Since 2006 the Metro Movie Theater has been vacant. We have had numerous conversations with the owner who has shared both architectural plans and the possibility of some financial support if we can prove that we can mount a convincing campaign.
I know that this is a Sisyphean task and I know that the prevailing belief is that movie theaters are dying, but we see people who are growing tired of the isolation that has come with computer generated content. I think we all know that human beings require contact. Society requires an exchange of ideas in order to grow. And just as digital has shone a light on the beauty of film and cds, spawned a hunger for vinyl, out of isolation has come a need for meet-ups, events, etc. A newly imagined movie theater satisfies that need and provides the opportunity to laugh, cry, learn and exchange ideas all while being reminded that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Despite 2M apartments and inflated rents, the Upper West Side is dying. Shops are closing. Restaurants are closing. And the community is flailing. But a great movie theater can bring upscale revenue into the neighborhood, by providing an experience that cannot be duplicated at home (regardless of the size of one’s TV screen).
The idea is that the Metro would be reimagined as a state-of-the-art art house cinema and performance space, with three screening rooms, a black-box theater and a small cafe. Double features, newsreels (the product of young journalists and filmmakers) and festivals that explore everything from Science Fiction that has become Science Fact to Movies that had the greatest impact on society and beyond, as well as a Virtual Reality space (both for education and entertainment) are only a few of the projects that will elevate the Metro to a cultural space that we can all be proud of.
The $3600 is to cover the cost of an animation (already written and story-boarded) that perfectly incapsulates everything that the Metro Movie Theater could be. It will be used for a Kickstarter campaign. I have been working for the last 8 months and have gotten closer than anyone to making this happen, but time is running out.
Before it becomes a health club or a mall, will everyone chip in what they can so that we can go to the next step?
I would be grateful. But this is not for me, it is for all of us who are committed to reimagining the UWS as the cultural center that it could be.