These movie theaters offer experiences beyond popcorn and big screens thanks to their majestic ambiance, five-star interiors, and unique offerings.
As restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic begin to wane, movie theaters are back in full-swing with audiences lining up to catch the latest blockbuster or highly-anticipated indie film. If the unprecedented earnings of Barbie and Oppenheimer are anything to go by, it’s clear that cinema is finally making a comeback.
Sure, streaming movies at home is perfectly fine, but it’s not a replacement for the theater experience. Nothing can quite replicate the feeling of sitting on plush seats while watching a film unfold before your eyes on the big screen, complete with immersive surround sound. There’s a reason why going to movies has been a beloved pastime for as long as theaters have been around.
Still, any cinephile or moviegoer can attest that not all theaters are built equal. Some offer a film-viewing experience that transcends the usual fare of popcorn, silver screen, and cushy fabric chairs. Below are four particular theaters around the world that do just that, elevating the movie experience like never before:
Cine de Chef, Seoul, South Korea
Cine de Chef in Seoul proves that you don’t have to choose between eating a five-star meal and watching a good movie during an evening out. The unique cinema offers a luxurious dining experience paired with a film of your choice: which will certainly please cinephiles, gourmets, and everyone in between.
The venue boasts a 70-seater fine dining restaurant and a premium theater, but that’s not all. Movie goers can enjoy sumptuous French-Italian cuisine and beverages straight from the comfort of their seats—or if they prefer, beds.
Indeed, the theater has multiple locations and cinemas that either boast Quinette Gallay seats or reclining Tempur beds. The very same people who created private movie theater seats for United Arab Emirates royalty crafted the Quinette chairs. Meanwhile, the Cine de Chef x TEMPUR theater is the world’s first reclining bed cinema, providing maximum viewing comfort.
Tivoli Cinema, London, UK
Tivoli Cinema is a boutique theater with two locations, one in Central Bath and another in Cheltenham. It boasts an intimate yet classy atmosphere with art house aesthetics, and screens both blockbusters and indie films for moviegoers of all tastes. Its four studios feature plush sofas that can seat 50 people and the best all-laser projection for optimal film viewing.
However, those who want to take it up a notch can opt to watch their movies in the Director’s Screening Room & Lounge—Tivoli’s exclusive, 12-seater space with luxe individual armchairs, which can be rented out entirely for special movie screenings.
Guests can also have delicious food from the theater’s in-house Cafe and Bar, a retro dining option with an array of classic comfort food and cocktails.
Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, California, USA
The Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in La Costa, California, serves a classic luxury experience with its reclining leather seats and capacious theaters. Moviegoers who want a bite to eat can easily request for it with, quite literally, the push of a button.
Waiting staff are available to take in orders, with a menu that includes classic American-Mexican favorites like wings, cocktails, pizzas, salads, and even desserts like churros.
In 2017, Cinépolis even added a special kid’s cinema complete with beanbags, play areas, and other cozy nooks for the little ones’ movie-viewing pleasure, according to NBC News.
Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France
Cinephiles who are interested in movie history may want to pay a visit to Paris’ Cinémathèque Française. If the facade of this theater reminds you of a museum, well, it actually is one.
Besides screening films from around the world on a daily basis, the institution also serves as a cinema archive. In fact, as per Google Arts & Culture, it holds “one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world.”
The theater cultivates the public’s passion for film through an array of exhibitions in its Musée Méliès, as well as special talks and meetings. It also hosts a library and bookshop on—you guessed it—all things cinema.
Banner photo from the Tivoli Cinema website.