Israel Film Center’s name says it all. The establishment corrals Israeli-themed films to promote and expand the country’s presence in the world of cinema. The center’s library of feature films, short films, television shows, and documentaries gives members easy access to home screenings without requiring a working knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System. Meanwhile, the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan brings many of these to the big screen and provides educational opportunities through classes and online materials. The center also sponsors a film festival that rolls out its diverse lineup of flicks over eight days at venues throughout the city.
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.
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.
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.
Abbey Theatre veteran Ray Yeates takes audiences on a guided tour of the Irish émigré’s psyche with an uplifting one-man performance set amid the Irish economy's stunning collapse. In this standalone sequel to his internationally produced In High Germany, acclaimed playwright Dermot Bolger reconnects audiences with Eoin, an expat back in the country of his birth after an extended stay in Germany. Armed with no more than his sharp wits and the stitching on his polo shirt, Ray Yeates convincingly transforms the intimate West Village stage into Dublin Airport for a riveting 75-minute performance. Making use of airports’ birthday-clown-like tendency to evoke existential dread, the play extracts an uplifting story of friendship and family from the midst of a late-night boarding area.