New York City's premiere resource for classic film screenings in the metropolitan area. Offering reviews, recommendations, venues and a host of links keeping classic film and the silver screens alive.

For the bulk of my life I've found myself the resource amongst friends and fellow film fanatics when it came to the doings on NYC's repertory film scene. In the days before smartphones I'd carry a notebook around with me, where I'd handwritten each month's upcoming sked at the usual suspects like MoMA, the Walter Reade, and my friendly neighborhood Film Forum. I kept these listings for my own edification, having pored over each institution's mailed catalogues or, sometimes, visiting the brick & mortar to inquire personally. I started doing this, sadly, once I'd moved into Manhattan properly, after the closures of the great old school venues, places like the 8th st. Cinema, the Thalia, the New Yorker, and the venue that once proudly sat just across the street from where my home of 22 years would be, the Bleecker Street Cinema. We'd lost that circuit, to be sure, but the stalwarts remained, mostly subsidized by corporate and public donations and a still-healthy film school population. And new players like the recently-christened Angelika Film Center were still offering up midnight screenings of cult classics. For the most part, though, it seemed like that particularly romantic sub-section of NYC film culture had begun to subside, on its lurch toward memory, and perhaps rumor.


Come the millenium, film lovers both casual and maniacal were gifted with a new tech miracle: the DVD, a more sales-friendly version of 80's Laserdisc punctilious perspicacity. As someone who navigated his burgeoning teen film buff years by taping DR. STRANGELOVE on VHS, waiting several months before adding a Kubrick Interview from the mid-60's airing on PBS, then waiting again to add 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to that same tape to make it, dare I say, archival, this new format, with all its bells & whistles in the form of delete scenes, custom making-ofs, materials from deep in the vaults, and the new-to-me novelty of the commentary track, was something of a lifelong dream come true. And remains so.


Yet this new tech had its downside. Not in terms of tech specs, but as it affected the NYC rep scene further. Fewer and fewer venues booked midnight screenings. Some venues, set in thier ways and which I won't name, refused to refresh their mindsets regarding their product. The biggest blow, in my view, was this new DVD toyamajig, and the advent of the home theater and library. I had more than one friend remark to me in the naughts how expensive attending movies had become, and that for the same price (back then, anyway) you could pay for the film and own it forever, tuck it on your shelf and swell with pride every time you regarded the spine. And they said this about first-run fare. Imagine the blow this dealt the rep circuit, who used to be the best, really only game in town. Attendance dropped, progamming followed.


By 2009 I became the friend who flicked through his smartphone and made his monthly lists, still for my own edification but still the go-to call/text for the upcoming sked, mostly because I did the grunt work in advance, but also largely because I took great paims to also scope out what outdoor screenings were flickering over the summer months. I was the go-to guy for this info, which in hindsight made me a valuable resource, but at the time made me feel like a pestered film nut. One night at a buddy's bar, as I was surfing the then 10-tabs only the iPhone would allow to answer a fellow geek's query, I clearly thought in frustration the following temper tantrum; "I wish there was a single website that had all the repertory screenings in NYC on one calendar so I could whoa now doctor!"


Thus was an idea born. Thus was this very site you're now on thunk up.


I dreamt of a collective rundown of the theaters, of colorfully regarding their individul characters in order to not merely differentiate between them but make them less cold to the new burgeoning film fanatic, and to make the prospect of film fanaticism less cold and more inviting as well. Reverence through irreverence became my official motto. I dreamt of providing a forum for the programmers, the essential blood of the rep film scene, who I alays swore were the key to its revitalization, and it's been my great privilege and hoot to watch their growth, and personal honor to get to know these cats & kittens over the last 1/2 decade. Mostly, though, I dreamt of an interactive calendar , one that would list every reperory film screening that month in an easily accessible manner; click on any day, and a pop-up would take you to it, with all that day's screenings, and the full month scrolable after that, and click-through to the individual venues should you want more info, or to buy tix. That last part proved to be the bitch of it all. But 2 year later, one Michael Davis, programmer magnifique, cracked that particular hazelnut, an by August 2012, the first interactive calendar went live. By March 2013, we finally had it down to a science: the full month available by 6 am the morning of the 1st. It was easy to access, it was non-geek friendly, it was about the love of an art form. All those elements were essential to me, so frustrated I was with and still am regardin snobs of all stripes. My philosophy is the following: if you love an art form, really LOVE it, then it's you're duty to serve as good ambassador for it. So many potential film geeks are turned off by those used to a seat at the table, it's just a shame. We're supposed to widen the tent, not draw it shorter still. My mission with this site was and remains the encouraging of film curiosity, not as an academic or a scholar, but as a fan. Some people have told me that mission was met, for which I'm grateful, and although I did have notons of making some dough of this endeavor at some point, that initial desire was really always the true goal.


When I began this site 5 years ago, a lot of people I know and trust, a LOT, A LOT, remarked that it was an empty endeavor. They believed the NYC rep film circuit had no future, that the demise that'd begun in the 90's and naughts would reduce it to meager representation at perhaps museums only. The decision by the majority of the studios right about that time to switch completely to DCP and withhold their celluloid libraries, not to mention kaput any plansfor striking future prints, only seemed to embolden these predictions. I remaind a believer. I believed the rep film audience was still there, no matter how their numbers seemed to have dwindled. I said then what I say now: it's all about the programmers. You get the right programmers, te people will show. Well, the programmers arrived, and the old guard also decided to expand their imagination, and the fil lovers who'd spent a decade sitting at home watching a pristine digital copy of CASABLANCA re-learned a fundamental truth about the art form: it was born as and continues to be a communal experience. And film lovers will always crave that experience, no matter he turns and curves the times and changing tech throws at it.


To my eternal gratification, I believe I was right. When I started this site, only the Nitehawk Cinema, my beloved Nitehawk Cinema, appeared on the scene to perhaps bolster my belief. How I prayed their experiment of food 'n booze 'n rep film would find an audience and succeed back then. They've now taken over the old Pavillion Theater in Park Slope to open Nitehawk 2. They were amongst the first to not only recognize my efforts but to become my friends. I've spent a lot of magic hours at that venue, and they ain't close to finished providing those. They succeeded, they thrived, they now expand. In the time since the Museum of the Moving Image expanded after after a massive renovation. And they pretty much are now the church of film in this town. They've also not only been amazingily friendly and accomodating but a great help toward my efforts. Bless 'em. Then a joint called Syndicated opened in Bushwick. Then Metrograph in the LES. Then the Quad on 13th street got a makeover and dedicated rep film programming. I guess what I'm trying to say is, maybe I was right 5 years ago? And I couldn't be happier that this town is absolutely abuzz once more, a classic film town, that a wide and hungry audience awaits to devour every venue's sked. It means people want to continue to gather in the dark to watch great prints of classic films in the venue intended, in the greatest city in the world, one that exists just a short puddle hop from the spot, in our neighboring New Jersey, where one William Kennedy Dickson created the very emulsified celluloid and its aspect ratio from which all this magic would eventualy spring.


Which brings me to my announcement, my admitance, my decision after months of both joy and adversity. The upside always comes with a downside. In this case, my belief that NYC still had a thriving rep film scene in its DNA has indeed been validated. The cost is that I've found myself, after weeks of denial, to be now, under the current conditions anyway, woefully not up to the task of covering it. At least not in the way that I've been doing it these last 5 years. The combination of a work sked that's outside the world of film jurnalism, the explosion of the circuit over the last year, and the need to upgrade some of my current tech, has placed an implacable barrier between my desire and efforts to bring you the best quality product and that resulting product. I've spent a few months now playing catch-up with many of the socila media outlets I used to master, and as a result I've produced an inferior product. I've been making excuses about this gap between intent and outcome, but that hasn't served anyone's purposes ultimately. I suddenly remebered something yesterday, in what's known as a moment of clarity, as I was planning to place yet another band-aid on these bullet wounds, something I'd begun to forget, but had served as the core of this site when it was still a kvetch in a drunk film geek's iPhone scrawl: this isn't about ego, it's about acumen. Ego tells me to keep fighting the tide. Acumen tells me we need to take a pause, a break, a sabbatical, and reassess what we're trying to do and how we can do it better going forward.


To those of you who are afraid, or even delighted at the prospect of our permanent disappearance, I have but one word for yaz: NYEH! This is not a goodbye. This is an "I'll Be Back!" Me and my webmaster are going to take this time, a few weeks in standard contractor-estimate, to retool the site a bit and make the interface and its maintenance more efficient. I'll also be focusing on the site's Facebook page, the Twitter account, and my YouTube channel. One of my heroes, a certain Nikola Tesla, was himself never about giving up. He was, however, all about efficiency. With this break of a few weeks, my hope is to reintroduce this site and all its attendant social media outlets as better, quicker, more informative outlets for he NYC rep film circuit and its enthusiasts. It's been an honor, and I fully intend that honor to continue. So lastly I want to thank the people that helped make this site happen and continue to do so, consultant Adam honen, web designer Ingrid montealegre, and my co-conspirator Michael Davis. Thanks for believing in me and the mission so far guys 'n gals. Here's looking forward to the new work ahead. Clear your desks.


Finally, to you, my film peeps who've followed my efforts and hijinks this last half decade, I have but one and only and always thing to say to you;


Stick wit me Stockahz.


- Joe Walsh