Flooding from Busted Water Main Wrecked a 260-Seat Theater


The auditorium prior to the flooding. Via NYIT.

A water main break on Monday morning flooded the theater at the New York Institute of technology on Broadway between 61st and 62nd Street, and it will have to be entirely rebuilt, the New York Times reported.

“It was a community resource — now everything has to be replaced and rebuilt from scratch,” said Nada Anid, a spokeswoman for the college, who said the floodwaters engulfed the auditorium nearly up to the ceiling, ruining the interior and the state-of-the-art projection room.

The water rushed in so forcefully that the auditorium’s walls gave away, she said, adding that the auditorium, on Broadway between 61st and 62nd Streets, was “the public face of our college” and a frequent venue for film premieres and school conferences.

The theater was also where the New Lincoln Plaza Cinemas independent film group has been screening movies.

We’ve reached out to the school about how community members can help and will update this if we hear back.

NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Liifeoong UWS says:

      To. The. Ceiling? Wow.

      My dad actually called me from Florida after reading the article.

      Isn’t NYIT closing its UWS campus? So what is happening to the auditorium? Who would be in charge once NYIT leaves?

    2. Susan Kagan says:

      That theater is of great value to our community. Please keep usz informed about how we can help to preserve it.

    3. helen flaum says:

      This is so upsetting – I was happy this theater was being used to seen film for New Plaza Cinemas – what now?

    4. Wendy says:

      Sad news indeed. I went to many a screening there. Please keep us updated.

    5. Sally F says:

      Oh wow, that’s really sad.

    6. Ann Lurie Berlin says:

      SAGAFTRA, DG, WGA Have screens at NYIT for years.
      So sorry. Let us know.

    7. Preventive maintenance says:

      City Of New York should be held responsible IN FULL + for this and for any other damage that old Watermain from the 1920s that should’ve been replaced years ago.
      Thank God I don’t run my life like the city of New York does.

    8. Stephen Yesenosky says:

      Any news on whether the new still unopened Target store was affected?

    9. HELP! says:

      Really sad. Is there any reason to believe that the infrastructure in NYC is going to be managed so that further issues like this won’t occur.. Or do we just have to keep our fingers crossed?
      New York City has about 6,800 miles of water mains. In the past five fiscal years, the city recorded an average of 474 breaks a year, according to the Mayor’s Management Report.
      The city already has one of the oldest networks of underground infrastructure in the world, and aging pipes and utilities are particularly susceptible to leaks, breaks and cracks.
      It don’t look good folks!

    10. longtimer says:

      Fordham is nearby, with much larger facilities than NYIT. Perhaps the invaluable New Plaza Cinema could ask Fordham U. for use of a theater, on weekends.

      • Liifeoong UWS says:

        Good idea. John Jay is just a bit further west and has a great theater. That could work as well.

    11. Gretchen says:

      Terrible news for the community and school, but thankfully no one was in the theater when the flood hit or it could have been catastrophic.

    12. robert says:

      This is BS, as NY Tech announced it was closing its NYC campus. This was done by no longer accepting an admissions to the NYC program saying they were going to concentrate on their LI campus. The buildings are all on the market before this and will soon come down and the site built on

    13. Marcia Talmage Schneider says:

      So sad for school but mostly for theNrw Plaza cinema group and their patrons

    14. Brandon says:

      Thank goodness this happened early in the morning. If the ” water rushed in so forcefully that the auditorium’s walls gave away” I shudder to thank what would have happened if the auditorium was full.

    15. Shawn Moore says:

      Good news. New Plaza Cinema has secured Symphony Space for our Annual Celebration on January 26th.

      The community is coming together and there are also options being reviewed for an alternate theater space until NYIT is back up and running.

    16. Barbara Buoncristiano says:

      Just when New Lincoln Plaza Cinemas had developed a schedule for showing the quality films we used to see at Lincoln Plaza – just when a benefit had been scheduled with one of my favorite films “Cinema Paradiso”. Now what?