Nearly 60-year-old movie house reopens in Greenwich Village


GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — It’s a big opening week for Cinema Village on East 12th Street in Manhattan. 

The independent movie house had been closed since the pandemic started. But that wasn’t the nearly 60-year-old venue’s only problem. Owner Nick Nicolaou also discovered severe water damage from broken pipes.

That prevented them from reopening in March when the first restrictions were lifted. 

“Nothing is going to stop me,” he said Thursday. 

Cinema Village opened originally in the early 1960s. Neighbors had feared it was closing permanently.

Nicolaou worked there as a teen and bought it in the 1980s. He also owns neighborhood cinemas in Forest Hills and Bay Ridge. He calls himself “a strong believer in movies” and the shared experience people get watching one together.

His story is told as a documentary called “The Projectionist.” Directed by Abel Ferrara, it was shown at Tribeca Festival before the pandemic. It’s one of the films now showing a Cinema Village.

Ferrara joined the staff and customers for opening week and curated a special selection of films.

“I used to live up the block, back in the day. Some of my movies played here way back,“ Ferrara, the “Bad Lieutenant” and “King of New York” director, told PIX11 News.

New selections will be added as the summer progresses. Nicolaou strives to keep prices affordable.

New York City has been losing independent movie houses. They have always been known as the place to see classics or films you might not see anywhere else.

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