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Quad Cinema Renovation

Posted: March 28, 2019 | Projects

The Quad Cinema (QC) is New York City’s first “multiplex” movie theatre. Built in 1972, it became a center for art house films for decades. Its innovative cinema concept featured smaller auditoriums, allowing the QC to screen four different films at any time with staggered show times. Even though the QC’s following among NYC’s cinephiles is legendary, years went by without significant upgrades and eventually its age began to show.

Photo Courtesy of Pentagram

With a commitment to keep the QC in Greenwich Village and in an effort to preserve its legacy of fulfilling the public’s demand for independent art films, Charles S. Cohen of Cohen Media Group (CMG) purchased and shuttered the cinema in 2015, undertaking the multimillion-dollar facelift project to renovate and modernize the existing cinema.

With a new identity, the QC took its rightful place as a destination for film in NYC once again, reopening for business on April 14, 2017. With four uniquely designed luxury auditorium spaces labeled Q-U-A-D, the new QC offers the general public the comfort, intimacy, and atmosphere usually experienced in private screening rooms.

As a result of the overhaul to improve sightlines, presentation quality, seat comfort, and operational efficiency, the total seating capacity was reduced from 560 to 430 seats, with auditorium capacity ranging from 97 to 118 seats.

The lobby and auditoriums are located on the ground level of a co-op apartment building occupying a total of 8,425 square feet, with mechanical and back-of-house support space located in the cellar level below. The project scope includes a new ramped entrance and exterior marquee, a lobby with full-length merchandise/ concessions stand, a ticket box office/ customer service counter, a digital content display wall, expanded public restrooms, and ADA accessibility. Also included are new interior design and finishes, along with MEP systems reconfiguration and upgrades. Adjacent commercial space was connected to create the “Quad Bar,” serving wine and beer, which is accessible to cinema patrons from the cinema lobby.

Each screen is outfitted with 4K digital and 3D projection, state-of-theart digital sound technology, and deluxe optically-coated perforated screens. To accommodate CMG’s dedication to repertory programming, the main projection booth serving two of the four interiors include custom-designed architectural feature lighting, chairs with articulating backs, carpeting and sheet vinyl floor finishes, acoustical stretch fabric wall, and ceiling finishes that articulate the design team’s auditorium interior image and esthetic intent.

To address sound transmission between auditoriums and surrounding spaces, a sound barrier envelope was constructed within the auditorium space. The envelope consists of an isolated hung multi-layer drywall ceiling, with a combination spring and neoprene vibration isolators, between the building floor structure above and the cinema architectural ceiling. Walls separating the auditoriums, projection rooms, and foyer space were built based on an NIC-60 and NIC-50 performance requirement, respectively. Similarly, auditorium entry doors, frames, and hardware were specified to maintain the integrity of the acoustical envelope design.

Mechanical equipment and air distribution was designed based on the acoustician’s recommendations to reduce radiated noise. To achieve the maximum equipment sound level of 55dBA rating prescribed and fit within the available outdoor space, the engineers specified new custom-built condensing units, along with lined exhaust ductwork and silencers. Each auditorium is served by air handling units (AHU) located in the cellar mechanical space along with associated ductwork. To minimize cost and lead time, the engineer selected AHUs from the manufacturer’s standard equipment line.

The end result is a project that dealt effectively with reintegrating a new state-of-the-art cinema within a residential environment. It achieved CMG’s goal to provide a worthwhile sophisticated experience to film lovers, as well as provide the needed outlet.


Interior: Benjamin Moore, Marmi Classico, Guilford of Marine, American Tin Ceilings, Wolf Gordo
Seating: Skeie Seating AS
Flooring: Armstrong, Styletech, Carpet Concept Floor Gres, Mosa
Mechanical: United CoolAir, Carrier
Plumbing: Stern, Toto, NEO Metro, Dyson
Entrances & Storefronts: CR Lawrence
Toilet Partitions & Accessories: Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc., Gatco Inc., Hardian, Inc.
Vertical Lift: Garaventa Lift

Lighting: COLE, WAC, Halo, Edison Price, Birchwood, Spectrum, California Accent, Emergalite, Metalux


Construction Manager & Cost Estimator

Trogon Construction Management, Inc.

70 Oakwood Avenue, Upper Montclairm, NJ 07043



Leder-Luis Building Design

66 Main Street, #913, Yonkers, NY 10701


Design Architect  

Project Design Associates, LLC

60 Thomas Street, Fl 3, New York, NY 10013


Structural Engineer

The Office of James Ruderman, 237 W. 35th Street, #501

New York, NY 10001


Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Engineer

Jack Green Associates Consulting Engineers

242 W. 36th Street, New York, NY 10018


General Contractor

Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation

750 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022


Brand Identity & Environmental Graphics Design


250 Park Avenue, S., New York, NY 10003


Acoustic Engineer

Cerami & Associates

404 5th Avenue, Fl 8, New York, NY 10018


Audio Video Consultant

Audio Video Interiors

8687 Melrose Avenue, #M30  West Hollywood, CA 90069


Lighting Consultant

Textlights, Inc.

203 Lakeridge Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229



Location: New York City, New York

Date Bid: Apr 2015

Construction Period: Jun 2015 to Apr 2017          

Total Square Feet: 8,425

Number of Buildings: One.

Building Sizes: First floor, 8,425; total, 8,425 square feet.

Building Height: First floor, 12'6"; total, 12'6".  

Basic Construction Type: Renovation/Alteration.

Floors: Concrete, wood.

Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall

View full project details in magazine issue November-December 2018.