At first, news that the revered Quad Cinema in New York's Greenwich Village had been sold to a real estate magnate caused us alarm. But it turns out that Charles S. Cohen, in addition to being the president and chief executive of Cohen Bros. Realty Corp., is also a major supporter of great film, both as a distributor and as a historian.
Cohen is a film producer and distributor through the Cohen Media Group, which has distributed films such as "Le Chef," "Chinese Puzzle" and "Farewell, My Queen." Cohen also runs the Cohen Film Collection, which includes 700 film titles, including classics by Jean-Luc Godard, D. W. Griffith, Alfred Hitchcock and Buster Keaton.
Formerly the Rohauer Collection, it includes such wide-ranging titles as "Intolerance," "The General" and "Tristana," as well as W.C. Fields' shorts. Since the acquisition, Cohen Film Collection has embarked on a major restoration project, with new prints of key films receiving theatrical engagements prior to release in deluxe Blu-ray and DVD projects.
Opened in 1972 by entrepreneur and inventor Maurice Kanbar, the Quad has operated as a hybrid arthouse and first-run theater for decades. Cohen has overseen other theater reconstructions and his plans for the Quad include a renovation and technical upgrade.
"New York City has perhaps the greatest concentration of serious cinema lovers in the country," said Cohen in a statement, "but for too long, these great, knowledgeable fans have had few places to see classic and important films on the big screen. The always-vital Quad Cinema will now become an even more important destination for classic films and compelling new ones – and the moviegoers who love them."
The present plan is for the theater to keep its name and to maintain its four-screen configuration.
"The torch has been passed so that the Quad can remain a beacon of opportunity here in New York for the independent film community," said Cohen in a statement.