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A kind of New York movie house landmark, even if it didn't show movies until relatively recently, the Village East opened in 1926 as the Yiddish Art Theatre, and later had several incarnations (and names) as an Off-Broadway playhouse before being converted into a movie theater in 1991. There are now six auditoriums, most of which (including the one where The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays on Friday and Saturday) have ludicrously small screens. The main auditorium (which still has a fabulously ornate Star of David on its ceiling) was renovated in 2003, and now has roomier seats and a bigger screen, although the Carnegie Hall-style steepness ensures that absolutely no seat has a comfortable sightline. But a trip to the Village East remains a necessary pilgrimage anyway: It's one of a handful of theaters in New York that isn't completely sterile.


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