It began as a fever dream: Alexander Olch wanted to build his own movie theater in New York. It would show films new, old and alternative, most of them on 35mm film, not digital. It would be more than that, though. It would be a place for filmmakers and moviegoers to meet up. There would be a restaurant, a bookstore, a candy store. And there’d be no traditional concessions.
“It really is an irrational, un-thought-through idea,” Olch tells us. “But those are the strongest ideas — the ones you don’t have a solid answer for, except to say you keep staying up late at night working on it.”
Olch’s dream has come true: On Friday, New York gets the Metrograph, a two-screen theater (one big, the other small). It opens in Chinatown/LES with a schedule that hits the ground running. In its opening weekend, there will be movies about movie-watching, from “The Purple Rose of Cairo” to “The Spirit of the Beehive” to the Bertie Gordy-produced ’80s behemoth “The Last Dragon.” Saturday, Noah Baumbach offers a double feature of George Miller’s great “Babe: Pig in the City” and Stanley Kubrick’s almost-as-great “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Around the bend are a retro of films by French New Wave legend Jean Eustache (“The Mother and the Whore”), a trio of Technicolor classics like “Vertigo,” three by documentary god Frederick Wiseman and the 10 favorite films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Todd Haynes' "Carol," only shown on DCP during its theatrical run, gets a one-night 35mm screening.