Occupying a newly renovated facility in the historic Astoria Studio complex where filmmakers have been bringing movies to life since 1927, The Museum of the Moving Image sits on the campus of one of the largest film and television production facilities on the East Coast. Established in 1981 by the Astoria Motion Picture and Television Center Foundation, the museum has been called “an amazing place” by Frommer’s, while Fodor’s says it is “twice as nice as before” its 2011 renovation. Recently, the museum has been awarded the titles of Best One-Spot-Satisfies-All Museum and Best for Film Fanatics by Time Out New York, as well as Coolest Museum Ever by Conde Nast Traveler and Best Museum–2013 by The Village Voice.
The museum displays a collection of over 130,000 movie artifacts. More than 1,400 of those are displayed in the museum's core Behind the Screen exhibition, with objects ranging from historical cameras to makeup used on the set of Sex and the City. Along with relics, the exhibit details the filmmaking process of early pictures such as The Great Train Robbery. For an interactive look at modern-day filmmaking, guests can create their own stop-motion animations at computer-based interactive stations.
The museum's ongoing First Look series gives visitors a chance to watch brand new films before they hit the festival circuit, and in 2015, the museum plans to launch an entire gallery dedicated to Jim Henson. When it's not chronicling filmmaking efforts, the museum annually screens more than 400 films in its cutting-edge 267-seat Sumner M. Redstone Theater and 68-seat screening room. Selections run the gamut from restored archival prints and new international releases to silent films scored with professional live music, a far better soundtrack than audience members humming their favorite movie themes at the same time.
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.
The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in the West Village is a major New York theater scene mainstay, having produced and premiered more than sixty shows in the past 19 years. That’s in addition to many public and private readings of works that aren’t quite ready for the stage, followed by talkback sessions between the audience and playwrights. A new addition to Rattlestick’s repertoire is Theater:Village, an arts festival that involves staging five different shows simultaneously, all around a central theme. The intimate space means something meaningful is always happening, and the 99 cozy red velvet seats offer a comfortable counterpoint to the often challenging and cutting-edge material on the stage. With hard-hitting shows like How to Make Friends and then Kill Them and The Correspondent, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has truly embraced its role as a New York theater community mainstay, and a home for adventurous playwrights to hone their craft.
Situated on the mezzanine level of Lincoln Center, opposite 65th street from the Metropolitan Opera House, the Walter Reade Theater is the city’s premiere destination for curated foreign art, rare and off-beat film presentations. The Film Society of Lincoln Center uses the Walter Reade Theater to screen an average of four films a day, often curating the shows around directors, national film schools and various film styles, as well as more esoteric themes. The well-appointed theater seats more than two hundred and fifty patrons, each with plush seats and great sightlines to the screen. A stage area in front also frequently accommodates speakers, including popular Q & A sessions with directors, writers and actors during special screenings. An art gallery off the entryway exhibits any array of cinematic art, including rare movie posters.
Located in a former fire station, this cinema in Greenwich Village is the neighborhood’s longest running. Since 1963, Cinema Village has survived on a steady diet of art-house and indie programming, which has included documentaries, animation, cult classics, foreign films and festival screenings. Now decked out for the digital era, the three screens continue to play to audiences of up to 156 inside the tight, spartan theaters. But the lack of creature comforts matters little to the dedicated patrons who come for the shows they can’t get anywhere else in the city. And should you arrive too early to grab a seat, waiting space is always available in the small, dim downstairs lounge.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers explode with ramshackle percussion, frenetic footwork, and musically inspired jokery amidst myriad trademark juggling routines. The daffiness is dashed with danger as the kilt-sporting Brothers juggle an arsenal of hazardous objects in their signature act, "The Terror," while an element of impromptu excellence enters during "The Gamble," an act that involves the juggling of personal items procured from the obliging, applauding audience.