Best theaters for Bollywood films

Catch Indian films at these venues.

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  • Big Cinemas

  • AMC Empire 25 (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

Big Cinemas

1. Big Cinemas Manhattan (formerly The ImaginAsian)
Located around the corner from Bloomingdale’s but closer to the Roosevelt Island tram, this 193-seat space shows the latest from India and is currently being renovated, with the lobby a mess of white plaster walls. (Doesn’t sound glamorous? The glamour’s up on screen.) But they serve samosas (two $4.75, three $6.75) and draw buzzing Indian singles and families, especially on opening weekends. The cheering crowds set the mood—and make the theater formerly known as the ImaginAsian our No. 1. Buy tickets ahead of time if the film stars a Khan—Aamir, Shahrukh, etc. 239 E 59th St between Second and Third Aves (212-371-6682, us.bigcinemas.com). $12, Wed $5. Films are usually subtitled.

2. AMC Empire 25
AMC is a generic space to watch an exotic movie, but it’s also not far from one of our favorite fast-food joints, Indus Express (48 W 48th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves). 234 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (888-262-4386, amcentertainment.com). $12.50. Films are usually subtitled.

3. The Bombay Theater
Open but undergoing renovations, this historic spot has a peeling Art Deco marquee, a dilapidated lobby and, hidden inside, a 300-seat auditorium. It must have been beautiful when it opened in 1940. The happy news: The samosas (two $4.75, three $6.75) are perfectly flaky, and you’ll find deluxe rocking seats in the back (traditionally prime seats for moviegoers in India). If only it were closer to...anything. The nearest subway is the 169th Street stop on the F train, which is then a 15-minute bus ride to the theater. 6825 Fresh Meadow Ln between 68th and 69th Aves, Flushing, Queens (718-358-2929, us.bigcinemas.com). $10. Films are generally subtitled.

4. AMC Loews Village 7
East Villagers not in love with Kajol have probably puzzled for years over the strange titles on the otherwise-mainstream-heavy marquee. In addition to screening Indian films, this is a standard old-school AMC movie house, though its theaters are smaller than those at AMC Empire, and there’s no stadium seating. If you’re looking to catch a Hindi flick before a run to Curry Hill, jai ho. 66 Third Ave between 11th and 12th Sts (888-262-4386). $12.50. Films are usually subtitled.


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