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Alamo Drafthouse Drops Plans to Open on Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | October 1, 2013 11:16am
 The cinema chain said rising construction costs are preventing it from opening in the neighborhood. 
Alamo Drafthouse Will Not Open on UWS
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Alamo Drafthouse, the dinner-and-a-movie cinema complex slated to open next year, has dropped plans to open in to the neighborhood, its owners announced Monday.

The arrival of the Austin, Texas-based theater chain, which features specialty cocktails and food in an upscale environment, was seen by neighbors as a major step in revitalizing the block of Broadway between West 99th and 100th streets. It was formerly home to the historic Metro Theater, which has sat empty for more than seven years.

The block has been described as "blighted" and an "eyesore," by local leaders, who said last fall they were eager for the opening of the 378-seat theater that would feature movie-themed events and reserved seating. 

But in a post on its site Monday, the company announced it would no longer move forward with plans to open at the location that had been in the works since the spring of 2012. 

"Construction costs have risen tremendously since engaging in the project back in early 2012 (due in some measure to ongoing Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts) and ultimately the location is no longer financially viable for us," the owners wrote.  

The post did give local movie fans a ray of hope, as the owners said they would consider opening at another Upper West Side location.

"We would love to make the upper west side location our next neighborhood theater in New York, but we cannot see this particular location as sustainable under current conditions," they wrote.

Alamo Drafthouse opened a theater in Yonkers last month and construction on a Downtown Brooklyn spot is under way, it said. 

The chain, which is primarily based in Texas, also has plans to open theaters in San Francisco and Kalamazoo, Mich., it said.