Midtown’s 71-year-old Paris Theatre may be closing before the end of the summer
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The last standing single-screen movie theatre in the city, Midtown’s Paris Theatre, may be shuttering as early as July or August, Deadline reports. According to “buzz on the Gotham arthouse theater circuit,” the last screening of Ron Howard’s Pavarotti on June 27 could be the last at the arthouse theatre on 58th Street, unless “something drastic happens.” The 586-seat theatre opened across the street from the Plaza Hotel in 1948, with a ribbon-cutting by actress Marlene Dietrich. Its since been a go-to spot for indie and foreign films, with a predilection, as its name implies, for French titles.
“Places like The Paris, Lincoln Plaza and the Angelika gave movies room to perform and draw audiences,” said Tom Bernard, a partner in Sony Pictures Classics. “That area is a prime arthouse zone that has generated incredible box office, where a film can be curated for maximum profitability. The Paris is a perfect place to premiere a movie; there are plenty of seats, a balcony, great projection. It’s a terrific location.”
The great location may ultimately be the reason behind its closing—it would be easy to see the site being redeveloped as a luxury tower with sky-high rents to match the prime location. The theater is operated by City Cinemas but is located in a building owned by developer Sheldon Solow, who is currently working on a 19-story condo tower adjacent to Paris Theatre at 7 West 57th Street.
This news follows the recent closings of the nearby Ziegfeld Theatre, Landmark’s Sunshine Cinemas (which will be replaced by a 65,000-square-foot, nine-story office building), and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
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