The 14 Best Movie Houses In Dallas-Fort Worth.
Welcome to Ranked, our recurring column in which we take a long, hard look at oddly specific things pertaining to Dallas and tell you the order in which you should care about them.
Aside from sweltering heat, the summer always brings with it the inevitable, highly anticipated, over-the-top blockbusters. So far we've seen San Andreas and Jurassic World, but we've still got Ant Man, Fantastic Four and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation to look forward to. Films like this don't necessarily make a theatre great, though. The indie arthouses and old school drive-ins have their own crowd and appeal, as well.
To that end, we've ranked some of the area's most prevalent movie theatres on the merits of their aesthetics, menus, comfort and film selection. Because those are things that are important all year long.
14. United Artists Galaxy Theatre 10.
11801 McCree Rd, Dallas.
This place isn't very original, to be honest. Sure, they have 3D screenings, but the aesthetic is so commercialized and over the top. They seem to stick exclusively to the big blockbusters that you can get pretty tired of hearing about after a while. It's sort of that quintessential theatre you go to when you're a kid and just want an Icee and aren't there to take anything too seriously. It's doubtful that any real film enthusiast will want to make their way through the crying babies and spilled popcorn, though.
13. LOOK Cinemas Prestonwood.
5409 Belt Line Rd, Dallas.
This is a theatre that, seemingly, focuses more on creating an elaborate experience rather than on the films themselves. They offer a handful of films, playing about two or three times a day, but there's nothing too unique about what they screen. Upstairs is a bar area they call The Loft, where you can hang out before entering your film's auditorium. The Look and Dine experience offers table service during your film, and the Living Rooms have ottomans, sofas and power recliners. This may be a good place to go out with your friends but not necessarily for any unique films you can't find anywhere else.
12. AMC NorthPark 15.
8687 N Central Expy, Dallas.
This theatre chain originated about 90 years ago, and has since dominated the market of big time movie theatres. Most locations have a full bar and some even have table service during films. This is another movie house that traditionally screens the big time films coming out of New York and Hollywood, though they pepper in a few independent films once in a while, too. They're one the few theatres in Dallas with pre-screenings available. It's a great place to check out if you don't mind a large crowd (hey, it's in a mall for Chrissakes) and loud bar. It's maybe not the best if you prefer quiet, dimly lit ambiance and the opportunity to get into serious discussions with the bartender about filmmaking.
11. Movie Tavern.
This theatre is not unlike some others with its dine-in and full bar experience. It plays the usual big time movies and offers decent lounging. Different, though, is this place offers a “Breakfast and a Flick” experience on the weekends, which is a movie screening at 9 a.m. with some mimosas and breakfast food available. They also offer classic films twice a week, rather than once, unlike most others who have a retro series. It's also got some ballet screenings for the classic theatre buffs out there. They claim to offer a premium, unique experience unlike any other theatre, but it's hard to find too much seriously different about this one.
10. FunAsiA Richardson.
1210 E Belt Line Rd, Richardson.
This is Dallas's go-to for Bollywood cinema. FunAsiA is actually a multi-media company that operates AM and FM radio stations and publishes a monthly magazine. They own Bollywood movie theatres all over Texas. While it's maybe not for everyone, you can't argue this theatre is offering something you can't get anywhere else in town, and it's certainly appreciated by those who enjoy this genre.
9. Highland Park Village Theatre.
32 Highland Park Village, Dallas.
This quaint little theatre, nestled in the heart of Highland Park, is perfect for date night. It's quiet, surrounded by restaurants and has a cute little bar inside. It's only got three screens, though, and generally plays the bigger names. Additionally, there are two private screening rooms you can rent for parties and such. It can cost up to $500, though, and seats about 15 people. Its location, however, is really what draws in the crowd.
8. Granada Theater.
3524 Greenville Ave, Dallas.
Though it got its start as a first run, Art Deco movie house in the late '40s, the Granada Theater is known primarily as a music venue these days. Occasionally, though, on weekend evenings when there isn't a concert scheduled, they'll screen older films, too. It's kind of difficult to compare this to other fully operating movie houses, but it does have a cool vibe to it all the same. When there's a movie on, they've got drink specials, and tickets are either free or three bucks.
7. Coyote Drive-In.
223 NE 4th St, Fort Worth.
Who doesn't love a good, old fashioned drive-in? Talk about nostalgia. This theatre provides that great throwback feeling mixed with fresh, new films. The menu isn't as extensive as the larger, indoor theatres but it is just as tempting. In the Coyote Canteen, they've got classic southern dishes like Frito pie and chicken tenders, wine and imported, domestic and local beers along with sodas and classic movie theatre snacks. Adult tickets are priced at $8 and that gets you into double features. This may not be the best venue for any serious film buff but it's a fun experience for others, weather permitting.
6. Studio Movie Grill.
This place has you covered from the time you buy your ticket until you leave. With full table service during your film, you simply press a button and order drinks, appetizers (the cheese fries alone are worth going for), entrées and desserts. The movies are pretty typical of any big theatre chain. You're not going to find any indie flicks or documentaries here, but you can see plenty of big productions and summer blockbusters. With daily specials on drinks, the prices aren't too terrible. The seats are pretty comfortable, too. Think extravagant office chairs that recline. All in all, the menu selection and service during the film are probably the main reason to check this place out.
5. Inwood Theatre.
Inwood Village, 5458 W Lovers Ln, Dallas.
This is probably the coziest movie house in town, with beanbags, couches and blankets in some of its theatres for your viewing pleasure. Not only that, but it has had one of the area's premier martini bars for the past 28 years. Simply walking in gives you a feeling of nostalgia. It's a throwback to the '40s with its classic vertical, neon sign displaying their name and a marquee of interchangeable black letters against a white background (but, somehow, it's always so charming when a couple of those letters are missing.) By having a happy hour, they've definitely got better prices on alcohol than most. They've got a Midnight Madness series, which is pretty cool for night owls who like to see some old favorites. The selection is anything but vast, though, Inwood only shows about three films in a day.
4. Alamo Drafthouse.
100 South Central Expy, Richardson.
Dallas received a real treat when Alamo Drafthouse made its way in. This place was created by movie fans for movie fans. It strives to preserve the vulnerable 35mm film history and build an audience for classic, golden era cinema, all while also catering to modern filmmaking and anticipating what people want in a movie theatre. Alamo Drafthouse has always supported local breweries and offers an extensive menu to flip through with table service during your film. They don't just play movies, either. With sing-alongs, quote-alongs and game nights, they keep it original.
3. Angelika Film Center.
The Angelika is an art-house theatre through and through. Once you arrive, order a cappuccino or glass of wine (single or double; a double being 12 ounces!) at the downstairs cafe and relax on a sofa until your film starts. This theatre plays a big role in The Dallas International Film Festival, with not only lots of local filmmakers' works being screened but also several directors and actors from big Hollywood productions in attendance. The Angelika also has several pre-screenings of films, but you've got to get there really early and be prepared to stand in a stuffy line for a while. The ticket prices are the usual you find elsewhere, $8 matinee with senior discounts and student discounts available. The drinks are a little overpriced and the beer selection is pretty minimal. But as far as the selection and amount of films being screened each day, it trumps a lot of the rest in town.
2. Texas Theatre.
231 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas.
Built in 1931, Texas Theatre was a pioneer in state-of-the-art projection and sound in Dallas. To this day, they're one of the only theatres around that still uses 35mm film projection. With lots of film literature spread around the bar, true film enthusiasts will want to pay a visit to this historical landmark for some serious geeking out. They aren't open every day, but when they are, you'll see documentaries, films and live performances unlike any around town, almost making this place exclusively a niche haven. The bar is almost a tip-of-the-hat to the classic speakeasy and in lieu of popular digital jukeboxes; you'll find an old Crosley in the corner spinning some vinyl.
1. The Magnolia.
3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas.
This little gem, located uptown, plays just a handful of mainly independent films each day. The most charming feature about this theatre is the classic films screened on Tuesday nights, followed by audience discussions. From Casablanca to The Graduate, it's nice to revisit the glory days of filmmaking on the big screen. Once you arrive, it's imperative to head upstairs and let Sonny, their longtime bartender, whip you up an Old Fashioned. Stick around long enough, and he'll probably ask you your zodiac sign (he's got some interesting theories). It has the usual movie theatre concession area as well for all your hotdog and popcorn needs. Watching a film on the big screen is so often full of distractions these days with waiters walking through aisles in front of you to take an order, people dropping glasses and the sometimes-overwhelming stench of the food being eaten behind you. The Magnolia offers just enough before you enter the auditorium to still allow for a great movie experience. Parking can be a little tricky, but that's pretty much the only downfall. It's definitely worth weaving through the four-story parking garage to catch a film here.