Oh No! Famed Lincoln Plaza Cinemas Set to Close Next Month, Reports Say (Update)

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, the art-house theater on Broadway and 62nd Street, is set to close next month after 35 years, according to multiple news reports.

The six-screen movie theater is one of the few remaining places to watch indie and foreign movies in the area, and it’s debuted major independent films including Fahrenheit 911 over the years.

“In an interview with Deadline, Toby Talbot seemed resigned to the likely fate of the theatre. She said she and her husband “did everything we could to ask for the lease to be extended.” [Building owner Milstein Properties], she added, “is looking to get everything he can. He’s looking to make money.”

Pix11 reported that the theater owners were hoping for a lease extension.

“It’s not for lack of business we’re closing,” said General Manager Ewnetu Admassu.

But now, the lease is up.

“It was expiring at the end of the year we wanted an extension,” Admassau said. “Seems like they have another plan…unfortunately we have to come out.”

The landlord has apparently not been returning press calls, but Indiewire had more of the backstory:

“Multiple sources told IndieWire that Howard Milstein, chairman of Milstein Properties, had been seeking a buyer for Lincoln Plaza in recent months. Dan Talbot has reportedly been in poor health over the past year; he did not attend this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where he has regularly scouted for films for decades.”

A closing event is planned for January 21, Indiewire reported.

It’s not entirely clear that this is a 100% done deal. We’ll keep our ears out for any efforts to keep the theater open.

Update: Milstein Properties emailed us a statement. We’ve followed up with them with more questions and will update the community as we hear more.

“Milstein Properties built 30 Lincoln Plaza in 1978, we are long-term members of this community and have played a central role in nurturing this special theater. There is vital structural work needed to repair and waterproof the plaza surrounding the building that cannot be completed while the space is in use, and will begin now that the cinema’s lease has expired. At the completion of this work, we expect to re-open the space as a cinema that will maintain its cultural legacy far into the future.”

Photo via Lincoln Plaza Cinemas Facebook page.

ART, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 189 comments | permalink
    1. Jen says:

      Terrible news. This was the only movie in the area showing good movies. Feel really sad about its closing, this is the most heartbreaking closing among multiple others. Walter Reade has something decent once in a while, but this theater always played several movies worth watching. Now we are stuck with mainstream junk played by AMC theaters. Younger generation already doesn’t know good cinema.

      • Giulia says:

        Now now, I think it’s a bit unfair to blame this on the younger generation. Perhaps we do have good taste, it’s just that we’ve migrated to TV (where the best things are happening anyway) and choose to spend our money elsewhere. After all, when it costs $15-18 to see a single film in a cinema and only $9.99 (soon to be $10.99) a month to access Netflix, which would you choose?

        • Jen says:

          If the movies that were played at Lincoln Cinemas were available on Netflix, I would choose Neflix. I have a lot of streaming channels including Netflix but they do not provide access to the best cinema.

          And younger generation doesn’t understand what good cinema is not because of Netflix, streaming and prices. Idiotic action movies were shoven down their throat by cable and mainstream movie theaters.

          I honestly don’t understand your question and logic. If somebody thinks McDonalds is the best food because, hey, it is only $5, and the Coke is the best drink because it comes free with it, finer cuisines are overpriced? Also AMC theater playing crap are not short of business.

          All finer things are an acquired taste. But if someone watches whatever is played at AMC, whatever is available on cable, they can’t develop a good taste.

        • Noemie says:

          Gulia, try Moviepass!! It’s amazing! $9.99 for the movies unlimited 🙂

        • Ground Control says:

          They are not closing from lack of business. They are closing because of the unreasonable demands of the landlord.

        • OriginalMark says:

          Well, if by “we” you mean you are part of that generation, and then you essentially acknowledge that it’s all about price with no consideration to how films were intended to be watched (in a communal setting where the screen is large enough to appreciate the acting, technical, and cinematographic experience), then I think you have just demonstrated Jen’s point.

        • Nicole Ryan says:

          The problem with people is that they want everything for free now aways..True the cost of going to the movies have increased but it is also an experience to to these theaters..Instead of being at home..
          We will soon become a people hiding out at home with zero social skills and with children who have no ability to communicate with the outside world or with people that are not there family..Making for fewer friend and colleagues..and a world of isolation..There are definitely pros and cons to watching shows at home as opposed to going to the movies/theaters..
          But in this instance i think the owner is out to make Money..
          With the increase of construction in and around the city is it not a surprise that the owner is looking to make a lot of money out of a prime location.We probably will see a condominium in its place soon enough.It is the same thing happening all around the Brooklyn area.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m a senior & pay a discounted entry fee & actually like to get out & watch movies on the big screen! I’d suggest that owners are only interested in making the most money they can with the least variety!
          It’s a disgrace that elected city officials go along with all these closings! (For one Helen Rosenthal doesn’t care at all about long time West siders!

        • wombatNYC says:

          Now that Net-Neutrality is gone we can expect Netflix prices to rise HIGH !

    2. Jeff says:

      Hmm, this is a bummer, but it doesn’t sound like all is lost. The Indiewire story in particular suggests that the theater will eventually reopen and that it may well keep showing arthouse flicks.

      Honestly, I’m not sure it would make financial sense to turn it into a completely mainstream theater, given that AMC is practically next door and offers much larger screens. Hoping for the best.

    3. Debby Graffman Gardner says:


    4. Ronny Diamond says:

      NO NO NO

    5. Nancy says:

      Just another decline in our society. Who cares about thinking? The only theatre where it was difficult to choose amongst so many fabulous films. While the staff was always less than friendly, I put up with them because of the great films being shown.

    6. LJC says:

      Another example of greedy greedy landlords and the total demise of independent movie going opportunities on the upper west side. Where can the independent movie goer go? Maybe AMC 84th will change its policy from hard core adventure/horror films to independent films. Ha! Dream on!

    7. Harvey says:

      Ugh! Lincoln Plaza is such an important part of our neighborhood. They are almost always showing one quality movie or more. Not that I believe it will do much good, but whom can we contact?

    8. George Teebor says:

      Landlords’ greediness continues to destroy the neighborhood.

      • bravo says:

        $17-$18 for 1 ticket is greed, too, don’t you think? They would have bigger crowds if they made going to the movies – not really exclusive luxury one-time happening – priced reasonably. THAT’s greed.

    9. Stephanie Reit says:

      I wrote to Milstien Properties.
      Please do that too.


    10. Anthony Smith says:

      This about as sad a bit of cultural news for this City since the shock, decades ago, when it was announced that Carnegie Hall was to be demolished. THAT story had a happy ending.
      Does not appear this one will.

      For almost 4 decades, this theater has been BRILLIANT in finding moves that no one else would take-often leading to follow up screening at major theaters which had noticed the sell out performances for weeks at The Plaza…
      Current example: Loving Vincent. See it before the theater goes away. No one else has touched this MOST original and marvelous film in years. The Plaza has kept it LONG after it was scheduled to rotate out-they understood how special it is, and kept it for weeks after they had planned something else. Flexible, brilliant, supporter of the arts. One of the unique keys to making New York a livable city. Gone for greed! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

    11. Pedestrian says:

      Landlords and developers are destroying the UWS one block at a time. They are forcing out successful business for chains who man never come to pay rent that is stratospheric and they get a tax break and the smalll business gets screwed! Amazing how developers get City money and all sorts of perks when they buy an over priced property and want a variance to make more money but the City can’t figure out a way to help small business.

      There are now entire blocks on the UWS that are dark at night because all of the small businesses have been kick out and thenlandlords are waiting for their golden goose while they take tax write offs. It’s appalling.
      No eyes on the street, no lights at nigh makes for a creepy and ultimately unsafe neighborhood.

      Maybe our city council member will step up?!🤔🤔🤔

      • robert says:

        For better or worse and it could be a lot worse, just look around the world, we have a capitalistic system in this country. The main reason they can not afford the increase is the very small size of the theaters.

        • Independent says:

          “we have a capitalistic system in this country.”

          More like a grotesque, malignant hybrid. Rigged, corrupt crony capitalism/ predatory usury financial racket; profit privatized, risk socialized. The rich play, knowing that the workers will pay. What would Adam Smith say?

          • robert says:

            Welcome to the real world. Like it or not this is the system we have. They were given a sweetheart deal for 35 years as getting any retail with no street level presence was extremely hard years ago. Now the neighborhood has improved enough that it can be rent at market rate not below

          • robert says:

            Welcome to the real world. Like it or not this is the system we have. They got a sweetheart deal based on the fact that when the building went up it was very hard to attract retail that did not have any street level presence
            Now they can charge market rate rather then below market rate

          • Ground Control says:

            Totally agree Independent! A number of commenters seem to believe the theater is closing because of lack of business. NOT! They have had plenty of business. The landlord will not renew the lease, and if he were to I’m sure it would be astronomical. He’s already got vacant stores in Lincoln Plaza that have been empty for months. These landlords care not one whit for NY communities. Only about money. If you do care about this closing call and write Helen Rosenthal’s and Gale Brewer’s offices NOW!

    12. Lois says:

      Noooo!. Say it ain’t so!

    13. Ellie Steinman says:

      OMG!! This is our favorite movie theater….They show the best films!!😰😰

    14. Deborah says:

      Say it isn’t so!

    15. Diane says:

      What do you wanna bet that the new leasee has ties to the White House and will be screening red (Republican) propaganda newsreels and fake news?
      I’m only being half sarcastic…
      Hell in a hand basket, I tell ya!

      • Independent says:

        It may make you feel righteous to take shots at our current President but an objective examination would reveal that no matter which Party has the Presidency or the Legislature, there are at least three entities that always win: The War industry; Big Finance and the Cheap Labor (mass immigration) Lobby. In the big picture, Democrats and Republicans are but two wings of the same bird-of-prey.

    16. S says:

      This is when our local politicians should be showing up and trying to help..but where are they?

    17. Janet Sullivan says:

      This is the best movie complex in the neighborhood and to see it succumb to greed is heartbreaking

    18. Beth says:

      Takes a lot these days to rock my world, but this news certainly did. No other theater showed such consistently solid films week in and week out. I live close to the long defunct Metro Theater at B’way & 100th Sf. I know it’s a pipe dream, but wish that Lincoln Plaza could relocate into that neglected space.
      Thankfully, we still have Eleanor Bunin Monroe, but Lincoln Plaza closing is a bitter pill to swallow. My uncle once remarked that you could see a film there every day for a year and not see a bad one. He was so right, what a loss for the UWS.

      • Linda says:

        The Eleanor Bunin theatre can’t be compared to Lincoln Plaza. Its choices are eccentric. Not solid, as you yourself say of LPlaza. the Talbots had and have incredible taste in film!

    19. Don says:

      This comment is worth repeating!

      I would urge all of us to contact our elected officials to intervene. This is the worst news!

      Landlords and developers are destroying the UWS one block at a time. They are forcing out successful business for chains who man never come to pay rent that is stratospheric and they get a tax break and the smalll business gets screwed! Amazing how developers get City money and all sorts of perks when they buy an over priced property and want a variance to make more money but the City can’t figure out a way to help small business.
      There are now entire blocks on the UWS that are dark at night because all of the small businesses have been kick out and thenlandlords are waiting for their golden goose while they take tax write offs. It’s appalling.
      No eyes on the street, no lights at nigh makes for a creepy and ultimately unsafe neighborhood.
      Maybe our city council member will step up?!🤔🤔🤔

    20. Faith Parke says:

      Oh shit!

    21. Alison Schiff says:

      There is a vacant movie house…the old Metro at 99 th and .Broadway. New York needs our indie movie houses

    22. Dona Kahn says:

      Lincoln Plaza Cinama has been a large part of my life for years. I wish there was some way to organize the community to help the owner of the property realize what harm will result in the theater’s closing –

      • Catherine Friedman says:

        I agree with Dona. There ought to be a way for the community to register a protest with the landlord. More effective would be a protest by all the real estate brokers and their companies; they stand to lose a lot when they try to attract buyers with descriptions of the culturally rich, sophisticated and diverse attractions of the upper West Side.

    23. Rafaela says:

      Awful news.

      Wonder if the old Metro near 100St. is a possible new location?

    24. Frank says:

      Mammon wins again.

    25. robert gery says:

      so sad . We love the type of films shown at Lincoln Plaza and are frequent attendees.

      where can we go now? the theater was also close for us!

      i guess NYC is pretty much about making “more money”!

    26. Nina Cobb says:

      A real blow to the UWS.

    27. Mindy Lewis says:

      Shameful, sad. It’s my most frequented, favorite theater and the last incarnation of the old New Yorker Theater. I will sorely miss it! I feel bad for its employees, many of whom have been there for decades. Soon NYC will be nothing but a giant shopping mall filled with cineplexes, banks and franchises.

    28. Pookie says:

      Please, Milsteins. Do not close this neighborhood treasure. You support cultural events on PBS, don’t you? Please continue support for this cultural landmark on the UWS.

    29. Eva Lowe says:

      Please post what action we can take to help keep it open!!!!
      Thank you.

      • bravo says:

        You can go there twice weekly and pay the exorbitant $17 for one ticket. Everyone blames landlords – who invested in property and expect to be profitable – but nobody asks how the price of movie tickets is justified. Ask that question and you’ll be surprised by answers or dead silence.

    30. Carla Wolper says:

      So sad. A tremendous loss to NYC

    31. Elizabeth Lipton says:

      Can’t our local elected officials get involved? Greed seems to be the only driving force in all the major West Side closings – of which there have been many in the last 12 months alone. Quality of life, and community interests are ignored – all for greed!

      Please, elected officials and Community Leaders, HELP!!!

      • woody says:

        Get involved how? The landlord doesn’t want the lessee there anymore – it’s that simple. The landlord doesn’t need to justify to anyone what he wants to do with his property. The lease is up and he can do what he wants.

    32. rs says:

      It’s a little overblown to say LPC showed films “no one else” would since pretty much all their films show in other theaters. Granted, not on the UWS. And it is a loss for serious cinema. But it’s not the end of the world. There’s still Film Society of Lincoln Ctr right there and half a dozen what used to be called “art houses” a short subway ride away.

      • Paul on West 67th says:

        I’m 60 years old and still able to move about with no difficulty, but many people I see at LCP are older and somewhat infirmed. Taking even a ‘short subway ride’ is not always possible, especially when the weather is bad. Not to mention the danger of heading home on the subway at midnight, after the movie gets out.

    33. sad moviegoer says:

      It is so discouraging that money always wins over the will of the people, and that those who have it have no understanding of the impact that their wanting more and more of it can have on the lives of others.

    34. West 65 resident says:

      Can someone please tell me what the Lincoln Center Business Improvement does? They have a section of what’s new in the neighborhood that doesn’t include empty store fronts. It’s time for this faux organization that uses our tax dollars to be closed down. Monica Blum has nothing to say ever about street safety, pedestrian safety or the movie theatre being closed. They just serve no purpose. http://www.lincolnbid.org/about-us/about-the-bid/board-and-staff

    35. henry shapiro says:

      we can’t allow this to happen. What ab’t getting together demonstrations?

    36. Martin Rosenblatt says:

      Another example where greed trumps
      all other considerations! We need
      independent voices in the arts and cultures!
      This is what has defined progress in
      democracy, and in our great city
      Marty Rosenblatt

    37. BillyNYC says:


    38. Rodger Lodger says:

      I’ve been hearing these complaints for 30 or more years. It seems that many New Yorkers want to make money, but they don’t want landlords to make more than an approved (by them) amount. It’s fun to be generous with others’ money, and it makes you feel noble besides!

      • Jen says:

        Nobody said we want to make money by taking other people hostage. And that’s exactly what UWS landlords do. Despicable morality. Making money by getting good education and provided services to people based on that is one thing. Grabbing properties and taking everyone hostage is a totally different and disgusting morality alltogethe.

        • Jay says:

          “Jen”, I have no idea what you are trying to saying, but negotiation between two private parties isn’t hostage taking. If you are forcing one side (retail owners) to win the negotiation, as you seem to suggest, sounds more in line with hostage taking than otherwise.

    39. Mindy says:

      Shameful, sad news! Lincoln Plaza is my most frequented favorite theater and the last incarnation of the old New Yorker Theater. It will be sorely missed! I feel bad for its employees, many of whom have been there for decades. Soon NYC will be nothing but a giant shopping mall filled with cineplexes, banks and franchises.

    40. Judith M Kass says:

      Oh no! is right. A suggestion: make the January 21 closing (sob!) event a tribute to Dan Talbot. Show his favorite films (maybe on all 6 screens) and after have a movie-themed party in the lobby.

      What a tragedy!

    41. Annette Hurlet says:

      A shame for the cinema culture on the upper west side
      I will have to move again, I just move around here for the easy access to good movies especially foreign films.
      Not everything good is American despite what we heart.

      This is a bad bad news and politically incorrect.

    42. Suzanne says:

      This is terrible! Lincoln Plaza is beloved by west siders.

      Please help!

    43. Francesca says:

      Lincoln Plaza, like Zabar’s, is an essential part of UWS life. We are hoping, praying and begging that it somehow survives and that another unwanted, underground chain isn’t in the offing. We thank the current owners for their years of doing good.


    44. Morrie Ross says:

      I am desolated. It is a part of our life, the only movie theatre with the kind of films we love in the neighborhood. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but what makes NY so great is that there is the best of the best for so many small groups, rather than just the one thing most people love. It’s so sad.

    45. Laura says:

      Where is Gail Brewer and Helen Rosenthal on this??
      This cannot be happening. #resist

      • Jen says:

        They are nowhere. Helen or her crew were very responsive during election season. Mo action whatsoever regarding anything since she was elected.

      • Woody says:

        What do you expect them to do? Private property means freedom of choice. Are you going to pass a restrictive (and unconstitutional) law to regulate every aspect of our lives whenever a private property owner offends you?

        The more I read the Rag, the more I find many of my fellow UWS’ers to be simple-minded and not the enlightened and intelligent group they profess to be. At best, they’re hypocritical; at worst, they’re idiotic.

        • Jay says:

          I hear you Woody. Just remember that the professional NIMBYs that infect this site are only a few of the thousands of people on the UWS. Most of the UWS are very welcoming of new people and new things.

        • Ground Control says:

          Yes Woody you must be from the part of town where they worship Ayn Rand-where they wouldn’t dare allow low income housing or worse yet, a homeless shelter. The UWS is known for welcoming all kinds of people because we have concern for a common good. It’s quite interesting that you equate good business with a lack of interest in the community surrounding that business, and a lack of civil character as well. The Milsteins of New York have been made rich by the people in these communities. Their rental and condominium properties benefit by having things like movie theaters that show movies that intelligent people want to watch. I suspect that if you were to investigate the education level and the I.Q. of people living on the Upper West Side it would put your theories to shame. But agreed-we’re not so big on Ayn Rand. We’ll leave that for other parts of town.

    46. Tamara Kirson says:

      This is, indeed, very disappointing news. Please let us know what we can do to avert this closing. This theater is in itself a star!

    47. OriginalMark says:

      Look around at our fellow UWSers. Most of them have their faces buried in their phones and don’t pay attention to anything or anyone.
      Why should we surprised that many of them would want to put down those phones and focus on something like a film? In that 90-180 minutes, they might miss an important text or a posting of someone’s lunch.
      How many people on the subway do you see reading books or newspapers? Almost none.
      The smartphone is king and rules the spectacular mediocrity of the average public and consumes their average brains.

      • Jen says:

        Very true. Pop-culture supersedes culture. I try my best to teach my son better than that but there’s peer pressure and cheesefest surrounding him.

      • Paul G says:

        Keep in mind that many of us are reading digital newspapers and books on those phones. It is easier than schlepping the paper around. Some even buy their movie tickets on their phones for that matter.

        • OriginalMark says:

          Most are not reading books or papers. It’s remarkably easy to see people’s screens (albeit it requires the you actually look up from your phone to do this).
          People play Candy Crush. They look at social media. They text (and text and text and text).
          And it’s not just on the subway. It’s on the subway steps. It’s on the sidewalk. It’s while walking their dog/child/spouse. It’s while sitting in a restaurant or theater.
          The mediocre are the mediocre, and we have a lot of them here in this neighborhood.

          • Independent says:

            […]It’s [preoccupation with “smartphones”] on the sidewalk.[…]

            Worse yet, while crossing the street and driving

      • Ground COntrol says:

        For like the tenth time here, the theater is very successful! They do not suffer for lack of business because of people who don’t look up from their cellphones. Their movies are often sold out. The Landlord has refused to renew the lease. And if he did he would probably quadruple the rent. No movie theater could pay that.

    48. Janice says:

      There is nothing to say but what a gigantic loss to art and our community. The Millstein family needs more money? Not as much as the community needs this venue for these wonderful non mainstream movies. Shame on them. Aren’t the new tax giveaways they’re getting enough of our blood. To steal our simple pleasure is a shonda in the words on my Bubbe.

      • Woody says:

        It’s none of your business how much money the Milsteins need. They don’t exist to give you something for nothing. If you think what they do is so easy, then try doing it yourself. Many of you schnorrers have gotten used to sponging off others without any regard to the complexities of the real estate market.

        • Steve Dorff says:

          Well put with an amusing tone!
          I agree with you, but wish there was some way to temper this in a fashion to that so many would not lose something they love.

    49. Beth says:

      What can we do to stop this? Anyone have an email address for Milstein Properties? I tried to find one but came up empty. Thanks.

    50. Bruce Bernstein says:

      damn landlords. damn real estate prices.

    51. I do wonder if City Council members applying some political pressure on this might avert the closing…..

    52. Bill says:

      The increasing “blandification” of the Upper West Side.

    53. HLBwestsider says:

      There has to be a way to stop this awful thing from happening. We have to find a way….. maybe organize a protest shaming the Milstein company. Meet with signs
      In front of the theater. Could you, West Side Rag help in organizing a protest or two to accommodate everyone?!
      Young and old people July the Indies.

    54. Barb says:

      Oh God, seriously? The selection of movies was outstanding!!! I never felt welcome there and the staff was very unfriendly, but movies were fantastic. I hope the Paris Theatre stays open. They should rotate the schedule for movies more often.

      • Steve Dorff says:

        I know the manager there. Talk to him about his kids. Say hi to him when I see him on the street. He’s a nice guy.
        I’m going to make a point of saying good bye to him!

    55. Susan says:

      The closing of this theater which we have loved for over thirty years would break my heart. I miss it already.

    56. Susanna says:

      Why live on the UWS anymore?

    57. Debo Gaffaney says:

      Please keep me informed.

    58. Barbara Muntz says:

      This is a significant loss to the cultural scene on NYC. If this city cannot support one great multi screen art cinema who can? Certainly the Mulstein organization can suppier such an important institution in a city where they’ve made much of their real estate fortune

      • rs says:

        Manhattan alone supports half a dozen high-quality film venues. One of them is practically across the street from LPC.

    59. Paul G says:

      The only saving grace is a number of new theatres that have opened up downtown. But it is a real schlep to get there and I am not convinced they will survive either.

      Very sad news for the UWS.

    60. Kathleen says:

      So many of us depend on the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. This is yet another example of landlords controlling the lives of New Yorkers. We MUST end landlords funding political campaigns.

    61. Annette Liberson says:

      This is a great shame and a huge loss for the neighborhood. This theatre serves not only New Yorkers who live nearby, as I do, but people throughout the city and beyond. It is the only uptown venue for outstanding foreign and art films. With all the wealth residing in the city, one would think a rich and culturally sensitive patron could be found, and Milstein Properties could exhibit less greed, so that this home for exciting art-house theater could be preserved. Yes, Netflix and other streaming services exist, but there is still value in leaving one’s home and sharing an outstanding film experience on a big screen with a live audience, one’s friends around town and the general public.

    62. Stephanie says:

      We will miss this theater. Any chance it will be restored and remain a theater?

    63. yahoo says:

      I don’t see anyone rightfully bashing De Blasio for hiking property taxes of residential buildings to the point where property owners have no choice but everyone more. Vicious circle set in motion by extortionate taxation practices.The theater is located in a residential building. I am sure the residents of the building don’t look forward to paying more for their apartments to support a movie theater that charges $17 for a ticket. So either the theater has to come up with the money or the residents have to fill the gap.

    64. Sherman says:

      Oy. So many of these comments are beyond stupid.

      I’m sorry LPC is going as I go there myself.

      But it’s the landlord’s property and he owns it and risked capital to make money. If he feels there’s a tenant out there who can pay him more than LPC then it’s his right to seek out such a tenant.

      Furthermore, there’s no secret tax break that encourages landlords to have vacant property.

      All you folks who are so concerned about “greedy landlords” should invest in commercial property and lease your space to the tenant willing to pay you the least in rent.

      • Jen says:

        Maybe it is the reason hat some of us don’t want to invest there and become greedy landlords. In your world money rules all judging by your numerous comments defending rule of money. Not for all of us, fortunately.

      • Sarah says:

        The building doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It derives most of its value from its location in a neighborhood (and a city) that supports the businesses in it. Take that building and plunk it down in some decaying Rust Belt town and see how much you can get for it! Jacking up the rent to the point that it destroys the very businesses that make the neighborhood desirable is strip-mining.

    65. This would be very sad for Upper West Side and Manhattan. This is what thousands check out first when
      they look for a Movie for adults to see. We love going there and the food and popcorn are the best and not at utrageous
      What can we do to support this theater and the owners
      and workers we all know.

    66. Marie Mullins says:

      This breaks my heart. So now we will we have to go downtown. This is a time when I wish I were wealthy! I wish I had money to support them. Another West Side movie theater gone…..

    67. Linda Wolfe says:

      A dreadful loss for the Upper West Side!

    68. js says:

      Lincoln Plaza Cinemas has been a unique cultural icon. Yes the seating is cramped and screens small, but it has been an important and accessible resource for documentary and independent films. There is no true equivalent. Once it is gone, that is it – no replacement.

      As others have noted, Milstein has tons of money – can’t Lincoln Plaza just be left alone? Or as Annette writes, no patron can be found.

      NYC used to be a place of intellect. No more – now just an expensive mall.

    69. Judy says:

      This is worse news than the new tax reform. Must greed always win?is there nothing we can do, a petition a protest? Perhaps declaring the cinema as an historical monument to me that’s what it is!

    70. judith felsenfeld says:

      OH NO

    71. Elizabeth Sachs says:

      Why don’t we write a letter to the landlord and tell him that we want to keep our favorite theater and will boycott any other kind of business that he will put there?
      We can collect signatures and addresses on the West Side Rag, on our facebooks, via email to all our friends and acquaintances, asking them to continue the collection among their contacts. We can even knock on doors. I know that in my building many people would be willing to sign.

      • Woody says:

        When you suggest boycotting any new business in that space, you lose the argument and sound idiotic.

      • yahoo says:

        Threatening a business because you like the old one better? That’s how you lose the right to call anyone else a bully or a fascist.
        You can go to LPC every day and spend at least $17 on a ticket. That would be a start. No?

    72. ST says:

      America, land of of the huddled masses, home of the greedy.

    73. Susan Kagan says:

      This is horrible news! We have to hope that a massive protest is being organized.

    74. Marcia Epstein says:

      Oh no, this can’t be. Can’t we help in any way?

    75. Marcia Kelly says:

      If this really happens, I wonder if the beautiful theater at 100th St. and Broadway might be a possible place to move? It’s been empty for a long time.

    76. Sidele Koszyn says:

      Horrible news! They play all the best movies without
      the endless commercials and booming sound
      system of AMC theaters.

    77. What can we expect when the permission and example from the top (ha) to the bottom is greed. The founders of the great religions and the great philosophers of the past, although not cinema buffs like me, must be very dismayed by this unfortunate turn of events.

    78. Suzanne says:

      The METRO!!!!! They should rent the METRo cinema-
      It would be a great addition to the neighborhood- and maybe Columbia University could help with the reno and use for student films and events- the way SVA did with a theatre on 23 rd st. In Chelsea!

    79. So sorry about this. I’ve seen many films there, including “Darkest Hour” earlier this week.

    80. joanne olian says:

      Lincoln Plaza Cinema is New York 0 the city will be poorer without it. Let’s hope Mr. Milstein will understand and will renew the lease.

      How about a petition?

    81. Lenore says:

      This is terrible!! We should not let this happen without trying to stop it. ORGANIZE!! Contact Rosenthal! Set up a demonstration—I’ll come!

      • Jen says:

        Rosenthal is completely non-responsive past winning the election. Taught us a lesson not to trust her at all.

    82. Phyllis says:

      Say it isn’t so !!!

    83. Bob Lamm says:

      It’s so unfortunate that this discussion begins with a blast at the “younger generation.” Ugly ageism. Nothing else. I’m 70 years old and well remember facing ageism when I was in my 20s. So should I do the same now? It’s obviously not the fault of younger adults that the Lincoln Plaza may close. Ageism–whether young to old or vice versa–is bigotry.

      • Jen says:

        You really need to choose your words more carefully. And please use your logic. Nobody “blasted” younger generation. What the comment meant is that younger generation never got a chance to develop a good taste.

        Please refrain from easy labels such as “ageism”, etc.

    84. Edmond Fitzgerald says:

      This is a terrible loss for all New Yorkers, not just those of us on the UWS. My wife and I have been going to Lincoln Plaza faithfully at least once a week since we moved here over twenty years ago. I would hope that our elected officials will look into this and come up with a viable solution. The city cannot afford to lose a gem such as the Lincoln Plaza Theater.

    85. Joan Cohn says:

      What can the neighborhood do to save the theater

    86. Dixie says:

      Oh no!! My absolute favorite theater in NYC. Where are we going to go now? Angelika is way too far away.

    87. This is almost tragic! We need this theater – it has the best films and everybody depends on it. Hope it can be kept open. All my friends and neighbors love to come here – it’s a vital part of our cultural activity. Please stay open!

    88. B. Cutney says:

      This is disheartening and disgraceful

      How about the METRO cinema theatre on Bway & 100 St.? Does greed make that place also prohibitive??

    89. Joan says:

      Here are three email addresses you can send your protests to: Lincoln Square Bid, Milstein Properties and Helen Rosenthal




    90. Karen Bruno says:

      Say it isn’t so…

    91. Adam says:

      This theater plays great movies BUT the place is in desperate need of an upgrade. The theaters are dirty, seats are old, torn, uncomfortable. With so many theaters in NYC, they need to compete & put some money into an upgrade. It’s a mostly 45 (yo) plus crowd that goes in there, and at our ages, to sit on what feels like a chunk of wood for 2 hours does not help our backs or bodies afterwards. They can also be a bit friendlier there. The 17 year olds at AMC are more welcoming then the people who work at Lincoln Plaza.

    92. Sean says:

      Hysteria run amok as change comes once again to the UWS. Fact is that both the owners of this business and the audience have aged. If a lease is up the ball is in the owner’s court. The films show at this theater are available in some format somewhere. They really are. Movies are digital now. They are not shot on film. Be thankful you are still alive to witness all this change. Will it be hard on UWS matrons of a certain age with their tote bags in hand? Yes. But downtown is a cab ride away. I am assuming you don’t UBER.

      • Independent says:

        You never miss an opportunity to show obnoxious contempt and disdain for the elderly, do you?

      • Jen says:

        If you assume all these movies are available in some other format, you don’t know much about good cinema. Most of them are not.

        Oh, and I do Uber and stream. Was actually one of the first people who gave up useless cable in favor of streaming. Unfortunately even streaming providers don’t have the best of cinema.

    93. Peelope Pi-Sunyer says:

      Please, West Side Rag, let us know of any protests or meetings we can join. This is the only movie theater we can get to in our broad community!

    94. your neighbor says:

      Nice theater, some great films, some crap just like other theaters.

      I go there 6 or 8 times a year and in general the theater is empty with only a dozen people. Maybe more crowded in the first week after release? I don’t know. Small theaters with small screens so should be able to fill them.

      Anyway, from the article it seems that the owner has some health problems.

      I’ve found the service from the ticket sellers to the concessions to be pretty indifferent.

      Also only started accepting credit cards quite recently. Missed going to some movies there because I don’t tend to carry much cash – rarely the $50 for two tickets and a popcorn.

      Sorry to see them go, it takes much more planning to go downtown.

    95. Susan says:

      That is the best theater in New York
      City. This is devastating.

    96. We'll Always Have Paris says:

      Yes, this place expanded the types of movies available. But going there wasn’t the greatest experience. I found the place kind of gloomy. And who, by the way, is the landlord going to rent this undesirable, subterranean space to? I suspect there’s more going on than what’s been reported.

    97. Someone MUST save Lincoln Plaza
      Cinemas! We can’t afford to have it closed!

    98. Quail West says:

      35 years is a long time! I hate to see places like this close down!

    99. andrea says:

      Don’t you think Upper west siders should do something to preserve the best movie theater in the city? it’s a shame that we watch the best we have around disappear without a fight.

    100. Carole Malsin says:

      Do not force this theatre to close. It is a very important part of the UWS. It would be sorely missed. I go often!
      As do Many! AMC Theatres only show really
      Kid films – often not worth the price. Also takes away local business bc it’s been a destination trip to go there
      Carole M.

    101. drg says:

      As far as the Metro theater… I seriously doubt that this is an option. Its been totally gutted inside, see the following WSR piece from 2013:


      also, as noted subsequently, Alamo Drafthouse plans for a refurbished 5 screen cinema were then subsequently scrapped, after they spent 1 million for plans:

      I would doubt the Lincoln cinema folkswould have deeper pockets than those

    102. florine dorfmann says:

      please no!!!!

      We need some civility in this city

    103. Matthew Penn says:

      Mr. Milstein

      So many of us in the neighborhood and on the upper west side are deeply disturbed to hear of your plans to close Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

      LPC has been the exhibitor of so many fine films over the years. Their films frequently ask us to think and consider the world around us. Their films, as I am sure you know range from dynamic American pieces to films from around the world that bring new ideas and aesthetics to the audiences who view them.

      As New Yorkers we all understand the value of real estate. It impacts our lives every day in nearly every way. But we also understand the cultural value of the businesses and events that make our city unique in the world.

      LPC contributes mightily to life on the upper west side. While I am sure you can make more money with the space by packaging it some other way, those of us in positions of influence have an obligation to preserve what is truly wonderful about the city.

      To close a theater that contributed to what is best in us as New Yorkers is not to help the social fabric of the city but rather to diminish it. I hope you will reconsider your plans.

    104. Don't jump to conclusions says:


      Ms. Talbot said she had “no idea” what the building’s owners plan to do with the space. In an emailed statement Saturday night, Milstein Properties said it built 30 Lincoln Plaza in 1978.

      “We are long-term members of this community and have played a central role in nurturing this special theater,” the statement said, adding that “vital structural work” was needed to repair and waterproof the plaza around the building.

      “At the completion of this work, we expect to reopen the space as a cinema that will maintain its cultural legacy far into the future,” the statement said.

      A Milstein spokesman said in an email that it was yet to be determined if the cinema would reopen with the Talbots in charge.

    105. Ollie Bossowich says:

      I travel from my home in Chelsea to enjoy the movies at Lincoln Plaza. I am 89 and just viewed ‘Wonder Wheel” there. It is a special theater and the thought of its closing is very sad for me and the others who go there.
      I hope something can be done to keep it open.

    106. robert says:

      The Metro theater is fast becoming a danger. The façade was not landmarked, nor was the building just the pink terra cota aplica (pardon the spelling). We the Ariel went up next door the owners at that time sold the air rights to them. This means that no one can build higher than its existing height.
      Back when Urban outfitters was planning to move in it was completely gutted. There is nothing but the roof and four walls. They and Alamo Draft house gave up when they got to much blow back from the neighborhood. Since them the marque is now structurally unsound and held up by steel piers in the middle of the sidewalk. Large parts have rusted through and it has leaks all over it.
      More important the roof is on its last legs. The roof is made out of wood beans with little support inside since it was gutted. There are noticeable dips in it and they grew each time the snow loads are added to the roof. Having been inside a various times when it was being looked at by unknown construction crews you could clearly see the water damage/staining and bowing on these wooden roof beams. I chased out by the crew but I had enough time to look around as the entire building is nothing more than a shell.
      I would not be surprised to find the roof falling and having to be demolished for safety reasons quite soon

    107. John says:

      I live in this building and know the real Howard Milstein. He is greedy like most of his peers and I am sure the closure is for more then façade repairs. Its true the building is in disrepair and commands high prices but it is poorly managed and has been a construction zone for a decade. In the past we heard he wanted to level the water fall in the public space this may be the reason for the work he is talking about.

      • Independent says:

        He is greedy like most of his peers

        How many of us, if given the same temptations and opportunities, would be any better?

        The question is particularly relevant for those who reflexively condemn landlords and others for “greed”.

    108. Landlord BS has got to stop! If repairs are needed, fine.Close the theater, do the repairs, and open again under the current tenants. We can survive a month or two without our favorite theaters, but not succumb to another bunch of “for lease” signs as infinitum. If the Milsteins care about the neighborhood then keep this art haven open!

    109. Roberta Finke says:

      If true, I sincerely hope that Lincoln Plaza cinema will reopen after renovations. It is one of the few movie theaters in Manhattan that runs interesting, worthwhile and artistic films. Without Lincoln Plaza Cinema, my life will be much less interesting. Roberta Finke NYC

    110. Sammie@lynn says:

      Amazing, thanks for the update! Is it possible that it was always MP’s intention to renovate? So good read the messages here and know how much this theater means to everyone (well, almost everyone…) in the neighborhood!

    111. Withheld says:

      Milstein statement purposefully vague!! If structural repairs do vital how com able to wait till lease expiration?!?
      I do NOT trust their claim of “reopening” the space as “a cinema”. Does that mean Milstein will own, run theater? Increase prices? Add eatery with less or smaller theaters?!?
      I find the huge # of closings of small/ family stores vs large, high end stores abhorrent & just exposes the not very hidden agenda of greed assisted by city @ state govt.
      I also strongly believe “the Disabled” are not welcomed in NYC especially Manhattan!!
      I refuse to use Uber as the 2nd time I used it, my screen showed $18 but I was charged $104.04!!!! because there was a large parade going on. Tell me they didn’t know?!? Gov Cuomo against DiBlasio’s opposition “okayed” 10, 000 additional Uber cars to be in the city.
      He certainly is ‘not his father ‘but to the contrary has turned into a free market capitalist!!!
      And ppl wonder why the city is so crowded. Additionally, the bike lanes have been useless & since they are so ‘well delineated’ were a prime target for the terror attack that occurred near Chambers street!!!
      As a disabled person I need to use taxis all the time & in the past year or so, the price rose; the speed limit was reduced, lanes were closed, many streets forbid turns & the city is again working to begin “congestion pricing” all of which will Create a tremendous economic hardship for me.( especially as the Donald lied about “NOT TOUCHING SSA,SSD,MEDICARE & Medicaid but will now deny it & is going along with Paul Ryan’s long term plan to destroy Social Security Disability & Medicare ( as he & GOP call them “entitlement programs”!

    112. UWS Craig says:

      It always bothered me that this theater does not sell tickets on Fandango. I think if they sold tickets on Fandango they would be able to afford the higher rent.
      Perhaps somebody could tell them about Fandango before it is really too late.

      • young_man! says:

        Considering this theater was CASH ONLY until perhaps 2 years ago I think Fandango is way beyond their technological abilities.

        Glad that the Millsteins have said that another art theater will replace this one after the structural repairs are done. Hopefully with more customer centric management.

    113. Katie says:

      Ok, so now the landlord is saying the space will re-open as a cinema once the repair is done. He better stick with that promise. Othewise, our community will boycott whatever business coming in that space.

    114. B.B. says:

      Movie theaters have been dying a slow death for decades.

      First salvo over the bow was television. Then came the antitrust legal actions that forced film studios to divorce themselves from the theatres they once owned.

      Things by and large were still good for awhile but then came the VCR and cable; pace has only picked up since then with the arrival of new technologies.

      DVDs, streaming and the rest are simply killing off large portions of movie going public.

      OTOH a movie no longer is a “cheap date” option either. Everything from tickets to concessions/snacks have gone up.

      Thanks also to technology you can get “reviews” of a film nearly instantly from those who have posted online.

      So you have a perfect storm coming together for movie theater owners; rising costs on the one hand, and lower attendance rates on other. Something has to give….

      Hard to believe Manhattan once had so many movie theaters.


    115. Joan says:

      Yeah. I bet the plaza really needs waterproofing and cannot be done while the theatre is in operation. Give me a break Howard Milstein. Your family pretends to be all for New York, so step up to the plate, give Lincoln Plaza Theater an extension. This is a jewel of New York. Be a mensch!

    116. Elizabeth Sachs says:

      There is a petition going around via email and facebook.How can we get it to the West Side Rag?

    117. DIDI SCHROEDER says:

      The Lincoln Plaza Cinema is a revered art cinema institution for people who appreciate fine movies from around the world. It is a pleasure to meet a friend and see the latest classic movie for an affordable price.
      Perhaps Mr. Millstein can be the benefactor for this nice institution and continue this tradition and carry this forward to the next generation.
      We all would appreciate his generosity.

    118. Yannis Simonides says:

      What can we do aside from signing petition to ensure
      keeping the Talbots?

      • Ground Control says:

        You can write to:

        Helen Rosenthal City Council Member District 6.
        Gale Brewer Manhattan Borough President
        Mark Levine City Council Member District 7
        Scott Stringer Comptroller

        All addresses are available by Googling them.

    119. ritagazarik says:

      is this true or are they out to add more wreckage to the sense of community?
      This is a very important good movie theatre that everyone wants to keep

    120. Peter Brandt says:

      Milstein’s thinking of more $$$$ may be wrong. There are so many empty store fronts, even along 59St, 5th Ave, upper west side, Madison Ave….everywhere e-commerce is taking huge effect!

    121. Mikema Reape says:

      This is heartbreaking news. I really hope something can be done to save this theater. Always enjoyed going there and the staff has always been really nice. Many of them have been working there for years. such sad news…

    122. Dora says:

      The LP had a great run but with co-owner Dan Talbot in poor health there cannot be someone to step in to do the job he has done for cinema in the 35+ years the theatre has been in operation.
      It’s a fantasy to think that the theatre could be the same.