Dedicated to preserving and exhibiting independent and avant-garde film, Anthology Film Archives is made up of two screening rooms that seat 187 and 75 as well as a film repository, all inside a renovated redbrick courthouse. Cofounded in the 1960s by the downtown legend and filmmaker Jonas Mekas, Anthology remains a major destination for adventurous and unusual movies, new as well as old. The Essential Cinema series delves into the works of canonized, groundbreaking directors;
the frequent festivals are more eclectic and may cover under-recognized auteurs, such as a series devoted to the director Edgar G. Ulmer, as well as unappeciated or hard-to-see films of all types. This is an experience for film lovers, not casual moviegoers—screening rooms can be hot or cold depending on the outside temperature, and there are no standard movie theater amenities.