Orchard Street boutique owner Alexander Olch sells his custom-made ties and haberdashery at high-end retailers, but his heart is in L.E.S., where he has taken over a 5,400-square-foot warehouse next to a Chinese funeral home on Ludlow Street. By February, he plans to open a two-screen theater called Metrograph for art-house and independent films. The building backs onto the long-vacant Loew’s Canal Street theater.
Construction on the $1.4 million interior has been going on for several months, though Olch only released his plans today. Architectural firm Margulies Hoelzli Architecture has designed two screening auditoriums, one with a balcony, that will seat 175, and a smaller one seating 50. In addition, there will be a restaurant, a movie-themed bookstore, a café and a lounge. The Metrograph will have both 35mm and digital capability.
Olch, who’s also a filmmaker, directed The Windmill Movie, a 2008 documentary about fellow New York filmmaker Richard P. Rogers. He said in the announcement today that Jacob Perlin, who has been a programmer at both BAMcinematek and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, wilAliza Mal serve as Programming & Artistic Director. The head of programming will be Asian cinema specialist , who s assistant film curator at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Perlin, according to the announcement, promises to offer a range of films from “enduring classics to modern masterpieces,” while Ma describes Metrograph as “a place to see a curated selection of the best archival film prints and the vanguard new releases from around the world.”