Offbeat Movie Theaters in NYC


New York has a huge "independent" film scene and there are a good number of theaters which play first-rate independent or alternative films. Here's a list of some of the better known independent film houses:

Angelika Film Center Houston & Mercer, (212) 995-2000
The Angelika shows the best of off-beat and hip flicks. It's waiting area is a cafe; it's large (but often packed) with a high ceiling and gourmet goodies (croissant sandwiches, deserts, salads, fruit, cappuccino). The cafe is good enough to visit for lunch during the day, even if you're not there to catch a show.

BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Avenue between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, Brooklyn. (718) 636-4157
"First-run independent, classic American and foreign films, documentaries, retrospectives, festivals and sneak previews. Q&As with filmmakers, actors and screen writers. Perfect sightlines, dolby digital and surround sound." Subways: 4 or 5, 2 or 3 train to Atlantic Avenue.

Cinema Classics 332 East 11th Street, (212) 971-1015
This hip East Village screening room has become one of the hottest 'cheap' date spots in the city. Declared by the New York Post to be the first authentic revival house to open in New York since the Walter Reade Theater debuted at Lincoln Center in 1991, Cinema Classics has entertained thousands of movie lovers (and has shown more than 400 films) since it opened for business in 1998. Known for its offbeat screenings of the best foreign, cult, contemporary independent and classic Hollywood films, Cinema Classics shows a different film every 2-3 days. Admission is only $5.50.

Film Forum 209 West Houston, 727-8110
Film Forum shows the most eclectic political and artistic movies in the city. Like many of the movie theaters of the village, you can get popcorn for the movie or stop into the lobby for a quick cappuccino. The seats are comfy and often bear the names of celebrity donors.

The Kitchen 512 W. 19th St. bet. 10th and 11th Aves. (212) 255-5793
The Kitchen features avant-garde film and video, as well as more traditional theater and concert performances. They have special events with dinner and movie combinations. Most work is by "struggling" New York artists. Prices vary for features.

Millennium Film Workshop 66 E. 4th St. near Second Ave. (212) 673-0090
The Millennium is a workshop group presenting more than just film. Experimental films are often shown, and group classes and workshops are held throughout the year.

New York Film Academy 100 East 17th Street (212) 674-4300
In addition to teaching the art of filmmaking, the NYFA hosts regular film festivals in their 200 seat auditorium equipped with 16mm, 35mm and video projection with Dolby surround sound. Guests have included filmmakers such as Peter Bogdonavich and Al Pacino.

Ocularis at Galapagos 70 North 6th Street, between Wythe & Kent Avenues in historical Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Ocularis is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a forum for classic, international and repertory cinema, combined with innovative work by emerging independent, experimental and documentary video and film makers. Ocularis is run by a volunteer curatorial, administrative, technical, promotion and design staff of filmmakers, curators and cinephiles. Screenings are Sunday Nights at 7 & 9:30pm and Monday Nights 8:30pm unless otherwise noted.

Public Theater 425 Lafayette St. near Astor Place. (212) 260-2400
The Public shows a quirky selection of old movies, especially "art" classics and history of filmmaking breakthrough pictures.

The Screening Room 54 Varick Street, just below Canal. (212) 334-2100
Redefining dinner and a movie, "the SCREENING ROOM is a new concept in presenting filmed entertainment. It incorporates under one roof a 131 seat movie theater, a restaurant and bar, a lounge, and a private dining/screening room known as the i-room, where groups of up to 20 people can have a business meeting, view a film, experience multimedia software,and listen to music. Both the restaurant and movie theater are designed by Larry Bogdanow(Union Square Cafe, Cub Room), and have the feel of a 1940's movie palace."