Firmly on the cultural map, the West Village is home to New York’s longest continuously operating Off Broadway theater, and Robert Lyons’s New Ohio Theatre recently took up residence in the neighborhood. In addition to shopping, eating and drinking, popular things to do in the nabe include catching a new indie film at one of the city's best movie theaters, or a contemporary gallery show.
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Setting the pace for campy, good-natured fun (though not classic glamour), the city’s oldest cabaret is still going strong at 55. A generous mix of regulars and tourists laugh and sing along with drag performers, comedians and rising stars in the cabaret room on the second floor. (Special showcases are still in the intimate game room, which is also upstairs and has a separate bar.) In the ground-floor piano bar, the merry singing waitstaff is entertaining enough to avoid charges of gimmickry.
The long-darkened 1930s Waverly was once again illuminated in 2005 when it was reborn as a modern three-screen art house, showing the latest indie hits, choice midnight cult items and occasional foreign classics. Actors and directors often introduce their work here on opening night, and the high-toned café provides sweets, lattes and substantials.
Located in the former site of the Food and Maritime Trades High School, this center for the LGBT community was established in 1983 and is now the second-largest center of its kind wordwide. It hosts meetings and events for more than 300 groups and receives more than 6,000 visitors weekly.