Indie Movie Theaters and Films for Kids

by Maytal Wichman

If you’re weary of all of those “Alvin & the Chipmunk”-type movies and want to expose your children to movies with a little more substance, Long Island Mamas has put together a list of cool indie theaters that offer a selection of movies that are a little different from your run-of-the-mill films.


Cinema Arts Centre

The Cinema Arts Centre is an independent and international movie theater. It holds all types of programs, special events and workshops. It has three theaters and a cafe that are all available for rent. Members get special perks such as free tickets and discount tickets, discounts on special events and at the restaurant, special members-only previews and much more.

Good to know: March 25th at 2pm is a special showing of a silent movie version of Peter Pan, suitable for all ages.
Where: 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY 11743
Contact Info: (631) 423-7611


Cradle of Aviation Museum

Older kids will enjoy the museum’s Giant Screen Dome Imax Theater (the only one in Long Island), which provides a unique experience of motion, sound and sight. Featured films last 40-50 minutes long and are suitable for children over 5 due to the loud noise. The museum also has a “Martian” cafe, overlooking Martian landscape and serving authentic Martian cuisine. For an extra fee there is also a carousel, a Junior Jet Club and a Firefighter’s Museum.

Good to know: Although many of the movies are rated G, such as “Sharks 3D”, due to the type of theater, elementary school-aged children may get scared so use your judgement, as each child is different.
Where: 1 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530
Contact Info: (516) 572-4111


Merrick Cinema, a.k.a Merrick Theater

This family-owned and operated theater offers independent films. Birthday parties are available on premises and include free showing of a movie, unlimited soda and popcorn, free family pass to a future movie, and more. Check website for a special discount for birthday packages.

Good to know: Mondays are “Ladies Day” and offer tickets for $4. “Wacky Wednesdays” offer tickets for $5.50.
Where: 15 Fisher Avenue, Merrick, NY 11566
Contact Info: (516) 623-1177


Malverne Cinema

This theater offers independent and international films. Children’s movies are available during school breaks. Matine prices are every day before 5pm and are $7.50. Wednesday all day has a special price of $5.50. There are birthday parties packages available and include a DVD or a movie that the theater can order especially for the party. Each child also gets soda and a popcorn.

Where: 350 Hempstead Avenue, Malverne, NY 11565
Contact Info: (516) 599-6966
Floral Park Public Library

This library offers a consistent selection of contemporary films for kids and adults alike.

Where: 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park, NY 11001
Contact Info: (516) 326-6330 Website


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