Love movies and film? Find out where Brooklyn's mainstream and indie movie theaters are, what makes each special (for better and worse), where they are located, and what's nearby. From trendy dine-in theaters to old school movie houses, skip catching a flick on Netflix and see one at these theaters.
If you were a movie pass lover, you might want to consider taking part in a membership at some of the theaters, which offer deep discounts on tickets and events. We've noted which theaters offer memberships and discount movie days.
Edited by Alison Lowenstein
NiteHawk was the first dine-in theater in Brooklyn and opened in 2011, the triplex NiteHawk Cinema is associated with a cafe staffed by a local celeb chef, Saul Boulton, and promised "an experience like no other in New York." Seven years later, it's still delivers and is a local favorite. Basically, you can order table-side food service before and even during your film-watching— and the food's good. It's recommended that patrons arrive a half hour or 45 minutes before the movie to get settled and order. In 2018, Nitehawk will open an outpost in Park Slope.
This Bushwick theater opened in January 2015 and serves Duck Confit Nachos, Heritage Porchetta and the perfect Dark and Stormy while screening retro flicks. The theater's schedule appeals to all film lovers. If you’ve ever wanted to dine on something more substantial than a soft pretzel or thickly buttered popcorn or wanted to down some booze while watching classics, this is the spot for you. An added plus, If the movie is awful, you can just order more drinks.
This old school no frills theater built in the 1920s has seven dollar matinees. Alpine has eight theaters and is located in Bay Ridge's Fifth Avenue. They also host special events, like a singalong to animated musicals. Before your matinee, head to Mike's Donuts, one of Brooklyn's best donut shops.
BAM is, of course, one of New York City's premier cultural institutions. BAM's Rose Cinemas show a mixture of popular movies, independent movies, foreign films, controversial movies, and also hosts film festivals. Online ticket purchase is recommended. Also, it's smart to arrive early to get a good seat. Note that the movies at BAM Rose Cinemas are always shown at the Opera House location at 30 Lafayette Ave., not at the Harvey Theater. Film lovers should consider a membership, which offers discounted movie tickets and invitations to events.
The independently owned beloved local theater in Cobble Hill offers nine dollar admission on Tuesdays and Thursdays with some exceptions for certain flicks. Pick up a popcorn at the concession stand and see a flick at one of their five theaters. You can't help but be charmed by the retro trailer shown before each movie that advises you to turn off your pager.
In a world where movie ticket prices cost as much as an off-off-broadway theater ticket, this movie theater is for the budget friendly. Ticket prices are cheap, but the theater is old, and to some patrons, hopelessly shabby. Still, in addition to the patina of age, it has a certain pedigree: the Kent has been cited by the website Cinema Treasures as the theater used by Woody Allen in his movie, the Purple Rose of Cairo.
This workhorse of a movie house is not particularly charming but it gets the job done. It's multi-level, so expect escalators. Located at the intersection of Downtown Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, this is a huge generic multiple screen movie house.
You can see first run films here, in a clean, spanking clean new setting. Buy tix online if possible as it's not huge and they can sell out. Don't expect the unexpected: it's a corporate kind of theater with the usual food selection and decor. But you can catch a film and then take a walk in the neighborhood: Williamsburg is a charming shopping area with lots of boutiques and bars. Just to note, the theater is very close to both the L subway stop at Bedford Avenue and Ferry. On a budget? On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's $9.00 all day and evening, except holidays, special engagements, 3D and the
first 2 weeks of Sony, and Paramount Pictures.
This theater's now owned by UA; see what their line up is for the season. (The Court Street Stadium in Downtown Brooklyn, above, is owned by the same company.) After you see a flick at this classic large scale theater, explore charming Sheepshead Bay. Walk across the wooden foot bridge that connects to Manhattan Beach. Dine at the many restaurants on Emmons Avenue.
If you want more than popcorn at the movies, head to the Alamo Drafthouse. This Austin-based dine-in movie theater opened a location in Downtown Brooklyn in October 2016. With a menu of good eats including a list of healthy salads (Kale & Manchego salad, anyone?), Pancetta Mac and Cheese and an array of sandwiches and flatbread, it's the ideal spot for a film loving foodie. Ordering is easy, all you do is write down your order and place it on the rail, and enjoy your food as you watch the flick. You can toss the stale pretzel and soft drink aside at this hip location, which screens both current and retro films on their seven screens. Families will enjoy their kid-friendly film series, and film buffs will love their well-curated list of classic films.