Recommended theaters in NYC?
posted by anomie666 on February 24, 2006 at 1:12 pm
I apologize if this isn’t quite “news”, but I’d like your opinions. I’m need to get out of Boston for a weekend trip to New York and would love to visit two or three classic theaters there. I’m not going to go this weekend (I’m probably going to be there March 3rd – 5th), so I’ll have time to figure out what I’m going to see and do.
What theaters would you recommend I check out? I might not actually see a movie at each of them, but I’d like to take some pictures look around.
I’d only ask that the theaters are currently open (showing films) and that it is relatively close or walkable from public transportation.
I apologize for the typos!
If you want to stick to mid town try the Ziegfeld. For photos only, Radio City is an obvious choice. Just about everything in Manhattan is close to public transit as long as you can navigate the subways.
I would contact Theatre Historical Society and they could put you in touch with their New York Director—that person would have the “in” to some of the very cool theatres available to see.
The Ziegfeld Theatre is a 60’s style single screen that still shows movies. Take the Radio City Music Hall tour. But for seeing a film in a classic theatre here in NYC, your about 20 years to late. To visit other than the above two. The Beacon Theatre (2124 Broadway) they do concerts. The former Loew’s 175 Street Theatre (currently a church). The former Warner Hollywood Theatre (currently the Times Square Church @ 51st & Broadway). The New Amsterdam Theatre holds tours of the theatre in the morning. (But no films) The Broadway Theatre @ 52nd & Broadway where Cinerama first opened (now playing “The Color Purple musical). Other than seeing a Broadway show, that’s the only theatres still running. Over in Jersey City the former Loew’s Jersey City still run films from time to time, but you will have to check with them. Also nearby to the Loew’s Jersey is the former Stanley Theatre which holds tours daily. (Sorry no films)
Don’t know if your local theaters do morning shows, but they do in NYC and there are no ticket or concession lines and you get your choice of the best seats without the nightime trash element.
Cheapest theater in mid town is Loews on West 34th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues at $9.50 as opposed to $10.75 everywhere else.
Go to an 11AM movie and you leave with the day still ahead of you….
The Ziegfeld is showing all three Indiana Jones movies for one week starting March 3rd. The Lafayette Theater in Suffern NY (easily accessible by bus or train from midtown Manhattan) is showing “Rebel Without a Cause” on March 4th at 11:30 AM. If your trip gets postponed (or you decide to come back again!), the Loew’s Jersey will be showing the 1956 version of “The Ten Commandments” on March 26th.
I think these three theaters are the best the area has to offer if you want to see a movie. But I agree wholeheartedly with William: you should definitely take the guided tour of Radio City Music Hall.
There is also the large (not IMAX) theatre at the Loews (AMC) Lincoln Square multiplex. This theatre has a balcony and looks like an old time theatre inside.
Check out www.loewsjersey.org for the weekend of the March 10th. Rebel Without A Cause, East Of Eden, Bad day At Black Rock – CinemaScopE on a 50' screen, a Loeweeeeeeeeee’s Wonder Theater – Spence, Dean. Pinch me – I must be dreaming – Hello Central, Give Me Heaven!
if you love movies you must go to the ZIEGFELD……People on this site always bash it as not a grand palace wich it is not …..but it is the best theater left in NYC.
I would absolutely second any of the choices mentioned above, and add two theaters that are great examples of ambitious renovation: the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, formerly the Waverly (http://www.ifccenter.com/index) and the Landmark Sunshine Theater on the Lower East Side, formerly a Yiddish vaudeville theater, then warehouse (http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/NewYork/SunshineCinema.htm).
The Paris on 58th Street is a nice single screen theater with a balcony.
Also, I like the AMC Empire on 42nd Street; the design is pretty interesting, and the lobby (the former Empire Theater) is great for picture-taking.
The AMC-Loews Lincoln Square is worth a visit; the different theaters are named after former movie palaces.
And the AMC-Loews Kips Bay is a good example of a newer theatre — big, airy lobby and nice roomy auditoriums.
Lots of great ideas! Thanks everyone. I’m definitely going to the Zeigfeld. I’m going to do a bit more research about the guided tour at the Radio City music hall.
Matt… Great recommendations from everyone. You can’t really go wrong with them. Seeing a movie at the Ziegfeld and taking the RCMH tour is a great start. I must also endorse the idea of visiting the former Hollywood Theater (now the Times Square Church) on 51st Street just off Broadway, only a few blocks from the Ziegfeld. Go in just before the services and you can walk around the place and take photos – it is a spectacular space. Stick around for the service, if you wish, and you’ll be entertained by a first rate choir. I’d also bet that a quick ride (by cab or subway) uptown to Broadway and 175th Street to attend the boisterous services of Reverend Ike’s church in the former Loew’s 175th Street Theater would pay great dividends. Like the Jersey, it is one of the Loew’s Wonder Theaters and, while no longer showing films, it remains by all accounts in immaculate condition. As for the AMC Empire on 42nd Street, which has received mixed reviews lately, once you get beyond the lobby it’s basically just another stadium-style multiplex. I’d recommend just popping in to the lobby and taking in the original architectural elements that have been preserved from the old Empire Theater. No need to buy a ticket – unless you want to.
Definitely take the Path train from Herald Square to Jersey City. It is very easy and quick.The Loew’s Jersey is right across from the Path Station and if people are working there on a weekend afternoon(they usually are)they will be happy to show you the place.
It will take you about 3 hours total of your weekend.
The place is a classic barroco roccoco renaissance Italian French Spanish stunner. Absolutely not to be missed.
And I do believe God lives there(having moved over from the Roxy after its demolition.)
So, Matt… Not sure if you’re still tracking this item, but I’m curious if all went as planned and you made the trek to some of the theaters suggested above?