The Projectionist

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The Projectionist

Directed by Abel Ferrara

  • Greece, USA 2019; 81 min
  • Original version: Greek, English
  • Genre: Documentary


Nicolas “Nick” Nicolaou is a New York City original, a Cypriot immigrant who moved to America as a young boy and found work as a teenager in Manhattan during the heyday of independent motion picture exhibition in the 1970s — when dozens of theaters, including art houses, grind houses and porn palaces, glittered prominently across the urban landscape. Defiant in the face of gentrification, corporate dominance and changing viewing habits, the Queens-based Nicolaou became a theater owner in the ’80s as the number of screens in the city began a precipitous decline. Four decades on, the tenacious entrepreneur operates three very distinct neighborhood theaters: Manhattan’s Cinema Village, Bay Ridge’s Alpine Cinemas and Forest Hills’ Cinemart, beloved destinations for generations of moviegoers. Director Abel Ferrara — whose early works The Driller Killerand Ms. 45, became grindhouse staples as Nicolaou was learning the business — traces the life and work of a fiercely independent New Yorker who refuses to give in, out of a love for the medium and the city that shaped him. At once a walking tour of New York City’s evolving theatrical landscape, a history of movie-going over the last 50 years, and a document of two friends’ irrepressible movie love, THE PROJECTIONIST is an indelible tribute to what the streaming era can neither replicate nor replace when we go to the movies.




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