Talbot, Daniel: Art-House Exhibitor (Lincoln Plaza Cinema) Dies

Daniel Talbot, the art-film exhibitor who ran New York’s Lincoln Plaza Cinema, and the independent film company New Yorker, died Friday. He was 91.

In the 1980s, as a student at Columbia University, I got my film education (especially foreign language films) at Lincoln Plaza, which are 10 blocks south of where I lived.

Talbot’s death comes two weeks after it was first reported that the Lincoln Plaza Cinema was at the end of its lease and scheduled to close in January.

The six-screen Lincoln Plaza theater, which opened in 1981, is jointly operated by the building’s owner Milstein Properties and the Talbots. The facility is located in the basement of a residential building on the corner of Broadway and 62nd Street.

Milstein Properties, which has been the Talbots’ co-partners in the theater since its opening in 1981, stated earlier this month that it hoped to reopen the theater after structural work.

“I had no interest in distribution,”  Talbot recalled. “I made him a very small offer and I got the film, and that was the beginning of New Yorker Films.”

Talbot followed up with art-house releases by Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He also released Louis Malle’s “My Dinner With Andre” in 1981, and Wayne Wang’s “Chan Is Missing” in 1982.

Talbot closed down New Yorker Films in 2009.

In the introduction to Toby Talbot’s 2009 book, The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes From a Life at the Movies, Scorsese wrote, “Anyone who lives in America and cares about cinema and its history, no matter how old or young, owes something to The New Yorker and to Dan and Toby Talbot.”