New York City’s art house theaters have been disappearing for years, and movie lovers mourned when they heard the Sunshine Cinema on Houston Street was on the market earlier this year. But the IFC Center is clearly doing well, and planning an expansion to their three-story theater at 323 6th Avenue in the West Village.
The indie film company filed an alteration application yesterday to double the size of their building. It would grow from 10,328 to 20,071 square feet and gain six more screens, bringing the number of theaters up to 11. Currently, IFC Center has five theaters—three on the first floor and two on the second.
The Schedule A reveals that two theaters will be added to the cellar, two to the second floor and two to the third floor. One of the screens on the first floor will relocate to the cellar, and another one will gain a mezzanine on the second floor.
Alejandro Diez, of Chelsea-based Kliment Halsband Architects, applied for the permit.
The cinema won’t get any taller, but it will likely expand into the vacant lot just behind it on Cornelia Street. IFC leases the property from Midtown-based Friedland Properties, which has owned 323 6th Avenue and the empty plot at 14-16 Cornelia Street since 1985. The movie theater last expanded in 2009, when it grew from three to five screens.
And IFC isn’t the only theater on the rise in Lower Manhattan. Earlier this week, Lower East Side designer Alexander Olch announced plans to revamp a one-story warehouse at 7 Ludlow Street into the Metrograph Theater. The 5,400-square-foot space will have two theaters, a restaurant, bookshop and cafe. Olch expects to open in February 2016, according to DNAinfo.