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. Neighbors had feared it was closing permanently.
“Nothing is going to stop me,” Nicolaou said Thursday.
Cinema Village opened originally in the early ’60s. Nicolaou worked there as a teen and bought it in the ’80s. He calls himself “a strong believer in movies” and the shared experience people get watching one together. He also owns neighborhood cinemas in Queens and Brooklyn.
Nicolaou’s story is told in 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 at 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,“ said the “Bad Lieutenant” and “King of New York” director.
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 art house classics, foreign fare, or experimental films that might not be available anywhere else.
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