Nearly a year after closing its doors, New Yorker Films is back in business.
Jose Lopez, longtime VP at New Yorker Films alongside founder Dan Talbot, is the new president of the new New Yorker Films in the wake of the company's name and library being acquired by California based Aladdin Distribution LLC. Talbot is no longer involved in the business but has given his blessing to the re-organized New Yorker and is supportive of the company's return.
"It's good news," Talbot told indieWIRE today, amidst preparing to head to the Berlin International Film Festival tonight. He will remain focused on his Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
"I started as an exhibitor and I'll end as an exhibitor," Dan Talbot said today. He and his wife Toby have been celebrating their many years as exhibitors over the past few months with the recent publication of Toby Talbot's, "The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes from a Life at the Movies," a book about their lives together.
Meanwhile, Jose Lopez is hiring back his entire staff of nine, he told indieWIRE this morning, as he worked to close on a lease for a new office. He's located a space on East 23rd St. in Manhattan. The company will re-open on March 8th.
The *new* New Yorker will release six to eight films theatrically each year, alongside a non-theatrical and home video division, Lopez said today. He has yet to set a slate, but expects to release four to six films in year one and he's hired Peter Marai as an acquisitions consultant for New Yorker Films.
Formed late last year, New Yorker Films' new owner -- Aladdin Distribution -- is a division of David Raphel, Christopher Harbonville, and Hani Musleh's film finance company, Aladdin Films. New Yorker has a library of some 400 films, rescued from crushing debts to Technicolor that forced Talbot and Lopez to close their doors one year ago. The news, in the middle of the growing economic crisis last year, was a blow to the film community given the legendary history of New Yorker, which was formed in 1965 and brought countless cinema classics to this country.
"The most important thing is to put New Yorker back again," Jose Lopez told indieWIRE today, "I am going to continue doing the work that Dan and I did for forty years."
Lopez said he was pleased to have the support of his longtime colleague Dan Talbot and reiterated his plan to bolster the company's library of specialty, foreign language and classic films. He added that he spent a year working with Technicolor to find the right buyer for the company.
"I just couldn't allow New Yorker to just disappear like that," Lopez said today, "It's a company that meant so much to so many people."
Concluding, Lopez added, "I am glad the persistence paid off."