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Best Spot for Film Geeks

  • Maysles Cinema

    343 Lenox Ave., nr. 127th St.; 212-582-6050

    It won’t be putting Film Forum out of business, but the tiny, extremely low-budget Maysles Cinema at least has the pedigree of an art-film palace. The year-old Harlem screening room is the brainchild of acclaimed doc-maker Albert Maysles, who, with his late brother David directed Gimme Shelter and Grey Gardens, among other masterworks of the genre. What it lacks in stadium seating and surround sound, it makes up in sheer character—there’s just 60 folding chairs with cushions set on a Persian rug—and inventive programming. For a $7 suggested donation per screening, you can catch rarely seen documentaries (including the ones in this month’s “Tibet in Harlem” festival), often followed by discussions and/or appearances by the filmmakers.

From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).