Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn feeds movie fans during second-run flicks projected in theaters with DTS and Dolby surround sound
Up to 48% Off Movie Package for Two
45% Off Movie and Beer at The New Parkway Theater
The New Parkway Theater
Viewers recline on cozy couches and love seats while enjoying popcorn, craft beer, and local wine while watching movies on the big screen
50% Off at Film Event at Sistah Sinema
Monthly event showcases films by queer women of color and leads into a safe group discussion of the film and subject
Up to 55% Off Bad Movie Night
The Dark Room Theater
Audiences laugh at film flops while hosts riff on the movie's flaws
BANFF Mountain Film Festival Radical Reels Tour – Up to 40% Off
2014 BANFF Mountain Film Festival "Radical Reels Tour"
Short-film festival celebrates extreme athletes from around the world
Up to 45% Off at Osio Cinemas
Old Monterey Business District
Cinema screens foreign films, domestic documentaries, and independent features
Its name may contain the word "museum," but The Tech Museum of Innovation prefers not to wallow in the past. Since its earliest days in 1978, it has exhibited the timeless principles of science while also celebrating the latest in technological achievement. In doing so, the institution inspires visitors to apply that same spirit of creative problem-solving to all aspects of life.
The silver screens at BlueLight Cinemas showcase second-run films every day in theaters with high-back chairs and DTS and Dolby surround sound. In the concession area, attendants provide a cornucopia of goods, including Dippin' Dots, Peet's Coffee, and Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn topped with real butter from actual tombs inside the food pyramid. The locally owned theater keeps in tune with the community by staging events throughout the year, offering theater rentals for parties, and allowing moviegoers to influence upcoming features by requesting a movie.
"The Nick" showcases alternative, foreign, and art-house films in a theater steeped in the stylings of Hollywood. Beyond the elegant marquee lights, in a smoothly styled lobby, the walls are accented with stained-glass detailing comedy and tragedy masks. The retro chic movie house boasts two intimate and two large screens, which will soon play host to a bevy of upcoming shows. Current features include Academy Award nominees Black Swan, Another Year, The Illusionist, and Biutiful, the story of a crime boss who is diagnosed with a serious illness which forces him to reconcile his good intentions with his lawless lifestyle.
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Established in 1919 and under the same local ownership since 1964, 4-Star Theatre specializes in independent and foreign films while also showing major studio releases. Touted by many sources as the best place to see Asian cinema in California, the quaint art house runs regular Asian film series showcasing reels old, new, and from 2067. Coming features include Echoes of the Rainbow, the winner of a Crystal Bear at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, which tells the story of a working Hong Kong family whose eldest son becomes sick with leukemia. Legend of The Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen is a raucous martial-arts adventure, elaborating on a role made famous by Bruce Lee in Fists of Fury. You can also see documentaries such as The Future of Food and We Are Skateboarders as well as blockbusters such as the second Wall Street installment and the CGI explosion-filled remake of On Golden Pond.
Hailed as one of America’s “coolest film festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, the Disposable Film Festival celebrates and showcases the world’s best no-budget filmmaking. The festival culls its selections from short films shot on inexpensive equipment such as cell phones, still cameras, and webcams, giving audience to a new brood of cinematic mavericks unfettered by major studios, movie stars, or caterers who never bring enough bagels. Grab a fellow cineaste and eyeball the work of shoestring Scorceses and Bergmanesque Skypers as the 2011 festival kicks off with the competitive shorts program at the grand, lavish Castro Theater. A panel of experts appraises each film, and one diminutive flick is selected by the masses to receive an Audience Choice Award, giving laypeople a taste of the judgmental fun that movie critics, mothers-in-law, and sanctimonious squirrels enjoy every day. A festival T-shirt and tote bag help opening-night attendees reminisce about the evening's miniature masterpieces, and an online gallery of past competitors provides a glimpse of the sort of artistry audiences can expect. After the show enjoy complimentary appetizers and wine from Four Vines Naked Chardonnay, Mark West Pinot Noir, and Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon at the Lookout.
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival unveils an exciting lineup of dramas, documentaries, and other captivating cinema by acclaimed filmmakers. The Castro Theatre's weeklong schedule examines the Jewish experience in documentaries such as Strangers No More, an Academy-Award-winning glimpse into a school in Tel Aviv that educates refugee children with traumatic pasts, and Incessant Vision⎯Letters from an Architect, a film by Duki Dror that surveys the life of German-Jewish Expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn. Simpsons writer and producer Mike Reiss hosts Jews in Toons, highlighting a range of Jewish–themed animated episodes from the Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy. Dates can court a favorite flame by cuddling up to the romantic comedy The Names of Love or erect a fortress of Raisinets boxes to guard sensibilities against the slasher flick Rabies, which touts itself as the first Israeli horror film.
Groupon: The movie has a pretty stellar cast—Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, and Bryan Cranston, among others. How did working alongside such actors and actresses affect your performance?
Though the Lumière brothers and Thomas Edison are often credited with groundbreaking discoveries that paved the way for modern cinema, history sometimes leaves out a key player: photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Commissioned to find out whether horses lifted all four legs off the ground while galloping, Muybridge invented a device called the zoopraxiscope to display his photographed findings. His first zoopraxiscope screening was held in Palo Alto in 1879, making the city the birthplace of film.
To honor Muybridge’s work, as well as the technological innovations bubbling throughout Silicon Valley, the Palo Alto International Film Festival was born in 2011. It focuses not only on new technology, but on breakthroughs in artistic expression, screening a collection of films from around the world. They range from major Hollywood releases, such as 2012’s Looper, to independent works, such as George Lucas’s home videos of himself practicing light-saber moves in his garage. Outside the theater, visitors can mingle at an array of talks, film workshops, and parties.
From the cabernet-hued curlicues on the carpets to the gilded columns and soaring ceilings, the Alameda Theatre is steeped in history. During the Second World War, soldiers crowded in to watch films in the auditorium, which also has spent stints as a practice area for rock bands and as a skating rink. The theater was recently brought out of dormancy with an extensive renovation project that restored the glow to its art-deco façades and towering neon sign. Gold leaf, some still intact from the building’s construction in 1932, leads eyes up to a screen 50 feet in width.
A packed schedule of first-run films flickers to life on the big screen, with showings in 3-D letting audiences see explosions leap from the flat surface or watch pieces of the Hulk’s hard-to-program VCR fly past. The historic theater also showcases classic films such as The Graduate or The Wild One every week, and hosts a talent show every Friday and Saturday evening.
At The New Parkway Theater, viewers nestle into love seats or lounge on cozy couches while munching on comfort food and popcorn, a weekend viewing party writ large. If its owners had their way, the biggest difference between a friend's house and their theater would be the size of the screen. Conceived as a community space, New Parkway's colorful cafe and couch-filled screening rooms encourage showgoers to make friends, sitting with strangers and striking up conversations with particularly interesting throw pillows. An ever-changing schedule reinforces the space's sense of discovery, constantly cycling through indie darlings, classic flicks, and second-run blockbusters.
The menu of comfort food comes out of the kitchen and straight to the seats, letting viewers chow down during flicks. Prepared with locally sourced ingredients, options include burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and spicy fries. Beer and wine selections all come from brewers and vintners within 100 miles of Oakland.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
Erected in 1909, when the city's great earthquake and fire were still recent memories, the Roxie Theater is San Francisco's oldest continually operating movie theater. Its late-60s stint as an adult movie showroom is
far behind the Roxie, and this vintage Mission District jewel, sporting a classic 1930s neon sign, now functions as a nonprofit operation. With programming predicated on celebrating the cinematic arts and its vibrant history, the theater works with many local film festivals, including Noisepop, Frameline and Indiefest. Other evenings feature writer and director talks, themed screenings and "Neighborhood Nightz," which showcases locally-made short films. Throughout the rest of the year, the Roxie screens art films, documentaries and rare treats that would be very hard to find anywhere else.
On Christmas Day of 1966, the Balboa Theatre began a second-run engagement of The Sound of Music that lasted until the following May. Doctor Zhivago immediately followed, and remained the single-screen movie palace's only feature for the next seven months—enough time to screen the movie almost three times. Today, fan demand rarely keeps a movie at the Balboa for that long—and now that it has multiple screens, it no longer has to limit itself to just one film—but it continues to listen to what its audiences want. Besides showing brand-new Hollywood blockbusters, the theater reaches into the vaults for frequent repertory screenings. Every Saturday at 10 a.m., for instance, the Balboa shows kids' classics such as E.T., the charming tale of a boy who teaches an alien to use a phone.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Theater Camps/Birthday Parties
Recommended Age Group: Kids