Best movie-theater popcorn

  • Film Forum (Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson)

  • Walter Reade (Photograph: Roxana Marroquin)

  • IFC (Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson)

  • Landmark Sunshine (Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson)

Film Forum (Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson)

1. Film Forum
Naked Orville Redenbacher kernels are popped fresh before each screening in peanut oil and nothing else. Looking for butter? You won’t find any: The only topping on offer here is sea salt. And believe us, it’s all you’ll need. 209 W Houston St between Sixth Ave and Varick St (212-727-8110, Small (85oz) $4, large (130oz) $5.

2. Walter Reade Theater
The brand here is Hi Pop, cooked up with canola oil and Morton popcorn salt. For more flavor, you can sprinkle on white cheddar, yellow cheddar or red pepper toppings. 70 Lincoln Center Plaza between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave (212-875-5600, Small (32oz) $2.50, medium (46oz) $3.50, large (85oz) $4.

3. IFC Center
The keys to this snack stand’s high ranking can be summed up in a few words: organic kernels and real butter. Again, you’ll find flavor toppings here—Old Bay and cinnamon sugar—but what we love is that the IFC is not afraid of the b-word. You shouldn’t be, either. 323 Sixth Ave at W 3rd St (212-924-7771, Small (46oz) $5, medium (85oz) $6, large (130oz) $7.

4. Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema
The Landmark starts with Orville Redenbacher, like our No. 1 winner, but the difference here is that the corn is popped in a blend of coconut and corn oils and butter-flavored salt, giving it a slightly more robust flavor. It’s still good movie eats, but what really sells this snack is the topping selection. Choose from ten different shakers of powdery goodness: Parmesan and garlic, ranch, sour cream and onion, jalapeo, nacho cheddar, white cheddar, barbecue, Cajun, apple cinnamon and chocolate marshmallow. 141-143 E Houston St between First and Second Aves (212-260-7289, Small (85oz) $5.50, medium (130oz) $6.50, large (170oz) $7.50.

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