Yesterday, there was an article in the Daily News about the multiplex movie theaters crowding out smaller single-screen theaters. Specifically noted was that the Ziegfeld Theater on West 54th Street "defies" that trend, but the theater is still "fighting" for its financial health, as multiplexes are generally more profitable. The Ziegfeld has always been an interesting theater to us: Besides being beautiful and exciting to walk through the baroque decor (the stairs! the bathrooms!), it shows both mainstream and more niche films. One of our best movie experiences was at the Ziegfeld, seeing the restored version of Vertigo; sure, multiplexes have big screens, but there's nothing like sitting in a nearly 1200 seat theater with a film washing over you.
Where do you like seeing movies? Gothamist does appreciate that multiplexes can offer stadium seating (versus the horror that is the Angelika). Plus, there are other perks to multiplexes, like seeing a number of movies in one day. A single-screen theater we love is the Paris across from the Plaza, but our vote for the theater that makes us think of what old-time movie going was is the Metro Twin on Broadway and 99th Street (Woody Allen used it in Hannah and Her Sisters as the place where he realized he didn't want to die). Also, check out the Cinema Treasures that catalogs old movie houses (here are their listings for the Ziegfeld and Metro Twin).