Angelika Film Center
18 W. Houston Street,
17 people favorited this theater
Originally built in 1894 as a cable power building for the New York Cable Car Company, it was designed in a Beaux Arts style by noted architects McKim, Mead & White.
The Angelika Film Center opened in 1989, this New York theater is famous for helping to make independent films the vibrant part of the film industry they have become in recent years. Many of the best independent films of the past decade debuted at the Angelika during one of the many film festivals held at the theater.
As sometimes happens in the pricey real estate environment of New York City, the Angelika’s screens are located underground. Audiences enter on the ground level to a large and welcoming cafe, and then take escalators down to the theater level. Occupying the entire first floor, the cafe, a unique feature of the Angelika, is perhaps the most critical part of what has made the Angelika a success. Between festivals, it serves as an impromtu salon for tomorrow’s filmmakers. During festivals, it hosts scores of film industry types.
Architecturally, however, the theater is unremarkable and its screens draw constant complaints about their tiny size, poor sound, uncomfortable seats, and lack of sound proofing. It’s quite possible to hear the rumble of a subway train during a screening, as the Angelika is not far from a major subway station.
But as long as it serves up the very best of independent and foreign films, the Angelika’s audience will continue to embrace the theater.
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