The Best Independent Movie Houses in Los Angeles

Photo of Casey Lowrey
11 January 2017

Among Los Angeles‘ many film theaters are these five superior independent houses, which show a range of mainstream, arthouse, and indie films.

Nuart Theatre

Nuart is a refreshing and charming theater showing a variety of independent films. This movie house is a must-visit for cinephiles in L.A. The décor offers a fresh alternative to the local over-saturation of dumb nightclubs and drab bars. Fans of the cult masterpiece The Rocky Horror Picture Show will find a safe and fun venue for annual showings. It should be noted that Nuart’s parking availability is limited and could deter even the most avid fan.

The Cinefamily

The Cinefamily is a charming landmark in the theatrical landscape of Los Angeles. The Cinefamily purchased the Silent Movie Theater in the late 2000s, so It should be noted that while the venue still plays silent films (most often on the first Saturday of every month), it has expanded to a host a variety of other material. The Cinefamily is a nonprofit organization, and this shows through the friendly and dedicated staff. The seating at Cinefamily can leave something to be desired (though there is a small amount of couch seating available). On a welcome side note, parking appears to be surprisingly carefree.

New Beverly Cinema

With a generous amount of parking, New Beverly Cinema is one of the most convenient places to watch films presented in 35 millimeter format in the Los Angeles area. General admission is a breezy eight dollars, which definitely stands out in an industry that has prices soaring into the upper teens. Double features abound at New Beverly, another good monetary incentive for the more fiscally conservative moviegoers.

Some complaints have sprung up about the size of the screen, though judging from the price and diverse material being displayed, this comes off as a relatively minor complaint. The lineup of films is quite diverse, though it leans a little more in the direction of the mainstream. Fans of more indie-centered cinema might be turned off by the constant marquee of famous films and the actors who headline them.

The Vista

The Vista is a Los Angeles landmark that in less than ten years will be celebrating its hundred year anniversary. It’s located just off Sunset Boulevard and would be a hard spot to miss. The cinema’s fare, much like the venue itself, leans toward more mainstream affairs. The Vista is a prime venue for viewing summer blockbusters and action flicks, all for a relatively affordable ticket price that stays under double digits. Parking is a bit of an issue with The Vista, so, if possible, attempt the route on foot. The Vista presents a very charming and fashionable image of the glory years of Hollywood.

ArcLight Cinemas

The ArcLight is a stylish venue that showcases giant blockbuster affairs as well as more intimate indie favorites. ArcLight has its own parking structure for you to take advantage of. The theater screens are large, so you should expect a jump in price. It doesn’t quite have the excitement of an IMAX theater, but it certainly does not disappoint. There is assigned seating, which you may love or hate. The decor is very classy, providing a nice amount of classic Hollywood sheen without becoming gaudy.

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