Movie theaters are a wondrous place, a sacred temple to unplug from your phone and relax. Houston has a wide range of theater offerings that house five-story IMAX screens, as well as charming art house theaters that bring independent cinema to the Gulf Coast.
Houstonians are in good company when looking for offerings around the city. And while some may be a bit of a drive, the luxury of convenience can’t be matched in comparison to premium experience. Our city is known for diversity, and while we celebrate our vast array of cultures, that also proudly reflects the art we see on the big screen. If you are in the mood for a lightsaber battle, a familial drama, or even a piece of world cinema, Houston has a feast of films that can keep any rabid movie lover’s appetite at bay.
AMC Studio 30 Dunvale
Located off 59 South and Westpark, AMC Studio 30 may not be aesthetically pleasing — the seats definitely need some updating — but there’s a soft spot for this theater that continues to cater to foreign films. The 30-screen megaplex highlights films found around the globe, from the latest Bollywood films to critically acclaimed Asian cinema. You can also see major Hollywood motion pictures and indies any day of the week. Also, getting your snacks is easy with the theater’s self-serve concessions.
Regal Edwards Marq’E 23
Right off of I-10 and Silber, just past the Heights, you will find a bright shining beacon of lights that point to the Edward’s Marq’E 23 theater. Complete with IMAX, D-BOX, ScreenX and RPX, this 23-screen theater has premium experiences that will cater to the more adventurous filmgoer.
The DBOX is essentially a theme park ride, complete with fog and optional (light) water splashing. Meanwhile, ScreenX is an immersive, panoramic experience. Finally, the 5 story IMAX and RPX options are the staples of the theater and offer larger than life screens and immersive sounds.
Getting a ticket can be a bit pricey, ranging from $11 to $22 dollars in the evenings, but the staff is committed to their guest’s comfort through their reserved seating and their penchant for silencing any rude patrons.
If you’re going to the movies for spectacle, this must be the place for you.
Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra
It’s a bit of a haul for those inside the loop, but take a trip down Highway 99 to lamenter, located in Cinco Ranch. This newly built theater is inside a massive pavilion shopping center that caters to so many demographics. Young professionals can grab a drink and families can take a stroll to see the ducks and grab a popsicle.
It’s easy to see why this is the best theater in all of Greater Houston. This is due in part to the fact that they strictly enforce a no talking and no texting policy. The ticket prices are phenomenal here as well, ranging from $5 to $11 (mostly). And the best part? You can eat a meal in the comfort of a comfy recliner.
This multipurpose theater has old school repertory releases such as Movie Parties for films like “Jaws” and “Step Brothers,” as well as the chance to see films you may have never known you needed. See one film, see two, or just stay all day —Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra is your new home away from home.
Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre
This historic, 1939-built theater sporting a swanky Art Deco design is located in the heart of River Oaks on West Gray. The three-auditorium theater unfortunately lacks in the seating department, with some labeling it to being akin to “sitting on a park bench.” The downstairs main auditorium, however, is stunning.
And despite desperately needing an update, the bright, neon glow of the theater will give any cinephile chills. The historic theater offers first-run indies and midnight showings every Friday and Saturday, with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “The Room” being shown to sold-out crowds on a monthly basis.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — Brown Auditorium
Located in the Museum District, this theater at 1001 Bissonnet is surrounded by scenery and architecture, including the new Glassell School of Art. This elegant experience has more than fair ticket pricing, as programmer Marian Luntz brings art house cinema and foreign films and classics that keep the schedule fresh and exciting each and every month.
Yearly highlights at the theater include the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, The Turkish Film Fest and Movies Houstonians Love. The museum also holds screenings for Q-Fest every July.
Recent highlights include a showing of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the brilliant Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, “Shoplifters.”