The Picture House's very first film flickered across the screen in 1921, and today, the recently restored nonprofit continues its legacy by showcasing a variety of new independent features, foreign films, and classic cinematic wonders. The theater projects hard-to-find flicks in both its 300-seat main house and intimate 20-seat screening room, eliciting laughter, kick-starting sorrow, and rekindling dreams of finding one's destiny during a battle with merpeople. To keep guests on the back edge of their seats, the owners frequently curate and host dedicated series that highlight family-friendly flicks, international pictures, and acclaimed documentaries.
Just before a film leaves the theatre, the movie lovers at Empire's Columbia Park Cinemas throw it a fitting farewell party. Each week, on what they appropriately dub Last Chance Thursday, the cinema hosts a special for a film coming to the end of its run. Of course, there's plenty of cinema magic on display every day of the week. The cinema showcases first-run movies in all of its stadium-style theaters, and ongoing renovations mean movie goers follow the plot in comfort. For example, Empire's Columbia Park Cinemas plans on adding reclining seats in the near future.
On Thursdays, professional comedians point out the movie’s most obvious plot holes and most subtle Fellini homages while audiences partake in drinking games and dish their own commentary. Then on weekends, they offer brunch, along with comedy classics and marathon viewings of comedy legends.
Once commonplace in American moviegoing, the revival house itself now needs a revival. Enter Rosebud Theatre, whose single screen is solely dedicated to the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age—the theater even draws its name from one such film, Citizen Kane_’s famed sled. Built around a new theme each month, the theater’s programming ranges from classic musicals such as _Yankee Doodle Dandy to foreign staples such as Jacques Tati’s inventive Mr. Hulot’s Holiday. The intimate 94-seat theater shows every movie digitally, which allows CGI dinosaurs to roam Charlie Chaplin’s movies just as he always intended.
Though now known as Westwood Cinema, the classic marquee that hangs above its front entrance still bears its original name: Pascack. It opened under this name in 1928 as a venue for film and vaudeville performances. The theater would survive the decline of vaudeville and adapt to the audience's interests, upgrading from a single screen to four, and ending the tradition of prefacing every screening by giving away war-era jobs. Now, the cinema fills those four screens with first-run Hollywood hits.