The Kent Theatre in Flatbush isn't just a movie theater—it's a movie star. A fixture in the neighborhood for many decades, the space was a favorite hangout of a teenage Woody Allen in the 1950s. Perhaps that was the reason he chose the Kent when scouting locations for The Purple Rose of Cairo, his paean to the early, less spaceship-filled days of cinema. The movie house still retains its vintage charm today, welcoming patrons with dramaturgical masks on its marquee and new releases on its three screens.
With an American flag hanging from its brick façade and its name scrawled in red cursive atop an old-fashioned marquee, The Pavilion Theater looks like it sprung from the screen of a 1950s film. But in reality, it stands right in the middle of Brooklyn. The two-story neighborhood picture house combines both of these worlds, whisking away audiences to another era with its quaint charm and sepia ushers while staying current with a rotating roster of newly released films.
Alpine Cinemas eight theaters make current movies come alive as massive screens merge with Dolby Digital sound to keep each crowd of 200 or more immersed in the action. The signature theater injects even more realism with roomy stadium seats and 3-D capabilities that add an extra dimension without having to bring a 20-foot friend to act out the movie. Before shows, guests can stock up on refreshments at the snack bar equipped with savory popcorn and bubbly soda.
Tribeca Cinemas screens the latest works by renowned national and international filmmakers, but not on a new-movie-every-Friday schedule. Instead, Tribeca's two theaters hosts festivals throughout the year, including the famed Tribeca Film Festival, the Architecture & Design Film Festival, NY Television Festival, and Vision Fest. In between fests, the theater's curators stick to foreign films and repertory classics, which they screen using both digital projections and projectors for 35mm and 16mm reels. They also do private screenings and theater rentals.
But entertainment at Tribeca Cinemas isn't just limited to what's onscreen. Soirees at The Varick Room, the theater's industrial-chic event venue, run the gamut from film premieres and rehearsal dinners to lavish cocktail parties. Backed by glowing red letters that spell "LIQUORS," bartenders whip up cocktails themed around each event, while the wait-staff distributes beverages and bottle service to a soundtrack of live entertainment.
From its inception in the 1980s performance-art scene in New York, the Blue Man Group’s shows have evolved from impromptu sets in Central Park to stages across the world. The eponymous blue-skinned trio, described by the Chicago Tribune as “ever-curious, ever-hopeful, ever-restless,” remains unchanged by its more than two-decade tenure, still bewildered by the telescoping tubes of PVC piping it uses as instruments and the appreciative applause of the audience. But the group's shows are nothing if not timely, deftly posing questions about technology and stardom.
The spectacle is equal parts aural and visual, with live rock bands accompanying the men as they tap out rhythms on tangled snarls of pipe and flail wobbly poles covered in neon lights. Videos provide context for the speechless drummers, as well as a constant stream of wry humor.
If your name were Aristotle, it would be hard not to be profound. Aristotle "Telly" Savalas––the actor who exuded '70s masculinity as TV cop Kojak––proves not to be an exception. The smirking, self-aware alpha male swaggers on stage to piano accompaniment in Who Loves You, Baby?, a retro lounge comedy show where Tom DiMenna embodies Telly's persona––complete with a bald cap, a holster, and a butterfly-collared shirt tucked into a leisure suit.