Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday Theatre Review: Cinema Village

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.

Cinema Village

Location: At 22 East 12th St, it’s right off of University Place in the direction of 5th Avenue. Two blocks south of Union Square, it’s right across from a falafel place and around the corner from a dozen affordable restaurants.

Pricing: That’s where this theatre shines above all others. Regularly priced tickets are $11.00, and this is the only theatre in New York City that features a 24/7 discount for students without the need for a previously-purchased pass. Student tickets are currently $8.00.

Film selection: Iffy. I’ve seen some great films that weren’t playing anywhere else here, like “Snow Cake” and Oscar-nominated documentaries “War/Dance” and “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” and also caught up on second-run movies like “Tell No One” long after they were gone from other theatres. Sometimes, you won’t have heard of a single movie playing there, like now: “Agora,” “Dogtooth,” “The Law,” “Mademoiselle Chambon,” and “Only When I Dance.” I’ll admit, I have heard of “Agora,” but that’s it. It’s a benefit that the theatre plays second-run movies, but “Little Miss Sunshine” was still playing even after it was released on DVD. Not one that needs to be seen on a big screen…

Drawbacks: …although you won’t find any big screens here. The largest of the three screens seats 156, and the smallest can only hold 67. During my showing of “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” some theatre employee kept walking up towards the screen (there’s a lot of space in between the seats and the screen) and it was very distracting.

Bonus features: The popcorn is good, and you can definitely see movies here that you will not see anywhere else. Also, this theatre is very often shot in movies, appearing most recently, to the best of my knowledge, in “Multiple Sarcasms,” so it’s fun to see it on screen during other films.

Worth the trip? If you want to see a specific film you read about online or if you’re a student with a small budget and a passion for independent film and want to be (potentially) pleasantly surprised. Otherwise, walk over one avenue to the Regal Union Square Stadium 14, which will be profiled in a few weeks.

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