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Friday, June 17, 2005

IFC Center Opens Today

The new state-of-the-art cinemas with luxurious seating and featuring High-Def digital and 35mm projection opens today at 325 Sixth Avenue, the site of the old Waverly Theater.

What I like about what they are trying to do here is cater to the audience. The New York audience. The multiplexes have made the film going experience about as moving as sorting through your bills. I think there is a concerted effort here to make it all encompassing by programming classics with indie with foreign with art house and cult movies. With a strong advisory board (Noah Cowan, Alfonso Cuaron, Rick Linklater, Rebecca Miller, Errol Morris, John Sayles, Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, Cynthia Swartz, Dan Talbot and Gary Winick) the IFC Center is vying for the much coveted premiere independent entertainment space in NYC. A great feature is they will have guest programmers and special celebrity programmed evenings. Author Jonathan Lethem is planning to present “King Of Comedy” and “Ace in the Hole” on July 7 while Filmmaker David Gordon Green has slotted “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Thunderbolt And Lightfoot” for August 8.

The center has come to fruition with some flack though. Questions of independence and audience loyalty have risen when given the parent company is corporate entity Cablevision. This and protests against the IFC's use of non-union projectionists at the facility have launched some skepticism about where the center's heart is at. I guess it's a matter of time but I wish it well and hope these issues can be worked out. The New York film community needs a place like this to keep it vital.

Oh yeah, no commercials.


Blogger J. Ott said...

I used to work at Cablevision and it's true that the corporate nature of the company slowed the renovations (or as the marquee read for nearly four years "RENO ATIONS").

But the people I met who are in charge of the theater are true movie lovers who want some IFC's excellent aquisitions of the last few years (including CSA) get their theatrical due.

I have hopes they'll relent on the projectionist union, but it is Cablevision's policy not to allow unions. In fact, at orientation they have a whole anti-union propaganda presentation. Hilarious.

12:30 AM  
Blogger William said...


John Vanco seems like a cool guy with good intentions but like everyone, he has a boss. I do like the idea that they will be doing more than just scheduling films. The guest screenings are a cool idea. If it can be a combo of the Sunshine, Film Forum and the American Museum of the Moving Image that would be a good thing.

Thanks for the comment. Stop by often.

9:50 AM  

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