Sigh. The Alamo Drafthouse company will not be opening up a new movie theater in the former Metro Theater after all.
The Texas-based theater company announced this morning that the project to create a new five-screen moviehouse in the historic theater on Broadway between 99th and 100th streets was simply going to cost too much money. News that it planned to open was one of the most exciting developments in the neighborhood last year: the Alamo is known for playing fun flicks and serving you food and beer while you watch. The company announced the news on its blog:
“An often-stated priority for the Alamo Drafthouse has been to open a venue in New York City. While that still stands true, the reality of the upper west side Metro is that too much has changed since we initially began work on the location. Construction costs have risen tremendously since engaging in the project back in early 2012 (due in some measure to ongoing Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts) and ultimately the location is no longer financially viable for us. We would love to make the upper west side location our next neighborhood theater in New York, but we cannot see this particular location as sustainable under current conditions.
We’re proud to have opened New York’s first Alamo in Yonkers last month. We’re also excited to see construction of the development in downtown Brooklyn well under way. The New York City area expansion remains a priority for us in addition to the theaters currently under construction in San Francisco, Kalamazoo, MI and New Braunfels, TX.”
We had reported last year about some “permitting issues” the company was having, but CEO Tim League told us in an interview that the project was moving along smoothly. What’s confusing also is that the company appeared to have already completed significant construction.
Thanks to Ben for the tip.