Only a few short years ago (when I was a struggling writer), I used to go to the theaters on weekends to escape the summer NYC heat. I could buy a ticket for $8 and watch several movies over the course of the day. My average cost of a movie over one day dropped to $2 a movie.
Last week I saw a movie in the Times Square theater and let me tell you, it had to be the worst movie experience I have ever had in the city. Babies were crying, the movie started 25-minutes late and after it did start, the sound wasn’t synched. I (and about 20 other angry movie goers) tried to complain to the General Manager, but he was obliquely out of sight.
That will never happen again. Not to me, and not to you.
Here is the 212Access list of the Top-5 places to watch a movie in New York City. Of course, we wouldn’t be giving you an accurate picture unless we also included a list of the Top-5 places to avoid. Movies should be an experience and that means everything matters: sound, video, crowd, popcorn and the cleanliness were taken into account while compiling this list.
Top-5 Best Places to Watch a Movie in NYC
1- Union Square (Broadway & 13th Street) – Stadium seating, good looking crowd, fresh popcorn, awesome surround sound, attentive staff. Everything you want and need in a movie theater is located here.
2- AMC Loews Lincoln Square (Broadway & 68th) – This theater comes into a close second to the Union Square theater. It has all of the same amenities and service for the uptown crowd. We picked Union Square because the demographic skews younger, just like the 212Access reader.
3- Film Forum (209 W. Houston) – Wouldn’t it be awesome to go back in time and see black and white films with Audrey Hepburn or Woody Allen or Cary Grant? You can experience the golden era of theaters at Film Forum because everything here takes you back in time.
4- City Cinemas Paris Theater (59th Street & 5th Avenue) – Similar to Film Forum. It’s a trip back in time.
5- City Cinemas Village East (2nd Avenue & 13th Street)
Top-5 Worst Places to Watch a Movie in NYC
1) Regal Stadium (42nd Street and 8th Avenue) – Everything is horrible about this theater. The theater smells, young parents bring their babies to the movies, the popcorn is stale, the sound quality is poor. The demographic is poor. The employees are poor, which makes them unhappy with their jobs. It’s home to tourists in the most populated area of the City. Enough said. Avoid this theater.
2) Regal Stadium (42nd Street and 8th Avenue) – Times Square is so bad that it should be written up twice. It’s the number one and number two worst places to watch a movie in the City.
3) AMC Loews 34th Street (and 8th Avenue) – Don’t sit behind a tall person here or you won’t be able to watch the movie.
4) City Cinemas (59th Street and Third Avenue)
5) AMC Loews Kips Bay (Second Avenue & 33rd Street)