For any lover of film, or cinephile, going out and finding fantastic movie theaters is one of the best experiences to be had. Some may find the experience of going to movie theaters to be too time consuming or, in many cases, just too frustrating with all of the crying babies and loud talkers. But there are certain theaters throughout the country that have gained an incredible name for themselves, and for good reason. Visiting any one of these cinemas to enjoy a good flick can keep the love of movie theaters alive in anybody.
Number One: The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. This incredible theater chain was founded in 1997 by Tim and Karrie League and has become one of the most talked about movie theaters in the country. Austin itself is known as a movie town; filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have held special screenings and film festivals there. Inside the theater, audiences can enjoy great food and alcohol, and the theater is famous for absolutely not tolerating moviegoers talking or texting during the film.
Number Two: The Senator in Baltimore, Maryland. The city of Baltimore has been giving The Senator Theatre nothing but undying love and support ever since it was first constructed in 1939, making it one of the longest standing movie theaters in America. It holds a very impressive main auditorium with a 40 foot, curved silver screen, while also still having 35-millimeter projectors. Surviving threats of foreclosure and being auctioned, The Senator has remained an icon in the city of Baltimore for over 75 years.
Number Three: The State Theater in Traverse City, Michigan. Michigan probably would not have been on your list of places to visit for amazing movie theaters, but documentary filmmaker Michael Moore would beg to differ with you. The theater was originally built in 1989, and Moore, along with so many members of the local arts community, has helped keep the beautiful theater alive. The theater plays a fair mixture of art house films, as well as special event pictures, and family/classic movies only priced at 25 cents. But the best time to visit State Theater is in the summer. As an incentive, if the weather hits 100 degrees or above, admission into the theater is absolutely free. If that isn’t enough to whet one’s appetite, I don’t know what is.
Number Four: The New Beverly in Los Angeles, California. A mandatory stop for anyone visiting Los Angeles, The New Beverly has gone through several changes and transformations while remaining one of the best movie theaters in the U.S. First, it was a vaudeville house dating all the way back to the 1920s; then it changed into a nightclub. It finally became a movie theater in the ’50s. Tarantino purchased the theater when the previous owner, Sherman Torgan, died, leaving the main operations to the Torgan family while programming his own festivals and double-features every now and then.
Number Five: The Paramount in Oakland, California. Timothy L. Pflueger is the man who designed this theater, known as The Paramount. Pflueger instilled a great art-deco vibe throughout the building, which originally opened in 1931. As with many of the classic movie theaters, attendance began to decline, and the theater has had a long uphill battle to survive and maintain its relevance, but it has thus far prevailed. The theater reopened in 1973; it was funded by the Oakland Symphony, a collection of private donors, and the city of Oakland in general. The Paramount is currently on the Register of Historic Places, and it is also a national historic landmark. The showings currently shuffle between classic cinema and music and comedy concerts.