Ribbon cut on new downtown movie theater

DCTV Cinema groundbreaking ceremony. (Dan Rivoli)

DCTV Cinema groundbreaking ceremony. (Dan Rivoli) (Credit: DCTV Cinema groundbreaking ceremony. (Dan Rivoli))

Filmmakers Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock Tuesday welcomed the arrival of an all-documentary theater in downtown Manhattan.

The 73-seat documentary theater, expected to open in early 2015 and be the first of its kind in the U.S., will be housed in a landmark firehouse on Lafayette Street where the Downtown Community Television Center operates.

"We need truth now during these times more than ever," Moore, director of "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "I hope this theater becomes a model for other documentary filmmakers to open other theaters like this around the country."

Moore and Spurlock, who directed "Super Size Me," will also be on an advisory council for DCTV, an education and production center for filmmakers and students started by husband-and-wife documentarians Jon Alpert and Keiko Tsuno in 1972.

"Filmmakers who make documentary films will no longer have to worry about competing against the 'Iron Mans' of the world," Spurlock said.

The necessary renovations to DCTV's headquarters will cost about $3 million. Financing came from private foundations and public funding, including money from the New York City Council and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

The luminaries of the documentary world were joined by public officials who backed the project, including Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin and Councilwoman Margaret Chin.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who was in the Oscar-nominated documentary on hydraulic fracturing, "Gasland," also attended the groundbreaking.

"It was the most amazing experience to be in an Academy Award-nominated film," Stringer said.


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