I have compiled a calendar of all the revival screenings and retrospectives I could find in New York. But let me tell you why.
There exist certain movie theaters that still try to give you a real “moviegoing experience.” They know all the things that bug you about the big multiplexes and they avoid those pitfalls. They don’t show commercials for soda pop or any of a number of godawful cop dramas on D-list cable networks. Their concessions include baked goods and coffee that you’re happy to pay money for, rather than having to smuggle in your own. These cinemas are staffed not by surly high schoolers but by surly film students. (This I consider an upgrade.) But the best thing of all is that these theaters from time to time exhibit classic films, cult favorites, and obscure treasures of the cinema.
It’s at these revival screenings and retrospectives where you’ll find me. Midnight shows are often my favorites. I’m always excited to see what kinds of weirdos will show up. A while back, I went to a midnight screening of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) at the Sunshine Cinema on Houston. Just who exactly would come out at midnight to see this, I wondered. Well, they were as gangly and oafish a bunch of nerds as you’d ever imagine. They were my people. Now, I’d seen this film countless times on VHS, but to see it on the big screen again, playing to a house full of its dearest fans, transformed the experience. We created a weird sort of energy in the theater that took us all back in time. Jokes I’ve heard fifty times before made me laugh again. I’m sure most of the people in that auditorium had seen the movie before too, probably dozens of times each. But we’d never seen it together.
And finding your weird compatriots is only one of the joys of revival screenings. But I guess I don’t need to convince you of all that. You’re here for the calendar.
Well, recently I grew concerned that I was missing out on too many screenings on account of finding out about them too late. I did a quick internet search to see if anyone had compiled a list of revivals in New York, but my not-too-thorough search yielded no results. Rather than try harder to find one, I just made my own, and I’ve been using this calendar to guide myself through the vast array of cinematic offerings in this city ever since. I’ve found it useful, vital even, so I figured I’d share it with whoever might feel the same way.
Below are the theaters that I’ve included in my calendar. Please consult their websites for more info about the films and to confirm showtimes. You’ll want to sign up for their newsletters too.
Enjoy! Maybe I’ll see you at one of these shows.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
Museum of the Moving Image