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Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
Anthology Film Archives is a "film museum" that presents historic and current art films. AFA originally opened in 1970 at the Public Theatre, relocating in 1974 to 80 Wooster Street and finally relocating to the old Second Avenue Courthouse in 1979. The facility includes two film theatres, a reference library, a film preservation department, offices, and a gallery.
I've been unable to find out much about the building itself online. A TimeOut NY article indicates that the building housed a Magistrate's court from 1917 through the 1960s, with the current upstairs theatre occupying the former courtroom and the smaller, downstairs theatre as the location of holding cells. A NY Times article from November 19, 1913 announced the ten finalists in competition for the design of the new courthouse, which was to take the place of the old Municipal Courts on Madison Street, the Essex Market Magistrates Court and jail, and the Ludlow Street jail. The building was originally planned to be a "skyscraper" of at least seven floors, although the design obviously got scaled back by the time this three-story structure was constructed.
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