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Mayor de Blasio Celebrates 50th Anniversary of City's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting with Alicia Keys, John Leguizamo, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal

June 8, 2016

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Media and Entertainment office celebrates 50th anniversary with record-breaking year – $9 billion in economic benefit to NYC

NYC entertainment legends named Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Ambassadors

Year-long series of free events will bring New Yorkers from all neighborhoods closer to world-class entertainment

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin today launched new initiatives to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broaadcasting. During a kickoff event at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, Mayor de Blasio announced renowned New York City entertainment leaders as MOME Ambassadors, including Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Leguizamo, Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Over the next 12 months, MOME’s Ambassadors will serve as representatives of NYC’s booming media and entertainment industries, promoting the contributions of artists, entertainers, and professionals to the City’s cultural identity and thriving creative economy. Created in 1966 by then-Mayor John Lindsay, over the last 50 years, the Office has seen explosive growth in the industry – bringing in nearly $9 billion to the City – with this past season shattering records for film and television production.

“New York City becomes a character all its own in the films and television shows that are made here. This landmark anniversary is an opportunity to look back and delight in all of the incredible cultural moments that the entertainment industry here in New York has made possible. I thank our MOME Ambassadors for helping us ring in this spectacular year of events, and look forward to sharing in these celebrations with New Yorkers in all five boroughs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

At today’s event, MOME announced the launch of the following initiatives:

  • 50 for 50: In celebration of the 50th anniversary, MOME will present 50 free events throughout the upcoming year that will provide an inside look at New York’s entertainment industry. All 50 events will be open to the public.
  • Access Broadway: Over 1,000 free tickets to Broadway shows throughout the year for NYCHA residents.
  • MOME Movie Matinees: A wide-ranging partnership to provide low-income New York City families in all five boroughs with over 1,000 to attend feature films free of charge in theatres during the month of August 2016. 
  • Broadway in the Boroughs: In an effort to bring Broadway to new audiences, MOME will stage free performances in each borough this summer.
  • 50 Years of Magic’ mobile app: Free mobile app will provide up-to-date details on all of the 50th anniversary events throughout the year, as well as an interactive map featuring highlights from NYC’s expansive film and TV history.
  • Industry Retrospective – 50 Years of TV and Film in NYC: New report highlighting achievements of NYC’s film and TV sectors, and their contributions to the City’s economy.

“Fifty years after the formation of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, the prospects for New York City’s film and TV industry have never looked brighter. The industry generates nearly $9 billion annually for the City’s economy – up 21 percent from just four years ago – and employs over 130,000 hardworking New Yorkers with good-paying jobs. We are thrilled to present this year of events and initiatives aimed at exposing New Yorkers from all backgrounds to everything that the media and entertainment sectors have to offer,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin.

Prior to the creation of the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting fifty years ago, filming in New York City was extremely onerous, often requiring producers to obtain upwards of 50 permits to film projects. Gaining access to some of New York’s most popular locations was challenging and some officials would block filming based on the subject matter. Mayor Lindsay's establishment of an official film commission would address these multiple problems and make New York the first city in the world to offer one-stop permits and expedite requests from production companies seeking to use public locations.  In an open letter to the public, Mayor Lindsay explained the reasons for encouraging New York-based production. “Each additional feature film or commercial television show means additional jobs for New York residents,” he wrote. “Additional jobs means a healthier economy. And a healthier economy means a healthier city.”

Today, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment serves as a one-stop shop supporting the City’s entertainment industries, and promotes New York as a thriving center of creativity. Each year, MOME issues thousands of permits for filming on public property, facilitating hundreds of film and television projects throughout the five boroughs. New York City stands apart from other film locations as a result of the professionalism and experience of MOME’s production staff, the City’s dedicated NYPD unit that is trained and experienced in managing film shoot scenarios, and MOME’s marketing credit program that creates millions of impressions through free advertisements on NYC subways and buses.

Earlier this year, along with Commissioner Julie Menin’s appointment, Mayor de Blasio also announced MOME’s expansion to encompass the full scope of the media and entertainment industries – including advertising, digital content, music, and publishing. The Agency will also leverage private and public sector real estate assets to drive continued growth across all of these sectors.

MOME’s broader focus reflects the media industry’s growing importance as a key component of New York City’s economy, which creates tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, utilizes a skilled and diverse workforce, brings economic development to neighborhoods across all five boroughs, and promotes New York’s distinct culture to people around the world.

“I am proud to be among MOME’s 50th Anniversary Ambassadors. I fell in love with New York through the movies. I have had the privilege of producing movies and TV in New York for over 30 years. After 9/11 when the city was in its darkest moment, it was the movies that helped create a new memory through the Tribeca Film Festival which over the last 15 years has generated an economic impact of over 900 million dollars to Lower Manhattan,” said Jane Rosenthal, producer and executive Chair of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder.

“I grew up in New York - I chose to launch my production company here because there is no better setting than New York for your film, no better city to shoot in than New York. I feel fortunate every time I get to make a movie here,” said actor, producer, and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro. "I want to congratulate Julie Menin and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting on continuing a 50-year legacy of supporting storytelling in our great city.”

“Growing up in New York City, I was inspired by the energy and creativity of the people and places all around me. Attending public schools provided me a phenomenal foundation for my career in music and gave me an understanding of the diversity there is in the world. I’m excited to be an ambassador for MOME this year and support them as they give back to the City’s diverse communities by presenting free events in the outer boroughs in the coming months. This is a great time to be a part of New York’s rich and multi-cultural entertainment industry, and I’m glad to share this moment with New Yorkers from all backgrounds,” said celebrated artist Alicia Keys.

“Throughout my career in film and theatre, my work has been deeply influenced by my upbringing as an immigrant in Queens. The experiences I had in and around my neighborhood as a kid shaped the way I think about the world and express myself through art. Having received a Made in NY award back in 2011, I am grateful to once again receive an honor from MOME during this landmark year – and to help share these 50th anniversary celebrations with all New Yorkers,” said actor John Leguizamo.

Due to a prior commitment, Lady Gaga was unable to attend today’s event.

MOME’s 50th anniversary initiatives and events all share the common theme of inclusion. Throughout the year, MOME will introduce initiatives and hold events that showcase a range of the City’s world-class entertainment offerings accessible to New Yorkers across the five boroughs.

“50-for-50” Free Events
In recognition of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting’s milestone 50th anniversary, MOME will present 50 free cultural opportunities throughout the five boroughs over the course of the year. These events will enable all New Yorkers to participate in the 50th anniversary celebrations, and to gain exposure to all that the City’s media and entertainment communities have to offer. From film festivals to panel discussions and concerts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Highlights of the 50-for-50 include:

  • ‘Movies Under the Stars’ Decades Screenings: As part of the ‘Movies Under the Stars’ series, in partnership with the NYC Parks & Recreation Department, MOME is bringing 300 free film screenings to parks across NYC this summer, and will hold an additional 10 special pop-up events (two in each borough) featuring iconic films from each decade beginning in the 1960s. These screenings of films including West Side Story, The Wiz, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and I Am Legend will feature special guest appearances, family-friendly activities and giveaways.
  • Variety Talks: “Made in NY” and Variety will present a series of free talks throughout the year with directors, producers and A-list talent from the worlds of television and film. These conversations, which will be moderated by Variety reporters, will focus on the role the city of New York has played over the years on the big and small screen. For those not in New York, these interviews will be available to watch on
  • Ghetto Film School ‘The Roster’ Events: Ghetto Film School's newest initiative, The Roster, is proud to partner with MOME on a series of events to promote diverse early career talent in the entertainment and media industry here in New York City, including programing during Independent Film Week and a showcase featuringEmpire creator and renowned director Lee Daniels in Fall 2016.
  • THR ‘TV Talks at 92Y: MOME will co-present a marquee “Made in NY” talk as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s “TV Talks” series this fall presented with the 92nd Street Y, featuring actors and showrunners from television’s most popular shows.
  • PaleyFest – Made in NY: MOME will sponsor the Paley Center for Media’s fourth-annual PaleyFest, the ultimate TV fan festival giving audiences up-close, insider experiences with their favorite stars and creators of today’s biggest “Made in NY” TV shows through special screenings and cast discussions. Kicking off on October 6, 2016, MOME will support free access for New Yorkers to the festival’s viewing room.
  • Summer Streets: In partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s ‘Summer Streets’ initiative – opening 7 miles of NYC streets for people to play, run, walk and bike during 3 Saturdays in August – MOME and NY On Location will be hosting free film walking tours, highlighting iconic films “Made in NY.
  • “Made in NY” Talks: MOME will build upon its partnership with The Center for Communication with additional “Made in NY” Talks, a free panel series geared towards college students and individuals interested in careers in media and entertainment. There will be 10 panels over the course of the year, focusing on themes including media & tech; news in the 21st century; media and civil rights; and podcast production.
  • ESPN 30 for 30: MOME and ESPN will co-present a free community screening of the newest30 for 30 film, “Doc & Darryl.” The event will take place on June 28 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens and will feature a moderated discussion and audience Q&A with co-director Michael Bonfiglio and other specials guests to be confirmed.
  • New York Comedy Festival: MOME will partner with the NY Comedy Festival to present ‘master classes,’ in which prominent New York comedians will return to their public high schools to speak with current students about topics including what it means to be a comedian, how they got their start, and challenges they’ve faced in their careers. There will be one event in each borough, and each event will be recorded to air on NYC Media.
  • Industry Talks at Museum of the Moving Image: Starting in Fall 2016, MOME will co-present special “Made in NY” afternoon events at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, featuring conversations with leading film and TV industry professionals on the first Friday of each month—during which time admittance to MOMI is free and open to the public.
  • Turner Classic Movies Presents an evening of Made in NY Films: On July 21, 2016, Turner Classic Movies will feature a night of on-air programming highlighting classic ‘Made in NY’ films, including Saturday Night Fever, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and Dog Day Afternoon. Commissioner Menin will join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz as a guest programmer to discuss the films, the current state of the City’s film industry and the iconic locations that set New York City’s filmmaking history apart.

“50 Years of Magic” App
In tandem with the free programs and initiatives announced as part of the 50th anniversary, MOME will release “50 Years of Magic,” a new, free mobile app. The app will allow New Yorkers to engage with the anniversary celebrations in a variety of ways, including maps, listings and registration for 50-for-50 events throughout the five boroughs.  The app also features an interactive map highlighting locations from “Made in NY” film and television productions, allowing users to learn more about iconic “Made in NY” scenes filmed in their neighborhood. Using the map, users can create personalized walking tours in their neighborhoods, and learn more about the City’s rich history in TV and film.

Access Broadway
As part of the anniversary celebrations, MOME will launch “Access Broadway”, a program that will provide 1,000 free tickets to low income New Yorkers to attend family-friendly Broadway shows.  MOME has partnered with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and members of the Broadway League to provide 100 tickets per month to NYCHA residents for ten Broadway shows during the coming year.  “Access Broadway” was made possible by the generous financial support of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 817, IATSE, and the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Foundation.

"On behalf of the thousands of behind-the-scene workers we represent in the media and entertainment industries throughout New York, we congratulate the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting on their 50th anniversary. We thank them for the good work they do on behalf of our members and commend them for their continuous dedication in keeping the entertainment industry in NY a vibrant and critical part of the culture and economy,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb.

"Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 celebrates the 50th Anniversary of MOME. While we ourselves celebrate our 90th anniversary, our growth spurt didn't really kick in until the creation of MOME. The members of Local 817 are proud to sponsor 'Access Broadway', bringing world class theatre to those New Yorkers and their families who ordinarily wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy," said Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 President Thomas J. O’Donnell.
MOME Movie Matinees
MOME is proud to announce “MOME Movie Matinees,” which will provide low-income New York City families in all five boroughs with opportunities to attend feature films in theatres during the month of August 2016.  In partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), movie vouchers will provided to NYCHA residents. Other partners for this initiative include Sony Pictures Entertainment, providing family-friendly films for the matinee screenings, and AMC Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, National Amusements, Inc., Reading International, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group, whose theaters will host the free movie screenings.

Broadway in the Boros
For the first time, Broadway shows are being brought to neighborhoods across New York City through “Broadway in the Boros.” Featuring a showcase of vignettes performed by members of the current casts and orchestras from hit musicals including She Loves Me and Fiddler on the Roof, these lunchtime performances are free and open to the public. One performance will take place in each borough throughout the summer. The series kicks off at National Lighthouse Point Plaza in Staten Island at noon on Friday, June 24. Additionally, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway performances, many with live music accompaniment, will be featured throughout the City.

Industry Retrospective: 50 Years of TV and Film in NYC
In honor of the 50th anniversary, Boston Consulting Group will release a brochure highlighting the achievements of New York City’s film and TV industry, and its significant contributions to the City’s economy as a whole. The document will combine research and historical information on the history of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting; pivotal moments in the industry here in NYC; and a closer look into the recent TV and film boom in the City, including its economic impact on the City as a whole.

“I’m thrilled that Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will be launching a number of initiatives to celebrate their 50th anniversary,” said Council Member James VaccaChair of the New York City Committee on Technology. “Between sponsoring events throughout the 5 boroughs, providing free Broadway and movie tickets for low-income new Yorkers, and developing a state-of-the-art mobile app, MOME is clearly going all out! I look forward to participating in events throughout the summer and thank Commissioner Menin for her leadership.”

“The film industry is one of New York City’s biggest economic drivers. I’m proud that my district is home to Kaufman Astoria Studios, where shows such as Orange is the New BlackNurse Jackie, and Sesame Street have been filmed. I wish to extend my congratulations to MOME on its 50th anniversary, and wish it another 50 years of keeping the entertainment industry a vital part of our city’s culture and economy,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“The 50th anniversary of the City’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting is an opportunity to celebrate the many strides that Brooklyn has made in becoming an epicenter of the entertainment industry. From movies and television to podcasting and digital media, the place to capture creative energy is the borough we call ‘Hollywood East.’ Today, Brooklyn is working hard to ensure the popularity of our brand translates into prosperity for all Brooklynites, and MOME is a key partner to ensuring that more of our residents have the chance to gain entry into this emerging field as well as reap the economic benefits from film shoots in their communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“For 50 years, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and its predecessors have helped make our city the film, television, and media production powerhouse it is today,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Connecting New Yorkers to the artistic, dramatic, and cultural experiences you can only find here – thanks in part to MOME’s work – is a fitting way to celebrate this anniversary.”

“Everyone loves a good movie and we are so pleased that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the film industry have really embraced Staten Island. The industry has the potential to be a key driver in the borough’s economy, creating jobs and showcasing all we have to offer. We look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Menin on these programs and others to boost filming on the Island,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.

"I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Menin of MOME for their efforts and ensuring that New York City continues to be a leader in the entertainment industry. In the State Legislature, we have passed important tax credits for the entertainment industry which have sparked unprecedented industry growth. Film and production is staying here in NYC and we are experiencing the economic benefits. However, it is not only important to keep the entertainment industry growing it is also important to ensure that everyone has access and can enjoy the many performances," said Senator Marty Golden.

“I applaud the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment for celebrating their 50th Anniversary with gifts for New Yorkers of free cultural events and entertainment, in all five boroughs,” said Assembly Member Aravella Simotas. “MOME is an agency that has the power to bring happiness and delight, to expand people’s visions and enrich their lives and I commend the Office for doing it in brand new ways.” 

“Congratulations to the Mayor and the Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting on this milestone and the $9 billion industry it supports. Terrific film and television production jobs and great facilities are good for all New Yorkers. I am particularly proud of the important role our Queens studios such as Kaufman Astoria, Silvercup and Broadway Studios play in the city’s entertainment industry and look forward to their continued growth in the years ahead,” said Assembly Member Margaret Markey, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development.

“In a city with an abundance of creative and cultural opportunities, it is important to ensure all New Yorkers enjoy access to world-class art and entertainment. These initiatives reach out to the community and open the door to NYC’s rich arts and film history," said Council Member Stephen Levin.

MOME is grateful for the support of its signature sponsors to date for the 50th Anniversary initiative: 20th Century Fox, Alliance of Off Broadway Theatres, American Theatre Wing, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), A.R.T./NY, Asian American International Film Festival, Associated Musicians of Greater New York + Local 802, BCG, Bow Tie Cinemas, Broadway League, Broadway Stages, Bushwick Starr, Carolines, Center for Communications, COFFEED, Disney, ESPN, Ghetto Film School, HBO, the Hollywood Reporter, IATSE, IDEKO Productions, iHeart Radio, JCC, Jeffrey Richards Associates, Jujamcyn Theatres, Kaufman Astoria, Kidz Bop, AMC Loews, Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas, The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Foundation, Made in NY Center by IFP, MTV, Museum of the Moving Image, National Amusements, National Lighthouse Museum/Lighthouse Point, NATO, New York International Children's Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), New York Magazine, NYC Department of Education, NYC Parks Department, NYC Economic Development Fund, NYC Department of Transportation, NYCHA, Off Broadway League, The Paley Center for Media, People en Español, PMC Media & Variety, Pregones/Puerto Rico Traveling Theater, Radical Media, Reading International, Regal Cinemas, Repertorio Espanol, Daryl Roth, Roundabout Theatre Company, Shubert Organization, SilverCup Studios, Sony, Steiner Studios, Teamsters Local 817, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Nederlander Organization, The Public Theater, Urbanworld Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival.

For more details on all of the programs, events, and initiatives described above, visit

To download the “50 Years of Magic” app, visit the Apple App Store.

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