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What it's like to see a film at NYC's new luxury movie theater

Will Gleason

The South Street Seaport’s buzzed-about new movie theater iPic, which officially opened this weekend, is by far the most luxurious option for New Yorkers looking for a night out at the movies. It is also, I am convinced, the worst possible place to ever, ever see a movie alone.

Due to a last-minute cancellation, I ended up going to a screening of The Girl on the Train there over the weekend solo. Well not completely, because I was also schlepping two bags full of materials and equipment from work.

After arriving at the theater (a glowing, gorgeous presence on Fulton Street that already makes the neighborhood seem more lively), I made my way up to the third-floor bar. The bar is library-themed which seems a little rude to movies, to be honest. I didn’t come here to check out a book. I’ve already read The Girl on the Train.

Bags and I tried to get to the front of the packed bar to order a drink to no avail. We then made our way down to the second floor where the theaters and concessions are. Each theater is separated between green and orange seats. The plebes in the green seats have to order their food and drinks before the movie here, while orange seaters have a personal waiter during the course of the movie. (Tickets range from $14–$29 for members.)

A short time after settling into our two-person luxury pod with reclining seats, our waiter Kevin came over and introduced himself. He was also excited to see The Girl on the Train. Over the course of the film, I was able to try some absolutely delicious Reuben croquettes and a perfect slider. Bags, sitting across from me in our intimate cinema pod, had nothing.

Other than the fact that the set-up definitely lends itself to date night, the overall movie-going experience at iPic is very comfortable. Kevin was attentive, but not disruptive. (In fact, I’m pretty sure he purposefully stayed in the shadows during the more intense Emily Blunt monologues.) And the reclining seats and complimentary blanket and pillow are very business-class-upgrade. Though the pillow did seem like it could be a bit problematic during more slow-paced dramas.

If you’re willing to pay the price and have someone you wouldn’t mind sharing a pod with for a few hours, it’s definitely a fun new cinema option worth checking out.

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