Re: Film-M akers1 Coo perative n ew home

From: Jeremy Rossen (email suppressed)
Date: Thu May 28 2009 - 10:08:48 PDT

It is a five year lease I believe. All for $1/year, which Brian Frye and his law firm arranged.JeremyCinema Project

Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 09:52:19 -0700
From: email suppressed
Subject: Re: Film-Makers1 Cooperative new home
To: email suppressed

Amidst all the doom and gloom, this is truly wonderful news. I am however curious about how long this arrangement will last? Does anyone know if FMC signed a long-term lease?


On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Adam Hyman <email suppressed> wrote:

Today's NY Times:

Avant-Garde Film Group Gets New Home, Cheap

The Film-Makers± Cooperative±s new home will include space designed to

protect its archives.


Published: May 27, 2009

After months of uncertainty, the Film-Makers± Cooperative, whose future was

threatened early this year when it received an order of eviction from a

city-owned building in TriBeCa, has found a new home, and on terms that are

likely to make it the envy of other arts organizations and tenants across

the city.

The group, which archives, distributes and restores experimental and

avant-garde movies, has signed a five-year lease with the real estate

developer Charles S. Cohen that calls for the organization to pay a symbolic

rent of $1 a year.

lIt±s amazing,² said Jonas Mekas, a filmmaker and one of the cooperative±s

founders, land amazing that there are still people like Cohen in this


The new quarters, which the group hopes to occupy by Labor Day, are at 475

Park Avenue South, on the northeast corner of 32nd Street. The sixth-floor

site will offer nearly four times as much space as the co-op±s current

location at the Clocktower Building, where it is paying about $1 a square

foot for approximately 900 square feet.

lIt±s a beautiful and more accessible space,² said M. M. Serra, the film

group±s executive director. lWe±ll have offices and archives, and our films,

some of which are one of a kind, will be in air-conditioning specifically

designed to protect them, which we don±t have where we are now.²

As part of the move, a 15-seat theater is also being built at the 32nd

Street location, lfor the use of scholars and others who want to do

research² into the approximately 5,000 films that the cooperative has in its

archives, in formats ranging from 8 millimeter to video, Mr. Mekas said.

Tentatively, it is to be named the Charles Theater, a double homage, to Mr.

Cohen and to the old Charles Theater in the East Village, one of the first

places in New York to show experimental films.

Mr. Cohen, the president and chief executive of Cohen Brothers Realty, is

known as a film aficionado. He is the author of a book of movie trivia, won

a Kodak Movie Award for a comedy short he wrote and directed, and was an

executive producer of lFrozen River,² the feature-length film starring

Melissa Leo that was released last year and earned two Oscar nominations.

lI was in a position to help, and I thought that I should,² Mr. Cohen said.

lThey are a wonderful group doing important work, and there is no other

place to go and see this kind of thing. They needed a storage space for

their archives, and this meets their needs.²

Founded in 1962, the Film-Makers± Cooperative has since the start of the

decade occupied space controlled by the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center,

another bulwark of the city±s avant-garde artistic establishment. But late

last year, P.S. 1 decided to give up the site and turn it over to Alanna

Heiss, its founder and former executive director, so that she could use the

location as a base for her latest project, an Internet radio station called

Art International Radio.

Before that, the Film-Makers± Cooperative operated for many years out of an

office on Lexington Avenue at 31st Street, which it had to leave in 2000

because of redevelopment there. So returning to the same neighborhood on

such favorable terms lin a way brings things full circle,² Mr. Mekas said.


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