August 12, 2003
"Quick, the Angelika!"
"The House Filmgoers Love to Hate" - NYT article on the the Angelika's lack of appeal.
NYC has tons of movie houses. Certain movies should be seen in certain venues - for instance, Le Divorce is currently showing at the Paris Theater - I've seen Topsy Turvy and Amelie there and enjoyed the experience as much as the movies. Mike Leigh was so thrilled to see lines outside the theater for Topsy Turvy that he just had to take pictures.
You go to certain theaters because of limited engagements or because it's where you happen to be or where you're meeting a friend for a film. So I've had my share of films at the Angelika, on Houston and Mercer. But I tend to go there only if I have to - the screens are small, the theaters are long, and if you get there too early, you have to wait until they tell you to get in line for the movie. Get there too late, and good luck finding a seat together for you and your friends. You're either way in front, craning your neck, or stuck in back, squinting and trying to hear over the talkers, the candy wrappers, and the self-important chuckles of filmgoers who want you to know they've gotten a joke that you've somehow failed to miss. (Sorry, Best in Show wasn't that funny.)
Ah well, it wouldn't be a New York fixture if I didn't have something to complain about.