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

Want to add even more to your cinematic experience?

Instead of going to the same old theater, or even one of themSouthern California's Most Famous Movie Attractions, you can try somewhere a little different. We've put together a selection of cinemas that stand out, whether 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 might want to show up before the lights go out so you can soak up the atmosphere.Murals of Sea CreaturesSwim along the theater walls. The women's bathroom has a luxurious salon thanks to Bette Davis. According to local lore, the star walked by the theater in 1938 as it was being built and told the owner "better open with my picture", referring to his next film, Jezebel of that year. He did. 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, 949-673-8350,


Mission Tiki Theatre:This place is a four screenProhibitedRemodeled 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 isn't Polynesian, the place prides itself on its pizza and Mexican fare. Tickets include 2 movies and cost $9 for ages 10 and up and $1,10798 for ages 5-9. Ramona Avenue, Montclair, 909-628-0511,

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    The Frida Cinema at E 4th Street in Santa Ana /// ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: OCmovies.0402 - 01/04/16 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, PHOTOGRAPHER - The photo was taken on Friday, April 1st, at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, California, engraved, 2016.

  • These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (2)

    The 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)

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

  • These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (5)

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    A LACMA employee looks at an artwork by John McLaughlin during a private showing of John McLaughlin Paintings: Total Abstraction Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 10, 2016. (Pictured by Ed Crisostomos

  • These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (6)

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

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    O Sculpture Garden no Norton Simon Museum em Pasadena.

  • These are 19 of the most unusual movie theaters in Southern California. (8)

    The Lido in Newport Beach is Art Deco inside and out. (Photo by Bob Hodson).

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Leia Cal Oaks Cinemas com 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 sunbeds in all theaters. Six of the auditoriums also have waiter service in the armchair and a menu of artisan foods and drinks. 41090 California Oaks Road, Murrieta, 951-696-7045,

At the 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 how many miles people drive to get here. It's an old-fashioned 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 sweepstakes and free ticket giveaways. 26463 Ynez Road, Temecula, 951-296-9728,


Old Towne Music Room:Classic and silent films are shown here with the accompaniment of a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ when required. The organ components are painted with fluorescent colors so that they glow under black light, and there is singing in every film. 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 by cash or check. 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, 310-322-2592,

Teatros Regency Norwalk 8:Located at the back of a strip mall, this cinema feels mundane until you enter. The lobby walls are painted black and there's a surprising amount of neon and other colors, making you feel like you're on the deck of an alien ship or should be in your disco clothes. There's no disco ball, but tickets to current movies are $2-$3, except on 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 flanked by two rows of tall trees leads to this theater filled with Egyptian motifs, including a bold 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 films with live lectures by filmmakers and actors. 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, 323-466-3456,

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

Beverly's New Movie Theater:The building is one of the oldest revival houses in Southern California. It opened as a music hall in 1920 and went through several incarnations until Quentin Tarantino bought it in 2007. Tarantino curates his selection of vintage and 35mm films, short films and animated films. It is currently closed for improvements, 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. 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,

Cinemas Vintage Theatre Vista:Designed by theatrical architect Lewis A. Smith, this venue began as the Lou Bard Playhouse in 1923. Its front yard is adorned with celebrity handprints and has a Spanish Renaissance-style exterior, while the interior features a vintage theme. The unique auditorium has a 50-foot screen and JBL sound, and the theater boasts "the most legroom in Hollywood." Shows classics in 35mm film and new films in digital format. 4473 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, 323-660-6639,


The Frida movie:Owned by a nonprofit 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 "Orange County's Year-Round 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, sounds and smells. ScreenX films extend 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 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 projected in 4DX and ScreenX atRegal L.A. LIVE: a boat innovation center:1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 844-462-7342, ext. 4046,https://www.regmovies.comand films projected in 4DX inCinepolis:8540 Whittier Boulevard, Pico Rivera, 562-205-3456,


Norton-Simon Museum:Film series are offered occasionally throughout the year at the local theater. They usually show another movie at 5:30pm. every Friday for a month or so, 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 for admission.a little artbefore or after the show. 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, 626-449-6840,

Cinemas da Regency Academy:It opened in 1925 as the themed Bard's Egyptian (yes, another Lou Bard theater) before being sold in 1942 to Fox, who covered the statues with murals of mermaids and underwater scenes. The venue hosted first-class premieres through the 1950s. Eventually it became the Academy, its past glory 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 dowdy theater. Some seats may need replacing and sections are sometimes cordoned off when it rains, but it's fairly 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 6pm. 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 looked after the Wurlitzer organ at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse for 40 years

San Gabriel Mission Theatre:This impressive venue often hosts ballet and theater productions, but there are also a series of Silent Sundays in August and occasionally at other times of the year. A wide variety 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, 626 San Gabriel - 308-2868,

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