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E.V. Indie Theater Rides Into the Sunset

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Another East Village institution is shuttering: Two Boots Pioneer Theater, which specializes in indie, underground, and cult fare, will most likely close at the end of the month. “I’m still hoping for a reprieve,” says Two Boots owner Phil Hartman, who’s seeking a partner or new owner. “But it was always a labor of love and never commercially viable.” Hartman and his wife founded the cozy 99-seat cinema in 2000, but the venue seemed older: It attempted to resurrect the lost atmosphere of old, offbeat downtown movie houses. Now it’ll share their fate, done in by a looming rent increase and tough times in the exhibition business. “We knew we could do things differently, and we did,” says Ray Privett, its longtime programmer. “Whether we succeeded, that’ll be for the history books to decide.”

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