How Film Forum Became the Best Little Movie House in New York

1960s: Days of Rage


“… Outside on West Houston Street, the glow of the marquee — ‘Film Forum’ written in curving, blue neon letters — beckons like a spaceship. Upon seeing it, I feel the thrill of catching a movie in an actual cinema: It’s my first visit to Film Forum since it reopened in 2021 following a nearly 13-month closure on account of Covid-19. In the lobby, there’s anticipatory chatter: film students talking into their phones and older Greenwich Village and SoHo locals (like me) discussing the state of the world. The reserved seating system — a measure instigated during the pandemic — ended this month, and the first-come-first-served rule resumed, bringing back with it the kvetching about grabbing a preferred seat. The theater director, filmmaker and painter André Gregory, a devout Film Forum fan, once left sweaters on a pair of chairs while he and his wife, the filmmaker Cindy…

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