We here at Brooklyn Skeptic see a lot of movies, whether they collect our eleven dollars or not. More specifically however, we see a lot of movies in Brooklyn. Brooklyn may not have the number of movie theaters that Manhattan is boasting, but I’ve been to a few gems. In the Bococa/Park Slope/Downtown/Brooklyn Heights region, there are several fun places where you can go to see everything from Bruckheimer to Buñuel. These are four that I frequent probably a little too often.
Park Slope Pavilion: While this theater wins in its proximity to most Brooklyn Skeptics, it loses in many other ways. It has the exterior aesthetic of a classic movie house with a bright shining marquis, but the featured films rarely do it justice. Basically these are the run of the mill flicks that can be seen pretty much anywhere. If you’re hankering to see the new “Eddie Murphy plays eighteen characters” movie or perhaps the new “Holy Shit Bruce Willis blows shit up real good” movie, then you will easily find it here. However, several other things come along with the price of admission. These things are hordes of crying children, seating that has been vomited upon, and small screens. I have wandered over here for several blockbusters on hungover Saturdays and Sundays (and Tuesdays) and have been met with a screen smaller than my grandmother’s television, babies screaming in my ear and what I can only assume was toxic waste on my seat (I now have gills – thanks Pavilion). So basically, if you’ve been looking for a place to see Norbit while squinting, cradling a random child and getting gum stuck on your shoe, there you go. Grade: D
United Artists on Court Street: This theater is similar to a typical Manhattan cineplex. I say this because it also plays commercial movies, has intimidating crowds outside all of the time and often requires an oxygen tank to reach some of the incredible levels one has to climb to view their desired movie. When approaching there is always a line going out the door for the ticket counter. If you have a credit card or have pre-ordered your tickets, you can bypass this and go to their automated ticket machines. These, like Union Square, often don’t work. Once you finally get your ticket and enter the theater, the guy ripping your ticket will usually say something like “Theater 18, take the escalator until your vertigo kicks in.” Once inside however, it should be said that these theaters are comfortable and relaxed. The screens are all of a decent size and the chairs recline. And as Pizappas has noted, the hysteria often provides wonderful movie-hopping opportunities. For your average blockbuster, skip the Pavilion and come here. Grade: C+
BAM Rose Cinemas: The first thing that one notices upon walking into the BAM theaters is the decor. Tall ceilings and beautiful architecture only compliment the wonderful collection of independent films both new and old that are shown here. They have four averaged sized screens that are perfectly suited for an elegant and comfortable movie experience (perfect for dates). In addition to their first run features, they are currently hosting events such as the New York Korean Film Festival, The New Decade: Hong Kong Film and a series of films that Paul Giamatti has chosen called Paul Giamatti Selects (which features an eclectic group of picks including The Big Clock and Invasion of the Body Snatchers). If one is looking for a classy and romantic evening of Brooklyn cinema, look no further. Grade: A
Cobble Hill Cinemas: This is a great theater. They play an interesting collection of films and have a very friendly staff. It is also a cheaper theater, as they offer matinee prices and a reduced regular rate (I believe it’s $9). The walls are painted with screen shots from Frankenstein and Casablanca, and the concession stand isn’t too bad either. The theater itself is apparently quite historic as well, and has been around since the sixties. That being said, they also have smaller screens, some gum on the ground and less leg room. But whether you’re feeling like seeing a popcorn movie or more arthouse fare, you can usually find what you want here. Grade: B+