Sunshine @ The Waverly (Courtesy IFC)

Sunshine @ The Waverly (Courtesy IFC)

1200.jpgI passed by the soon to be unveiled IFC Center last night. I wish they’d kept the old Waverly neon, but alas, it fell prey to the new branding (which is white and red and not terribly interesting at all.) They’ve sheeted the facade with some Sunshine-esque undulating metallic mesh. Considering its proximity to the West 4th St train station, it’ll likely share some of the genuine authentic NYC flavor with its other indie cousin, the Angelika: your $10 ticket will buy you some subway rumblings to go with you movie soundtrack.

I did a bit of poking around on the history of the theater and found a good item on the Cinema Treasures site. There’s a summary at the top, and the subsequent message thread contains tons of interesting info. One authorative poster provided an excellent description of its original incarnation:

The 592-seat Waverly was designed by Harrison Wiseman for Luxor Bleecker Amusement Corp., and first opened in 1937 with late-run double features. The original structure was an early 19th century stained glass window factory, which was totally gutted for the theatre. As the building was only 50 feet wide by 87 feet deep, Wiseman used a stadium type of construction in order to have space for the restrooms, lobby and cashier’s booth. The auditorium was simply decorated with horizontally-striped wallpaper. The ceiling had no lighting fixtures, but a broad multi-colored stripe ran down the center from above the projection booth to the top of the proscenium…The marquee shown in the color photo is a modernized version of the original one. The nearly square portion at the front was all flashing lights and neon, with a giant W in the center. For the Waverly’s twinning, the boxoffice was moved to the right of the four entrance doors. It had previously been in the middle, with two doors on each side.

Read more about the coming attraction over at Curbed.