Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › The Best Theaters in NYC

“All the world’s a stage…” has never been truer than in the Big Apple, both literally and figuratively. The idea that anything can happen if you let it is true on and off stage in the city of endless possibilities and eternal inspiration.

Performance is embedded into the fabric of New York City. You can’t walk more than a few blocks from your apartment without coming across a theater, be it for Broadway, opera, or the movies. In fact, New York has more theaters than any other city in the world.

So how do you know which ones are the best? Easy! Here’s your one stop guide for the best theaters in NYC, from Shakespeare in the Park to the highest quality IMAX screens.

For a Broadway show…

Winter Garden Theater
The Winter Garden Theater has shown some of the biggest shows on Broadway. It houses the long-running shows and was redesigned in early 1900s with a garden motif. This is the first Broadway Theater to have a runway extended from the stage so performers could go into crowd.

New Amsterdam Theater
New Amsterdam Theater is the oldest continually functioning theater in New York. It’s haunted, sells out shows, and Disney signed a 99-year lease with them and has produced The Lion King and Mary Poppins there, now Aladdin. This is one of the first Art Nouveau buildings in the city.

Lyceum Theater
Lyceum Theater is the other oldest operating theater in NYC, iconic, both this and New Amsterdam opened in 1903, it was the first theater to be granted landmark status in the city, which happened in 1974. Limestone facade, big Corinthian columns.

Best Theaters in NYC

For an off-Broadway show…

The Public Theater
You’ll find some of the best up-and-coming shows debuting here at The Public Theater. While the shows here often have a fantastic alternative spin that you don’t get on Broadway, they’ve hosted talent and productions just as renowned, including Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, Privacy featuring Daniel Radcliffe, and the coveted Hamilton.

New World Stages
This off-Broadway performing arts center in Hell’s Kitchen hosts five different stages, so there’s always something showing for everyone. New World Stages have hosted everything from Tony award winning productions like Avenue Q to an interactive, family-friendly bubble show.

Twitter: @PublicTheaterNY & @newworldstages

Best Theaters in NYC

For an outdoor show…

Delacorte Theater
The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is arguably the most famous, and loveliest outdoor theater in the city. The Delacorte Theater, run by the Public Theater, is host to the beloved summer tradition of Shakespeare in the Park. Every summer, New Yorkers get the chance to see world-class productions of Shakespeare plays in Central Park for free.

Rooftop Cinema Club
With screenings on picturesque rooftops in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, this outdoor summertime movie theater couldn’t get any cooler. Unless they offered popcorn, champagne, and expertly curated classics on screen…all of which they do. Oh, and Rooftop Cinema Club also gives you wireless headphones for the film so the city noise doesn’t drown out your movie-going experience.

Marcus Garvey Park
Marcus Garvey Park, in Harlem, puts on fantastic productions in a lovely outdoor setting that doesn’t require you to trek down to the madness of Times Square. This outdoor theater is often used by the Classical Theater of Harlem for their world-class productions of everything from Hamlet to The Three Musketeers.

Twitter: @RooftopCinema, @MarcusGarveyPA

Best Theaters in NYC

For comedy…

Upright Citizens Brigade
With two locations, one in Chelsea and one in the East Village, this trendy improv club is also one of NYC’s most popular. Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) was originally an improv group created by Amy Poehler and Matt Walsh (who make regular guest appearances at improv shows). The groups have now hosted comedians and actors as famous as Ellie Kemper, Donald Glover, Aubrey Plaza, and Abbi and Ilana from Broad City.

Comedy Cellar
Easily one of the more famed comedy clubs in NYC thanks to stand-up celebrities like Aziz Ansari and Dave Chappelle, this theater sees a host of fantastic comedians. On any given night at the Comedy Cellar you’re likely to see a name you recognize or an SNL star.

Twitter: @UCBcomedy, @NYCComedyCellar

Best Theaters in NYC

For a movie…

Film Forum
The Film Forum has two screens showing old films plus one new indie/international/experimental and they often do runs of a director’s entire work. They also have themed showings, and other fun events. Whatever they’re showing —you know it’s good.

AMC Loews Lincoln Square
If you’re seeing a blockbuster hit, AMC Loews Lincoln Square is the place to do it. It’s easily the most legit IMAX screen in the city and probably one of the best large-format screens in the country.

Nitehawk Cinema
If you’re looking to dine-in and enjoy some cocktails during your flick, Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn offers delicious food and a full alcohol menu throughout your entire movie with waiter service. They screen an eclectic mix of big box hits, indie films, and short films.

Twitter: @FilmForumNYC, @AMCTheatres, @nitehawkcinema

Regardless of what your personal show preference may be, The Big Apple has it all. Before attending an epic show, don’t forget to fill your belly with classic New York food!

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About :

Elizabeth writes on arts and entertainment, travel and lifestyle, and finance and business. She has a knack (read: obsession) for finding the best deals, travel hacks, and hidden gems everywhere she goes, which she blogs about at Temporary Provisions. You can find her playing the urban romantic in NYC, downing Stumptown coffee in her hometown of Portland, OR, or retreating from the madness in the rain forests of Costa Rica. To see more of her work, visit her personal website.

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