LOS ANGELES, U.S.A. From the industry’s inception, Los Angeles has been heralded as the hometown of the modern Hollywood film. Though Hollywood itself may no longer be the single most cinematically important town that it once was, most modern LA natives have one thing in common: a love for movies. Yet with a county close to 5,000 square miles and nearly 10 million residents, choosing where to catch your next flick can be nothing short of daunting. But fear not! Here’s a guide to the oldest, newest, greatest and truest spots in Los Angeles to fit your every movie-going need.
- For the Film Enthusiast: The New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
Since the late 1950s, the New Beverly has been providing Angelenos with films presented in 35mm. The intimate interior and classic feel mark the theater as a true LA gem — so much so, that Quentin Tarantino bought the theater in late 2007 in order to ensure that it would stay in business, indefinitely. Today, the New Bev serves primarily as a revival theater complete with two-for-one priced tickets for double feature bills of films ranging from classic to modern, and genre in between.
- For the Hollywood Junkie: The Arclight on Sunset
6360 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
Despite the totally renovated interior, the Arclight on Sunset entertains a certain level of old-Hollywood nostalgia due to the exterior Cinerama Dome built in 1963. The program is usually an intriguing mix of big-budget blockbusters and smaller indie flicks, which adds to the theater’s integrity as a stalwart institution of all things Hollywood. The theater also has assigned seating, limited commercials before the film, and stellar caramel popcorn at the snack bar to ensure a premier viewing experience. (A pro tip: if you’re in the mood for an impromptu celeb sighting, the Arclight is definitely the theater for you.)
- For the Outdoorsy Type: The Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles
Ok, ok. Admittedly it may seem a little weird to go watch a film outside a cemetery after dark, but rest assured that the outdoor screenings at the famous Hollywood Forever are all part of the Angeleno experience. Screenings are held on the Fairbanks Lawn inside the cemetery gates and viewers usually bring their own picnics in order to enjoy both dinner and a movie under the stars. With films ranging from Jaws to Almost Famous, Hollywood Forever is without a doubt a summertime filmgoer’s dream.
- For Date Night: The Vista Theater
4473 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
Located in the glorious tri-enclave region of Los Feliz, Silverlake and Hollywood, the Vista is the perfect theater to catch a flick after a hip dinner date. The interior of the theater is Egyptian in style, which is undoubtedly a throwback to the era of the theater’s construction in 1923. The theater itself is the perfect spot to catch a flick with a date because of the intimate, one-screen setting… which also means you won’t need to argue over which film to watch.
- For the Art Lover: The Nuart Theatre
11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West LA
Complete with a sign spelled out in multicolored neon lights, the Nuart Theatre provides everything one could possibly want in an art-house theater: foreign films, classics, indie flicks, documentaries and regular showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. What could make this theater any more appealing? The Nuart also brings in regular guest appearances and Q&A sessions with various filmmakers and actors, including Werner Herzog, Harry Dean Stanton and Lena Dunham.
- For the All-Around Film Lover: The Cinefamily
611 N. Fairfax, Los Angeles
Though the seats in the theater are notoriously uncomfortable, the eclectic nature of the screenings is well worth the pain. Formed as a non-profit after the closing of the Silent Movie Theatre, The Cinefamily took over the space and transformed the theater into the totally radical independent institution that exists today. Along with awesome screenings ranging from Nosferatu to Valley of the Dolls, The Cinefamily has great events including “Dress Up Nights” and “T.V. Tuesdays.”
- For Children: The El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood
When taking kids to see a movie, look no further than the historic El Capitan. Housed in a gorgeous 1920’s film palace at the heart of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, the theater is owned by the Walt Disney Company and hosts many of Disney’s LA film premieres. But perhaps the best part of bringing kids to see a movie at the El Capitan is watching the pre-show antics that ensue before every screening. The theater has a live pianist and often brings in dancers and singers to entertain viewers before the show.