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Alpine: It’s back to future

The Brooklyn Paper
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Local concern that the Alpine Cinema’s heralded four-star rescue would be a box office bomb appears to be much ado about nothing.

Owner Nicolas Nicolaou is making good on his promise to restore the run-down Bay Ridge landmark to its 1920s-era glory. Like all good things, it just takes a little time, according to the owner.

“You must understand that I am committed to clean up the Alpine from the guts,” said Nicolaou. “So please be patient.”

But patience isn’t a virtue for many movie going residents of Bay Ridge.

Earlier this summer, Nicolaou took his lumps from residents who thought the repairs were taking too long. This week, he told The Brooklyn Paper that he understands the community’s impatience, but the $1-million project is just so big.

“I deserve some credit for undertaking a very expensive job that really no other prior operator cared to invest for this theater,” said Nicolaou, who bought the 85-year-old moviehouse for $6 million in 2006. “We are continuing the work in all other areas, seats, electrical, plumbing and basically getting ready to redo lobby and backstage.”

New renovations, which include a new lobby ceiling, a new lobby carpet, and an entirely new electrical infrastructure for the 86-year-old theater are already underway and the new air conditioning was installed in June.

Now that the repair work is starting in earnest, even former critics have given Nicolaou two thumbs-up.

“It looks like the owner is in it for the long-run, and that is very important,” said former Alpine critic and Alpine moviegoer Tom Brice. “This community needs the Alpine to do well.”

One moviegoing pol even chimed in.

“Knowing that Mr. Nicolaou has the commitment to make the Alpine a five-star theater, and seeing the renovations moving forward, I am confident that the Alpine will continue to operate for many years to come,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). “The Alpine Theater is a clean and safe one that I frequent regularly with my family, to enjoy an afternoon or evening and see the latest movies on the big screen.”

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Reader Feedback

Mike says:
Great work Mr. Nicolaou. The Alpine is a great part of Bay Ridge (I have enjoyed many movies there over the years) and it's great to see a local theater being preserved. I hope that when it re-opens there will be some more emphasis on independant cinema instead of the same big-budget hollywood pictures you see everywhere. Throughout bay ridge, sunset, and park slope there is a huge segment of the movie going public that would love some alternative choices here in brooklyn, and some innovative screening choices would certainly attract crowds.
Sept. 25, 2007, 9:22 am

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