Movies in Southwest Philadelphia

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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.

35 N Lansdowne Ave
Lansdowne,
PA
US

When Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating brought The Franklin Institute to life in 1824, it was to honor the life and achievements of Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin. In the decades since, the Institute has hosted further forward thinkers such as Nikola Tesla, who demonstrated wireless telegraphy in 1893, and helped advance science and technology, hosting the first public demo of an all-electronic TV system in 1934.

  • Size: three floors give voice to human ingenuity?past and future?with hundreds of interactive exhibits
  • Eye Catcher: the two-story-tall, 5,000-square-foot Giant Heart, which teaches children about cardiovascular health while they crawl through its chambers
  • Permanent Mainstay: Fels Planetarium, the second oldest planetarium in the nation, complete with a rooftop observatory and a 60-foot seamless aluminum dome
  • Hands-On Experiments: construct an interplanetary rover in the Space Command, complete an electrical circuit with your body, and launch a cannonball in Circus! Science Under the Big Top
  • Honor the Man: swing by the 20-foot-tall, 30-ton marble statue of Benjamin Franklin in the rotunda to see what the genius looked like and thank him for your bifocals
  • Don't Miss: the Maillardet Automaton, a boy-like drawing machine that inspired the film Hugo
222 North 20th St.
Philadelphia,
PA
US

The building that would eventually become Merriam Theater opened as the Sam S. Shubert Theater in 1918, honoring the famous, theater-owning Shubert family’s youngest member, who died tragically in a train accident a decade earlier. Following the fortunes of its fellow theaters, the Merriam's inaugural years saw success with toe-tapping Gershwin musicals and spine-tingling Shakespearean performances by John Barrymore. As vaudeville petered out and the country slid into a depression, the theater struggled to pay the bills through more tawdry means, hosting burlesque shows and letting patrons see the stage without its curtain. The University of Arts eventually bought the building in 1972, and restored the venue to its former glory as host to the country's finest performers.

250 S Broad St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Just steps from South Street in Philadelphia, Society Hill Playhouse showcases some of the best and most fun theatrical productions in the city. Rather than focusing on high art or avant-garde performances, Society Hill Playhouse creates accessible productions for a wider non-theatergoing crowd. Popular shows like Lafferty's Wake, Nunsense, Schoolhouse Rock Live and Menopause: The Musical have been attracting audiences since the theater space opened in 1960. The building itself is its own spectacle, having been built over a century ago, and inside, the playhouse houses two performance spaces. Downstairs, the cabaret-style Red Room seats 99 guests, while the more traditional theater upstairs can accommodate 250. An on-site bar serves beverages during performances.

507 S 8th St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Run by Anna Maria Florio, the daughter of Italian immigrants, La Cucina at the Market imparts vital culinary arts to its students in intimate, informative classes. Students plunge their hands into the world of handmade pasta in Making Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1, 2, 3, which runs through the art and science of noodle and sauce. In classes of up to 15 people, pupils knead, roll, and slice pasta dough to infuse homemade Italian entrees with a personal touch. Nascent noodle artists acquire the art of lengthy fettuccine and broad pappardelle, and afterward pastacrafters will be able to construct an edible sculpture of a penguin in formalwear using bowtie-mimicking farfalle.

51 N 12th St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

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.

129 N Narberth Ave
Narberth,
PA
US