June 21, 2018


Magno Sound

Way back in 1997, when I first moved to NYC, I was thrilled to get my first publicity film screenings. Most of them took place in one of two screening rooms located on the second floor of 729 Seventh Avenue right around the corner from guitar row on West 47th street. The place was a second home for me. I had a gig at the Millennium Hotel just a few blocks down, and I remember watching movies before heading off to work. The projectionist was a grumpy guy who'd yell at anyone who dared break out any kind of food that could attract mice.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 1.03.04 PM

For years I would see five to seven movies a week at Magno Review, or just "Review" as we called it. Both rooms (Review 1 and the smaller Review 2) had an intimate vibe that became fraught when cell phones came along and people started pulling them out in the small rooms. 

Magno Review

Just across Seventh Avenue was Mango, another screening room (on the 9th floor) of a great old building (now torn down) you could enter from 7th Avenue or from Broadway. Magno and Mango were sister screening rooms where you could catch three movies a day on most days, grabbing a quick coffee in between to keep your attention up. When I look at the seats in this theater I can remember which chair I was sitting in for specific films. I've watched hundreds of movies in this hallowed cinema. 

Magno 2

I always liked to sit in the back row of Review 2. I remember watching a less than mediocre horror movie all alone on a Friday night there once. This is the cinema where I watched Wim Wenders's THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL back in 2000 when a guy jumped up from his seat in the middle of the movie and ran full tilt in front of the seats and crashed smack into the wall you see pictured at the far left side of this photo. I remember taking my brother-in-law Barry to see a documentary about Harper Lee in this screening room. 

I'm deeply saddened to see Magno shutting down, as has happened to so many other great screening rooms in Manhattan. These were the places where critics chatted before the projector rolled about anything and everything. This is where the New York City film critic community came religiously to see the current Cinema trends played out in real time far in advance of a film's release. Unlike the big Hollywood production studios that screen films the week of release, this is where every other kind of independent, foreign, or documentary release was seen by critics weeks or even months in advance. 

On June 27, 2018 Magno Review will close forever. I miss my second home already, and the film community that shared the space there.


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