The historic Metro Theater on Broadway between 99th and 100th streets has been rented to Planet Fitness, a low-cost gym chain, according to Councilman Mark Levine. This is the second time we’ve heard Planet Fitness is coming — the first time, a few months ago, Levine told us that the deal fell through.
The Metro opened in 1933 and was one of the city’s best known moviehouses, but it closed in 2005 and has been vacant ever since. In 2012, the Alamo Drafthouse, a Texas-based theater chain, announced it would open in the space, but gave up when the work got too costly. Once that fell through, Levine tried to convince the landlord to turn the space into an arts center.
Alas, it didn’t pan out.
“After working on this for more than a year, we’re extremely disappointed that Metro Theater will not come back to life as an arts space. However, I’m relieved that the building façade will be restored in an historically sensitive way and that this space will not continue to sit vacant,” Levine said.
The councilman’s statement makes it sound like the fitness center is a done deal. But we won’t consider it a sure thing until sweaty people are actually lifting metal objects and running on moving hamster machines.
A Planet Fitness rep hasn’t responded to requests for comment.