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Dan Talbot, Influential Art-House Exhibitor, Has Died

Daniel Talbot, the renowned art-film exhibitor who ran New York’s Lincoln Plaza Cinema, and a longtime independent film distributor, died Friday morning in New York City. He was in his early 90s.

Ewneto Admassu, the longtime manager of the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, confirmed the death to Variety.

“He was like a father to me. It is a huge loss,” Admassu said.

Talbot’s death comes two weeks after it was first reported that the Lincoln Plaza Cinema was at the end of its lease and scheduled to close in January.

The six-screen Lincoln Plaza theater, which opened in 1981, is jointly operated by the building’s owner Milstein Properties and the Talbots. The facility is located in the basement of a residential building on the corner of Broadway and 62nd Street.

Milstein Properties, which has been the Talbots’ co-partners in the theater since its opening in 1981, stated earlier this month that it hoped to reopen the theater after structural work to the building.

The Talbots have been married for 68 years and had been key members of the independent film community since the 1960s. Dan Talbot managed the New Yorker Theater in the early 1960s and  founded New Yorker Films in 1965, starting his distribution efforts with the 1965 release of “Before the Revolution,” the debut film by Bernardo Bertolucci.

“I had no interest in distribution,”  Talbot told Variety in a 2009 interview. “I made him a very small offer and I got the film, and that was the beginning of New Yorker Films.”

Talbot followed up with art-house releases by Jean-Luc Godard, Ousmane Sembene, Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He also released Louis Malle’s “My Dinner With Andre” in 1981, and Wayne Wang’s “Chan Is Missing” in 1982. He closed down New Yorker Films in 2009.

“I think there’s less attention paid to the deeper, moral political issues that the great filmmakers dealt with in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” he said in 2009.

A memorial has  been scheduled for Sunday at 9:30 am at the Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th Street in New York City.

Talbot had been in declining health in recent months. He is survived by his wife and business partner, Toby Talbot, and by daughters Nina, Emily and Sara.

 

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