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The Paris Theater

May 5, 2010

The Paris Theater on West 58th Street between 5th and 6th is, in my humble opinion, the best theater in New York. Going to see a movie there is like going back in time, since, compared to the mega cineplexes all over town, The Paris is unusually quaint — they only have one screen, which means they carefully select the movies they play. While a blockbuster like “Avatar” would not do well up on their screens, the independent films they show are a perfect accompaniment to the charming, old-world atmosphere. The lobby is perfectly retro with red walls and black and white tiled flooring and is small enough to feel like an exclusive club. Sitting in a velvet upholstered seat on the balcony, it is hard to imagine that you are right across the street from the Mac store on Fifth Avenue, and best of all, there are no advertisements before the show! The only drawback is that the lobby area is not big enough to accommodate crowds so unless it is an unusually slow night you might have to wait outside to get a ticket.

I’m definitely going back for the movie “Babies” which is directed by the French filmmaker Thomas Balmes and follows the first year in the life of four babies from Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and the U.S. The WSJ has a great interview with the director here and the movie comes out on May 7. They are currently showing “The City of your Final Destination”, about a young American academic who wants to write the biography of a Uruguayan novelist and comes upon some obstacles when seeking his family’s permission. Anthony Hopkins plays the novelist’s brother and Charlotte Gainsbourg his mistress. Tickets are $12 or $7.50 with the student discount and can be purchased on Fandango.

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