UWS Metro Theater reopening

UWS Metro Theater To Reopen As Multi-Screen Movie Theater: Levine

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine confirmed Monday that the long-vacant UWS theater will reopen as a multi-screen movie theater.

Gus Saltonstall,Patch Staff, Posted Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 1:49 pm ET|Updated Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 1:52 pm ET

An image of the vacant Metro Theater on the Upper West Side.
An image of the vacant Metro Theater on the Upper West Side. (Shutterstock / James Andrews1)

UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — It looks like it is actually happening. The long-vacant Upper West Side Metro Theater is reopening as a “boutique multi-screen movie theater,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine tweeted out on Monday.

“For those who are skeptical after many years of countless failed plans at the Metro, I have spoken directly to the company opening this new venue,” Levine wrote on Twitter. “This is real. It’s happening.”

People were quick to share their excitement about the abandoned theater being reopened, especially as a venue for the arts.

“It’s been so long since good news,” one person wrote. “I was braced to read that it would be a target or something… So happy it’s a movie theatre!”

“My childhood theater, so happy!” another person wrote.

The landmarked theater on Broadway between West 99th and 100th streets has been vacant since 2006, but a new work application was submitted on March 3rd related to a past application filed in 2020 to “convert existing motion theater building to retail use with general construction, structural upgrade as per plan.”

The owner of the theater, Albert Bialek, told the WestSideRag that the new space will hold multiple “restaurant theaters,” which will screen films and serve food and alcohol.

The new owners are still a mystery, but Bialek told the WestSideRag that they are “renowned people” from California.

There have been reports that construction has already started in the theater, but the Department of Buildings told Patch that the permits to begin the construction have not been issued.

In fact, the city agency received 311 complaints about unpermitted work at the location, and sent inspectors to the theater on Saturday to observe the site, but did not see any work being done.

Permits are still being prepared to actually begin the renovation work.

There is no timeline for when the new venue will be open.

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