OK, this one is really tough, because the pride of New York's filmgoing is its revival/repertory screens. But, as you’d learn in a “Best of ‘80s Fantasy Retrospective” that's bound to play at one of these places: There can be only one!
The competition is fierce (hats off to dedicated screens at The Quad, IFC Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and many others), but the consistency of high-quality selections at this weirdly shaped SoHo jewel earns it the top prize. Film Forum often devotes two of its three screens to older films. In one, you’ll frequently find a new print of a beloved or lost classic, and in the other, a definitive run of a specific director, actor, or theme.
It also draws a nice mix of nearby NYU students and the last holdouts of the “Downtown artist types” who were smart enough to get rent-controlled apartments decades ago. One whiff of their peanut-oil-popped popcorn and a glance of those Sol LeWitt prints and you know you’re home.