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.
Originally called the Austin, this vintage 1930s theater has seen several ups and downs in its history, from years as a second-run double-feature house to a red-tinted stint that got it shut down by the city. In its current incarnation, the Kew Gardens Cinemas flaunts restored art-deco flair alongside modern projectors and molar-rocking surround sound. Stadium seating and a fully stocked concession stand further complement current flicks by granting every set of eyes a great view and every set of dental braces something to hold during scary scenes. Swing by the theater with a friend to snack on your own small popcorns (a $5 value each) and sip sodas (a $3.50 value each) while enjoying a vintage movie-viewing experience that beats watching Betamax tapes on your Great Uncle Vinnie's 1978 Zenith.
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.
One of NoHo’s most well-known entertainment venues, the Astor Place Theater has been home to Off-Broadway productions since 1968, when Al Pacino starred in Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx. In 1991, it acquired the Blue Man Group, an interactive, audience-participatory theatrical experience unlike any other performance in New York City. This venue holds up to 298 people, and includes a mezzanine level, a main floor and a special poncho “splash zone,” where guests are provided with water-resistant gear to help keep them dry during the often-messy Blue Man Group shows. The exterior of the theater is designed in a Greek Revival style, and is one of the oldest buildings in the area, dating back to 1831, when it was a bustling part of Colonnade Row.
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.