Tired of heading to your local movie theater for blockbuster flicks, sitting in stadium seating and munching on popcorn and candy as you watch the feature? Here are some unique experiences on Long Island.
With enough time having passed since the price of movie tickets hit double digits to the left of the decimal point, it's time to accept it and move on. But Island 16: Cinema De Lux in Holtsville makes spending even more worth the price of admission. For an extra three bucks per ticket, you can sit in a Director's Hall theater, reserve your exact seat and have food and drinks delivered right to your seat up to 10 minutes before the first preview. If purchasing online or over the phone, you automatically get best available seating.
A baby friendly day at the movies
National Amusements created Baby Pictures, a program that gives parents, grandparents, nannies and other adult caregivers of tykes up to 18 months old a chance to watch the latest movies at a convenient time and in a baby-friendly environment. Two Long Island theaters, Island 16: Cinema De Lux in Holtsville and Broadway Multiplex Cinemas in Hicksville -- partake in the program. Island 16 also features a similar "Kidtoons" program where admission is $3.50 for parents or children. "Kidtoons" runs the first Saturday and Sunday of each month.
Silver Screen Classics
Go back in time on the big screen with classic films from the 1940s through the '80s with screenings Monday afternoons at Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas. Even the prices are old school: $2.
Mom & Pop Shop
It's big-city entertainment with a small-town feel at PJ Cinemas in Port Jefferson Station. You get all the typical accoutrements of a major movie theater, but there's a bit of an old-time personal touch involved. On its Web site, pjcinemas.com, you'll find the owner's opinions and thoughts on each movie playing at the theater. Here's the best part: If you call for times (631-928-3456), you don't have to push any buttons. Just sit there and listen to the owner tell you all the times and even some thoughts on certain films. Pretty neat stuff you won't find at the chain theaters.
Cinema Arts Centre
Movies become films at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington. Besides the actual showing of motion pictures - artsy, both new and old - the Centre features discussions and receptions with actors, directors and other industry people. Try the Sky Cafe for food you won't find in other theaters. Membership plans allow for ticket discounts, free movies on your birthday, discounts at certain restaurants and retailers, and -- this is the best! -- no waiting in line, even on premiere night.
Located at The Cradle of Aviation Museum, the IMAX Theater in Garden City is definitely an entertainment experience anyone will enjoy. Take in a major studio movie or one of the "institutional" IMAX films on the dome theater screen with a 76-foot diameter. With extreme stadium seating for 300 and a screen that is roughly 10 times the size of a typical movie theater's, IMAX pretty much puts you in the movie. No SAG credit, though. Sorry.
Bollywood on LI
Bollywood is big in Queens, but that doesn't really help you here on the Island. But as the Indian population on Long Island grows, at least two movie theaters are taking notice. So, hooray for National Amusements, which shows Bollywood movies on the Island. Broadway Multiplex Cinemas in Hicksville and the Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas (which runs the films once a week; adult tickets are $11.75) will schedule a full run for the India-based films.