Historic movie houses

These storied theaters recall a time devoid of flat-screen ads and leftover garbage.



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  • Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

  • Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

  • BAM Rose Cinemas

  • BAM Rose Cinemas

  • Paris Theatre (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

  • Paris Theatre (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

  • CC Village East

Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

1. Clearview Cinema’s Ziegfeld
With its opulent red carpeting and curtains, gold flourishes and fancified ladies’ room in which every stall has its own sink, this is the only place in the city where you and 1,161 of your closest friends can bask in that over-the-top movie-house vibe. 141 W 54th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-307-1862, clearviewcinemas.com)

2. BAM Rose Cinemas
BAM’s cinema was a music hall back in 1908, and now when you head there you can see movies framed by the theater’s swooping, carved proscenium (which is much classier than natty black masking curtains). 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-636-4100, bam.org)

3. Paris Theatre
Marlene Dietrich famously cut the ribbon at this theater’s opening in 1948, and you can still get the feeling of European sophistication from the ornate balcony of its luxe auditorium. 4 W 58th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-688-3800, theparistheatre.com)

4. CC Village East Cinemas
Evidence of this cinema’s history as a 1920s Yiddish theater remains even now, including its “Moorish Revival” decor and a huge Star of David in the elaborately decorated main screening room. 181 Second Ave between 11th and 12th Sts (914-529-6893, villageeastcinema.com)

5. Kew Gardens Cinemas
The Art Deco ceiling mural dates back to the 1930s. Considering the subject matter, which includes what appear to be flying flamingos, it might be one of the tackier works that survived the era. 81-05 Lefferts Blvd at Austin St, Kew Gardens, Queens (718-441-9835, kewgardenstheatre.com)

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