4D & Fine Food: 6 NYC Movie Theaters With Special Features

It's movie magic on a large scale with these 6 innovative NYC movie theaters. IMAX? Check. 4D? You bet. Beers and burgers? Why not? Here's where hospitality meets technology as cutting edge advances have equipped select theaters with wraparound screens and vibrating chairs to pull you deeper into the world of film. In an effort to delight their film-loving customers, NYC movie houses provide an experience you simply can't stream from your couch. 

(Also: movie theater regulations still apply across all NYC theaters. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or older for R-rated movies. Those 25 years and under must show I.D., and if you'd like a student discount, be sure to bring a valid student I.D.)

4DX and ScreenX at Regal Cinemas

Why watch the entire Marvel Universe on a laptop, when the latest tech is just up the street at Regal Cinemas’ Union Square and Times Square locations? Their 4DX screens offer a multi-sensory take on movies (that means 3D with new bells and whistles). Vibrating chairs, scents, bubbles, and wind in the theater are cued by key moments in the movie you’re watching. It's a delight for kids of all ages. At the Union Square location, Regal has also added ScreenX technology to one of its auditoriums. It's an immersive screening experience that extends the film to three screens, surrounding you in 270 degrees of movie magic. What??. Regal Union Square: 850 Broadway. Regal Times Square: 247 W. 42nd St. 844-462-7342,

AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13

If you’re looking to live large, head to the AMC Lincoln Square for an IMAX experience. This screening technology surrounds viewers in larger-than-life, crystal-clear images and top-notch sound, making the most of your trip to witness the latest epic adventure. This AMC also offers comfy recliners and reserved seating so you can pick your sweetest spot. 1998 Broadway, 212-336-5020,

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema


Dinner and show? Head to the Alamo in downtown Brooklyn! With its oversized screens and a full complement of food and drink, you can take in the latest indie sensation, superhero flick or Oscar contender while enjoying craft beer, burgers, and buttery popcorn. They also regularly screen throwback movies like Rocky Horror or Airplane!, if you’re up for a “quote-along”! There are now additional Alamo locations in the Financial District in Manhattan and another in Staten Island. Brooklyn: 445 Albee Square West, 718-513-2547,

iPic Fulton Market

iPic Fulton Market


iPic is the only cinema in NYC offering lounge chairs, pillows and blankets as part of your moviegoing sojourn. What's more, there are also tables between each pair of seats and wait staff on call to deliver tangy margaritas, truffle fries, cheese plates, or all of the above as you take in your movie. (Seriously, the food is very good here.) Come to the Seaport District for this one-of-a-kind theater, and make sure to check out the bar/restaurant upstairs before you leave. 11 Fulton St., 212-776-8272,

Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk remains a mainstay in New York's thriving movie/restaurant community. Visit the land of the hipsters in Williamsburg or their location in Park Slope for a delightful night of cinema, Brooklyn style. Food and drink specials accompany the featured films, and regular offerings riff on favorite movies as well, like the Fire Walk With Me (their spicy margarita) or the Charlie Bucket (a quartet of candies). New American fare (with vegan and gluten-free menus) and local beer and spirits come with brunch, lunc, and evening screenings at both Nitehawk locations. Williamsburg: 136 Metropolitan Ave.,; Park Slope: 188 Prospect Park W.,

IFC Center

IFC is the cineaste's home base at the heart of Greenwich Village. With international, independent, and classic movies on display, you can enjoy hard-to-find (but impossible to miss) movies on the big screen. IFC frequently hosts film luminaries to discuss their work and answer audience questions after special screenings. They also host an annual DOC NYC festival for documentary films and a monthly selections that embrace queer cinema. 323 Sixth Ave., 212-924-7771,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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