Last night, N.Y.C.’s most avid cinephiles gathered on the Lower East Side to celebrate the arrival of Metrograph, the first independently operated movie theater to open in the city in over a decade. Located on a quiet graffitied street, the venue, which plans to screen archive-quality 35mm prints and first-run features, also boasts a restaurant, two bars, a café, and a film-themed bookstore, creating a cultural hub reminiscent of studio commissaries in the late ’20s and early ’30s.
As such, the industry’s biggest champions of the largely defunct spaces—Greta Gerwig, Dustin Hoffman, and Sofia Coppola, to name a few—turned up to show their support. "Repertory theaters made such a different in my life," said Gerwig, who cut her teeth at independent houses such as Film Forum and Anthology Film Archives. "I’m so happy I have another place to hang out!" Added Coppola: "It’s such a different experience when you see a film on a screen."
Inside, guests noshed on passed hors d’oeuvres, like mini pizzas and flavored popcorn, and sipped on Old Fashioneds and Gin Fizzes. Short films including Alfred L. Werker’s Oreos–Little Girls Have Pretty Curls and D. A. Pennebaker's Daybreak Express were screened at varying times in Metrograph’s two theaters—one with a capacity of 175 seats, equipped with a sprawling 25-seat balcony, and a smaller, 47-seat room—until the wee hours of the night.