Must-Visit New York City Movie Theaters
If there’s one thing all New Yorkers love – it’s movies. No one can deny that the city has amazing locations, stars, and stories that make New York City perfect for the silver screen. And the myriad options that New Yorkers have for watching their favorite flicks are even more perfect. Yes, you can always choose a film from Netflix and watch from your couch, but going to the movies is an event, people! How can you stay home when you have these fabulous movie theaters in NYC?
Located in Williamsburg, this cinema mostly focuses on third run and indie films while offering the occasional blockbuster, but the real reason to visit the Nitehawk is for its event programming. Nitehawk’s signature series “Country Brunchin” offers brunch and western films, while “Spoons, Toons, and Booze Gone Wild” focuses on cartoons alongside booze and free cereal. And yes, of course, the theater offers food and drink to sip as you watch any movie. There’s also a Nitehawk location in Prospect Park.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Their slogan is “film lives here,” and the Film Society of Lincoln Center works hard to live up to its tagline. Founded in 1969, this society is best known for its two festivals – the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films – but also offers international, year-round programming. No other theater in NYC promises as diverse a slate as the Film Society of Lincoln Center – or the sheer number of events (filmmaker talks, retrospectives, galas, and more) to support the films.
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
Situated on Houston in SoHo, Sunshine is larger than you would expect once you purchase your ticket from the old-school street booth. While its focus is on art-house programming, Landmark Sunshine also hosts great events through its film club, which includes Q&As with filmmakers and special event screenings with the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Plus – the options for movie snacks are some of the best in New York.
The Paris Theatre
If you’ve spent the afternoon walking up and down Central Park, rest your feet at The Paris Theatre – a blink-and-you-miss-it theater just south of Central Park and across from the Plaza. Sadly, the Paris was supposed to close in 2019, but Netflix came to the rescue and leased the iconic movie theater. The Paris will now be used for Netflix-original films and events. Thanks to Netflix, the Paris lives on.
Dying to see a film that’s nearly impossible to find? At some point or another, IFC has probably screened it. The IFC Center screens a wide variety of movies, from the Academy Award-nominated shorts to sci-fi cult classics, and is known for showing the best in independent film. Be sure to go early so you can catch the short film that screens before every feature (thanks to its Short Attention Span Cinema series), and take time after your movie to browse the Posteritati Gallery of awesome vintage movie posters.
Lincoln Center Cinema and IFC photos by Ajay Suresh.