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Film Forum reopening to reveal renovations including a fourth screen

Screenings on opening night include “Nico, 1988,” a biopic about the Velvet Underground-affiliated singer, and a retrospective of French director Jacques Becker.

Film Forum is set to reopen Aug. 1,

Film Forum is set to reopen Aug. 1, after closing for a $5 million renovation project. Photo Credit: Nalea J. Ko

It’s almost showtime for a new-and-improved Manhattan theater.

Film Forum will reopen its doors Aug. 1 with a completely renovated space and a fourth screen. The additional screen will allow the theater to expand its offering of indie movies, foreign films and documentaries by one-third, according to the owners.

Founded in 1970 with 50 folding chairs, one projector and a shoe string budget, the theater has grown into an internationally-recognized outfit.

Its West Houston Street location first opened in 1990, but closed May 1 for a $5 million renovation project. The results won’t go unnoticed: 500 new seats were crafted in Spain and allow more leg room, and the theater’s lobby now features a 10’ x 5’ screen to show “lobby movies” such as silent, 2-4 minute shorts.

Director Karen Cooper, programmer Mike Maggiore and repertory director Bruce Goldstein collaborated to assemble an eclectic mix of films to show for the theater’s reopening. Some notable screenings include “Nico, 1988” a biopic about the singer associated with the Velvet Underground, a retrospective of French director Jacques Becker — including the U.S. premiere of his film “Rendezvous in July” — and “No Date, No Signature,” a thriller from Iran.

The theater will also show the British comedy “The Smallest Show on Earth,” starring Peter Sellers and Margaret Rutherford, and the 1928 silent movie “Show People.”

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