Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Leave it to Bushwick to transform a former industrial warehouse into a hip bar/cinema/restaurant with an eclectic lineup of cult classics, 80s blockbusters (that we all love to hate), obscure indies and critically acclaimed films. Each show, 50 guests take to the stadium seats and scribble orders on paper menus before settling in beneath low-lit, exposed-bulb string lights. On the theater menu is the Hot Mess Chicken Sandwich – with Beyonce-approved hot sauce, coleslaw and bleu cheese dressing – and eight artisanal popcorn flavors. The drink list includes local microbrews and cheeky craft cocktails like the Steve McQueen (old overholt rye, snap, carpano antica, dolin dry vermouth, whiskey-barrel aged bitters) and the Red Rum (blackwell rum, brugal anejo, cynar, aperol, lemon, angostura and peychauds). This month’s lineup: Tangerine, Boogie Nights, Big Lebowski and a Coen brothers double-feature with Inside Llewyn Davis and Fargo. And to top it all off? Tickets are only $3 (or $4 if you purchase online).
Photo by Michael Tuplian
Dome Bar & Cinema
The Dome in Gisborne feels like a funky 20s speakeasy. Housed in the Poverty Bay Club, the theater is all about elegant skylights, beaded chandeliers, wood-paneled walls, an upholstered bar and…. bean bag chairs (take a virtual tour and see for yourself). What’s now a screening room used to be the billiards room of a gentleman’s club, and the old-timey atmosphere persists with comfortably worn leather sofas, framed photos and warm lighting. At the Dome Bar, pick up a beer or wine, and order a pizza before you settle into your single or double bean bag with a blanket and pillow (for neck support, of course). Post 5 pm Thursday-Saturday, you can order off of the PBC Cafe’s summer menu which means bacon, chorizo scallops with pineapple drizzle and grilled pineapple and poached apricot cheesecake (oh, my). Current films include Orphans & Kingdoms, Brooklyn, Noma: My Perfect Storm, and Suffragette.
Laurelhurst Theater and Pub
The neon display and circa 1923 art deco marquee outside Portland’s Laurelhurst Theater make it hard to miss. Once a single-screen venue, the cinema now has four auditoriums, and a menu with everyone’s favorite movie snacks – pepperoni pizza, popcorn, candy – as well as microbrews like Lucky Lab Stumptown Porter, Atlas Blackberry Cider and Cascade Lakes Blonde Bombshell. The Portland fave shows indie, classic, and Oscar-award winning films, with adult-only shows starting at 5:30 pm. This month you can catch Trainspotting, The Revenant, Brooklyn, and Anomalisa. Want more good news? General admission is only $4 (can you hear us weeping from our $18 AMC seats in NYC?) and previews run only 5 minutes.
Cinema Studio 28
Is there anything more romantic than al fresco dining and French cinema? If you’ve ever watched the fantastical Amelie, you’ll recognize the avant-garde Studio 28 from the pivotal character’s Friday night outings. But the cinema (in the heart of Paris’ Montmartre/7th arrondissement) opened in 1928, long before Audrey Tautou ever graced the silver screen with her puppy dog eyes. The independent arthouse continues to operate as a meeting place for artists and they show all films in their original language (no subtitles here). Grab a drink on the open terrace with its mural homage to France’s cinematic royalty, then head indoors to take a red velvet seat before the curtains part for showtime. This month, Studio 28 presents Rosalie Blum, Belgica, Hail, Caesar!, and Quand on a 17 ans.
RELATED: The Hidden Gems of Paris’ 16th
The Montpelier’s Backroom Cinema
Backroom cinema is all about championing the little guy. The 30-seat screening room welcomes Q&As with actors and artistes, and if you happen to have a film club or production company, you can rent out the space. During regular showings, guests sip on local ales and spirits from breweries and indie producers like Sambrook’s, Meantime Brewing Company and Four Roses Bourbon. As for food, opt for a “peckish” (Welsh rarebit on sourdough toast) or “hungry” (beef & Guinness pie with seasonal veggies) selection from the Montpelier Kitchen menu. On the movie docket this month and next are Speed Sisters, Rams, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, and The Propaganda Game.
The alternative, single-screen Enzian theater is known for its indie roster which leans heavily on first-run art films, foreign features, and special programming. It’s also ground zero for Eden Bar and the Florida Film Festival. The former slings an extensive list of beers, wines and cocktails, including Yuengling drafts, Cosmopolitans, Mimosas, and local Sycamore Lane and Century Cellars wine varieties. For dinner, feast on peach chicken wraps, hand-rolled, thin crust pizzas, pear prosciutto, and raspberry beignets. This month’s programming: The Goonies, October Sky (hello, baby Jake Gyllenhaal), Rocks in My Pockets, and Rosemary’s Baby.
Viehhof Biergarten and Outdoor Cinema
Summertime in Munich means outdoor cinema and biergartens to boot. Roll up to the Viehof (stockyards) Cinema in the Schlachthof (slaughterhouse) district for pints upon pints of local Ayinger beer, art installations, live music, comedy cabaret, open air film, and a warm pretzel or two from one of the food tents along the ground’s perimeter. Park your butt in one of the thousand-plus plastic patio chairs tucked between graffiti-tagged industrial buildings and take in the stars both onscreen and in the sky. Showtimes are different every day, depending on the sun, and are shown on real film, with a 15-minute intermission to change the roll. Stockyard Cinema is back this year on June 2nd, movie listings forthcoming, but in the past they’ve played Birdman, Interstellar, Nightcrawler, and Big Eyes.
Photo by Massimo Fiorito
RELATED: World’s Best Outdoor Cinemas
Prague, Czech Republic
Bio Oko in Prague’s Letna neighborhood attracts a bohemian crowd (many being students from the nearby art academy) but the theater has programs fit for every type of film buff. For parents with children, there’s kid-friendly Baby Bio screenings (with reduced volume and lighting), for the risk-takers there’s Blind Date (a surprise film revealed only after the lights go out), and on Sundays, there’s Filmbrunch where new movies and menu items like avocado sandwiches, tarte tatin, spring soup, and falafel, mix. The 400-ish seat single-screen theater invites guests hang out at Oko Bar and grab a beer before taking to beach chairs, repurposed car seats, and normal cinemas seats in the auditorium. On the program now is The Witch, James White, The Danish Girl and In the Basement.
The five-screen Studio Skoop in Ghent caters to Belgian cinephiles with European films, American indies, and local productions. They also host the “Film Stones,” a school field trip crowd-pleaser, with movies suited to their 3 to 12 year old crowd. Non-middle schoolers can grab a drink (or a bite) at the Studio Skoop Café – with a full bar – where portraits of ScarJo, Daniel Bruhl and Crispin Glover silently look on. Take a seat near the fireplace, or get comfy as you sit in on a Skoop Sessions live music event; most recently, the cafe welcomed local jazz trio WHExp. The theater is currently showing Belgica, Anomalisa, The Hateful Eight, and Les Innocentes.
By Chelsea Stuart