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.
The 2011 Brooklyn Film Festival unites filmmakers and filmwatchers for 10 days of cinematic parties and screenings, including more than 100 premieres. Full-festival pass holders receive admission to all fetes and most events, preferred entrance to all showings up to 15 minutes before each picture-show begins, and control of neighboring filmgoers’ ejector seats. Independent movies from across the globe will light up formerly empty screens at venues throughout Brooklyn, namely indieScreen and Brooklyn Heights Cinema, under the theme of "Plot," which focuses on the cultural and political actions of people, nations, and scheming pieces of land.
Inside the pitch-black Touch Tunnel, you're completely blind. On your hands and knees, you crawl forward, relying solely on your other senses to lead you through the darkness. The tunnel is only 80 feet long, but the exit might as well be miles away. After finally emerging safe (and sighted) from the most popular exhibit at Liberty Science Center, a family could still spend four more hours at the many hands-on attractions and experiences designed to enlighten visitors about the power and fun of science.
All told, Liberty Science Center houses a dozen galleries for interactive exploration. Visitors can perform surgery on a 3D robotic simulator; tip-toe across a steel girder hovering 18 feet in the air; or even connect with more than 90 different animals, including giant fish and a family of tamarin monkeys. At I Explore, young scientists ages 2–5 learn about the world around them while launching colorful balls into the air or using a xylophone made of stone slabs. When it's time to relax, the whole family can visit the largest IMAX dome theater in the U.S., which transports onlookers from outer space to the deepest depths of the oceans and just about everywhere in between.