Welcome, the new Lincoln Center movie theater… welcome to Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, to the Upper West Side, to New York City, a new Lincoln Center cinema. We've been waiting a long time for another state-of-the-art theater to open up in this town, one that shows first-run indies and documentaries, and has comfortable stadium seating, and cutting-edge sound and projection, and offers quality snacks. The Landmark Sunshine, on East Houston, has been around since 2001, and its been six years since the IFC Center, on Sixth Avenue and West 4th, opened its doors, both of which we like very much like and frequent very often, but it hasn't been enough to break the indie-movie tyranny of the dreaded Angelika, and the even-more-dreaded Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Enter Lincoln Center's brand-new, $40 million Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, which is exciting for many reasons. There are two theaters here, one with 150 seats (the Francesca Beale Theater), the other with 90 seats (the Howard Gilman Theater), both with superb digital projection and crisp sound. Really: we've already seen two movies here (the documentaries Page One and Project Nim if you want to know, and liked both a lot), and they looked and sounded fantastic. In addition, Lincoln Center's new Munroe movie theater has a lobby amphitheatre with a 152" Panasonic Plasma screen–the largest such public screen in the whole country–to be used for lectures, panels and other programs.
The Munroe Center looks great, too, with a striking design by David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the theater's exterior. The seats are plush and wide, with plenty of legroom, and the stadium-seating set up ensures that no one gets in the way of anyone else. And though the concessions now are pretty standard (popcorn, a couple of candy options, a few beverages), the Munroe Center Cafe is set to open soon, with a menu of upscale snacks, sandwiches, salads, and sweets. Most important, of course, are the movies themselves, and so far the Munroe Center has delivered an interesting slate of independent films and documentaries. If they keep it up, we'll be here once a week!
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Details
Lincoln Center's new movie theater, the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, is located on 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, next door to Lincoln restaurant and below the Illumination Lawn. For more information as well as movie listings and showtimes, please see the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center website, here.