Cheap and Free Movies in NYC

AMC Empire W. 42nd St$7.79 Movie Tickets before Noon

You only live once.

And no matter what others might tell you, there’s absolutely no reason to squander all your time on work (which only goes to enrich the 1% any way).

Remember, the gospel of hard work is always for others to follow, not for you to embrace.

Enjoy life’s pleasures while you can and when the limbs are still supple.

NYC offers plenty of opportunities for the bon vivant – Movies, Broadway Shows, Night Clubs, Museums, Parks, Restaurants, Bars etc where you can take it easy, grab a bite or soak in the culture.

But few entertainment options in America have as tight a grip on the psyche as movies.

Cheap Movies

Movies are going to pieces, they’re disintegrating, and the something called cinema is not movies raised to an art but rather movies diminished, movies that look “artistic.” Movies are being stripped of all the “non-essentials” that makes them entertaining and joyful. They’re even being stripped of the essentials – light (The Eclipse), sound (The Silence) and movement in some of the New American Cinema films (there is sure to be one called Stasis).
– Pauline Kael, I Lost It at the Movies, P.22

Whether you agree with the late movie critic Pauline Kael or not, going to the movies is still a major source of entertainment for millions of New Yorkers, even in this Netflix-Hulu-iPad-iPod-iPhone-RedBox age.

And who doesn’t want to see a see a movie on the cheap in Manhattan.

Of course, we all would see a lot more Hollywood, European or Bollywood movie in Manhattan if only they were reasonably priced, right?

But movie ticket prices are climbing, climbing, yeah, we know, into the stratosphere.

Hey, only crazies pay $15.49 for a movie ticket.

That’s plain robbery intended to maintain the 1% (movie stars and studio executives) high style with their private jets, weekly Botox shots, boob-jobs and luxury yachts at the expense of the dollar bills in your wallet.

Cheap Movies – AMC Theaters

For a CHEAP movie experience, head to one of the AMC theaters in Manhattan before noon.

Movies starting before Noon are just $6 at the below AMC theaters.

New movies or last week’s release, Hollywood, European or Bollywood, they’re all $7.79 before Noon at the AMC theaters (damn, used to be $6 just a few years back).

Holy Moly, can you beat that.

Here’s the list of AMC theaters in Manhattan and how you can get there:

* AMC 25 on W42nd St in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY 10036
Subway: 1,2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S to Times Sq-42 St; A, C, E to Port Authority
* AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 at 1998 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Subway: 1 to 66 St; B, C to 72 St; 1, 2, 3 to 72 St
* AMC Loews Kips Bay 15 570 Second Ave, New York, NY 10016
*Subway: 6 to 33 St
* AMC Loews 890 Broadway (E19th St), New York, NY 10003
*Subway: 6 to 23 St; N, Q, R to 14 St-Union Sq
* AMC Loews 2310 Broadway (Bet 83rd St and 84th St) New York, NY
*Subway: 1 to 86 St
* AMC Loews Village 7 66 Third Ave (at E.11th St) New York, NY 10003
*Subway: L to 3rd Ave; 6 to Astor Pl
* AMC Loews Orpheum 7 1538 3rd Ave (bet 86th St & 87th St) New York, NY 10028 Subway: 4,5,6 to 86 St

Important: New foreign (Italian, French, Spanish, Bollywood etc) movies are also screened at AMC 25 near Times Square.

Discounted Regal Tickets

Now there’s no need to despair if you’re not near an AMC theater but work or live close to a Regal theater in NYC.

We have an idea for you to shave some bucks off your Regal movie ticket.

Regal Cinemas in Times Square

Buy a bunch of Regal Coupons from the Entertainment Book on auction site eBay.

You can get a dozen coupons for $2.50-$2.59 (including shipping) on eBay.

Each Entertainment Book coupon entitles you to a $2 discount on TWO full-price adult admission tickets of $8 and above.

Ha, you can now prove your ‘cheap’ credentials to your date with the discounted Regal movie ticket. Often, IMAX, RPX, Large Format, 3-D, and Restricted Films are also included.

Remember, each coupon is for discounts on TWO tickets.

So, that’s a $4 discount on every coupon. Don’t forget to take along your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife along. Sweet!

I see tons of movies and have no qualms in telling you that lately I have not watched a movie at a Regal theater without handing in a coupon.

11 W.53 St
(Between 5th Ave and 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
Ph: 212-708-9400
Subway: E, M to 5 Ave-53 St
Individual Membership of $85 a year offers FREE Admission to MoMA films with advance ticket privileges.
Web site:

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave
(At 2nd St)
New York, NY 10003
Ph: 212-505-5181
$70 annual membership gives you free admission to screenings from the Essential Cinema Repertory collection and $4 discount on other films.

Subway: F to 2 Ave, walk two blocks North on 2nd Ave to 2nd St; 6 to Bleecker St, walk one block North on Lafayette, then two blocks East on Bond St (turns into 2nd St) to 2nd Ave
Web site:

Film Forum
209 W.Houston St
New York, NY 10014
Ph: 212-727-8110
Subway: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to W.4 St-Washington Sq; C, E to Spring St; 1 to Houston St
New American independent and foreign art films and old classics.
$75 annual membership fee gets you a $6 discount on every ticket on all three screens, 365 days.
Web site:

Maysles Cinema
343 Lenox Ave
(Between W.127th St and W.128th St)
New York, NY 10027
Ph: 212-582-6050
Subway: 2, 3 to 125 St; A, B, C, D, 4, 5, 6 to 125 St and walk or take a bus to Lenox Ave

Focuses on Documentary Films.

$100 Annual membership gives you free admission to all screenings for a year and discounts on group reservations.

Web site:

Neue Galerie New York
Museum for German and Austrian Art
1048 Fifth Ave
(At E.86th St)
New York, NY 10028
Ph: 212-628-6200
Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86 St

FREE documentary and feature films centering around art on display every Monday 4PM at Cafe Fledermaus.

Doors open at 3:30PM. Get there early.

FREE admission to museum from 6PM-8PM on first Friday of month.

Web site:

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Sony Plaza
550 Madison Ave
(At 56th St )
New York, NY 10022
Ph: 212-833-8100
Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 59 St; N, Q, R to Lexington Ave-59 St

73-seat High Definition Theater offers FREE films.

Limited seats. So reserve tickets beginning Monday of week in which screening is scheduled by calling 212-833-8100.

Remaining tickets distributed on first come, first served basis.

Web site:

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
Central Park
New York, NY
Late August

Five nights of FREE movies in late August. Screenings start at 8PM. Guest DJs play at 6:30PM.

Where: Landscape just north of Sheep Meadow and south of the 72nd St Cross Drive

Films on the Green
NYC Parks
New York, NYC

FREE French films (with English subtitles) at New York City parks (Central Park, Washington Square Park, Tompkins Square Park, Riverside Park) from the French Embassy and NYC Parks & Recreation Department.

When: Fridays in June and July. Screenings start at dusk.

Web site:

Bryant Park Winter Film Festival
Bryant Park
New York, NY

When: January-February
Where: Skating Rink

FREE movies at the outdoor film festival every Monday in late January and early February.

Subway: B, D, F, M to 42 St-Bryant Park

Intrepid Summer Movies
Pier 86, 12th Ave
(At W.46th St)
New York, NY
Ph: 212-245-0072

Watch FREE movies on the flight deck of U.S.S.Intrepid in summer.
Doors open at 7:30PM. Films start at sunset. Limited seats, so get there early.

The 2016 season kicks off May 27, 2016. The 2016 lineup includes Top Gun, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Galaxy Quest, Big Hero 6 and more.

Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St-Port Authority; N, Q, Rto 42nd St, S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St, then walk or take M42 West Bus to Hudson River (12th Ave)
Web site:

Riverflicks for Adults
Pier 63 Lawn
Hudson River Park
(At W.24 St)
New York, NY

FREE outdoor movies in summer. Movies start at dusk on Wednesdays & Fridays, usually 8:30PM
2016 Season from July 8-August 21
Subway: C, E to 23rd St
Web site:

Riverflicks for Kids
Pier 46
Hudson River Park
(Charles St in Greenwich Village)
New York, NY

FREE outdoor movies in summer. Movies start at dusk on Fridays at 8:30PM, FREE Popcorn
2016 Season from July 13-August 24
Subway: 1 to Christopher St
Web site:

Epix Movie Free-For-All
Different Parks
New York City

FREE outdoor movies in summer in the parks of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens
Details on Web site:

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Bryant Park
New York, NY
Ph: 212-512-5700

FREE movies at the outdoor film festival every Monday from mid-June through late August.

When: June-August
Where: The Lawn (Entrance from 6th Ave)

Check the Bryant Park Event Calendar for schedules.
Subway: B, D, F, M to 42 St-Bryant Park
Web site:

By the way, Cheap movie tickets are not to be had in Manhattan alone.

Free and Cheap Movies in Queens

Living in Queens? No sweat, I’ve got some deals for you.

Kew Garden Cinemas
81-05 Lefferts Boulevard
(Near Austin St)
Jamaica, NY 11415
Ph: 718-441-9835
Subway: E, F to Kew Gardens-Union Tpke

80+ years old theatre features first run and solid indie and foreign films.
Bargain Tickets on Tuesdays and Thursdays $7 all day. $7 tickets Mon-Fri until 5PM; $7 Sat and Sun first show of the day till 2PM
Web site:

Jackson Heights Cinema
40-31 82nd St
(At Ithaca St)
Jackson Heights, NY 11373
Ph: 718-205-5100 or 718-205-7900
Subway: 7 to 82 St-Jackson Heights; M, R to Elmhurst Ave.
Discount Tickets – Matinee $6; Wednesday $6

FREE Tickets – Saturday & Sunday 11:15AM Show


Cobble Hill Cinemas
265 Court St
(At Butler St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Ph: 718-596-9113
Subway: F to Bergen St; G to Carroll St
Plays First Run, Indies and Foreign Films.

Discount Tickets on Tuesdays and Thursdays $7 all day (except Sony Pictures’ first run releases for first two-weeks). $7 tickets Mon-Fri until 5PM; Sat and Sun first show of the day until 2PM $7
Web site:

McCarren Park
(Corner of Bedford Ave and N.12th St)
Brooklyn, NY

FREE Movies
July-August Wednesday Nights. Gates open at 6PM. Screening start at dusk. 2016 season starts July.
Subway: G to Nassau or L to Bedford
Web site:

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn, NY

FREE Movies with a View returns for the 15th season this summer. Thursdays July -August. Great movies with a great view.

Location: Pier 1, Harbor View Lawn.
Time: 6PM-11PM Music at 6PM, Movies at Sunset.
Subway: F to York St; A, C to High St
Get there early since lawn capacity is limited.
Web site:

Red Hook Flicks
Valentino Pier
Red Hook, Brooklyn
Free Movies
July-August, Tuesday evenings.

2016 Season Starts July and lasts 10-weeks.
FREE Movies start when it gets dark.
Subway: A, C, F to Jay St, walk down Jay St to B61 bus stop in front of Brooklyn Tabernacle (on Jay St between Livingston St and Fulton St). Take B61 bus to Coffey St. Walk two blocks toward the water.
Web site:

African Diaspora Film Festival-Cine Club
Location: Teachers College Columbia University
525 W.120th St
New York, NY
Ph: 212-864-1760
Subway: 1 to 115 St-Columbia University
Web site:

Monthly community screenings of films depicting life of people from Africa and African diaspora. Organizes multiple screenings last Friday of month of which one show is free. Join mailing list for details.

Say No to Theater Popcorn and Soda

If you’re like the average American, nibbling on something enhances your enjoyment of the movie.

But for heaven’s sake, do not buy the theater popcorn or Soda.

Not only are they bad for your health but they’re also frightfully expensive.

Call me cheap all day long if it makes you happy but I’ve seen more movies than most of you.

NYC Film Festivals

Thankfully for the avid moviegoer, a movie experience in NYC doesn’t happen merely in the theatres dotted across the city.

Several film festivals bring the best and brightest film-makers to NYC to show you their latest productions.

Here are some of the best-known film festivals that happen annually in NYC:

Tribeca Film Festival
Started in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival is an annual event.

Robert De Niro is one of the founders of this international film Festival.

Dozens of films (full-length, shorts and documentaries) are screened every year at the festival.

Excerpt from the Tribeca Film Festival’s web site:

Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Festival has screened over 1300 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 3.7 million attendees and has generated an estimated $725 million in economic activity for New York City.

Web Site:

Tribeca Film Festival – Cheap Tickets
Cheap Tickets: Go for the matinee shows (starting before 6PM) Mon-Fri or Late Night screenings (after 11PM) every day for $8 tickets.

Given service fees for online and phone purchases, buy tickets at respective box office.

New York Film Festival
Launched in 1963, the New York Film Festival is an annual event.

Top filmmakers from around the world participate in the event organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

In 2011, Roman Polanski’s acclaimed film The Carnage (Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and John C.Reilly) made its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival.

Cheap Tickets: Limited Rush Tickets to select films at screening’s box office.

The 53rd festival ran from September 25-October 11, 2015.

New Directors/New Films Festival
A joint presentation of the Film Festival of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, New Directors/New Films festival showcases new faces.

The 45th New Directors/New Films Festival ran from March 16 – 27, 2016.

Web Site:

Discount Tickets
Tickets: Regular Price $14. Discount of 10% if you buy 5 or more tickets. Opening and closing night screenings are not included in discount package.

Rush Tickets
Cheapest option is Rush Tickets ($7.50).

But it carries an element of uncertainty because tickets are limited.

If available, you can buy Rush Tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis, one hour before each screening at each venue’s box office.

Buy tickets at below Box Offices to avoid Online Fees:

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Walter Reade Theater: 165 W.65th St (north side) between Broadway & Amsterdam, on the upper level (212-875-5601). Mon.–Fri. opens at 12:30pm, Sat/Sun opens 1/2 hour before first public screening. Closes 15 minutes after last public screening or at 6pm when there are no public screenings.

Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center: 144 W.65th St (south side) between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave. Opens 1/2 hr before first public screening. Closes 15 minutes after last public screening or at 6pm when there are no public screenings.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
11 West 53 St (Between Fifth & Sixth Ave)
New York, NY

Opens 1/2 hour before the first public screening. Closes 15 minutes after last public screening (212-408-6663).

New York Jewish Film Festival

Started in 1992, the New York Jewish Film Festival is an annual event highlighting the Jewish experience.

A collaboration between Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Festival includes narrative features, documentaries and short films, including world, U.S. and NYC premieres.

Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Ave
(At 92nd St)
New York, NY 10128
Ph: 212-423-3200
When: 26th annual New York Jewish Film Festival, January 2017

Discount Tickets: For Students, Seniors and members of Jewish Museum and Film Society.


Subway: 4, 5, or 6 train uptown to 86th Street/Lexington Ave.

South Asian International Film Festival

Exhibits films from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as by the South Asian diaspora.

In 2015, the eighth South Asian International Film Festival was held from December 9-13.

Discount Tickets: For Students and Seniors

Web Site: