While you could go to any movie theater to catch the latest Hollywood fare, not all multiplexes are created equal. Packed houses, obstructed views, technical problems, bad seats, and noisy crowds can ruin even the best cinematic classic. This list of the 5 best mainstream movie theaters in Manhattan will help you find the perfect place to see the biggest and best films that are out this week. (Or, if you prefer indies, check out our guide to the 9 Best Independent Movie Theaters in Manhattan.)
For the ultimate IMAX or IMAX 3D experience, head straight to AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13. This theater has the largest IMAX screen in New York City, as well as impeccable projection and sound quality. The decor within AMC Loews Lincoln Square is quite striking, as well, with spacious lobbies and fun doorway designs for the various theater entrances. 1998 Broadway, btwn W. 67th & W. 68th sts.
The Loews on 84th Street is our pick for the most comfortable movie theater in Manhattan. The seats are all big, cushy leather recliners that allow viewers to enjoy the latest blockbusters as if they were in the comfort of their own home. All seats are assigned, as well, which reduces some of the traditional headaches of moviegoing. Tickets to the 84th Street Loews are pricier than other movie theaters, but many patrons feel that the guaranteed seating and extra leg room are well worth the premium.
2310 Broadway at W. 84th St.
Packed theaters can be a major problem, especially on opening weekends in Manhattan. That's not an issue at Regal Battery Park. It's almost always easy to get a good seat to see the latest Hollywood flicks here. Since the theater remains a strangely well-kept secret, the crowds aren't that large or loud. As a bonus, there's a Shake Shack around the corner, which is perfect for a pre- or post-movie bite. 102 North End Ave., btwn Murray & Vesey sts.
On the note of avoiding crowds, another great option to consider is the AMC Loews in Kips Bay. The thin crowds that gather at this theater are generally low-key, small, and quiet. It's a nice place to catch new releases and films that have been out for a couple weeks; plus, the seating in each theater ensures good sight lines and unobstructed views of the screen. 570 2nd Ave. at E. 31st St.
In operation since 1969, the legendary Ziegfeld is a gorgeous single-screen movie palace, a marvel in an age of impersonal multiplexes. With its classic screening room touting lush appointments (red velvet drapes, chandeliers, etc.), the Ziegfeld continues to be the site of many premieres and galas. Sadly, there have been reports that the Ziegfeld may have to close since single-screen movie palaces simply aren't profitable anymore. While that's bad news for film lovers, it's a great excuse to catch a movie at the Ziegfeld as soon as possible, before another part of New York history vanishes.
141 W. 54th St., btwn 6th & 7th aves.