At the memorial for Dan Talbot and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on Jan. 28, film-world luminaries spoke of the theater’s storied past and the continuing need for its brand of independent film theater on the Upper West Side. They included the director Michael Moore; Michael Barker of Sony Classics; Jonathan Sehring of IFC Films; Richard Pena, former program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center; the film scholar and writer Annette Insdorf; the critic Molly Haskell; the writer and actor Wallace Shawn; and Jeff Lipsky of October Films. Here are a few of the reasons New York needs New Plaza Cinema:

“Dan and I worked together for more than 30 years to develop a cinema devoted to the highest quality independent films in the U.S. and around the world. Although Dan is no longer with us, I’m sure he would have been heartened—as am I—that a band of devoted theater goers have taken upon themselves the arduous task of creating similar cinema anew. I fully support their effort and look forward to their ultimate success.”

Toby Talbot, Co-founder, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

“For so many Manhattanites, the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is a synagogue of cinema. . . . New York is our country’s epicenter of independent film, both film production and distribution. . . . And the audience is here, in greater numbers than ever before. . . . The loss of the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas isn’t sad; it’s catastrophic. The art film scene in such markets as San Francisco, Boston and Seattle has all but atrophied. They said it couldn’t happen here. It has.  . . . Today’s closing is a clarion call. Please answer it.”


“Through building and growing this theater, inviting us in, embracing us,  Dan Talbot created a beautiful community and a beautiful family. . . . Let us not lose that sense of taste  and community that Dan Talbot proved was in us here.”


“This theater does have some kind of unifying principle. It’s a kind of mainstream arthouse . . . something reliably familiar, new and familiar at the same time.  You could chat online with people, and you’d start arguing about the movies. So this is really a community that came of age at a privileged moment, and I think the theater is gone, but I hope that experience survives.”


“Thank you so much for what you’re doing.  I cried when LINCOLN PLAZA CINEMA closed.  Are you really going to have a movie house like it?  Good luck in all your efforts and hard work!”