Expansion will allow for longer runs, bigger capacity

Amid the bad news on the indie scene comes a small glimmer of hope: Gotham arthouse cinema IFC Center will expand from three screens to five next year.

The IFC Entertainment flagship, which celebrated its fourth anniversary in June, also reported a significant rise in ticket sales over last year.

The expansion will provide 25% more capacity and allow for multiple and longer runs at IFC Center — one of the few theaters to exclusively program niche fare.

Two additional arthouse screens may not appear to move the needle much. However, it’s a potential boon for indie films that fight to hold their screens as the majority are gobbled by studio mega-releases.

“We’re very proud to be a neighborhood theater for the West Village as well as a key destination cinema for cineastes from all over,” said John Vanco, IFC Center’s VP and general manager.

The venue is the go-to launch pad for most of sister company IFC Films’ theatrical titles, among other specialty fare.

IFC Center’s top releases include Italian-language mob drama “Gomorrah,” David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” and Steven Soderbergh’s two-parter “Che.”

Construction has already begun, with the new screens expected to open to the public early next year.

Upcoming IFC Center releases include Cannes standouts “Police, Adjective” and “Antichrist,” a new 35mm print of Francois Truffaut’s “Small Change” and a Monty Python retrospective.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more