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Landmark Theatres at Via 57 West has closed. Workers were seen this morning taking down the sign underneath the Bjarke Ingels luxury rental building owned by the Durst Organization. The only indie movie theater north of Greenwich Village is now Film at Lincoln Center.
The story was broken by IndieWire, which said: “Multiple sources tell IndieWire that Landmark attempted to renegotiate its lease with landlord the Durst Organization, even before COVID-19, but they could not come to terms.”
Hell’s Kitchen locals will miss the luxury experience. The theater had eight auditoriums with wall-to-wall screens and laser projection, as well as oversized, ultra-plush leather chairs or electric recliner seats with footrests. The cocktail bar, JD’s Place, will also close.
“This one really hurts for us,” said Matt Fox from from Fine & Dandy. “For several years we had a standard date night: close the shop promptly at 8pm and head to W57th St. Dinner at the bar at Ousia. A drink at JD’s Place at Landmark, and then the movie. It felt like a little oasis in the chaos that is Manhattan. Almost too good to be true.”
Landmark opened in September 2017. It was seen from the start as a tough spot to bring an audience, with no public transport and a West Side Highway location. However, after a slow start, when Lincoln Plaza Cinemas closed in January 2018, the Landmark gained an audience of avid movie goers from around uptown Manhattan.
Daniela Sapkar from Landmark Theatres confirmed: “We are closing that location. The lease on the W57th St location was inherited from previous ownership. It was not an economically viable location for Landmark and it was quite difficult to access without many public transportation stops nearby. Landmark still, however, continues to have a presence in Manhattan with our downtown location at The Quad. We are currently in the process of exploring other possible uptown locations in Manhattan.”
Jordan Barowitz, vice president of public affairs at Durst, told us: “Unfortunately, the new operator isn’t competent, and before COVID, ran the business into the ground. It’s a real shame.”