PROJECT: Barrymore Film Center
LOCATION: Fort Lee, New Jersey
CLIENT: Fort Lee Film Commission
SIZE: 21,000 Square Feet
COST: $14 Million
As an extension of a new residential development in Fort Lee, the Fort Lee Mayor and City Council included in the developer’s agreement a structure to house a one-screen, 250-seat multi-purpose theater as well as a film exhibition center. The facility will be operated for the borough by the Fort Lee Film Commission, and aptly named the Barrymore Film Center.
Expecting completion by late 2019, the Center is located near the New Jersey palisades and George Washington Bridge, originally known as the birthplace for American film. Many of the most popular early films were shot blocks away from the future location of the venue on Main Street, where the term "cliffhanger" originated. At the turn of the 20th century, the area enabled advancements in technology and provided women working in the motion picture industry with opportunities.
The theater is sited alongside a 1,950-sq-ft exhibition hall which will showcase the Commission’s extraordinary collection of film and film-related artifacts from the era. The facility is expected to provide a home for annual film festivals, retrospectives, the screening of new independent films, as well as live stage programs working in partnership with the Museum of Moving Image and NYU Costume Studies Program.
The facility also incorporates all the necessities required of a theater house: dressing rooms, scene and prop shop, storage spaces, box office, and an entry lobby with concessions area and gift shop, and within 21,000 sq ft.