It should come as no shock that Los Angeles has some great movie theatres. While most of the theatres are from the Golden Age of Hollywood there are still new theatres making their mark on the city. What makes the movie theatres unique are their design, history, and special events. Here are the movie theatres in LA that are worth checking out.
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I spoke with my friend Jack Fields who is a major cinephile to discuss Must See Movie Theatres in LA. You can listen to our episode of the LA Dreaming Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, or Podbean. You can follow Jack’s adventures in Hollywood on Instagram.
TCL Chinese Theatre
The famous Chinese theatre in Hollywood is the first to make the list. This theatre is one that thousands of visitors come to daily. Unfortunately, so many people just come to see the hand & footprints of the stars out front without ever stepping inside this historical theatre. Most people have no idea what they are missing out on. The main theatre is truly spectacular.
The IMAX theatre is the second largest screen in the world but what really sets this theatre apart is its history. Countless movie premieres have been held here over the years with big stars constantly walking through the doors. The lobby always has costumes and props on display and the decor is really outstanding. I have watched many movies at this theatre over the years and it never disappoints.
Hollywood Legion Theater
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The theatre is part of the American Legion Post 43. This is the only movie theater in Hollywood that is owned and operated by veterans. Unlike the Chinese Theatre, the Legion is not showing first run movies. This is one of the many theatres you can come to and see older movies. They host several events and are one of the venues used for the TCM Film Festival.
Disney’s El Capitan Theatre
With the El Capitan Theatre Disney creates a magical experience for those of us who love movies and Disney. El Capitan is one of the grand movie palaces that was built in 1926 and is full of history. When I watched Frozen here it snowed during Let It Go. This theatre always adds a special touch to every movie and that is what makes this theatre worth checking out. Goldstar almost always discounted tickets for El Capitan movies. This is one of my favorite movie theatres in LA.
The Egyptian Theatre
The Egyptian Theatre was recently purchased by Netflix and is currently under construction. This spot is home to some great events throughout the year. We talked about the amazing American Cinematheque during our podcast conversation. The American Cinematheque is an amazing non-profit that shows movies, often with special guests, at the Aero Theatre and Los Feliz 3 at the moment. We are hopeful that we will see more events at the Egyptian through them when the theatre reopens.
The New Beverly Cinema
This small and intimate theatre really gives the old-school vibe. The New Beverly isn’t typically the place where you come to see new movies. Their specialty is showcasing movies both old and new. The theatre is currently owned by Quentin Tarantino. I recently got to attend a special screening of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie came for a q&a. Previously, I attended the 15th Anniversary Screening of Mean Girls here and was able to meet a cast member and the director. This is a really special place.
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The Los Angeles Theatre
The theatre that has the most beautiful lobby is the Los Angeles Theatre in Downtown. This theatre was built in 1931 and truly feels like a movie palace. As most of the original movie palaces, it no longer shows movies on a regular basis. However, through events like Last Remaining Seats, you can enjoy classic movies on screen here.
The Orpheum Theatre opened in 1926. This one is home to a stunning lobby and theatre. There is a unique bar area filled with black and white headshots of classic stars. I was able to visit the Orpheum through a live taping of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
What began as the United Artists Theatre has now become the Theatre at Ace Hotel. Opening in 1927 this theatre was used for United Artists motion pictures. Later it was turned into a church before becoming a movie theatre once again. After restoration, the theatre reopened in 2014 and has been home to some spectacular events and premieres ever since. This is one of the most detailed interiors of any movie theatre in LA.
My first time at the theatre was for a screening of Big Eyes that included a q&a with Amy Adams. This theatre also marks the spot where I met Nick Jonas and saw Emma Stone at a La La Land Screening.
Fox and Bruin Theaters in Westwood
Westwood Village has the Fox Theatre and the Bruin Theatre. Both theatres feel and look very old on the inside and are not very majestic at all. However, they are both filled with strong ties to Hollywood. These theatres are popular places for movie premieres. Thanks to Citi Private Pass I got to attend the Battle of the Sexes premiere and after-party! The Bruin Theatre is where Margot Robbie goes to the movies in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
The Million Dollar Theatre
The Million Dollar Theatre is another one of the movie palaces located in Downtown LA. I recently came here to watch Hocus Pocus as part of Cinema Phantasmagoria through Street Food Cinema. The theatre built in 1918 makes you feel like you have stepped back in time.
The Theatre at the Academy Museum
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The theatre at the Academy Museum is the most state-of-the-art theatre in the world. They are hosting several screenings that include Q&As or introductions with members of the cast and crew for the movies that they are showing. I cannot wait to check this one out.
The Los Angeles Alamo Drafthouse
This theatre chain became famous in Austin, Texas. They have finally opened up a location in DTLA at The Bloc. What makes this chain so fantastic? First of all, they have really cool events, comfortable seats, and a fantastic menu! I have really enjoyed this theatre so far.
Warner Grand Theatre
I got to experience the Warner Grand Theatre, which opened in 1931, recently which was such a treat. This was one of three art deco theatres built by Warner Bros in the LA area. Jack L. Warner referred to this theatre as the castle of your dreams. I love all of the architectural details here. In addition to serving as a movie theatre and a stage for theatrical performances, it is also used as a filming location for productions like Pearl Harbor.
With this particular theatre, if you want to go inside I recommend joining their email list to know about events they have going on. I found out about a free screening of the movie Coco that they were hosting in October. You can visit their website here.