comes word that the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will use the space to "feature five screens of new releases, repertory programming and the Alamo’s unique signature programming." It's a welcome exception to the 21st-century rule of cinema's decay and death.

More here and here.


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