Cookie-cutter chick flicks and formulaic action thrillers just doesn’t cut it sometimes. Instead of spending $12.50 and two hours watching a movie with an oh-so-predictable Hollywood plot line, use that money to support your local independent theaters. Why? Because…
- These theaters aren’t just movie theaters. They are cultural centers that shouldn’t be torn down to make way for yet another AMC or Regal Cinema.
- These theaters aren’t just for entertainment purposes. They are also educational.
- These theaters don’t sell out to capitalism and consumerism. They know how to appreciate the fundamental essence of filmmaking and the art of acting.
- These theaters make up the wrinkles of New York City and gives character to a place that always seems to be moving forward without appreciating the past.
If you ever find yourself in the Big Apple, please show a little love to my hometown by visiting some of my favorite independent theaters in NYC. I’d love for you to see my city the way a real New Yorker does and not the way your guidebook tells you to.
Why is IFC one of my favorite independent theaters? Other than the fact that they feature some of the most incredible independent and foreign films and documentaries, the IFC also offers
- Five state-of-the-art cinemas with luxurious seating, High-Def digital and 35mm projection
- Weekend Classics from Fridays to Sundays at 11AM
- Waverly Midnights – cult movies Fridays and Saturdays at midnight
- Short Attention Span Cinema – short films screening before every feature
- Posteritati Gallery at IFC Center – exhibitions of vintage movie posters from around the globe
- Organic popcorn with real, natural butter at the concession stand.
The Landmark Theatres are located in 21 destinations, including San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Chicago and much more. They offer independent and foreign films, as well as 3D movies and “smart films” from Hollywood. The Landmark Theatre in New York City is called Sunshine Cinema, where DVDs, books and CDs are available for sale. It is also conveniently located a block away from Wholefoods and plenty of restaurants, which means I can grab a quick snack before a film or dinner afterwards.
The Quad Cinema, located in Greenwich Village, has been a family-owned theater since 1972. The theater includes a world-reknown and prestigous art house with a reputation of showing the best feature, documentary and foreign films.
The QUAD has exhibited and popularized such classics as “Cinema Paradiso,” “Spellbound,” “Hoop Dreams,” and more recently, “Ajami,” “The Cartel,” “Dancing Across Borders,” and “Budrus.”
In 1989, the Angelika Film Center & Cafe opened its doors in SOHO. The theater’s sophisticated atmosphere and the cafe’s gourmet food makes a perfect pair. You don’t need a movie ticket to enjoy the delicious pastries and coffee at the cafe. They are opened for breakfast, lunch and any time you need a caffine fix.
In 1970, the Film Forum began with only 50 folding chairs and one projector. Now, it is a 3-screen cinema with 489 seats. It might be small in size compared to the other independent theaters in New York City, but it is the city’s only autonomous non-profit cinema. How does the Film Forum operate?
As a cinema of ideas, Film Forum is committed to presenting an international array of films that treat diverse social, political, historical and cultural realities. Unlike commercial cinemas that primarily “book” high-grossing, Hollywood films, Film Forum’s programs are thoughtfully curated, with attention to unique cinematic qualities, historical importance individually or within a genre and, particularly for documentaries, relevance to today’s world.