The Quad Cinema, the Greenwich Village theater that was New York City’s first multiplex, will reopen April 14 with upgrades and renovations to its facilities.
The four-screen venue, which opened in 1972 and has been closed since 2015, has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation under the ownership of Charles S. Cohen, the film-loving real estate developer who is also the head of Cohen Media Group.
There will be a new modern design; capability to screen films in 35mm, 16mm, 4K digital and 3D formats; and wine bar in the lobby.
Also on board are two new execs: Christopher Wells, formerly of the IFC Center, as director of repertory programming, and Gavin Smith, the former editor of Film Comment, as senior programmer. The duo will devote one screen entirely to repertory programming, alongside three screens dedicated to first-run fare.
A retrospective of the work of Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller will coincide with the relaunch of the Quad, where inaugural first-run titles will include Terence Davies’ “A Quiet Passion,” Katell Quillevere’s “Heal the Living” and “Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back,” Maura Axelrod’s documentary about a conceptual artist.
Programmers also have on the docket Bertrand Tavernier retrospective timed to the upcoming first-run engagement of the French filmmaker’s latest, “Journey Through French Cinema.” The repertory screen will also show titles that are featured in the documentary.
“The first-run and repertory elements of the theater can talk to each other, and we’ll be able to screen the older films referenced in other movies,” said Wells. “It’s a great opportunity to present almost an instant film school on early films.”
In the overhaul, the venue’s seating capacity will downsize from 560 seats to 430, divided among four theaters meant to have the intimate feel of private screening rooms with improved sightlines and seats. The theater’s rebranding also includes a new logo, pictured above, with a custom font designed by Pentagram.
The new Quad notably eschews the dine-in model that has caught hold both in New York City, where an outpost of the Alamo Drafthouse has recently opened and a new Nitehawk Cinema is on the way, and in other parts of the country. “We considered dine-in for about a minute,” said Cohen, who is president of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation.
The Quad’s dedication to year-round repertory programming overlaps with Cohen Media Group’s restoration activities. Last year, the company restored and distributed Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust for that film’s 25th anniversary.
Last year, the company also partnered with Amazon on the domestic distribution of The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar winner.