Film Forum

209 W. Houston Street,
New York, NY 10014

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Showing 76 - 100 of 206 comments

PeterKoch on February 13, 2009 at 9:54 am

Thanks, YM. Must have been 1991, because it was in business at its present location, 209 W. Houston, in August 1991.

YMike on February 13, 2009 at 9:48 am

I believe it was 1991 or 1992.

PeterKoch on February 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

YankeeMike, when was Film Forum forced to close its 57 Watts St. location ? Summer 1990 ? The last summer Sci Fi festival I attended was 1989.

YMike on July 4, 2008 at 3:13 am

The Film Forum was forced to close during their SciFi festival. When the Forum reopened I believe they continued with the festival at the current location.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 3, 2008 at 10:29 am

Ok, I’ll be the spoiler.

In spite of all the good intentions, near the end, Frank’s programming at the Biograph was delivering some of the worst grosses in the Cineplex Odeon chain. Say what you may about CO, they never walked away from a profitable venture and dwindling revival audiences were not even covering the costs of the new 35mm prints.

It is our good fortune in NY that the tiny Film Forum can meet current the demand without the melancholy burden of profit.

PKoch on July 3, 2008 at 8:30 am

I don’t know where Frank Rowley is or what he’s doing now.

I DO know that there were summer fantasy, horror and sci fi festivals at the West Houston Street Film Forum in 1991 and 1992. I was there and saw some of them.

hardbop on July 3, 2008 at 8:26 am

You say it closed its doors on September 4, 1989, yet the summer 1989 program, which I have open in front of me as I type this, shows the summer fantasy, horror and sci fi festival continuing through Thursday September 21 1989.

That’s the info I have and I pulled it out of the Times. It is a good question. I wonder if they interrupted that series? I remember how those summer series were real popular at FF and they finally decided to stop screening them in the early 1990s. It caused a big to-do and as a FF member I remember receiving a letter from them explaining why they stopped the series.

Frank Rowley had slightly larger houses to deal with and was great with old Hollywood films. I loved his progamming.
Does anybody know what he is doing now?

A few years ago — more than a few years ago now that I think about it — I saw him working at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. I haven’t seen him there for several years now so I don’t know if he is still there or I’ve missed him when I’ve been there.

PKoch on July 3, 2008 at 7:47 am

I know. It just isn’t the same, or as much fun as, the Watts Street Film Forum. I was last there on 2 November 1998 to see “Lenny Bruce : Swear To Tell The Truth”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on July 2, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Leon is right, sad to say. I’ll never forget how disappointed I was when the new Film Forum opened and I saw how small that screen really was, especially compared to the ones in the old Film Forum.

roxy1927 on July 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

Frank Rowley had slightly larger houses to deal with and was great with old Hollywood films. I loved his progamming.
Does anybody know what he is doing now?
And he had curtains! Does anybody today know what those are?
The only naked thing which is obscene is a movie screen.

Film Forum programming ain’t chopped liver either but I if only they had movie theaters to show their films in. A screen in a black box is like kids in a basement with a sheet and projector. Professional it ain’t. Why did Roxy even bother?

I love it when they trumpet scope films and they aren’t much bigger than what you would see on TCM on a 36 inch TV. And they only use a portion of the screen. In actuality they are smaller than films in 1.33 or 1.85 ratios!
Talk about caveat emptor.
When do you think they’ll have a 70mm fesival?
Personally I am waiting for a 3 screen Cinerama salute.
Of course they’ll have to do one screen in each theater for that.

PKoch on July 2, 2008 at 8:59 am

Thanks for the info, hardbop. I last attended the Watts Street Film Forum on Wednesday August 30th 1989. You say it closed its doors on September 4, 1989, yet the summer 1989 program, which I have open in front of me as I type this, shows the summer fantasy, horror and sci fi festival continuing through Thursday September 21 1989.

I didn’t attend Film Forum at all in 1990, and wasn’t sure what had happened to it that year, mostly concerned about the summer f h and s f festival. I first attended the Houston Street location in late August 1991 for the tail end of the summer 1991 fantasy, horror and sci fi festival : a Hammer / Lee / Cushing double feature of “Horror Of Dracula” and “Curse Of Frankenstein”.

hardbop on July 2, 2008 at 8:23 am

The Watts Street Film Forum closed its doors on September 4, 1989. It reopened at its current Houston Street location on September 5, 1990. I think it kicked off its news diggs with, among other offerings, a Preston Sturges retro.

Rory on June 7, 2008 at 4:46 am

Anyone go to see “The President’s Analyst” at the Forum yet? If so, how was the print?

edblank on May 26, 2008 at 4:00 am

So, it’s like most multiplexes in that respect, Mike. I understand now. When multiplexes were new to Pittsburgh in the 1970s, movies would be advertised as to the specific auditorium they were in (Showcase East #3, etc.). Almost from opening day, though, they started renumbering the auditoriums from day to day so that if you were to see “Silent Movie,” advertised as being in #4, it would be in an auditorium labeled #4 when you arrived, but #4 moved up and down the corridor from largest to smallest. Not too long after, they stopped specifying the numbers altogether. FF may not re-label its auditoriums from day to day – or ever, but management may move the movies around from day to day. I can honestly say that in maybe 20 visits to the current FF, the movies were always where I expected them to be (I knew the three auditoiums well), but that may have been a matter of chance. I always regretted I could not make time to see the revivals. I was in NYC to review theater and all the new film releases I could squeeze in. Just didn’t have the time to catch the classics there.

YMike on May 26, 2008 at 3:04 am

What’s confusing you is that the slick schedules are for Premiere & Reporatory films. Not FF 1,2,3. While the screening times are listed there is no listing of which theatre the film will be screened in. I live in NY and am a FF member and usually you do not know which theatre a film is being screened in until you actually buy your ticket. Say a premiere film is being shown for 2 weeks. Since the 3 theatres have different capacities that film could be switched between FF 1,2 & 3 on different days depending on how popular another film being scheduled on the same day is. By the way my favorite theatre is FF 2.

edblank on May 26, 2008 at 2:36 am

Thanks for the clarification, YankeeMike. I’m an out-of-towner who subscribes ($25, I think, every so often) to the slick schedules for FF 1 and FF 2 and read every word on the FF 2 schedules, which I are more interesting to me because the movies are usually old favorites. I’m almost positive I’ve noticed that the more popular FF 1 movies sometimes move over to FF 3 for extended engagements, but I’ll concede it happens regularly for FF 2 revivals to move over (“Last Year at Marienbad,” “Contempt,” etc.). Did the recent UA festival really play in full – concurrently – on FF 3 as well as FF 2, or are you referring to the fact that four or five of the more successful UAtitles moved over to FF 3 as single features afterward (“Annie Hall,” “Last Tango in Paris,” “Thieves Like Us,” etc.)?
As far as I know, the main means of finding out what’s at FF 3 is to check the log calendar on FF’s web site. I can’t remember ever seeing, or receiving in the postal mail, a printed version of the FF 3 schedule.

YMike on May 25, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Actually FF2 & FF3 are both used to screen revivals. Silent and academy ratio films are screened in FF2 and widescreen films in FF3. Sometimes FF2 also will screen a widescreen film. The recent UA Festival was screened in both FF2 & FF3. On rare occasions revivals have also been screened in FF1.

edblank on May 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Having just completed a first reading of the entire Film Forum blog, I think we’ve reached a concensus or two:
1. We’re all in agreement that the programming surpasses the modest, artless, somewhat uncomfortable auditoriums with their smallish screens.
2. Everyone is grateful that Film Forum 2 survives as a revival house 25 years after home video killed off nearly every rep house in the country.
3. It’s interesting that Film Forum devotes two of its screens (the largest and smallest, I believe, if they’re numbered in sequence of capacity), to obscure new releases from around the world, including a lot of movies that otherwise would have no arthouse/specialty house booking at the tonier theaters (Sunshine, Lincoln Plaza). And yet …
4) Despite the fact Film Forum 1 plays exclusively new arthouse releases and FF 3 tends to pick up moveovers from FF 1 (though sometimes from FF 2), at least 90 percent of the comments on this blog are about reissues/classics and festivals of such.
5) It may not satisfy the nonprofit status of Film Forum to alter its programming balance, but couldn’t there be even greater concentration on oldies than on new pictures? In other words, why not have the Sidney Lumet festival running in FF 2 while the United Artists Festival is in FF 3 and give many of the pictures an extra day or two? We’ll all probably go to our graves wishing Frank Rowley still had a rep house to program.

7traintoshea on March 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm

They recently put new seats in, their worst then the old ones. Their very tight if your big. They must of got them from Clearview.

tombaxteradventurer on March 3, 2008 at 7:29 am

Well, saps,anything compared to my good old (non hd) tv set would qualify as “big screen ” for ME…..relatively speaking, that is.

And thanks for the heads up Mr. Apruzzese, I will definitely be there come the fifteenth!

PeterApruzzese on March 3, 2008 at 4:13 am

For those who missed King Kong at the Film Forum , the historic 1000-seat Lafayette Theatre in Suffern, New York will be showing it on Saturday, March 15 at 11:30am as part of its spring Big Screen Classics series.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 3, 2008 at 4:09 am

“Big screen” being a relative term, of course, especially seeing as how King Kong premiered at Radio City.

tombaxteradventurer on March 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Had a GREAT time watching “King Kong” on the big screen, and the post-film-scream-fest was lots of fun. A young girl won the Fay Wray scream-alike contest ,beating almost twenty women (and at least one guy!) for the top prize. The whole thing was a blast….except for a couple of small (literally) things:
One, it would be nice to have the lights in the theatre a little brighter than the Stygian darkness we got for the contest. I could barely make out who was who from my fourth row seat!
And , since i haven’t been to the Forum after the new seats were installed, my body got quite a surprise squeezing into the seats between the hip-pinching cupholders on either side that were installed. I’m 6 foot tall ,180 lbs. and they felt very uncomfortable….I can imagine what my bigger-boned movie brethren might go through! Cupholders are great for a bigger auditorium , but for our little (and , one of the last ) sacred shrines to Yesteryear’s classics, I think we could’ve done without them .

anyway, thanks to Mr. Goldstein and company,and to the wonderful talents that made this afternoon possible!