New York City offers a treasure trove of possibilities for people who love the arts and culture.
New York City Cinemas show the latest Hollywood blockbusters as soon as they are released. These movies are generally in English and show at the various cinema chains like AMC Lowes (http://www.amctheatres.com/) and Clear view Cinemas (http://www.clearviewcinemas.com/) that exist at various locations throughout the city. Tickets for these cinemas can be bought online in advance at sites like (http://www.fandango.com/). General admission tickets cost $12.50 per head but there are discounts available for seniors and juniors. Movies are rated PG, (parental guidance required), PG-13 (some material inappropriate for under 13s), R (restricted audience) and NC-17 (no one under 17 admitted) by the Motion Picture Association of America.
For foreign and off beat cinema in New York City you should try stand-alone theaters like The Paris Theatre which is located near Central Park (http://www.theparistheatre.com/), the Angelika Film Center which is located in Greenwich Village (http://angelikafilmcenter.com/), the IFC film Center which is also located in Greenwich Village (http://www.ifccenter.com/), the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center ((http://www.filmlinc.com/) and BAM in Brooklyn (http://www.bam.org/). For Asian cinema in the city, try the Imaginasian Theatre (http://www.theimaginasian.com/index2.php) which is located on 58th street between Second and Third Avenue in Manhattan.
DVD’s of Hollywood block-busters and boxed sets of TV series are available for sale at retailers of electronics like Best Buy (http://www.bestbuy.com/). However buying DVDs can be quite expensive as they can cost upwards of $15-$20.
Today DVD and Blu-Ray online rental services, like Netflix (http://www.netflix.com) are becoming increasingly popular in NYC. Before you rent a movie though you have to first join one of Netflix’s many membership plans and then get “in line” (which is done online) to rent your DVD. When the movie you have chosen becomes available, it is sent to you via mail. You can even choose to stream the movie from Netflix to your TV via a Netflix ready device or online on your PC or Mac. After you have finished watching your DVD, you have to mail it back to Netflix in a self addressed envelope. Blockbuster (http://www.blockbuster.com) which used to be a brick and mortar store has also turned to e-retailing and now offers a similar service as well.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the primary destination for ballet and opera in New York City as it is home to the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. Tickets for their various performances can be purchased online at the website of the Lincoln Center at (http://www.lincolncenter.org) and on the individual websites of these companies.
The New York City Ballet Company (http://www.nycballet.com) performs at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. Tickets for the season and single tickets can be purchased online at (http://www.nycballet.com/w08/ep-tickets.html). Tickets for the ballet can be expensive at around $100 but there are ways to get tickets on the cheap like Student Rush Tickets which are reserved for full time students aged 29 and under. These Rush tickets can be bought in person or online on the day of the performance. You can also become a member of an organization known as the Fourth Ring Society (http://www.nycballet.com/ticket_info/fourthringsociety.html) by paying a membership fee of $20 for the season. Members of the Fourth Ring Society are entitled to buy tickets for $10 for a single performance for the Fourth Ring Row seats which normally cost $15. The NYC ballet now has a Facebook group which you can join in order to get updates on various events.
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra (http://nyphil.org) performs at the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center. Tickets for its many performances can be bought in person at the bought at the box office located at the Avery Fisher Hall. The Box Office is open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 12pm-5pm. Tickets can be bought on the phone by calling 212 875 5656 and by mail/fax that is available on the website of the orchestra, but these tickets incurs a service charge of $5-$6. Tickets for various concert performances can also be bought online at website of the orchestra which also offers Student Rush Tickets and MyPhil subscriber tickets for patrons under the age of 35.
The New York City Opera (http://www.nycopera.com/season/) also performs at Lincoln Center and tickets for its various performances can be bought in person at the Box Office at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The Box office hours are M: 10am -7pm; T-Sa: 10am-8pm, Su: 11.30am-7.30pm. Tickets can also be bought online at the website of the opera. The NYC opera also offers discounted tickets for students and members of the Big Deal! Organization.
The Metropolitan Opera (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/index.aspx?nav=top) offers more than 200 productions each season. Tickets go on sale almost two months in advance of each performance. Tickets can be purchased through the website of the Metropolitan Opera and in person at the Box Office of the Metropolitan Opera and by phone, mail or fax (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/visit/attending.aspx#buyTickets). These tickets can be quite expensive but there are several avenues to score these tickets on the cheap like Rush tickets, Standing room only tickets and student discount tickets.
The Carnegie Hall which is located on 57th Street and 7th Avenue is the premier location for concert performances in New York City. Tickets for the various performances can be purchased in person at the box office of the Carnegie Hall, on the phone at Carnegiecharge at 212-247-7800, and at the Shop at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are always available online at the website of the Carnegie Hall at (http://www.carnegiehall.org/article/the_basics/art_hours.html). Carnegie Hall also offers Student Rush Tickets and discounted tickets and advertises its offers in sections of the New York City press like the free newspapers, Metro New York and Am New York and the New York Times newspaper.
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
BAM offers a wide array of music, dance, cinema and other cultural performances all year round. Tickets for the various performances and movies can be bought online at the website of BAM (http://www.bam.org/view.aspx?pid=8) or by phone and email.
Broadway tickets are sold online at various ticket sites like http://www.broadwaybox.com and ticketmaster.com (http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/section/arts_theater) but they are also available at the TKTS booths at Times Square and South Street Seaport. The TKTS booths sell discounted tickets for that same day’s performance and usually have long lines of tourists in front of them. However you can also score cheap tickets for Broadway performances as well. Rush tickets are usually sold to students for same day performances and become available when the box office of the theater opens. The box office is usually open from 10 am onwards from Monday to Saturday and from 12pm onwards on Sundays. Rush tickets are generally range from $20 to $25 and each student is entitled to a maximum of two tickets. For more information do visit the website of Talking Broadway which has detailed information Rush and Standing Room only tickets. (http://www.talkinbroadway.com/boards/)
See our Entertainment Section for more information on NYC theatre. The best sources for information about the arts and cultural performances in New York are: