Quad Cinema, once a favored hangout of Andy Warhol and other members of the downtown hipsterati, has filed a suit seeking to block its eviction by the building’s co-op board a year after a major renovation, the Real Deal reports. The problem? Every co-op board’s worst nightmare, of course: noise complaints.
The theater, which first opened in 1972, closed for two years for a renovation. It re-opened on April 13, 2017 – and promptly received two notices of default relating to “intolerable noise” from theater speakers and an unpaid bill from a subcontractor. According to court records, Asad Rahman, a tenant at the second floor of apartment building 30-32 West 13th Street, repeatedly complained of noise coming from the theater. Rahman, whose apartment sits above theaters “A” and “D” of the multiplex, claimed that the noise came from the theater speakers and HVAC equipment.
The four-screen venue, owned by billionaire developer Charles Cohen, is now suing to block the building's co-op board from canceling its lease at 34 West 13th Street, according to court documents. The current lease runs through Dec. 31, 2126.
Quad Cinema dismissed Rahman’s complaints as “completely unsubstantiated.” In a number of instances, he was said to have complained when no movies were playing in the theaters underneath his apartment or when HVAC equipment wasn’t running. Quad also claims that it has taken steps to reduce noise. The sound levels in its theaters are now set at a normal level of 4 instead of a maximum of 10. It has also stopped using subwoofers, which it identified as the source of previous complaints.
“Considering the robust support the Quad has received from the surrounding communities and the movie industry,” a spokesperson for Cohen Brothers said in a statement, “the co-op’s attempt to hold the Quad in default of its lease is wholly without merit and is being vehemently opposed.”
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