Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You know that grand art-deco Metro Theater at 99th and Broadway that has been closed for a few years?

Yeah, its recent long tortured history (condo! restuarant!) is over. It will now be home to an Urban Outfitters. (New York Post, second item). Finally, local residents won't have to travel so far for their Toddland diver down hoodies!

City Room had an item on the Metro (originally called the Midtown, for some reason) in 2007:

From the outside, the landmark Metro Theater on Broadway, an Art Deco jewel box between 99th and 100th Streets, looks almost as exquisite as it must have in the 1930s, when movies were still known as “photoplays,” though no photo has played there for two years.

But the inside, visible to passers-by on a recent afternoon, has been gutted. Gone are seats and plaster and curtains and screen. Gone is a golden ceiling molding with a chain of floral bouquets. Gone are the sylph-filled niches. Gone is grillework that sprouted like corn stalks.

Here's a little more on the theater's past on Tom Fletcher's New York Architecture

The Midtown, designed by the architecture firm of Boak & Paris, opened in 1933. From 1948 through April 1972, it was part of the Brandt circuit, featuring sub-run foreign and independent fare starting in the 1950s. It exhibited films such as Belle de Jour, Shame (and just about every other Bergman movie), Breathless, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Repulsion, L’Avventura, Straw Dogs, and Gimme Shelter, though never in exclusive engagements. After Brandt's management, it operated as an adult film venue.

It was renamed the Metro in 1982.


Ken Mac said...

think I saw Sleepless in Seattle here. Sorry it couldn't be a better movie memory!

EV Grieve said...

Ack! Well, it could have been worse...like You've Got Mail....

Marlie said...

I loved this place--lived on 99th Street and West End in early 70's and would frequent this movie house a lot-after a while it turned porno--don't remember if Cakemasters is still right across the street--but I do believe it still remains!!Cakemasters used to be around the City--I think this is the remaining one--
Broadway from 99th to 86th was my regular shopping experience--Pandemonium was there and great Indian clothes store too

Anonymous said...

the toddland department of googling our own name to see if anything comes up has seen your post and, although it was not mentioned in the best light, is stoked that someone acknowledged our existence. we really are just a few friends trying to make clothes!

meanwhile, the toddland department of grievances is sorry to hear about your local theater.

Christopher said...

It's featured in this Janet Jackson music video from the 80s!