City Cinemas’ Paris Theatre has a reputation as one of New York’s most beautiful. The exterior is a marvel of chrome, and the elegant entryway is beautiful.  But I suspect that much of what people consider so gorgeous about it simply comes from the theater’s proximity to The Plaza Hotel, one of the grandest Apple Stores around, and the bottom-east corner of Central Park.

The green velvet seats—much more comfortable than they look, a fact owed to ergonomic design rather than the plush, cushy pleather surface of most modern “comfortable” theater seats—and single-screen setup are a joy seemingly plucked from another era, but the theater itself is distinctly modern. The concessions stand offers little outside of standard movie theater fare, and is quite inconveniently placed.

The Paris Theatre’s programming seems directed toward an older audience– apparently they once tried midnight screenings, but who on the Upper East Side goes to bed after 11pm? It is not any huge step above the standard multiplex, and is certainly not the standard New York art-house theater, but if you’re in the area I can’t exactly speak against it.

For my money, though, the most beautiful theater in the city is another City Cinemas joint, but one that might catch some off guard. Beyond the Village East’s run-down exterior lies a marvelous main auditorium that somehow managed to survive the destruction of the Art Deco Movie Palace. Red velvet, gold accents, a gorgeous roof, and balcony seating (also available at the Paris) make the Paris look like nothing special.

Additionally, if what you want to see isn’t playing in Theater 1, there are a few extra, smaller screening rooms running an odd mix of documentaries, indies, and more mainstream films (why on earth are they running The Incredible Burt Wonderstone?). The Village East keeps you on your toes. If your grandparents are in town though, take them to the Paris and there will, more likely than not, be something there that will fit their taste.