The wait for movie concessions shouldn't be as long as the movie itself. At Westown Movies, selecting a snack is as easy as dashing into a corner store?just grab what you want from the shop and then get into the checkout line. Beyond popcorn and soda, you'll also find tasty treats from local vendors, such as Pat's pizza, Pretzel Boys pretzels, and fresh whoopee pies from Smackerals by Michelle.
All these snacks keep rumbling tummies from drowning out the dialogue during a variety of first-run movies. Of Westown's 12 screens, the biggest is the GTX theater's 61-footer, equipped with Dolby Atmos sound and stadium seating with extra legroom. Aside from cinematic features, Westown Movies also rents out its screens for game parties, when guests can hook up their video-game systems and play out their own adventures on a grand, cinematic scale.
The Theatre N at Nemours nestles in downtown Wilmington, but its focus extends beyond the city's borders?the theater screens independent films from around the world, from dramas to documentaries. As patrons watch in the comfort of the more than 200 seats, they nosh on freshly popped popcorn, candy, and other classics from the concession stand.
Awarded Best Movie Night by Philadelphia magazine in 2011, Cinema 16:9 projects theatrical run movies along with independent, foreign, and classic films in surround sound and full HD projection. Comprising two screens and 100 comfortable stadium-style seats, the theater also welcomes visitors to BYOB while catching a flick.
With a passion for historic movie theaters—and a simultaneous disappointment with the unoriginality of major multiplexes—founder David Titus has created a modern moviegoing experience that maintains the uniqueness and charm of Golden Age movie theaters. Along with an eclectic list of screenings, the theater features creative programming such as Terrible Tuesday, during which audiences mock terrible films; 8-Bit Warrior Wednesday, at which attendees play classic NES and SuperNES games on the big screen; and Dinner and a Movie, which includes discounted movie tickets and discounted meals at great local restaurants.
For those who like to watch movies at home, the theater’s movie-rental program features more than 3,000 titles on DVD and Blu-ray. All-out cinephiles can benefit from the theater’s membership program, which offers plans with unlimited movie tickets and rentals. The theater also hosts private movie screenings for birthday parties and challenging knitting parties and boasts a full concession stand that doles out organic and local foodstuffs in eco-friendly containers.
An elegant fusion of Old-World, small-town charm and state-of-the-art technology, Reel Cinemas theaters allow moviegoers to see box-office hits from the comfort of renovated, stadium-style seats. Many of its screens live in updated and renovated old-school theaters, giving the viewing experience a dash of class. The digital projection and sound are decidedly modern, as is a 3D system that makes films more lifelike than the sweating statues of a balmy wax museum. Moviegoers can stop by locations in Narbeth, Bala Cynwyd, and Wayne.
Talk Cinema offers an industry-insider peek of upcoming foreign and independent pictures, all curated by longtime film critic Harlan Jacobson. Guests receive the indiscreet honor of previewing the freshest films, followed by a discussion led by a guest speaker who might be a notable critic, a filmmaker, or an artisanal popcorn chef. Attendees have no prior knowledge of the day's screening, giving viewers a roulette of genres to experience, including psychological thrillers, romantic dramas, and heart-warming documentaries on the evolution of ice-cube trays. All shows start on Sundays at 10 a.m., with doors opening at 9:30 a.m.
The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.