Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Theatre Review: IFC Center

Weekly to a new feature here at Movies with Abe, Thursday Theatre Review. As a resident of one of the world’s foremost movie capitals, I’ve been to a number of movie theatres in New York City and have developed preferences. There’s no perfect theatre, but there are a few things that can make or break a movie-going experience. In no particular order, this is a guide to movie theatres in Manhattan.

IFC Center

Location: At 323 Sixth Avenue, it is literally right at the West 4th St A-B-C-D-E-F-V stop. Walk up 6th Avenue or west a block and a half for infinite dining, desert, and shopping possibilities in the West Village.

Pricing: Tickets for standard show are $12.50, and special events can cost considerably more. Member price is $7.50.

Film selection: All independent but incredibly diverse. The theatre also has a number of regular, such as the Stranger than Fiction documentary series, where I saw 2009 Oscar nominee “Burma VJ” followed by a Q & A with a member of the Democratic Voice of Burma. Their weekend midnight screening series also brings back many classic and cult films, and the Oscar-nominated short films play there annually. I’ve gone to the IFC to see films such as “Starting Out in the Evening,” “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days,” “Fish Tank,” “The Girl on the Train,” and the “Red Riding” trilogy. Currently playing: “Cropsey,” “Daddy Longlegs,” “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” “The Father of My Children,” and “The Human Centipede.”

Drawbacks: Some of the theatres are a bit small, and if you’re seeing a film on the ground floor, you won’t be able to make it to the restrooms in the basement too quickly if you’re running out for a moment during the film.

Bonus features: The armrests of many of the seats lift up, so you can enjoy a more leisurely and comfortable seat if the theatre isn’t too crowded. Membership offers preview screenings, free popcorn, and merchandise discounts. Additionally, there is a $35 student membership available.

Worth the trip? Yes. The IFC often premieres film that aren’t yet playing elsewhere, and its central location downtown makes it very easy to get there. If you go frequently enough, becoming a member really pays, and then there really aren’t any detractors.

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