These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (2023)

Want to add even more to your movie experience?

Instead of going to the same old theater, or even one of themThe Most Famous Movie Attractions in Southern California, you can try somewhere a little different. We've rounded up a selection of cinemas that stand out, be it for their decor, history or other reasons, and are worth the price of admission.


Lido-Theatre:Art Deco is the norm here, inside and out. You may want to show up before lights out so you can soak up the atmosphere.Sea Creatures MuralsNothing along the walls of the theater. The ladies' room has a luxurious seating area thanks to Bette Davis. According to local lore, the star passed by the theater in 1938, when it was under construction, and she told the owner that "better open with my picture," a reference to her next film, that year's Jezebel. Yes. 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, 949-673-8350,


Mission Tiki Theater:This location is a four screenForbiddenRemodeled in 2006 to feature ticket booths designed to look like tiki huts, a tiki-themed concession stand, and a Maui statue garden. While the menu is not Polynesian, the place prides itself on its pizza and Mexican food. Tickets include 2 movies and are $9 for ages 10 and up and $1,10798 for ages 5-9. Ramona Avenue, Montclair, 909-628-0511,

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    Cine Frida on Calle 4 E in Santa Ana /// ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: OCmovies.0402 - 01/04/2016 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, PHOTOGRAPHER - The photo was taken on Friday, April 1 at Cine Frida in Santa Ana, California, engraving, 2016.

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    A historic file photo of the Lido Theater in Newport Beach. FILE PHOTO 08/29/46

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    Old Towne Music Hall in El Segundo is known for showing silent films accompanied by a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer theater pipe organ. (Photo courtesy of Old Towne Music Hall.)

  • These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (4)

    Ticketschalter no Mission Tiki Theatre.

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    XMIT ORG: FILMFEST18 - (Neg) - Film enthusiasts attend the opening of the Temecula Valley International Film Festival at Temeku Cinemas on Thursday. 06/17/99.

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    A LACMA employee views artwork by John McLaughlin during a private showing of John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Ed Chrysostoms

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    XMIT ORG: XLA102 Guests wait outside for the grand reopening of Grauman's 1922 Egyptian Theater in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Friday, December 4, 1998. The Egyptian celebrated Cecil B. DeMilles' 75th birthday with a classic premiere silent cl

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Read Cal Oaks theaters with Titan Luxe:Just completed a multi-million dollar renovation, this theater features 17 screens, including two premium Titan Luxe auditoriums with Dolby Atmos sound. The box office has been replaced by a reception desk and there are sun loungers in all the cinemas. Six of the auditoriums also have waiter service in seats and a menu of artisan food and drinks. 41090 California Oaks Road, Murrieta, 951-696-7045,

At Temeku Cinema:What sets this theater apart is its popularity. If you look at the comments on the Facebook page, you'll be amazed at the number of miles people drive to get here. It's an older place, but clean and tidy, and shows current movies for $3.75 to $4.50, plus $2 for 3D. It also regularly shows old movies and offers raffles and free ticket giveaways. 26463 Ynez Road, Temecula, 951-296-9728,


Old Towne Music Room:Classic and silent movies are shown here to the accompaniment of a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ when required. The organ components are painted with fluorescents so they glow under black light, and all the movies sing. Tickets are $10 general and $8 for seniors, but keep in mind that they are only available at the theater box office 30 minutes before each performance and can only be purchased with cash or check. 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, 310-322-2592,

Teatros Regency Norwalk 8:Located at the back of a strip mall, this theater feels mundane until you enter. The lobby walls are painted black and there is an impressive amount of neon and other colored lighting, making you feel like you are on the deck of an alien spaceship or should be dressed in your clubwear. There is no disco ball, but tickets to current movies are $2-$3, except Tuesdays when all seats are $1.50. If you want to watch a 3D movie, add $2. 13917 Pioneer Boulevard, Norwalk, 562-804-5615,


Egyptian Theater:A courtyard lined with two rows of tall trees leads to this theater filled with Egyptian motifs, including a striking sunburst ceiling in the auditorium. Interestingly, it opened in 1922, a month before the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb, sparking a craze for Egyptian art and architecture. It was renovated in 1998 when it was acquired by the non-profit cultural organization American Cinematheque. The theater shows classic movies with live lectures from filmmakers and actors. 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, 323-466-3456,

Los Angeles County Museum of Art:Cinema is an integral part of this venue, which screens classics, documentaries, exhibition-related films, and more, as well as hosting film and film lectures and other programs. Take a break from the museum exhibits with the Tuesday matinee series, which focuses on classic movies at 1 p.m. m. for $2-$4, plus museum admission fee, free: $25. Late-night movies are $10. 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323 857-6010,

New Beverly Cinema:The building is one of the oldest Revival houses in Southern California. It opened as a music hall in the 1920s and went through several incarnations until Quentin Tarantino bought it in 2007. Tarantino curates his selection of old and 35mm films, short films, and animated features. It is currently closed for updates but will reopen later this year. 7165 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-938-4038,

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Vintage Kinos Los Feliz 3:The Art Deco theme screams retro, but this theater shows old movies. The auditoriums are quite cozy, only 5 rows wide, but fans of the venue like the intimacy compared to more modern arena-style theaters. 1822 N Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, 323-664-2169,

Vintage Theater Vista Cinemas:Designed by theater architect Lewis A. Smith, this venue began life as the Lou Bard Playhouse in 1923. Its courtyard is adorned with celebrity handprints and has a Spanish Revival-style exterior, while the interior features an ancient Egyptian theme. . The unique auditorium has a 50-foot screen and JBL sound, and the theater has "the most legroom in Hollywood." It shows classics in 35mm cinema and novelties in digital format. 4473 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-660-6639,


Frida movie:Owned by a non-profit arts organization, this old-style theater has volunteers at the box office and concessions. The old auditorium seats have recently been replaced with comfortable high back seats. Billing itself as the "Annual Orange County Film Festival," the venue showcases independent, classic, short, anime, avant-garde, and current films. And as a bonus, each ticket comes with a discount offer at a local restaurant. 305 E. 4th St. #100, Santa Ana, 714-285-9422,

Related:From chic to cheap, these are the best places to catch a movie in Orange County.

CGV Kinos Buena Park 8 and Los Angeles:These state-of-the-art theaters offer selected current movies in 4DX and ScreenX. Movies viewed in 4DX engage your sensescomplete experience, while the seats move and vibrate three-dimensionally, there is wind, rain, fog, bubbles, snow and storm, lights and sounds and smells. ScreenX films stretch along the side walls of the auditorium for a 270-degree view. The venues also feature curved screens, fully reclining chairs, personal cell phone charging stations and storage areas, and serve up signature popcorn, beer and wine. 6988 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, 714-252-6826 and 621 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, 213-388-9000, You can also find movies displayed in 4DX and ScreenX atRegal LA LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center:1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Ángeles, 844-462-7342, ext. 4046,https://www.regmovies.comand movies shown in 4DX onCinepolis:8540 Whittier Boulevard, Pico Rivera, 562-205-3456,


Museo Norton-Simon:Movie series are offered occasionally throughout the year in the hotel theater. They usually show another movie at 5:30 pm. every Friday for a month or more, all focused on one theme. Best of all, the shows are free with museum admission, adults $15, seniors $12, and children 18 and under, students and active duty military are free, and no reservations are required before you can attend.a little artbefore or after the show. 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, 626-449-6840,

Academia Cinemas da Regency:It opened in 1925 as the themed Bard's Egyptian (yes, another Lou Bard theatre) before being sold in 1942 to Fox, who covered the statues with murals of mermaids and underwater scenes. The venue housed first-class scoops until the 1950s. It eventually became the Academy and its past glory was buried under flat plaster. Its large auditorium was divided, with the ground floor divided into four theaters and the balcony into two. The result is some very odd seating configurations that persist to this day in this decidedly inelegant theater. Some seats may need to be replaced and sections are sometimes cordoned off when it rains, but it's pretty clean and shows current movies at reasonable prices, which is why the crowds come. Tickets are $2.50 to $3.50 and on Wednesdays after 6 p.m. it's a date night with 2 tickets, 2 popcorn and 2 sodas for $10. 1003 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, 626-229-9400,

Related:This man has been guarding the Wurlitzer organ at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse for 40 years.

San Gabriel Mission Theater:This impressive venue often hosts ballet and theater productions, but there is also a series of Silent Sundays in August and occasionally at other times of the year. A wide range of silent films will be shown, from comedy to science fiction, all accompanied by an American Theater Organ Society "Organist of the Year" award winner at the 1924 Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel , 626-308-2868,

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These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (9)

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What is the biggest theater in California? ›

The Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre) is a live-performance auditorium in the Ovation Hollywood shopping mall and entertainment complex, on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

What does Manatee mean in movie theaters? ›

: a musical or dramatic performance or social or public event held in the daytime and especially the afternoon.

Why are so many theaters named Rialto? ›

“Rialtos” were plazas where the common man could go for fun, as “Theatres” and “Operas” were reserved for the nobility and the wealthy. It's worth noting that providing entertainment for the common man has been the ethos of the (Tucson) Rialto since its construction.

What is the name for the 5 cent theaters that sprang up everywhere Once movies started being made? ›

The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron five cents. Nickelodeons (named for a combination of the admission cost and the Greek word for “theater”) soon spread across the country.

What movie Theatre is abandoned in Los Angeles? ›

The Roxie Theatre

Designed by John M. Cooper, the Roxie was the last theater to open on Broadway in 1931, and the only Art Deco theater in downtown Los Angeles.

What does popcorn mean in movies? ›

popcorn movie (plural popcorn movies) (film, idiomatic) A motion picture without serious dramatic content, a weighty message, or intellectual depth, which serves simply as enjoyable entertainment.

What does cry room mean in movie theaters? ›

A cry room or crying room is a space designed for people to take babies or small children for privacy or to reduce the disturbance of others. Started in the 1950s, they are usually found in churches, theatres, and cinemas. In some venues, they are called "infant care rooms".

What does NF mean in cinema? ›

Common abbreviations in general
OAROriginal Aspect Ratio
46 more rows

What were the big 5 movie studios which ones do you recognize as still around today? ›

Today, the Big Five majors – Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Pictures, and Columbia Pictures – routinely distribute hundreds of films every year into all significant international markets (that is, where discretionary income is high enough for consumers to afford to watch films).

Which movie sold the most tickets of all time? ›

Gone with the Wind

Are cinemas still one sit apart? ›

Reopened SM Cinemas will have capacity restrictions to allow customers to social distance one seat apart from each other. Bringing of food inside will be prohibited for now, although drinking water will be allowed in consideration of possible emergencies and health risks.

What is the biggest IMAX screen in California? ›

This IMAX theater, located inside the California Science Center, allows guests to view some exciting films on one of the largest screens there are. The seven-story IMAX screen is the largest in all of Los Angeles.

Where is the largest theater in the United States? ›

Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York

The theater is superlative in multiple ways: It is the largest indoor theater in the world, and features the largest stage curtain—in shimmering gold—in the world.

What is the largest movie theater? ›

The Kinepolis-Madrid Ciudad de la Imagen megaplex in Spain is the largest movie theater in the world, with 25 screens and a seating capacity of 9,200, including one 996-seat auditorium.

Is AMC the biggest cinema? ›

As of March 2022, AMC Theatres was the leading cinema circuit in the United States and Canada, with 7.85 thousand screens spread across both countries. Regal and Cinemark followed with around 6.85 thousand and 4.43 thousand movie theater screens, respectively.


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