Top 10 Alternative Cinemas For The True NYC Cinephile

Caitlin Horsfield Caitlin Horsfield

Top 10 Alternative Cinemas For The True NYC Cinephile
While a blockbuster every now and again is always a welcome escape, sometimes, something a bit more alternative, dare we say, made for the true cinema aficionado, is an interesting change. It’s even a great date idea. These 10 alternative theaters (in no particular order) should leave you with enough inspiration to keep your inner cinephile satisfied:

IFC Center


IFC Center is dedicated to independent film. They feature five top notch cinemas that screen independent, foreign, and documentary films, as well as special showings of classics and midnight cult movies on the weekends.

Address: 323 6th avenue

Hours: 10:30 am- 10:30 pm

BAM Rose Cinemas


BAM is a multi-arts center located in Brooklyn. They make sure to curate a selection of movies that are worthwhile and interesting. Plus the interior is gorgeous.

Address: 30 Lafayette Ave

Hours: vary



Syndicated is not only a cinema but also a chic dining area featuring a diverse menu of small and large plates. They boast a 30 seat bar, fully stocked with a long list of whiskeys, craft beers and signature cocktails. At the bar, two massive projectors screen all of your favorite films, shows and sporting events. Of course, they also feature curated films each night in their 60 seat theater.

Address: 40 Bogart St, Brooklyn

Hours: 5 pm- 12 am

Film Forum

film forum (1)

Film Forum began in 1970 as an alternative screening space for independent films with 50 folding chairs. Since then, this nonprofit has expanded into a NYC phenomenon located at a $3.2 million Houston Street location in a locale with 4 screens! They show an international array of films that treat diverse social, political, historical and cultural realities.

Address: 209 W. Houston St., btwn 6th Ave. & Varick St.

Hours: 12 pm- 12 am

Angelika Film Center


Angelika Film Center opened in 1989. They play an impressive and diverse mix of independent films, and is a great cinema of choice for filmmakers and film lovers alike.

Address: 18 W. Houston St.

Hours: 10 am- 11 pm

Film Noir Cinema

film noir

Film Noir Cinema is located in a former funeral home. The spot is half video store, half theater, and 100% awesome. Come check out obscure and interesting alternative and foreign films every night of the week.

Address: 122 Meserole Ave, Greenpoint

Hours: vary

Nitehawk Cinema.


Nitehawk Cinema is known for playing current movies with indie leanings. Old cult movies are also screened at midnight showings. Stop by before the show to have a drink at their trendy bar.

Address: 136 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg

Hours: 4 pm- 2 am

Cinema Village

Cinema Village, New York, NY, 2015
Cinema Village, New York, NY, 2015

Cinema Village is housed in an old fire station. They’re popular for their screenings of revival movies and Japanese/Hong Kong cinema.

Address: 22 E 12th St

Hours: 12:30 pm – 11:00 pm



Metrograph has a little bit of everything. They focus on projecting archive quality 35mm and state of the art digital video. The space also features the Commissary restaurant, a balcony lounge, a bookstore, and candy shop. Interesting side note- the theater seats are made from wood salvaged from the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn.

Address: 7 Ludlow Street

Hours: 11 am- 12 am

Anthology Film Archives

anthology film

Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema. This museum-minded center started out with a manifesto proclamation stating,  “One of the guiding principles of this new film museum is that a great film must be seen many times. For that reason the entire collection will be presented in repeated cycles. With three different programs each day, an anthology of one hundred programs (approximately equivalent to our present collection) can be repeated monthly.” It’s since changed a bit but still lays claim to the world’s largest reference library devoted to avant-garde cinema.

Address: 32 2nd Ave. at 2nd St

Hours: vary


Featured image: hollywoodreporter.com