SCREEN TIME

Somewhere along the line, going to see a movie has become less of a cultural experience and more like a trip to Disneyworld. From supersized candy to bogus rom-coms,  there’s nothing cool about the multiplex.Enter Metrograph, a specialty cinema that’s newly opened on the streets of the Lower East Side,where galleries, cafes and bespoke tailors abound. MG11Founded by Alexander Olch, an LES-based tie designer and filmmaker whose unabashed love for movies fueled his desire to create a space for archival print screenings and beloved classics to screen side-by-side in the two beautifully outfitted theaters that project both 35mm and digital video.

This is the kind of theater where a retrospective of Madonna’s film career runs concurrently with Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. NYC has never seen an art-house theater quite like this. Hot summer days call for seeking cool refuge, and we’ve found ourselves chilling at Metrograph, picking up a package of Pocky sticks at the candy shop and taking in Dog Day Afternoon and an amazing run of Cassavetes films featuring his wife and muse Gena Rowlands.

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Metrograph is so dedicated to the art of film they print an actual program, on paper, that acts as a seasonal programming calendar you can take home and peruse at leisure. The cinema also houses The Commissary, a restaurant inspired by the eateries on the grounds of Hollywood studios during the golden age, when people actually sat to eat meals.

Scarf down a panzanella salad or grab a late-night burger after a double feature and take in the scene in the lovely, clubby-feeling room, which has become a hub for the downtown movie set. It’s thrilling to have a place to escape to mid-day, when inspiration is short and stress is high. We’re hoping more places like Metrograph pop up, MG14because we’re going to find it hard to do mass movies ever again.