Beautiful Old-School Theaters
Collected by Bryan Kitch, AFAR Contributor
Looking back at the golden age of the silver screen, here are 19 beautiful movie theaters that have old-school charm.
1807 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612, USA
From 1928, when it opened as the West Coast Oakland theater (planned original name: The Bagdad), until it slid toward "final" closure in 1970, the Fox Theater was one of downtown Oakland's two classic movie palaces (See the Paramount Theatre as...
83 Upper St, London N1 0NP, UK
Taking the time to see a movie while I'm traveling usually doesn't rank high on my list of priorities but when the cinema itself offers a unique experience or cultural offering, I'm more than willing to reconsider. Roman Polanski opined that going...
1201 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, USA
Houston is not only known for its incredible food—more specifically, it's known for its Tex-Mex. El Real's Perfect Margarita was recently named one of the ten best margaritas in Texas by Texas Monthly. It starts with a piece of paper and a golf...
3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA
Granada opened as a movie theater in the 1940s, and later became a concert hall—my favorite live music venue, in fact. Check out their lineup, as big names, as well as local acts, are always on stage here—fun times to be had!
216 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
While on a road trip to Florida I stopped in Savannah to experience the south. While the sun was setting I came across this wonderfully retro theater now run by Savannah College of Art and Design. They play classic films, hold concerts and are...
2032 14th St, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
My first job in Boulder, Colorado, I was 23 years old and worked as a security guard at Boulder Theater. I got to see many amazing shows, change many marquees, and, once, stand on stage with Johnny Cash and June Carter (I was off to the side, my...
Calle de Santa Isabel, 3, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Since 1923, Cine Doré has been adored by Spanish patrons and, following its restoration in the 1980s, it has become an even bigger part of the local community. The Spanish Film Library has revitalized this classic theater, making it into an...
224 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
Built in 1929, the Majestic is San Antonio’s oldest and largest theater. A beloved historic landmark, it’s home to the San Antonio Symphony and hosts concerts, plays, and musicals three to five times a week. The magnificent interior...
2025 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA
Architect Timothy Pflueger completed the Paramount in 1931, and the theater became an instant landmark among Depression-era movie palaces. After decades of neglect, it was restored in 1973, and although it's taken more than 30 years for the rest...
54 Journal Square Plaza, Jersey City, NJ 07306, USA
Opened in 1929, The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre was once one of the state's largest movie theaters. Today, the bonafide "movie palace," equipped with a pipe organ, orchestra pit and an impressive screen, remains a notable Jersey City...
2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
Detroit's theater district is said to be the second-largest in the United States after New York City's, and the historic Fox Theatre is the nucleus of the district. Although the surrounding area exudes a cosmopolitan cool left over from the days...
320 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA
This little local indie theater is in the beautiful Gaslight District of Ludlow. The theater is small and cozy and shows a lot of indie and foreign films you wouldn't normally find at the big box-office theaters (win!). I also love the fact that...
222 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
The Historic Savannah Theater (operating since 1818) is a fabulous place to watch local theater. Savannah has a lot to offer culturally, from historic city and battle ground tours (even ghost tours if that's your thing), to impressive student...
2000 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Starlight Six Drive-In Theatre has been entertaining the area since 1949, and is the last standing drive-in movie theater in Atlanta. Grab concessions (or bring your own), tune the radio to pick up the audio, and lean back to enjoy this nostalgic...
221 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
The baroque one-screen “Movie Palaces” that were common in the early part of the 20th century are almost totally a thing of the past. Apparently, beauty couldn’t conquer the bland beasts with 20+ screens. Though movie-goers no longer dress up in...
10 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104, USA
Tulsa's Circle Cinema Theater is THE best place to catch a film in Tulsa. Films range from independent, art-house, documentary, and many more. On weekends their midnight movies are a hit, allowing younger viewers a potential first look at some of...
No. C 16, Bhagwan Das Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
The line at the ticket booth for Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the new Yash Chopra filck, was already down the street when I arrived at the majestic Raj Mandir Cinema an hour before showtime. Luckily, that was the men's line; the separate women's line, which...
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