Movies outside the multiplex

At Extra Butter, a sneaker-and-clothing boutique in Rockville

At Extra Butter, a sneaker-and-clothing boutique in Rockville Centre, free movies are projected on the back wall. Bring your own pillow to get really comfy. (Credit: Photo by Timothy Fadek)

A movie, some popcorn, two sodas and . . . a pair of sneakers?

That's just one of the unlikely combinations you might find if you venture beyond the multiplex for your next movie night. Unlikely establishments around Long Island are finding that screening films - no matter how odd the context - helps them connect with the community and bring in customers who may otherwise pass them by. You could take in a flick at a local art gallery, museum, performing arts center or, yes, a sneaker store.

It may take some doing to find out what's playing at these places - they're not all conveniently listed on Fandango - but the experience promises to be worth the effort.

Extra Butter: 266 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-632-5150, extrabutterny.com

The place: A sneaker-and-clothing boutique with movies on its mind. Red velvet curtains hang from the ceiling and the sales counter looks like a concession stand. On some nights it really is a theater, with DVDs projected on a screen on the back wall.

The movies: Edgy, cultish fare such as "A Clockwork Orange" and the Japanese horror film "Audition." But co-owner Jason Faustino is a true cinephile: He's also screened "Punch-Drunk Love" and "The Graduate."

Inside tip: The venue puts out folding chairs during screenings; but, to really get comfy, bring your own pillow.

Parrish Art Museum: 25 Job's Lane, Southampton, 631-283-2118, parrishart.org

The place: This art museum occasionally doubles as a 150-seat theater, screening films that tie into exhibits.

The movies: The spring series includes "Capote" and "Pollock," two biopics about artists who resided on the East End.

Inside tip: Before the movie, why not check out the art? Your $7 ticket covers the entire museum.

Bay Street Theatre: The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor, 631 725-9500, baystreet.org

The place: Though this nonprofit venue is best known for concerts, comedy and theater it's also a movie house.

The movies: The fare runs the gamut. There was recently an  Edward G. Robinson weekend with "Little Caesar" and "All My Sons," while the Saturday Family Films series ranges from modern classics like "E.T." to classic classics like the 1946 tearjerker "The Yearling."

Inside tip: The Bay Street likes to keep this somewhat quiet, but there's a full bar in the lobby.

Ripe Art Gallery: 67A Broadway, Greenlawn, 631-2391805, ripeartgal.com

The place: A funky, friendly space that specializes in local, folk and self-taught artists. "It's not your shiny hardwood-floor gallery," says owner Cherie Via. Look up at the ceiling and you'll see metal hooks for hanging a DVD projector and a screen.

The movies: In August, the gallery presents the second annual "Homegrown Film Festival." Greenlawn may not be Hollywood, but last year Via rolled out a green carpet and enlisted faux paparazzi to greet the filmmakers.

Inside tip: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" screens the last Friday of each month; fans can bring the usual props.

Staller Center for the Arts: Stony Brook University, 631-632-2787, staller.sunysb.edu

The place: Although best known as a performing arts center, the Staller becomes a 1,000-seat movie theater each summer for the Stony Brook Film Festival. It also screens movies on the occasional Friday if there's no live event.

The movies: Staller director Alan Inkles aims for indie, foreign and limited-release studio fare - the kind of stuff most Long Islanders get few chances to see. Recent films include "Rachel Getting Married" and the overlooked drama " The Lucky Ones."

Inside tip: The venue serves coffee, candy and sodas - so why not popcorn? The lingering aroma isn't good for live performers, Inkles explains. "When Jessye Norman comes in the next night, she's not going to be happy if she smells that popcorn."

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