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by Cristina A. Gonzalez
May 8, 2013 11:26 AM
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Michael Moore, Alex Gibney and Morgan Spurlock Convene for Groundbreaking of New Documentary-Only Theater in NYC

Michael Moore at DCTV's Documentary Theatre's Groundbreaking

Acclaimed documentary filmmakers Michael Moore, Alex Gibney and Morgan Spurlock joined together on Tuesday morning with top New York City officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Downtown Community Television Center's brand new documentary-only theater. The 73 seat, digital cinema will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will provide theatrical runs for non-fiction filmmakers for Academy Award qualification.

READ MORE: 10 Things Michael Moore Wants You To Know About the Academy's New Doc Rules

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Commissioner Kate Levin, Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Gal Brewer were also in attendance.

The state of the art venue is an important addition to a city known for its documentary filmmaking. The theater will be constructed on the ground floor of DCTV's current firehouse space and is expected to open in early 2015. DCTV co-founder Jon Alpert stated, "For people who love docs, this is their home.  This theater is a place that celebrates their work."

DCTV also announced they will be forming an advisory council whose founding members will include: Michael Moore, Alex Gibney, Morgan Spurlock, Matthew O'Neil, Brooke Adams, James Gandolfini, Emmy nominated producer Daniel J. Chalfen, Abigal Disney, Emmy-winning Ellen Goosenberg, Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, Caitrin McKiernan, HBO Doc's President Sheila Nevins,  Academy Award Nominee Sam Pollard and Oscar-winners Alan and Susan Raymond.

Michael Moore said, "I am proud to be a founding member of America's first all-documentary cinema. This is a historic day for movies in America and I look forward to the inspiration this theater will bring to other cities across the country seeking to build their own all doc movie theater."

4 Comments

  • LIVIA BLOOM | May 9, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    While I applaud the announcement of this new movie theater, as the previous commenters have noted it is inaccurate to describe it the first documentary movie theater in New York City. As a guest curator at the all-documentary Maysles Cinema since it opened in 2007, I can assure indieWIRE that it is located very much in New York City: at 343 Lenox Ave at 127th Street, conveniently located right off the 125th Street stop on the 2/3 subway line. I encourage documentary fans--including Mr. Moore, Mr. Gibney and Mr. Bloomberg--to attend a program cinema, where they will surely find inspiration for their new venue from this warm and welcoming community space, beautifully and progressively run by Program Director Jessica Green. If they visit the website, they can also browse the archives of hundreds of thoughtful programs, many organized by young curators and people of color. I hope they will even consider becoming members and support this important and inspiring work.

  • karen | May 8, 2013 11:31 PMReply

    Hello? The Bronx Documentary Center is already up, running and building a real buzz in NYC. HBO's Tim Hetherington's doc Which Way is the Front Line? Just premiered. Just cause its in the Bronx, it still counts as the first documentary center in NYC. Do the research people.

  • Walter | May 8, 2013 11:38 AMReply

    Not to rain on anybody's parade(and this is cool news, certainly) but what about the Maysles Cinema, already operating in Harlem?

  • karen | May 8, 2013 11:43 PM

    Walter,
    Ur absolutely right about Maysles Cinema in Harlem. I guess everyone loves to use the term ' the first' rather loosely. Maysles has been quietly doing this for years without the help media power houses behind them. Docs were never celebrated by the masses until recently. Today everything has to be 'hippafied'. Damn shame.