Manhattan's Lincoln Plaza Cinemas to close

Cinemas News

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, the long-running art house fixture on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is scheduled to close its doors at the end of January.

“We lost our lease, and they are not willing to extend it,” Ewnetu Admassu, general manager for the six-screen multiplex, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re not closing because of lack of business.”

Located at 1886 Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets since 1981, the six-screen multiplex has been run and programmed by Dan Talbot and wife Toby, operating as a joint venture between the Talbots, France’s Gaumont and Millstein Properties, which owns the building in which the theater is located.

Millstein Properties said that it plans to reopen a cinema in the space at some point in the future after needed repairs and waterproofing of the plaza surrounding the property is completed, according to a spokesman, who issued a statement saying, 'Millstein 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 into the future."

Long a force in the independent film world, the Talbots have been in specialty film exhibition since the 1960s, when they opened the New Yorker Theater, which was in business until 1973, and was then followed by the Manhattan Cinema Studio and the Metro Theater in the mid-‘70s and early ‘80s. Dan Talbot also ran the indie film distributor New Yorker Films from 1965 to 2009.

In an introduction to Toby Talbot’s 2009 memoir, The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes From a Life at the Movies, Martin Scorsese wrote, “Anyone who lives in America and cares about cinema and history, no matter how old or young, owes something to the New Yorker and to Dan and Toby Talbot.”

The Talbots have carried on that tradition at the Lincoln Plaza, which is currently showing such films as Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel, Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour and Dee Rees’ Mudbound.

The theater plans to continue in operation over the holidays. “We’ll keep our commitments," Admassu said. “In my view, it’s a very important theater, both for the neighborhood and for film lovers. I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle.”--The Hollywood Reporter