A cinephile’s paradise, The Film Forum (pictured above) has been New York’s leading movie house for indie premieres, classic and foreign films, and director retrospectives since 1970 when it began with 50 folding chairs and one screen. On any given week you could, for example, catch an original Godzilla movie, see part of a Robert Altman retrospective, watch a restored print of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, or attend a premiere of the latest documentary by D. A. Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back) with the director on hand for questions after the screening.
People complain the three screens in the theatre are small and the seats uncomfortable, but film- lovers agree it just wouldn’t be the same in the city without the Film Forum’s eclectic and well-thought- out screening programs.
A great place for a drink or bar meal (burgers, steak and fries) afterwards is the historic Ear Inn.
Built in 1817 by the water’s edge to serve thirsty longshoremen working the docks, it’s been called the Ear Inn since the 1970s, after the ‘B’ in the neon ‘Bar’ sign was transformed with a few dabs of paint into an ‘E’ by members of The Ear music magazine, then published on the premises. Thanks to landfill and development, the former speakeasy now sits a few blocks inland. It has become a city institution where people come to enjoy a drink or meal in a relaxed atmosphere and maybe catch some live jazz if it’s a music night.