With the mid-week Fourth of July holiday, an abbreviated work week practically demands an afternoon at the movies complete with giant tub o' fatty snacks and subzero air conditioning. New York is a real haven for movie theater aficionados, and we all have our favorites. Here's a brief breakdown of what to see, and where, this holiday. In the comments feel free to weigh in on the best and/or worst places to see giant alien vehicles attack earth or betrothed couples acting goofy.
* Cinema Village East (181 2nd Ave at 12th St.)
Pluses old fashioned balcony seating, snack vending machines.
Minuses often only a single ticket seller outside (can bypass with the electronic kiosk inside)
What to see: Ratatouille.
* AMC Loews Village 7 (66 3rd Ave)
Pluses sweet but slightly out of it ticket taker won't flinch if you bring in an outside drink like coffee.
Minuses: long lines for the tiny bathrooms, sometimes the trip to your theater is a hike since the building is narrow but tall.
What to see: Transformers, Knocked Up, or if you missed it earlier in the summer Hot Fuzz. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* Regal Union Square Stadium 14. (850 Broadway)
Pluses can pick up snacks from the nearby Whole Foods, Trader Joes and well-stocked candy aisle at Duane Reade on 4th Ave for those who bring large handbags to the movies. Also, they're now featuring a snack cart inside the theater just before the screening.
Minuses: long ticket lines and sometimes chaotic electronic kiosk area on the ground floor.
What to see: License to Wed, Live Free or Die Hard, or Sicko. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* AMC Loews Kips Bay (570 2nd Ave. between 31st and 32nd St.)
Pluses often cited as a favorite cineplex for cinephiles, the huge theaters have great sound and screen quality.
Minuses: a little remote unless you live in the nabe.
What to see: License to Wed, Transformers, Ratatouille, Live Free or Die Hard or Sicko. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* AMC Loews 34th St. (312 W. 34th St.)
Pluses huge complex with well-staffed ticket and snack lines.
What to see: Ratatouille, Live Free or Die Hard, Transformers, Sicko, or License to Wed. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* In Times Square: AMC Empire 25 (234 W. 42nd St.) or Regal E-walk 13 (247 W. 42nd St.)
Pluses gigantic complex, easy to move between theaters if you're up for a on-the-sly double feature.
Minuses the Times Square tourists clogging the sidewalks.
What to see: Ratatouille or Live Free or Die Hard; Transformers, and the older Knocked Up or 28 Weeks Later.
* Clearview's Zeigfeld (141 W. 54th St.)
Pluses: old time movie palace ambiance, massive multi-tier theater and gigantic screen.
Minuses: have to venture to mid-town on your day off.
What to see Ratatouille.
* AMC Loews Lincoln Square with IMAX (1998 Broadway)
Pluses: perfect venue for when you need to see Michael Bay's masterpiece in three dimensions, actual food offered at the concession stands.
What to see: Transformers, License to Wed and Introducing the Dwights. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* UA Court Street Stadium 12 (108 Court St., Brooklyn)
Pluses: convenience for Brooklynites who need a Hollywood fix.
Minuses: legendary. Long lines, slow staff and further (grammatically incorrect) commentary are all cataloged on the theater's Citysearch page.
What to see: License to Wed, Transformers, Ratatouille, or Live Free or Die Hard. Buy tickets from Fandango.
* UA Kaufman Studios Cinema 14 (35th Ave and 38th St., Queens)
Pluses: not far from the Silver Cup studios, this area of Queens is rich with movie culture and tons of cheap eats.
What to see: Ratatouille, Sicko, Live Free or Die Hard, Transformers or License to Wed.
Photo via Paxton Holley's Flickr.