Film at Lincoln Center, widely regarded as a citadel of New York movie culture, became the latest arts institution in the city to massively overturn its workforce when it announced layoffs of all part-timers and half of its full-time staff yesterday afternoon. The news includes the “indefinite hiatus” of Film Comment, its prestigious in-house magazine; the bimonthly’s May/June issue will be distributed online, after which operations will cease for the foreseeable future. Film at Lincoln Center’s theaters went dark on March 12, when it closed to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The closure interrupted several film programs, including the curtailing of its Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival and the postponement of New Directors/New Films, a partnered series with the Museum of Modern Art; as well as its annual fundraising gala. The center is currently accepting donations.
“Over the past few years, FLC was able to build a strong financial foundation to withstand future economic instability,” said the statement from executive director Lesli Klainberg. “However, the speed and depth of the events that have unfolded over the past few weeks, coupled with continuing uncertainty, requires that we now take steps to ensure the future viability of the organization.” The organization will keep providing health insurance for all full-time staffers who were laid off and says that it hopes to eventually reopen with all of its furloughed employees.