“This is a dream project for me,” explained architect David Rockwell the other day when the ribbon was cut to formally open the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. More than nine years ago, Rockwell was approached by the Film Society and asked to explore how the organization might expand into a new building.

Rockwell sketched out a few ideas for transforming an underground parking garage space that even included office space that once housed the Film Society. 

The new 17,500 square foot Film Center features three new theaters: two traditional cinemas and one open amphitheater for various public events. Rockwell calls the distinctive amphitheater (pictured above) a “family room for Lincoln Center.”

“What could be better than being a part of the amazing reinvention of Lincoln Center,” Rockwell recently explained. Describing the new Film Center he called it, “A spot in Lincoln Center that might be small, but it would signify accessibility, spontaneity, informality and every kind of social interaction about cinema possible.”

While the building was still under construction, Rockwell walked through the space with filmmaker Jamie Stuart. 

The complete video is available below: