Best theaters for date nights
Where to get close when the lights go down.
Mon Mar 1 2010
Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)
The last of the large "movie palaces" built in New York, the Ziegfeld opened in 1969 and has a huge 52-foot screen. The lush, red velvet walls and balcony seating will make you two feel like Gable and Lombard. 141 W 54th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-307-1862)
Impress your squeeze with your grasp of alt film and the outer boroughs. The theater dates to the 1930s, retaining that retro charm with an Art Deco marquee. Today, the movie fare is a mix of mainstream and art house, but also includes filmed ballet, opera and plays. 81-05 Lefferts Blvd at Austin St, Kew Gardens, Queens (718-441-9835, kewgardenstheatre.com)
After you gaze over the museum's Panorama model of the city and imagine the very block where you'll build your perfect life together, you and your honey can take in quality films at the monthly queer-focused Cinemarosa series. New York City Building, 111th St at 49th St, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Queens (718-592-9700). Third Sunday of the month 3--5pm, free.
While you won't find canoodle-friendly seats in FIAF's auditorium, you will find something much more likely to encourage late-night make-out sessions: French-language films. 55 E 59th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-355-6160, fiaf.org)
Want to impress an artsy date and win some nonmainstream points? From Thursday through Saturday, the 92YTribeca's 72-seat room minitheater screens a mix that includes classics, cult favorites (like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!), sing-alongs (like Purple Rain and Grease 2) and low-budget films from up-and-coming directors. Tickets are $12, and some films come with freebies (like a drink at the caf, which often has live entertainment). 200 Hudson St between Watts and Desbrosses Sts (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.com)
Go highbrow without going high-price at Symphony Space, where the auditorium theater screens international and family art fare, including a current series of HD opera performances by European companies. All films have English subtitles so that you can easily follow the drama. The seating in the smaller theater is folding chairs rather than cushy theater recliners, which is less than ideal for snuggling, but there's plenty of time for flirty pawing afterward, when you step over to unWined, Symphony Space's wine bar; on Fridays, a glass of sangria is just $3. 2537 Broadway at 95th St (212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org)
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Best movie theaters in New York City