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Independent movie theater and bar coming to Hamtramck this summer

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The Film Lab is rehabbing the Post 1 P.L.A.V. building on Holbrook

Close-up of a brick building with stone accents and block stone letters that read “POST 1 P.L.A.V.” Courtesy of The Film Lab

In a city with only a few options to watch movies on a big screen, it’s always welcome news when a theater opens here.

This summer, The Film Lab will start screening movies out of its Post 1 P.L.A.V. location in Hamtramck. The independent theater, which calls itself a “microcinema,” will show a select group of films. “Programming will range from seedy cult classics to new restorations of rarely seen masterpieces to the latest in award-winning films from the festival circuit,” according to a release.

Initially, those screenings will take place on a weekly basis in its 1,600-square-foot first floor theater and bar (Eater Detroit has the details). The second floor will be redeveloped into two theaters that can seat 75 and 30, and should open sometime in 2020.

The Film Lab was co-founded by Josh Gardner and Lara Sfire, both of whom are actively engaged in the local film scene. Gardner started Cinema Lamont, which has been screening international films around metro Detroit, and Sfire is a filmmaker and member of the collective The Film Shop.

The owners say they intend to preserve as much of the historic details of Post 1 P.L.A.V. as possible. The Holbrook building was built in 1924 and has a distinct brick and stone exterior, as well as a marble bar and retro wood paneling inside. “The space will pay homage to these two design eras, combining art deco motifs with ‘70s swagger,” according to the release.

Building owner Steve Frum will be the lead architect on the redevelopment and has an office in the building. Interior design will be done by Detroit-based RL Concetti.