From commercial multiplexes to indie arthouse nooks, Philly has movie theaters scattered across the city. Below are some of the best and most intriguing spots to offer you cinematic solace from Penn.
Cinemark University City Penn 6
Where: 4012 Walnut St.
What it's like: With its neon sign beaming across the street from FroGro, classic red velvet seats and omnipresent popcorn aroma, the Cinemark is about as conventional as it gets. This is where you go to see the latest blockbusters Hollywood has churned out, be it Marvel action explosions or animated family films. Rogue One, Sing and Assassin’s Creed are currently screening, and with the theater’s student discount and close proximity to campus, it’s a perfect place to go with a group of friends. Plus, the theater sells beer and wine on–site. Tickets run about $9, depending on the day of the week and time of day; there's also a discount every Tuesday, with $5.50 tickets.
Go here when: You and your friends want to bask in convenient nostalgia by seeing the latest iteration of Toy Story, Finding Nemo or The Incredibles.
Ritz East/Ritz 5/Ritz at the Bourse
Where: 125 S 2nd St., 214 Walnut St. and 400 Ranstead St.
What it's like: These theaters, all owned by Landmark Theatres, are essentially triplets—they’re just a few blocks apart. They’re located all the way in Old City, so you'll spend a little extra on the Uber, but it's worth it for the relaxed ambience and selection of limited–release indie films. La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea and Jackie are all currently playing at these locations. All three theaters offer tickets with student discounts for $7.75, an okay price to pay for their no–alcohol policy.
Go here when: You want to see that quiet Sundance drama that your Cinema Studies–majoring friend won’t stop talking about.
Where: 2023 Sansom St.
What it's like: Nestled among the various stores and restaurants in Rittenhouse, the Roxy is a hidden gem for film lovers. Along with screening the newest indie movies, this theater holds special screenings of previously released films (like 12 Years a Slave) and smaller, international movies. Additionally, every Wednesday night, the theater holds a BYO, where they provide glassware for you to enjoy a movie while sipping wine with your friends. Tickets run for $12 with a student discount.
Go here when: You want to enjoy a retrospective of an esoteric foreign director—or you want to publicly drink somewhere classier than Beijing.
The Franklin Institute's Tuttleman IMAX Theater
Where: 222 N 20th St.
What it's like: This theater rests on a gimmick, but it’s a cool gimmick! The Franklin Institute screens science–related movies, nature documentaries and some large blockbusters—all in IMAX. Now, this is not your boring hometown movie theater’s IMAX, where you essentially pay a premium for a slightly bigger screen. No, this is an IMAX DOME, where the movie screen reaches 180 degrees around you, providing an extremely immersive experience. Tickets are pricier than your average movie (around $15), but imagine watching Rogue One—which is currently playing—on the enormous curved screen! Imagine the overstimulation! If that’s not worth $15, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately, alcohol is a no–go here, but that shouldn't be much of a deterrent.
Go here when: Normal–sized movie screens just aren’t doing it for you anymore. You want MORE.