The Best Movie Theater Experiences in LA

Los Angeles offers some of the best movie theater experiences to be had

Joshua Letona, Copy Editor

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With so many films released and so many theater options, it can be difficult to decide where to see a movie. There is only a handful of theaters that offer some of the best movie-going experiences out there, and fortunately, many of them are right here in Los Angeles.

The TCL Chinese Theatre

The TCL Chinese Theatre features one of the largest IMAX screens in the nation making for a one of a kind movie experience.

At 90 feet by 46 feet, the IMAX allows for the use of laser projection to create some of the most vibrant and clear displays of a film to be seen. Seeing films here such as ‘Avengers: Endgame” which utilizes the IMAX cameras makes it all the much better when audiences get that extra quarter of the screen they would not see at any other theater.

While the IMAX holds 932 seats, the theater still has six other standard digital screens available. Located in the heart of Hollywood, CA on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue, its design and premieres have made the TCL Chinese Theatre a part of Los Angeles history since 1927.

The AMC Burbank 16

The farthest theater on the list, the AMC Burbank 16 holds the single best movie screen. 

While nowhere near as big as the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Cinema at AMC is a premium experience that remains a must see. Bringing together Dolby Vision projection and the Dolby Atmos sound system, the theater gives some of the deepest blacks and crisp sound that rivals IMAX. The inclusion of leather recliner seats is also a leg up. 

The AMC Burbank 16 also features a solid IMAX experience that has upgraded to laser projection and the Prime at AMC, while a smaller screen, does present great sound and picture. The other screens are all standard digital screens with digital projection, but it is the premium offerings that make the theater one of the best.

The Alamo Drafthouse Downtown LA

While there are many dine-in movie experiences, nothing comes close to the Alamo Drafthouse.

Just recently opened in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles on South Flower Street and Seventh Street, the trick of the Alamo Drafthouse is being a restaurant first and a theater second. While no screen stands out, aside from once again a single screen for a 35mm projection, it is the food offerings that make the theater a must.

Everything is ordered quietly from your seat as you write your order down and place it in front of your table. No more standing in the lobby for snacks and food. Waiters are trained to be as quiet as possible so they do not disturb the movie going experience. The Video Vortex section of the theater offers a bar, table top games and a mini arcade for those looking to relax before or after their movie.

Combining dinner and a movie makes for a unique experience at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown LA. 

The New Beverly Cinema

There are few theaters like the New Beverly Cinema. 

Owned by director Quentin Tarantino, the New Beverly is an old-school theater experience that plays classic movies in 35 or 16mm film. Just in the past months, they have offered showings of “Boogie Nights” and “The Godfather” while in weekends having family picks like the original “Mary Poppins.” Every second Saturday of the month, they even host a Cartoon Club featuring classic cartoons curated by a special host. 

Currently, the theater is playing “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” making it a must-see destination for Tarantino fans. The New Beverly Cinema features many double features and midnight screenings making it a movie lover’s dream spot to watch classic films.

The Arclight Hollywood and the Pacific Cinerama Dome 

The Pacific Cinerama Dome is another piece of Hollywood history that has had its doors open since 1963. 

Now part of the Arclight Hollywood right on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, it is of the few theaters that offer new movies to be seen in 70mm. The Cinerama Dome’s design makes for a great sound and the film prints look fantastic. Like the New Beverly, the Cinerama Dome has a classic movie going feeling to it.

The Arclight Hollywood still offers new movies in digital and 35mm projection but it is really the Cinerama Dome audiences must come to see for its aesthetic and history.

Whether you are looking for an IMAX screen like no other, longing for a classic movie or even just good theater food, all of these spots offer some of the best experiences to be had in Los Angeles. If you are going to make a trip to the movies, why not make it worthwhile?

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