Bay Ridge’s last remaining movie theater will get to celebrate its 100th anniversary in style.
Alpine Cinema, which has undergone extensive renovations since it closed last March due to the pandemic, will reopen in April.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Feb. 22 that New York City movie theaters can open March 5 at 25 percent capacity, with a limit of 50 customers at a time.
Nick Nicolaou, owner of Alpine Cinema, told this paper that he and his workers have made the most of a bad year.
“The Alpine needed extensive work,” Nicolaou said, “and since we didn’t know in advance when they decided [theaters could reopen], we just decided to go in and redo the whole theater so we can present a really nice, clean, safe comfortable theater with all the cinema-safe protocols that are in place.”
Nicolaou is delaying the reopening until April because the film release lineup for March is weak. April and May are prime months for blockbusters.
Despite the good news, the theater was recently hit with $330,000 in property taxes, which Nicolaou called “a stab in the back.”
“It’s been like a horrible movie,” he said. “We’ve seen all these departments demanding money or giving out fines. The building is 100 years old and we started fixing it and were running out of money [at one point].”
In addition, companies such as Warner Bros. decided to debut new movies on the streaming service HBO Max the same day they reach theaters, potentially hurting business.
Nicolaou, who said he used every dollar he had on the renovations, is planning a centennial celebration for the theater later in the year.
“After we open, we are hoping to go up to 50 percent soon,” he said. “People will experience that it is safe and OK as long as people behave within reason. [For] some of the neighbors that are coming back to the theater from when they were kids, it brings back memories. And we are happy to provide that.”