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The Angelica still is the best place to see indie films in the city. Since that is thier speciality you dont have to worry about the blockbuster movie making the place crowded. Althought the theatres are small I think it works well. My first exposure to Anime(Akira )low budget indie (King Of New York) and foreign films was at this gem. Stiff competition in Brooklyn at the BAM Rose Cinemas. Can get very crowded on weekends but will have any film that has even the slightest buzz and also instrumental in creating buzz for and pushing a small film over the top.
The location is currently an apartment complex
Currently this theatre is my favorite alternative to the Regal cinemas a few blocks away, IT doesnt have the sound or the room (the seats can feel very very cramped) but it has a bunch of discount times and shows the indie and foreign films (like the Angelica). I would avoid it for the first run blockbusters (the theatres are way too small for those). Overall if you are looking for a small theatre that will have less crowds for a midweek movie this is the local place to go.
The Last time i was at the Kingsway was in the early 90’s it was a Satuday night and people were actually drinking and smoking in there.It was in theatre 5 which was as noted around the corner from the other entrance so i guess they didint really keep an eye on things there. I only went there a couple of times but every time was for the most part a negative experience.
I went to see Jacobs Ladder there it was summertime, there was a probelm with the A/C which cut off before the previews and it quickly became paked and about 100 degrees inside. The sound cut on and off and about 30 min into the movie i left and asked for my money back .
If I remeber correctly this was a Quad that they converted to I think 8 theatres . It was the one movie theatre in the area that had discount matinee shows so it was always packed on saturday mornings. They were also one of the first theatres to have the midnight Rocky Horror Shows taking its cue from the Waverly in Manhattan. Most of the theatres were small and sound wasnt too great
I saw some of the best movies of my youth here during the late 70'and early 80’s it was better as a twin , triplexing cut the second level theatre in half. It was a huge building. The first floor still had a piano in it i suppose a holdover from its early days , it seemed to be a mile from the first row of seats to the piano and the screen . As kids we would dare eachother to go and play the piano. The lobby was really nice full of marble and brass . a real contrast to the Benson which was a few blocks away. It became very rundown in later years broken seats poor lighting and bad sound. And the Drapery on the walls would fall .
I actually saw Godzilla vs Megalon here before it changed over to porn around 75 or 76. It was always surprising it was located a block from an elemetary school . And not until the 80’s were the owners forced to stop displaying posters for the XXX movies and the titles on the Marque. I thought it was still open until the early 90’s though .
As a kid in the 70’s when most of my friends went away to camp I was able to cross 86th street by way of the Elevated trainstation and watch movies sometimes over and over until dinner time . It was nice and clean and comfortable but as time went on neglect caused it to be a last choice for movies. Also The Lowes Oriental and Marlboro had better choices of films