When I lived in San Francisco, I used to LOVE going to the Sundance Kabuki theater. Not only was it an independent theater that played all the films I really wanted to see, it was also the type of theater that took its films seriously and made going to the movies an experience worth leaving the house for. They had the comfy seats, the in-theater bar, the reserved seating. It’s a place I sincerely miss.
New York has a ton of great indie theaters, but it wasn’t until last weekend that I discovered a theater that stands up to my fond memories of Sundance Kabuki: Nitehawk Cinema.
I know I’m about two years late on this place because I’ve been hearing people rave about it since it opened in 2011. I knew it would be awesome, but DAMN, I did not realize that I was going to FALL IN LOVE with the place. And boy, did I fall HARD.
A few reasons why:
1. $11.00 ticket price.
If you don’t live in NYC, you might not understand the significance of this incredibly low ticket price, but let me put it into perspective: a ticket to the Regal Cinemas or AMC costs $14.50, and it usually comes with a) a broken seat, b) an old lady asking her husband what the heck is going on, c) a herd of yelling teenagers, d) a sea of cell phone screens, or e) all of the above.
My boyfriend pointed out that we ended up spending a good 40 bucks on booze and snacks while at Nitehawk and so they still took our money, but I still argue the ticket price is a bargain.
This one is pretty self explanatory: they serve booze. Fancy booze, too.
3. FOOD SERVED TO YOUR SEAT.
Dinner and a movie, anyone? They serve all sorts of legit food and snacks, many of which have really clever movie-themed names. (eg: “Blue is the warmest cheese”!!! Come on, that’s hilarious!) And the servers are stealth as hell about taking orders and tiptoeing around the theatre during the show.
4. Curated videos and clips before the screening.
I went to see Don Jon, and the pre-movie clips included scenes from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s previous movies, a parody about Scarlett Johansson’s acting faces, a Julianne Moore sex scene from “The Kids Are All Right,” a Marky Mark music video and various porn scenes with animated drawings over the x-rated bits. Someone spent a lot of time curating these clips to the specifics of this film and not only did I appreciate their effort, I also thoroughly enjoyed the ad-free entertainment.
5. Special screenings.
They do brunch-themed screenings, screenings with live music, midnight screenings and more. I don’t even know where to start with this. I MUST GO BACK NOW.