ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE MOVIE THEATER HAVING “PERMITTING ISSUES” (UPDATE: FOUNDER SAYS FULL STEAM AHEAD)

The decision by Austin-based movie theater company Alamo Drafthouse to open a new cineplex in the historic Metro Theater on 100th Street and Broadway, announced last month, was arguably the most exciting news to hit the Upper West Side in years. The theater serves food to your seat, shows a solid lineup of movies, holds cool special events (like a “Johnny Cash tribute” in Austin tonight), and has a strict policy making sure no one texts, calls or tweets during films. Oh, and they sell beer.

With the Film Society of Lincoln Center in the South of the neighborhood, and the Alamo in the North, it isn’t a stretch to say that the Upper West Side could once again become the best place to watch movies in the city, and maybe the world.

But last week, we got some ominous news. Nothing to freak out over, but a word of caution.

In an interview with Nerdist (“where nerds come together”), Alamo CEO Tim League gave the following answer:

Nerdist: You’re opening in New York, right?

Tim League: Well, we announced it. We’re wrestling with the city on permitting issues.

The theater is supposed to sometime open next year. But “Well, we announced it” isn’t exactly a confident statement.

We have emailed and called Alamo’s public relations people multiple times in the past few days but haven’t heard back.

Update, May 15: Alamo’s pr rep emailed us that “our Alamo Drafthouse plans for the Metro location are moving along per our announcement.” We’ll be interviewing the CEO soon to talk more about the theater.

Update 2, May 17: Here’s what Tim League, who was traveling in Cannes, had to say to our inquiry: “Everything is on schedule and we haven’t hit any roadblocks.  With any project there are permitting issues and such.  We are full steam ahead and we look forward to opening as planned in 2013.  As soon as we get further along we will make that time frame a little less vague.”

We also have a call in to Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s office. We’ll let you know if we hear back. In the meantime, let’s just hope these “permitting issues” go away.

ART, NEWS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Laura says:

      Good god; let’s hope they are resolved! As a very local resident, I remember and miss the days when there were 2 movie theaters within a 5 minute walk from my apt!

    2. Cato says:

      The hotshots in the city’s “permitting” offices probably can’t imagine sitting through a movie without texting and having constant “i’m really important and this is an emergency” cell calls. How else would they remind everyone within a hundred feet of their importance??

    3. Amal says:

      Permitting issues?? How could you not permit awesomeness! I live a stone’s throw away from that spot and I want my theater!

    4. Meg says:

      I am literally praying this theatre opens! Please keep us updated!

    5. Meg says:

      Yay! Great update. I can’t believe you guys have been around for a year and I’m only finding you now. I love this blog!

    6. lauren says:

      There is no question the neighborhood needs this and it is the ideal manhattan location!

      With no real movie theatres from 84th street to 125th street putting this theatre on 100th is perfect.

      I am SO looking forward to this but I see no movement at that location….would love to see some sign of things progressing – soon!!