Is there anything better than large comfortable seats, the smell of fresh, buttery popcorn, and an exciting movie on an enormous movie screen? We think not! We’ve sought out some of our favorite New York theaters noted for certain distinguishing qualities.
Best movie-theater popcorn
• Film Forum pops plain, simple Orville Redenbacher kernels fresh before each screening in peanut oil (if you’re allergic to peanuts, please be aware) and nothing else. You won’t find butter here, or any topping but sea salt. http://filmforum.org/
• Walter Reade Theater, which is part of The New York Film Festival, pops Hi Pop in canola oil and popcorn salt. For more flavor, white cheddar, yellow cheddar or red pepper flavor toppings are offered. Indie movies go along well with the yummy popcorn. http://www.filmlinc.com/
• IFC Center uses organic kernels and real butter. It also offers flavor toppings: Old Bay and cinnamon sugar. The theatre’s five screens focus on independent films. http://www.ifccenter.com/
Best theaters for date nights
• Ziegfeld Theater first opened in 1969 and is now the last of the large “movie palaces” built in New York. The lush, red velvet walls and balcony seating will make your date feel extra special. http://www.bowtiecinemas.com/locations/ziegfeld/
• French Institute Alliance Française shows French-language films. We all know French is the language of love! http://fiaf.org/
• Kew Gardens Cinemas shows a mix of mainstream and art house films. Its Art Deco origins are sure to add a dash of romance to your evening. http://www.kewgardenstheatre.com/index
• Sony Wonder Technology Lab shows free screenings of popular hits every Saturday at 2 p.m. The theater fills up fast, so reserve tickets early. http://www.sonywondertechlab.com/
• Museum of Modern Art shows free movies Friday afternoons. http://www.moma.org/
• Cobble Hill Cinemas offers admission for just $6.50 all day Tuesdays and Thursdays and before 5 p.m. on weekdays. What a steal! http://cobblehilltheatre.com/
With so many categories of theaters, we had to split New York’s Best Movie Theaters into two parts. Part two includes documentaries, historic movie houses, classic films, and restaurant showings. Who doesn’t love the movies?