Leases  ·  Retail

Look Dine-in Cinemas Plotting First NYC Outpost in Hell’s Kitchen

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Movie theaters may be starved of patrons, but patrons at this movie theater won’t be starving.

Look Dine-in Cinemas has signed a 15-year, 25,000-square-foot lease at the Durst Organization’s 625 West 57th Street to open its first New York City location, even as some prominent movie theaters are playing their last picture show, according to the landlord. 

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The space in the building, known as 57 West, was formerly occupied by the movie theater Landmark at 57 West, which closed in 2020 after nearly three years in operation, IndieWire reported.

Durst did not disclose the asking rent for the eight-screen theater complex, which will serve as the chan’s flagship location, the New York Times first reported. The individual theaters can seat between 20 to 172 people.

“Look believes in the power of cinemas as a force for good, to bring communities together through its showmanship, luxury dine-in experience, an amazing bar, diverse content and support of the creative community,” Brian Schultz, CEO of Look, said in a statement. “[625 West 57th Street] connects us with an exciting community of film and food lovers that we are excited to welcome into our family.’

Ashlea Aaron, Eric Engelhardt and Karen Rose represented Durst in-house while Emily Simmonds and Beth Rosen of Ripco Real Estate negotiated on behalf of Look. Rosen said the Westchester County location of Look has been a success, despite shifting retail trends, which could be replicated in Manhattan.

“This will be a flagship location for Look and one of the most remarkable cinema experiences in the city,” Jonathan “Jody” Durst, president of the Durst Organization, said in a statement. “There’s been enormous anticipation around reactivating this site, and we know that our residents and the surrounding community are excited to see Look open its doors.”

The lease for Look comes just weeks after it was announced that the Regal Union Square 14 movie theater will close after more than 25 years as part of owner Cineworld Group’s bankruptcy proceedings.

The theater at 850 Broadway is among 39 nationwide that are slated for closure. Others include the South Beach Stadium & IMAX in Miami and the Sherman Oaks Galleria in Los Angeles.

Last year, Downtown Brooklyn’s Regal UA Court Street closed suddenly after a nearly two-decade run, which Regal Cinemas blamed on a sharp rent increase.

AMC Entertainment Holdings was in talks to acquire Cineworld, too, but the firms seem to have walked away from the deal. Besides, AMC is still in recovery mode following its own brush with Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020, in which it sought a deal from private equity firm Silver Lake Group for a $200 million senior loan and to swap their unsecured claims at a discount for new, second-lien debt.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.