The Mother Brain Files: NY Boutique Theater Special Part 1
By Mother Brain
While Hollywood continues to produce event films with big budgets and featuring star caliber actors, the audiences they try to appeal to have become increasingly frustrated with the experience of going to the movies. High ticket and concession prices at major multiplexes owned by anything like Loews and AMC play a major factor in the problem. Even when there are movies with high public interest that are worth shelling out the extra fees, however, the combination of noisy kids, crying babies, cell phone disruptions, and one too many advertisements before the feature presentation that force most audiences to stay home and stream their movies right at their own fingertips.
It may seem as if the movie theater experience has regressed. Yet, there is still hope with the boutique cinemas right here in New York City. They provide a full-on experience that most multiplexes do not and uphold the etiquette of seeing a stage play. Do you seek a theater that’s showing the latest art house sensation? Are you looking to relax with a glass of wine while enjoying the film? How about a talkback session with the actors and filmmakers of the movie you just watched? Well, these intimate theater locations may be up your alley:
Nitehawk Cinema (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Opening its doors last year, Nitehawk Cinema is arguably the perfect dinner and a movie setting for your date night. Their neighborhood cafe features a full menu of delightful food and drink specials. From the Prometheus Facehugger with Bailey’s Irish Cream and Creme de Menthe mixed together to The Driver with a mix of Black Seal Rum and Ginger Beer, all the specials including the wide variety of concession foods come at reasonable prices. Nitehawk is structured with three theaters that range from 28 to 60 to 92 seats. You can make further orders during showtime and pay the tab before end credits roll. While the theater screens both current independent films as well as Hollywood classics such as Predator and The Dark Crystal, their most unique feature is the pre-show before the main feature presentation where independent filmmakers can show off their short films much like the early age of cinema when the major theaters showed cartoons and short comedy skits before the movie starts.
indieScreen (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
On the outside, it appears to be like any other brick structure in the Southside of Williamsburg. Inside, however, indieScreen is an impressive 7,500 square feet space with 93 seats, an 8‘x17’ screen, and Dolby Digital Surround Sound 7.1 in its stadium-style theater. The space is not only used for film screenings but it also has a 10’x’19 stage designed for live music as well as a full bar with 65’ HD TVs, a working kitchen, and a state of the art DJ booth. Since its doors opened in 2010, IndieScreen is also the home theater of the Brooklyn Film Festival as well as hosting the Northside Festival and the New York Polish Film Festival just to name a few. It’s multipurpose entertainment at its finest.
Maysles Institute (Harlem, NY)
Founded by famed documentarian Albert Maysles, the Maysles Institute is a more community-minded theater dedicated to featuring inspirational documentaries only. For four nights each week, the Institute presents special series and forum discussions on such topics ranging from culture, music, sports, and race relations. Each series is curated by the many partners of the Institute as well as young filmmakers who have studied under the Institute’s After School Program curriculum. While its theater can be rented out for a variety of entertainment events, the Institute’s true purpose is to educate and bring to light overlooked social issues through the medium of cinema.