Dazzling audiences since 1911, Plays and Players boasts a troupe of talented thespians ready to take on Lost in Yonkers, a play that has won four Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and countless fist pumps. The complex and sharp-witted coming-of-age story follows two brothers sent to live in Yonkers, New York. Written by Neil Simon and directed by Betty Chomentowski, the approximately two-hour comedic drama depicts the struggles the brothers face after their father sends them to live with their immigrant grandmother, simple-minded aunt, and hooligan uncle. During the performance's 15-minute intermission, audience members can wipe tears of laughter from their eyes or mend the tears in their skulls incurred while thinking too deeply about the play's lessons on family relationships.
Tucked into the historic David Garrick Hall, Society Hill Playhouse has been showcasing off-Broadway productions and comedic musicals since its inception in 1960. Its accessible roster of performances, which have included Nunsense and Lafferty’s Wake, belie Victorian-inspired decor such as pressed tin walls and refined seats that don’t talk about their feelings.
Talk Cinema offers an industry-insider peek of upcoming foreign and independent pictures, all curated by long-time film critic Harlan Jacobson. Guests receive the indiscreet honor of previewing the freshest films, followed by a discussion led by a guest speaker who might be a notable critic, a filmmaker, or an artisanal popcorn chef. Attendees have no prior knowledge of the day's screening, giving viewers a roulette of genres to experience, including psychological thrillers, romantic dramas, and heart-warming documentaries on the evolution of ice-cube trays.
The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.
Awarded Best Movie Night by Philadelphia magazine in 2011, Cinema 16:9 projects theatrical run movies along with independent, foreign, and classic films in surround sound and full HD projection. Comprising two screens and 100 comfortable stadium-style seats, the theater also welcomes visitors to BYOB while catching a flick.
With a passion for historic movie theaters—and a simultaneous disappointment with the unoriginality of major multiplexes—founder David Titus has created a modern moviegoing experience that maintains the uniqueness and charm of Golden Age movie theaters. Along with an eclectic list of screenings, the theater features creative programming such as Terrible Tuesday, during which audiences mock terrible films; 8-Bit Warrior Wednesday, at which attendees play classic NES and SuperNES games on the big screen; and Dinner and a Movie, which includes discounted movie tickets and discounted meals at great local restaurants.
For those who like to watch movies at home, the theater’s movie-rental program features more than 3,000 titles on DVD and Blu-ray. All-out cinephiles can benefit from the theater’s membership program, which offers plans with unlimited movie tickets and rentals. The theater also hosts private movie screenings for birthday parties and challenging knitting parties and boasts a full concession stand that doles out organic and local foodstuffs in eco-friendly containers.
An elegant fusion of Old-World, small-town charm and state-of-the-art technology, Narberth Theatre allows moviegoers to see box-office hits from the comfort of renovated, stadium-style seats. Gilded accents, white columns, and pale-green walls give the space a nostalgic vibe. The digital projection and sound are decidedly modern, as is a 3-D system that makes films more lifelike than the sweating statues of a balmy wax museum.
An endless amount of stories flicker across the screen at these cinemas, which offer stadium seating and digital sound. The theater plays films chosen from Hollywood’s newest releases, featuring stars just plucked from the vines where they grow in the California hills. Between whispered critiques of each preview, audience members can wash down fluffy kernels of popcorn with soda from the concession stand. The theater also opens its doors for birthday parties and large private screenings for up to 300 guests.