Volume 74, Number 38 | Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2005

Manager picked for IFC Center, to open late spring

By Albert Amateau

John Vanco, who helped discover and promote more than 40 independent films in the past six years, will become the general manager of the IFC Center in the former Waverly Theater in the Village when it opens later this year.

Vanco was named vice president and general manager of the complex — under construction at Sixth Ave. and W. Third St. — by Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Entertainment, which runs Independent Film Channel, a subsidiary of Cablevision.

The former movie theater at 323 Sixth Ave. and the adjacent vacant store at 325 Sixth Ave. are being converted into a complex of three theaters dedicated to independent film, a restaurant and bar and meeting area and digital editing facility to serve as a home base for independent filmmakers where the public may see their works. The IFC Center will open in the late spring, according to Jo Flattery, spokesperson for the Center.

Vanco, 37, will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations for the new Center, including first-run exhibition of films, special cinema programs and management of the bar, restaurant and film-editing suites, reporting directly to Sehring.

Vanco was co-founder and operator of Cowboy Films, a film-marketing and distribution company that brought films like George Butler’s “The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition,” and Catherine Breillat’s “Fat Girl” to admiring critics and audiences. Vanco has also worked for film companies, including Miramax, New Yorker Films and Fine Line.

For the past 10 years, IFC has run the Independent Film Channel television network and has distributed independent films, including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien.”

The Waverly, which Cablevision leased from Clearview Theaters in the spring of 2003, has been closed for about two years. The property also includes a back yard with a frontage on Cornelia St.

The new venue will have a lobby and movie theater on the main floor. A smaller theater and a screening room will be located on the second floor. Projection rooms, studio space and film-editing facilities will also be built into the project.

The original structure on the site was built in 1831 for the Third Universalist Society. It was all but demolished in 1936 and rebuilt as a movie house.

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