By Carol Tannenhauser
“God, please let this happen. Seriously, it’s a wonderful day!”
Those words, spoken by a member of the CB7 Business and Consumer Issues Committee at Wednesday night’s meeting, reflected the feelings of the entire committee as they responded one by one to the presentation of a team from “Metro Cinema,” there to apply for a liquor license and announce that the long-closed Metro Theater, on Broadway between 99th and 100th Streets, will be reopening as a multi-screen dinner-theater.
Tim League, the founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, explained that while the project is “largely funded by Alamo, we’re trying to establish a little bit higher-end brand. Alamo is pizza and salads, Metro will have some of those, but will also have more full entrees, a really nice wine list, and a small bar.”
League acknowledged that Alamo had disappointed the neighborhood once before. “Alamo came before you guys back in 2013 with the intention of opening a theater in this location, but, unfortunately, was never able to move forward with the project. We’re coming back and taking another swing at it.”
League couldn’t say for sure how many screens there will be, or when the theater will be ready, but said they are close to hiring a contractor and will begin shortly. He said there will be first-run movies, blockbusters, independent and foreign-language films, as well as documentaries shown. And he emphasized that the landmarked facade and marquee of the theater will be fully restored.
By the way, apparently, the marquee is missing the letter R in Metro. League said, “I’m in the market for an R.”
The liquor-license application was approved by the committee. It must still go to the full community board and the State Liquor Authority.