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By Film Threat Staff | October 11, 2004

New York based film company Emerging Pictures has teamed with the Off-Broadway theater complex Theatre Row to create Emerging Cinemas at Theatre Row, a new commercial art-house theater operating exclusively with high-end digital projection equipment. This represents the first full-time commercial cinema in the United States to operate without using any traditional celluloid projection. The Theatre Row installation is the first in Emerging’s plan to develop a 400-screen digital theater chain that operates inside of existing, underutilized theaters and auditoriums in prominent arts institutions throughout the United States. The venue will operate on a calendar basis and programming is expected to include independent features, foreign films, documentaries, film festivals, revivals and other genre-specific fare.
Barry Rebo, Emerging Pictures’ Chairman said of the arrangement, “Theatre Row’s five stage complex is a terrific example of the unique types of performing arts centers that Emerging will be partnering with throughout the United States. Being a New York-based company we’re particularly pleased to have found such a wonderful venue in our home town. This is an institution, with the addition of our film programming, that will be bringing film and theater together in way we hope will make it a destination for the creative community as well as the general public.”
Peter Bloch, Managing Director of Theatre Row Studios added, “I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful new creative partnership. Having worked in film, television, and theatre, this is an important movement in the art form.”
The Theatre Row complex is located at 410-412 West 42nd Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues) and is a unique concept in theatrical real estate, offering five Off-Broadway theaters under one roof. The theaters range in seating capacity from 88 seats to 199 seats. In a unique arrangement, Emerging Cinemas will make use of only one of the auditoriums at any given time, although the exact one will vary depending on the programming and whatever live performances are occurring at the time. The digital projection equipment that Emerging is installing is portable, which allows for this flexibility. The complex also features a second floor cafe, with a licensed bar, enabling audiences to gather and discuss the films before and after the showings.

The $15 million Theatre Row is part of a major redevelopment along the entire block, which is expected to transform it into the new Off-Broadway hub. Located in a neighborhood that is home to many working professionals in theater and film, the film program is expected to fill a gap in New York’s specialized film scene.

The first theatrical engagement at the venue will be the feature documentary “Home of the Brave,” an Emerging Pictures film, which will bow on October 27th for a two week limited run. The film, which explores the life and death of Viola Liuzzo, the only white woman to be killed during the civil rights movement, had its world premiere at the Sundance film festival in January and has been a staple on the festival circuit, garnering much critical praise. The movie recently completed a commercial theatrical run in Detroit and will also open in Montgomery, Alabama on October 15th.

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