IFC Films

IFC Center Opens in New York City’s Historic Waverly Theater

Center to Showcase Indie Films, Serve as Focal Point for the Independent Film Community and Provide Local Indie Filmmakers with State-of-the-Art Digital Editing Facilities

Will Provide the IFC Brand with a Brick and Mortar Home

New York (June 9, 2005) – Amidst great fanfare and anticipation, the IFC Center will open its doors to New York City on Friday, June 17th, 2005, finalizing the multi-million dollar renovation of New York City’s historic landmark, The Waverly Theater, and transforming it into a focal point for the independent film community.

The state-of-the-art facility will include three theaters dedicated to independent films, digital editing suites and a large caf? and meeting area. Along with showing independent films in a unique and comfortable environment that both filmmakers and New York audiences deserve, the Center will be the host to premiere events, special forums and speaking engagements and will guarantee that the City’s filmmaking and artistic communities will have a home base where they can work, socialize, and be supported.

In addition to showing new films from both IFC Films and other independent film companies, IFC Center will present a film program that will reflect the diverse and eclectic film audience in New York. The program calendar will include a Movie Night series with guest curators, Weekend Classics and a Waverly Midnight program, in homage to the Waverly, which historically hosted midnight screenings of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Moviegoers will not have to sit through on-screen advertisements before each film screening. In a move unique to the Center, rather than show advertisements before films, each film screening will begin with a film short. No other independent theater in New York – or in the United States – is screening shorts before each screening.

The Center is located at 323 Avenue of the Americas between West Third and West Fourth streets and was first opened in 1937.

Spearheading the project since its inception has been Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment, who envisioned a bricks and mortar home for the IFC Brand.

Since 1994, IFC, the New York City-based media company, has become the foremost respected name in independent filmmaking, uniquely launching a television network, creating a film production and distribution unit, and developing a video on demand service all focused on expanding opportunities for independent filmmakers and broadening the audience of independent films. The Center will continue this mission, while increasing the IFC brand within New York City and providing the Greenwich Village community with a rich cultural asset.

“The IFC Center is one of the most important projects in the history of IFC,” stated Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment. “Since 1994, the IFC brand has steadily grown beyond being simply a television network to become an important global source for support and content within the independent film community. IFC has always been passionate about making, presenting, and supporting great independent films. I cannot think of a better way of furthering this vision than creating a state-of-the-art venue to see independent films. A great deal of time and money has been invested in creating and developing a perfect environment where filmmakers can show their work to the public and we are proud to say that we have spared no expense.”

Sehring continued, “As a New York City based-film company, IFC is committed to the City, the City’s filmmakers and the City’s film lovers. The Center will not only be a cultural asset for the City, but also serve as the focal point for the New York City film community. As IFC continues to grow and broaden the independent film audience, our commitment will always be to the voice of the film maker and the IFC Center symbolizes that.”

The IFC Center is the finest place in New York City to watch an independent film – from seats inspired by the lush experience of the Cannes Film Festival to the great sight lines in the theaters to the innovative technical capabilities of the film presentation. The renowned architecture firm of Bogdanow Partners Architects, PC oversaw the re-design of the Waverly, which involved the complete reworking of the two existing theaters and the addition of a third theater and caf? in the neighboring building to the north.

The facade of the IFC Center is sheathed in backlit-expanded metal and a fiberglass canopy, surrounding the originally restored marquee. Large glazed openings in the facade will provide distinctive views from Sixth Avenue into the Center, including a panoramic view of the main lobby wall, which will have metallic, reflective, illuminated and flat screen imagery, all presenting an angle on independent film. The three theaters will all have surround sound, film and digital projection. Each theater will include generous, comfortable seating, well-raked floors and great sight lines. The main theater is reminiscent of its former role as a church with its 50-foot high ceiling, creating a majestic feel. The second theater is in the former balcony of the Waverly and the third theater – the smallest of the three – has been built in the newly acquired next-door space.

The IFC Center will be managed by John Vanco, co-founder of Cowboy Pictures, an independent label, and considered one of the industry’s most respected and well liked veterans. Vanco has served on dozens of industry, festival and market panels, including programs at Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, the IFP Market, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Miami Film

Festival and South by Southwest. He has sat on juries and selection committees for a variety of
festivals, including, Hamptons, Atlanta and Provincetown. Currently, he is a member of the advisory boards for the IFP LAFF and the Virginia Film Festival and has served as a mentor at the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony.

IFC has established an advisory board for the Center that includes independent filmmakers as well as industry leaders who have played vital roles in supporting and presenting independent film in New York and around the world. The Advisory Board includes: Noah Cowan, Alfonso Cuar?n, Richard Linklater, Rebecca Miller, Errol Morris, John Sayles, Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, Cynthia Swartz, Dan Talbot and Gary Winick.

In addition, the Center will open a new caf? connected to the theater called The Waverly at the IFC Center. The caf?, which can be accessed from the main lobby or the street – will be operated by one of New York’s most highly regarded catering and event planning firms, Great Performances. Great Performances has formed an innovative partnership with the award-winning chefs and husband and wife team of Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden, to conceive, develop, and execute the restaurant and concession stand menus. The Waverly at IFC Center will offer a sophisticated and inventive reinterpretation of pub fare, including small plates with big, bold flavors featuring seasonal and organic ingredients as well as foods from favorite neighborhood purveyors.

The Center will open on Friday, June 17, with the New York premiere of Miranda July’s festival favorite, “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” A 2005 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize winner for Originality of Vision, the film most recently took home multiple awards at Cannes including: Critics Week Grand Prize, Camera d’or, Prix Regards Jeune and the Young Critics Award.

About the IFC Center
The IFC Center will be the bricks and mortar home of IFC, the unique end-to-end media company focused on developing and nurturing talent and maximizing the value to independent film. The Center will serve as a focal point for the independent film community – both to filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Conceived by IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring, the IFC Center will be managed by John Vanco, co-founder of the independent label Cowboy Pictures and one of the industry’s most respected young veterans. IFC has converted the historic Waverly Theater building, which was originally built as a church in the early 1800’s, into an architecturally distinctive, state-of-the-art facility featuring three theaters each equipped to screen 35mm and high-definition digital video, digital editing suites, a restaurant, and a meeting area. In addition, the Center will be the home for special screenings, educational programs and television broadcasts.

Press Contacts

  • IFC Center
    Dan Klores Communications
    Lena Kim / Liza Burnett / Jo Flattery / Caroline Bubnis
    (212) 685-4300

    Matthew Frankel
    (917) 542-6390