Niche movie theaters
Wed Aug 24 2011
Illustration: Dan Shefelman
Find a film house for your every whim.
This 27-seat venue, housed in a former bodega, is dedicated to "rarities and oddities" ranging from the rewarding highs of Satyajit Ray to the delightful lows of Dnyay Kurtaran Adam, otherwise known as the Turkish Star Wars.
Perfect for: Obscurists who won't settle for what's out on DVD.
Go see: Below the Brain, an experimental doc about Brooklyn's West Indian- American Day Carnival, playing nightly Fri 2--Sept 9. 124 South 3rd St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (no phone, spectacletheater.com). $5.
Williamsburg's newest cinematic addition includes tableside food service during the movies, but head to the caf for custom cocktails themed to what's playing, like a Tabloid-inspired mix of cognac, absinthe, bitters and lemon dubbed the Chloroform.
Perfect for: Cocktail geeks with a taste for indie film.
Go see: "VHS Goes to College," a back-to-school installment of the Nitehawk's monthly tape-only series "VHS Vault," on Thu 25 at 9:30pm. 136 Metropolitan Ave between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-3980, nitehawkcinema.com). $11, seniors and children $9.
This single-screen, balconied Art Deco throwback has a fondness for Gallic titles when it's not home to glitzy red-carpet premieres—fitting, since it was originally operated by venerable French film company Path.
Perfect for: Francophiles in the mood for classy moviegoing.
Go see: Sarah's Key, for which Kristin Scott Thomas's bilingual talents nabbed her a Csar nomination, playing through Sept 15. 4 W 58th St between Grand Army Plaza and Sixth Ave (212-688-3800, theparistheatre.com). $13, seniors and children under 12 $9.
This nonprofit Harlem theater is devoted to nonfiction programming, just as you'd expect from founder Albert Maysles, who with his late brother directed documentary classics such as Grey Gardens.
Perfect for: Doc lovers who relish the chance to talk to filmmakers postscreening.
Go see: The Maysles Cinema is going dark for a few weeks, but returns after Labor Day; check out Philip Solomon's experimental American Falls on Sept 17 at 7:30pm. 343 Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) between 127th and 128th Sts (212-582-6050, mayslesinstitute.org/cinema). Suggested donation $10.
reRun Gastropub Theater
Though it's housed in a bar, popcorn is what this Dumbo theater has become known for—and it's not hard to see why, with topping choices that include bacon fat, paprika and herb salt.
Perfect for: Popcorn snobs eager to take a chance on up-and-coming filmmakers.
Go see: A Horrible Way to Die, the microbudget mumblecore movement's answer to the horror genre, on Thu 25 at 10pm. 147 Front St between Jay and Pearl Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-766-9110, reruntheater.com). $7.50, free with a $7 purchase if you arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime.
BIG Cinemas Manhattan
What used to be the ImaginAsian Theater has been revamped into a Bollywood palace, complete with a chandelier and roomy seating to keep audiences comfy through those epic runtimes.
Perfect for: Bollywood fans that like seeing song-and-dance numbers on the big screen.
Go see: Whatever's playing. The films scheduled at this single-screen theater are usually subtitled. 239 E 59th St between Second and Third Aves (212-371-6683,
us.bigcinemas.com/cinemas.asp?cid=1009). $13, seniors and children $9; Wed $7.
The film programming at this downtown cultural center often has an interactive bent, with sing-alongs, quote-alongs, critic conversations and screenings that encourage audience tipsiness.
Perfect for: Moviegoers not content to sit quietly in the dark.
Go see: Shadow of a Doubt on Wed 7 at 7:30pm—the Hitchcock thriller will be hosted and analyzed by The Daily Show's Elliott Kalan and Rory Albanese. 200 Hudson St at Canal St (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org). $12.